We’ve had elections recently in France, the US and the UK. We’ve had quite a lot of them in the UK actually. One of the things that happens a lot in politics is that partisans for one side or the other are keen to make out that their opponents have made a lot of mistakes. Given their terrible track record, you should boot them out and pick someone else instead is the argument. This is a convincing line if, and only if, the people who have got things wrong never learn from their errors. But the reality is that when things go wrong most of us look at the situation and see what we can learn to avoid getting it wrong again next time. I think this is true in every walk of life, and it is definitely true in the world of cosmetic formulation. The best lesson is getting something wrong and having to put it right. Good judgement is the result of experience. But experience is the result of bad judgement. You won’t get much right without first getting a lot of things wrong.
A question from Lucy
Exciting to find your site… thank you for interesting articles.
Do you know anything about Dermalex Rosacea Cream? It sounds tempting in so far as being antibiotic free and reducing redness but the scary-sounding ingredients are unfamiliar. Is it genuinely safe?
I’d be grateful for your opinion Continue reading
A question from Susan who is suffering from sensitive skin that hasn’t yet been tracked down to a specific cause.
My face seems to have become very sensitive to everything creams & makeup I have lost count of the products I have used & the money I have wasted. I asked the doctor what was the most common thing that is put into products that can cause a reaction that’s how I came across your blog, which has now send my head into a tailspin as you say that natural is not always the answer. I am awaiting patch testing to see what is causing reactions but I’m desperate for a moisturiser for my face at the moment all that I can use is a steroid ointment which is very greasy & can only use once a day. I was hoping you could recommend any products I could look at to use or any websites that will help.
How much does using talc increases your risk of developing Ovarian Cancer? Talc is pretty widely used, so if true this is a pretty big story and also rather bad news. It is such handy and useful stuff it would be a great shame if we had to stop using it and of course it would also be bad if people are contracting cancer who otherwise would not. The only people who would be pleased would be the people behind the campaign for safe cosmetics. They have been going since 2002 and have yet to find any unsafe cosmetic product. Continue reading
I am rather stunned by this news story. Johnson and Johnson has been ordered to pay damages to a woman who claims her ovarian cancer was caused by using the firm’s talcum powder. First off, let’s get the science out of the way. The exact cause of any individual case of cancer simply cannot be determined with the current state of scientific knowledge. Even if there was a link between talc and cancer, it would not be possible to say that this woman was actually killed by it. The evidence that talc causes cancer is in any case not particularly convincing even by the standards of scare stories in general. So when the jury decided that Johnson and Johnson were responsible, they were to say the least being very original in their thinking. Continue reading
I subscribe to the FDA’s mailing list where they detail problems with products. There is usually something going wrong somewhere so alerts come through most days, and getting several on the same day is not unusual. It is pretty rare for cosmetics to trigger off the alarm bells. I am sure that people in the cosmetic business are just as error prone as those in any other walk of life, but it just happens that by the standards of consumer products cosmetics are pretty safe. Nobody knowingly uses hazardous ingredients in cosmetics – there is simply no reason to do so. And the skin is a pretty good barrier anyway so you would be unlikely to come to any harm in the unlikely event of anything accidentally ending up in a cosmetic anyway. Continue reading
The biggest cause of complaints to cosmetic companies from consumers are allergic reactions. Anyone can develop an allergic reaction to anything at any time, so this is only to be expected. There are some ingredients that are more inclined to cause allergic reactions than others. Preservatives and fragrances are big culprits, which probably won’t surprise anyone. Colours are not, which is probably mainly because they are used at exceptionally low levels in most products. But as I say, anything can cause an allergy and they can develop at any time. So even if you have used a product for years you can still develop an allergy. When this happens most people assume that the product has changed, but it is just as likely to be your own immune system that has changed. Continue reading
As a keen environmentalist I often find myself face palming when a cosmetic company picks up on a green issue. They often home in on things that aren’t particularly relevant and propose solutions that are questionable. But I think the recent interest in the risks posed by microbeads is one where there is a real problem. Continue reading
My long term Twitter chum Musical Houses raised a problem she has with some cosmetic ingredients with me over Twitter, using no less than 8 tweets to do it. Such patience clearly deserves an answer. Continue reading
A question from Amanda
I have a question. I have used a baking soda scrub on my scalp (scrub a handful of dry baking soda into wet hair, rinse thoroughly, then follow with an ACV/water rinse. I tried the more typical 2 tablespoons baking soda to 2 cups water ration, but after trial and error I found that I need the abrasive action of the dry stuff to get rid of scalp issues) for about a year. My scalp and hair are happy, but my fingernails have never been softer or more likely to break off. I have plenty of protein and good fats in my diet, and use oils on my hands and nails, but my nails are very unhappy. Could it be related to the baking soda? Not much else has changed!