Saturday, June 30, 2012

Apologies to Potassium Alum

As much as I love being right, I get a real gnawing uncomfortable feeling when I find out I was wrong about something. It will grind away quietly at the outer edges of my consciousness for a while, then move in closer and start whispering irritating messages like 'don't you think you'll feel better if you just admit that you were wrong?' 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Boonys Personally Formulated Emulsion

There is always a collection of different products on my nightstand at any given time as I am constantly testing batches and new products. Here's a peek at what's 'cooking' at the moment: 2 different versions of Comfort Zone Eye Serum (texture tweaking), a version of Mango FrappĂ© (scent tweaking), a foundation with a new cream base (not intended for sale), and batch one of a personally formulated brand new product – the star of this post – Boony's Everyday Emulsion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Define Natural? Piece of Cake!

A couple of days ago I asked you to tell me your definition of natural.
Dene Godfrey (my hero of the day) succinctly defines natural by asking 2 simple questions:

1. Does the substance exist in nature?
2. Is the substance extracted from nature without any chemical modification?
Only if the answer to both questions is yes can the substance truly be described as natural.

He goes on to explain the difference between natural and nature-derived. Recommended reading: 
the entire post "100% Natural? ...Almost 100% Certainly Not" 

Thanks Dene!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Parabens Come From Plants

It's true. Parabens are naturally occurring in many plants. Like this one: Japanese honeysuckle (INCI: Lonicera japonica). I've seen some 'natural' cosmetics companies advertise their products as paraben-free, yet Japanese Honeysuckle extract is on the ingredients list.

Hmmm.

I'm not sure whether to be ticked off about them lying about the paraben-free part or to be ticked off about parabens having gotten such a rotten deal they need to be hidden behind their origins in order to get people to buy products containing them. The truth is, parabens are a part of nature.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Define Natural Please

Susan Barclay-Nichols writes a great blog about making your own cosmetics. She shares recipes and how-tos, explains the chemistry of the process, and answers many many questions. In response to several requests on formulating natural cosmetics, she recently posed a question to her readers: 'which ingredients do you consider natural?'

After a few days of no reaction, she pointed out how difficult it was for her to offer advice on creating natural products if no one was willing to answer one simple question.

But it isn't a simple question, is it?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to Make a 5-Minute Layered Mask Bar

If you're anything like me, slotting a face mask into your regular schedule is one of those things that never seems to make it off of the 'I'm-really-going-to-start-doing-this-now' list. What if one could create an all-in-one cleansing and moisturizing mask that was easy to use and worked in 5 minutes? One can!

Voilá! 
Here is a layered mask/cleansing bar that is both effective, easy to use, and great for normal, dry and sensitive skin types. And to top it off, it's easy to make! Shall we get started?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Argan Oil - Rare Liquid Gold

If you ever happen to hear about goats climbing trees, believe it. They really do. In Morocco – home to the Argan tree – goats will literally navigate their way up the trunk and branches to reach the coveted argan nuts.

Argan trees grow wild and are close to impossible to cultivate. They are also heavily guarded by the small communities that make their living from hand picking and hand-processing this rare liquid gold otherwise known as argan oil (INCI: Argania Spinosa). Argan oil is among the priciest carrier oils on the market today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

They Aren't Kidding About The Sunscreen

What happens if you drive around with the suns rays streaming through the side window and hitting one side of your face – for 28 straight years?

"Chronic UVA exposure can result in thickening of the epidermis and stratum corneum, as well as the destruction of elastic fibers."  

In other words, the side of your face that has been exposed to the sun will age faster than the side that has been enjoying the shade. It's a condition called unilateral dermatoheliosis.

The 69 year old gentleman above is a case in point, and the patient that Jennifer R.S. Gordon, M.D., and Joaquin C. Brieva, M.D. published this article about in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Remember sunscreen – even if you're just going for a drive.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Warning - Studies Show Long Baths Are Fattening!

I'm constantly amazed at some of the claims that keep showing up on blog posts, in discussion forums and in articles. Some of the people who write this stuff would even have you believe they belong on the same shelf as scientists.

The subject of today's rant is how much our skin absorbs.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cleansing Without Oil or Soap

This was a tall order. A woman struggling with a very unusual skin problem inspired me to create a face cleanser that was not only oil and soap free but could also effectively function as a moisturizer. Talk about demanding criteria!

This ladys only option for cleansing her face was plain old water, which (understandably) left her skin feeling dry. A prescribed neutral creme was her only moisturizer. Almost everything she tried caused breakouts, rash and all sorts of discomfort. The more I learned about her predicament, the more I discovered how little information there was to be had about the condition she struggled with.

I couldn't stop thinking about her problem. It wasn't long before I was trying to formulate a product that might be of use to people in a similar situation. A few weeks later this cleansing gel came about.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Cranberry Powder Did When it Met Vitamin C

Cranberry has been a recurring theme in a few different products I've been developing lately, so I decided to give it a whirl in a gel-based facial serum with vitamin C. The cranberry decided to teach me a thing or two.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No Sweat - About Aluminium and Antiperspirants

Welcome to the 6th in this mini-deodorant series. It's been a while since the last posting (ok, it's been ages, but I've been totally super busy with tons of different things that I promise to tell you about soon). If you want to catch up on the previous armpit-related posts, there are links below.

Today we're looking at an active ingredient that has been associated with frightening side effects such as Alzheimers disease and breast cancer, yet is commonly found in commercial antiperspirants. We know it as aluminum (even though it's spelled as both aluminum and aluminium, it's the same substance).