This feels like the end of a chapter.
December 21, 2016
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued draft guidance recommending a limit of no more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of lead as an impurity in cosmetic lip products (such as lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners) and externally applied cosmetics (such as eye shadows, blushes, compact powders, shampoos, and body lotions).
So now at last we have the issue of lead in lipstick settled. This will now become a de facto world standard. Nobody wants to make stuff that is illegal in the US even if they don’t plan to sell in the US. And I imagine that the EU will quietly add this requirement to the EU legislation at some point anyway. Continue reading
Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish
Christmas 2016 is over, and like a lot of people for me the next item on the agenda is getting rid of all the rubbish. I am particularly aware of it this year having read an article in the Biologist over the holiday by freelance naturalist Rajith Dissanayake. Despite the popularity of naturalness and general greenery we still produce one heck of a lot of plastic. I can certainly vouch for that as I have tried to squeeze of lot of it into my bin. Rajith quotes the figure that the average American produces around 2.5Kg of plastic waste per day, and us Europeans can’t be far behind.
Liver paté is a source of vitamin A
The EU has a rather Byzantine way of regulating cosmetics. The rules are set by the European Commission in Brussels. This is run by the commissioners, of whom there are 28 one from each state. They have what strikes me as quite a modest sized staff and they don’t employ any scientists specifically to look at cosmetics and indeed don’t have a department that dedicated to the industry. So the regulations are drawn up by general bureaucrats. Continue reading
There have always been people out to separate you from your money and prepared to say almost anything that will work to do so. Since the internet has been widespread there have been many more opportunities for small companies and simply unscrupulous individuals to sell stuff that just doesn’t do what it says. Continue reading
The FDA’ s view on what constitutes the definition of a drug compared to a cosmetic is a longstanding one. A cosmetic is not supposed to either have or to claim physiological effect. This is a reasonable work in definition in so far as it goes. You can pick holes in it if you put your mind to it, but it gets the essence of how most people think of the difference. It has in any case not been something that the FDA gave a lot of attention to. Continue reading
I have been featured on the Beauty Brains podcast.
They asked me to do a ten minute segment on EU cosmetic regulations, which was fairly easy to do as I have been working with them for 30 odd years. It wasn’t easy to make interesting though, but the Brains guys do a great job of making the rather dull material interesting by interspersing their own commentary into what I said. I almost felt like I was in the room with them.
My full script is below.
There is a concept in the software business called the minimum viable product. This is the barebones of an application that does just enough to enable it to get onto the market so the concept can be tested. This is an interesting idea in the fast moving world of information technology where change is so fast that nobody knows what is going to work until it has been tried out. Continue reading
When I was reviewing Bomb Cosmetics Chocolate Ballotin Assortment I made a reference to the problem that might potentially face with this product. Cosmetics that look like food risk getting pulled up under legislation that forbids non-food products from being made that might fool someone into thinking that they are food. The motivation behind this seems to be to prevent people passing off stuff that isn’t edible as a foodstuff, but the wording could be interpreted as banning any attempt to mimic food. Continue reading
I don’t suppose many people stop to think about how much shampoo or body lotion they are using. I know I don’t. But it is something that some people need to worry about. When cosmetic products are assessed for their safety the amount that is used is a relevant parameter. Obviously you use a lot more body lotion than face cream for example. So you need to take this into account. Continue reading
The most recent version of the cosmetic regulations, which came into force in the summer of 2013, made it illegal to test on animals for the purposes of developing cosmetics. This is something that has pleased most people, who tend to think of cosmetics as not really being worth being cruel to animals for. It doesn’t bother cosmetic chemists for whom the tests have never really been any help anyway. The only stumbling block has been the people responsible for consumer safety for whom the use of animals to test for toxicity was a useful form of reassurance. Continue reading