Tag Archives: environment

Cosmetic Ingredients – Natural or Synthetic?

natural versus synthetic

Since at least the nineties and arguably even before that, the trend has been towards making personal care products that are as natural as possible. The cosmetics business has gone green, both metaphorically and in the case of the labels often literally too.  In fact at one point all the labels in the Body Shop were green.  ‘Natural’ has become the marketers’ adjective of choice.  The Body Shop was of course a pathfinder and pioneer in the world of natural cosmetics in the seventies, but the mainstream was close on its heels. You only needed to turn the television on to see this.  Timotei ran adverts that were designed to suggest that their raw materials included wicker baskets full of wild flowers gathered by a blond woman in her nightdress. Continue reading

Are Soaps Containing Triclosan Effective?

triclosan soap effective

One of the Chemists’ Corner team made a very good point on Twitter.  If antibacterial soaps, most of which contain triclosan, are effective then industry shouldn’t have any trouble demonstrating the fact.  The context to this is a recent request from the FDA for data supporting the efficacy of antibacterial soaps. Continue reading

Palm Oil


A lot of people are concerned about palm oil production.  Palm oil production has some serious environmental issues associated with it to do with sustainability and destruction of precious wildlife habitats.  Older readers might remember serious air pollution caused by palm oil farming in Asia some years back.  The symbol of this has been the orang utan, whose numbers have been severely curtailed by the loss of their habitat to the palm plantations. Continue reading


reach regulations

I was at a conference about cosmetic regulations yesterday.  As is often the case, some of the most interesting things I picked up in random conversations with people I might not otherwise ever meet.  For example I was chatting to someone in passing mentioned that the people enforcing the REACH regulations were resorting to automated methods to clear their backlog of unapproved data.

If you are like the vast majority of  people who don’t work with chemicals, you won’t have the first idea what I am talking about. Continue reading