Ascorbic Acid / Vitamin C


It is a sad fact of life that not many of the fancy sounding ingredients that cosmetic companies add to their formulations add much to the benefits those products have for your skin.  A good moisturiser is a pretty handy tool for dealing with dry skin, but how much of the good it does you comes from the things that the pack talks about is usually pretty minimal.  But there are a few things that do … [Read more...]

I Use Grapefruit Seed Extract As My Preservative Because It Is Natural. But Is It?

Grapefruit Seed Extract is an interesting beast and one that I became aware of in the early days of my life as a cosmetic chemist. I wasn’t aware back then in 1998 of the issue that preservation would pose for brand owners as the natural revolution (or evolution) was only just beginning to hit the mainstream but these days I can’t get through a week without someone enquiring after ‘safe and … [Read more...]

Has Manuka Honey Really Been FDA Approved?

honey on honey dipper

by Katherine Corkill Manuka Honey....Could This Be The Next Miracle Ingredient In Skincare? As my company continues to grow, over this past year the product and ingredient sales pitches are becoming an everyday occurrence it seems.  No matter the sales pitch they gave, it always appeared to be the next best thing since the Wonderbra. Manuka Honey, and they were touting how this amazing … [Read more...]

Which is Safer – Phenoxyethanol or Water?

Dropper over essential oil bottle

by Dene Godfrey I would like to start this discussion by introducing the concept of “margin of safety” (MoS). This is related to the concept of “the dose makes the poison”, but it allows a numerical value to be assigned, which places the risk in a very clear context and permits a very clear picture of the true dangers in use of an ingredient. The European Commission’s independent scientific … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk Oleic Acid and Vegetable Oils


by Amanda Foxon-Hill It was during a conversation a week ago that I became aware of a potential…. let’s say ‘situation’ can occur with Oleic Acid.  Oleic acid is commonly found in vegetable oils and is a major component in each of the following oils where it may account for up to 80% of the fatty acids present: Sunflower Olive Pecan Canola Macadamia Soybean The situation is … [Read more...]

Do Consumers Think About Parabens in Cosmetics?


by Perry Romanowski If you spend a lot of time on the Internet surfing RSS feeds and social media, you could develop the notion that parabens are dangerous chemicals in cosmetics and that you should avoid products that contain them. Of course, actual science tells a different story and a review of all the scientific evidence by the independent scientists of the EU’s Scientific Committee on … [Read more...]

Lemon On the Rocks: Keep Your Essential Oils Cool


by Robert Tisserand   Essential oils are happiest when cold. If you keep them refrigerated they will last twice as long, especially if you live in a warm climate. Essential oils are expensive, so you want them to stay active as long as possible! Cold good, oxidation bad With time, most essential oil constituents oxidize, and heat promotes oxidation. Once oxidation starts it’s … [Read more...]

Top Causes of Skin Allergies


by Perry Romanowski Many people complain of being sensitive to chemicals or even having allergic reactions. So as a formulator you’ll want to avoid using ingredients that might cause a problem in a significant number of people. So what are those ingredients? Fortunately, most of them are not things that you would put in cosmetic formulas (although there are a couple). Here is a list of … [Read more...]

Cosmetics Ingredients Are Not All the Same


As a beginning chemist, one of the most frustrating things for me as I started my career was the product ingredient lists. While all the products had cosmetic ingredient listings, the ingredient were rarely things that I learned about in college. The cosmetics industry just does not use the same naming system for ingredients as the one you learned in college. The college system of naming is the … [Read more...]

Muddying the Waters or Fueling the Debate?

half naked woman add dead sea clay

Time and time again I see arguments put forward for avoiding the use of petrochemical-derived ingredients in cosmetics. Leaving aside the nonsensical claim that they are all dangerous (fortunately, a view shared only amongst a small minority of ill-informed/naive people), there seem to be 2 main issues: 1)      Oil is not a renewable resource 2)      Oil exploration and processing  are … [Read more...]