I think this is a universal truth, but it is certainly true in labs. The most stressful role is middle management. I enjoyed my time as a bench chemist doing the actual work. I enjoy supervising projects at a higher level. But most of my bad memories of my career are when I was in between – managing a team but reporting to senior management. Continue reading
There is an article I have seen posted on Facebook a couple of times that highlights the health risks of synthetic fragrance ingredients. I won’t link to it, but if I am seeing it there is a good chance you will have seen it too. The thesis it proposes is that synthetic chemicals in fragrances are toxic and might be dangerous to people who inhale them in public places, even if they aren’t actually wearing the fragrance themselves. Continue reading
I don’t think that animal testing works the way some people commentating on the internet appear to think it works. This was brought home to me when I was asked a question about a new preservative material called silver citrate. It is one that might appeal to the lovers of natural because both silver and citrate sound safe and natural. We all know what silver is and so assume it is safe. Citric acid sounds like it comes from oranges so that sounds pretty safe too. But the person who was interested in it had read the material safety data sheet that came with it, and concluded that it had been tested on animals. For them this was a no no. Continue reading
Preservatives in cosmetic products are a problem and will remain so until the way they are made and used changes significantly. I imagine someone somewhere is working on a project to create cosmetics in a small machine which you can programme with your favourite recipes. That would enable people to choose their own preservative option or to not use them at all and just make their personal care products fresh as needed. But until that technology becomes widespread preservatives are a necessity, and some people will have allergic reactions to them. Even the ones with a low propensity to cause allergic reactions, like the parabens and methylisothiazolinone, still cause plenty of people issues.? Continue reading
There’s a new paper out with some numbers from dermatology clinics about reactions to methylisothiazolinone (MI). Dermatologists regularly patch test people to discover what they are allergic to. This involves applying a set of common materials that tend to provoke allergic reactions to the skin, and seeing which ones the individual reacts to. Continue reading
Among the many things I try to cram into my schedule is a newsletter for people with sensitive skin. I am not very successful at doing this I am afraid, and I don’t get the newsletters out very frequently. But despite this I get a steady stream of people talking to me about their issues with reactions to cosmetics. In particular, to preservatives. And particularly in particular to methylisothiazolinone. Continue reading
There are an interesting couple of points in the comments thread on my blog post asking for MI not to become a scare story, from Suzanne. She has drawn my attention to a paper from 2012 that details developmental problems in tadpoles exposed to MI. She concludes from this that MI is potentially unsafe for humans as well and asks what the liability is for companies that continue to use it now that this risk has been identified. Continue reading
Someone has asked about a serum they like.
I have a very very expensive formulation of a serum here. Would you please be so kind to evaluate it? My questions are especially concerning preservatives.. and also: does skin benefit from so many different ingredients and antioxidants…? I think I think that simple is best. The formulation might be of interest to you, as it seems at the forefront.
Water, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, glycerin, punica granatum (pomegranate) extract, squalane, tocopheryl acetate, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract, vernonia (ambiaty) apendiculata leaf extract, morinda citrifolia exrtact, pichia/reservatrol ferment extract, laminaria digitata extract, padina pavonica thallus extract, hydrolyzed algin, palmitoyl oglipeptide, phanthenol, niacinamide, ubiquinone, yeast amino acids, 7-dehydrocholesterol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract, helianthus annuus seed extract, equisetum arvense extract, commiphora myrrah extract, retinyl palmitate, allantoin, PEG 10 rapeseed sterel, tribehenin, ceramide 2, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/beheneth-25, sucrose laurate, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, polyquaternium-55, zea mays (corn) oil, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, tricalcium phosphate.
There is a news story that L’Oréal have issued a product recall for their Ideal Moisture Dry and Sensitive Day Cream in Canada. The reason is that the level of MI in it is higher than Health Canada’s regulations allow. This is quite a rare event – big cosmetic companies are usually pretty good at following regulations. Unfortunately Google has not revealed the details of just how much over they were. But the product has been on the market for three years so there is a good chance that they have simply failed to keep up with the regulations and that the product was legal when formulated and launched. They have shifted just under 60,000 units. Continue reading
I have just had someone get in touch to tell me that Ecover Wipes have just changed their formulation to include methylisothiazolinone (MI) as the preservative. I haven’t been able to confirm this myself so I will have to treat it as hearsay for now. If you know the facts please let me know. But it does raise the question as to why any company would do such a thing? MI has been in the news for provoking allergies and the permitted level has been tightened recently. It has even been banned from leave on products – though it is still allowed in rinse off products such as wipes. Continue reading