When I give a talk I rarely use notes, but I have generally written out what I am going to say in advance and to some extent memorised it. But I am now getting to the stage in my life where I don’t really worry too much about getting up to speak in public. What’s the worst that can happen after all? So when I was invited to speak at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s recent meeting on anti-ageing I decided to risk getting up to speak with very little idea of what I was going to say. I think the technical term for it is ex-temporising.Continue reading
I reviewed the Ordinary as a brand back in early 2017 when they were not that well known. I quite liked the idea, but wasn’t sure it would fly. Well that shows how much I know, because since then they have created quite a stir. I think they have also been generating pretty good sales, in so far as you can tell these things. But they have certainly been generating a lot of attention. One reason for this is the, how can I put it, highly personal social media profile of the founder. But I think the much bigger reason is that they have developed a very distinctive offering which isn’t quite like anything else out there. I thought it would be fun to have a look in detail at one of their products. Continue reading
Well this is a luxury I never even considered. Veltie is the name for pre-moistened toilet paper packaged as wet wipes. There are some claims on the pack, though not as many as you might expect. The key one is that they are flushable, which is good to know and indeed I think that if they weren’t there might be some practical difficulties in using them. They also have the FSC symbol, which shows a laudable commitment to the environment. If you aren’t aware of it this is a UK based standard that aims to encourage responsible forestry. Continue reading
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
Just about every concept has been tried in cosmetic somewhere by somebody, so I don’t imagine the idea behind new brand The Ordinary is entirely new. But it is new to me and is certainly not one that anyone has tried before on a big scale. Cosmetic products typically have quite high margins when compared to the cost of actually making the product. The reason that cosmetics are not especially profitable compared to other sectors is simply that while they have unusually low manufacturing costs they have unusually high promotional costs. So it balances out. Continue reading
Cosmetics in general are a very personal thing and it is hard to work out why a person would like one product rather than another. It is hard to even work out why you like it yourself. And this is particularly the case with colour cosmetics like foundations. What is it that makes one foundation great and another totally unsuitable for your skin, and why will somebody else come to a completely different opinion? Continue reading
The cost of making cosmetics is relatively low compared to what they sell for. They have what business people call a high margin. This makes the sector very attractive to entrepreneurs who scent an opportunity to make a lot of money. And some indeed do. But the high margins don’t always translate into high profits. Overall the return on investment for the cosmetic sector is respectable, but only a little higher than that for manufacturing as a whole. The reason is simple and you’ve probably guessed it already. You have to put a lot of effort into selling them. They all have to have some kind of unique selling point – or USP. Continue reading
There are plenty of fake tan products out there. Fake tans are easy to formulate and not too expensive to manufacture. The active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone, is very effective. So the big problem facing the manufacturers of fake tans is how to differentiate their product from the competitors. So they need to find ways to speed up the tanning process or to give a superior end result. Continue reading
Being a formulation scientist I appreciate elegant formulations that have been carefully crafted to produce an elegant solution balancing all the competing requirements of elegance, efficacy and economy. But sometimes you just don’t need all that. This product is just a big jar of clay. A pound of the stuff in fact. But does it make up for its lack of sophistication in product development by snazzy marketing? Er, not really. It is called Indian Healing Clay evoking the sounds, smells and mystery of the sub-continent. But the pack is illustrated with what looks like an Aztec or Mayan pyramid. It’s not really considered polite to continue the old mistake of mixing up the indigenous populations of South America with those of somewhere else altogether. So it doesn’t look like this has been carefully thought out by a team of highly paid marketing professionals. I quite like the look, but as Mrs BeautyScientist always makes clear, I have no taste so this is a bad thing.
I am always on the look out for interesting, unusual and preferably entertaining product claims. Which is how I ended up on the website of Balance Me, a skincare company of whom I have to confess I had not heard of before. They have bought out a limited edition of a facial oil. There is no indication on the website why it is a limited edition, nor just how limited it is. They don’t claim that each bottle is numbered, or that it comes with a certificate. So I’ll just have to assume that they have just decided that at some point they are going to stop producing it when some number of units has been reached. Continue reading