The Blue Bottle, or the Red? Which Will You Choose?

Posted by on Jul 14, 2018 in All Posts, Odds & Ends |

Which will you choose? 

One bottle is made by professional chemists.  It’s safety tested to industry standards; RIPT, microbial load, stability, efficacy, with proven performance claims.  The other bottle is made by a hobbyist in her kitchen, formulated by the world view of the naturalistic fallacy, and claims to have no chemicals, artificial colors or fragrances, no preservatives, synthetics, petroleum, or animal products.

Leather or man-made materials?
I wonder why some people enjoy all that modern technology has to offer, except when it comes to skin care?

image of blue and red bottle

blue or red bottle?

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CVS to phase out chemicals of concern in store brand beauty and personal care

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in All Posts, Industry News |

The retail pharmacy chain announced plans this week to remove select ingredients from four of its own cosmetics and personal care brands, calling the move “a natural step in the evolution of our comprehensive approach to chemical safety.”

Source: CVS to phase out chemicals of concern in store brand beauty and personal care

I’ve lost all respect for CVS.  Following in the footsteps of NGO activist groups, the decision to phase out “Chemicals of Concern” shows the stupidity of someone in their decision tree.  I doubt that it involved their pharmacists, who are well-read in science, chemistry, and toxicology.  It appears the corporate powers that be have been listening to NGO activist groups who demonize just about every personal care chemical over two syllables long.  I think the motive is positioning in the marketplace.  A target market of new-age hippies and crunchies.  They’re caving into the anti-scientific movement and profiting off people’s ignorance of chemistry, when they should be educating the public.

Phthalates are on the no-no list.  Chemophobes tend to group them together, but the ones used in cosmetics are DBP (nail polish) and these days you’d be hard pressed to find any fragrance oils that are made with phthalates.  As expert Chemist David C. Steinburg said in Cosmetics & Toiletries, October 2005, Volume 120, No 10,

“Alcohol causes more reproductive toxicity than DBP; why not ban that?

And Yes, CVS sells liquor.

Here is the FDA’s position on phthalates in personal care products.  At the present time, FDA does not have evidence that phthalates as used in cosmetics pose a safety risk.”

I won’t even get started on formaldehyde donors and parabens.  Both are safe as used.  The irony is they’ll ban ingredients deemed safe by most of the scientific regulatory bodies all over the world, but refuse to quit selling homeopathic remedies.  Worthless crap.  Homeopathy has been studied to death and doesn’t work under any controlled conditions.  At best it’s an expensive placebo…. unless it’s made wrong and poisoning babies.

(Click to read) FDA: Toxic Belladonna In Homeopathic Teething Product

It looks like CVS just can’t resist the $$$ from duping gullible consumers.  Profit up, credibility down.

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Essential Oils: Why They’re Not Essential.

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in All Posts, Woo | 4 comments

I have to be one of the few people in the bath and body manufacturing business who isn’t gushing over essential oils.  I bought some last year and on the counter they sit. I’m sure if I ordered products made with essential oils from my Indie group, I’d find them lovely.

I never cared for the way they smell out of the bottle or “got” what they were supposed to be doing for me. Take me to Narnia? Tickle my limbic system with the life force of the plant? Traverse my blood brain barrier and make me smarter?  My snark is probably from practicing evidence-based medicine.  I pretty much ignore anything that isn’t steeped in science. It’s the #healthwashing aspect of them that confounds me, and I’ve seen that carried over into cosmetics.

boosting the immune system is non-sense.

You can’t boost your immune system without pharmaceutical intervention for specific disorders under the care of an M.D. Lose that bogus claim.

The worship of essential oils has turned into a sort of cult or religion. The MLM companies with their outrageous marketing claims and some slimy snake-oil reps have ruined it for me. It’s the Swiss army knife of “holistic” medicine.  The placebo effect seems to be alive and well.  It’s disheartening to see good people being so easily taken in by incredulous claims ranging from curing erectile dysfunction to Ebola.  It’s smelling more like a cash cow.

 I find it ironic that modern-day charlatans are promoting thieves oil….

Among the list of all the wonders attributed to EO’s, most of them claim mood enhancement.  Fragrance oils can do the same thing.  Essential oils don’t own the word aromatherapy.  Fragrance oils can make people happy as well.  That’s evidenced from the success of the multi-billion dollar fragrance oil industry world-wide.  Fragrance can take someone back in time to childhood memories or remind them of events or people that they care about.  I buy them without phthalates, and have IFRA guidelines for safe use.

The typical way to demonize fragrance oils is by pointing out they’re often made of a mix of natural aroma chemicals and “synthetic” chemicals.  Many moons ago, they were granted trade secret status and people can’t stand that.  They envision toxins and “nasty chemicals they can’t pronounce.”

If you go here there’s a partial listing of lavender oil chemicals.  If those people had a similar list of the trade-secret fragrance chemicals in front of them, I wonder what the hell they’d do with that information?  It’s the same crowd of people that won’t put anything they can’t pronounce on their chakra points. But they’ll gladly ingest an essential oil based on what a salesperson told them when the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of these chemicals are unknown. All because it came from a plant and we all know that makes it “speshull”, right?

There’s claims of antimicrobial action but at the level it would take, it might be irritating to the skin.  On the EU list of allergens that must be declared, I think most of the 26 are from plants.

Hand washing with soap, it works.

EO’s are all the rage: self-medicating for the worried well until someone gets hurt.  I’ve read several injury reports from their use ranging from seizures to esophageal erosion. That’s why we have and need trained aromatherapists!

I have no problem with adults indulging in their misters, inhalers, vape sticks etc.  Just leave it off the helpless kids and animals who can’t speak for themselves. (Think dogs- with their extraordinary and magnified sense of smell).




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Why I killed the bunny logo.

Posted by on Aug 6, 2016 in All Posts | 2 comments

The business guru’s say build your business, the way you want, and do your thing.  To me that means NO restriction on the safe ingredients I use (in terms of the origin of the ingredient or world-view).  I’m not after any certifications.  Maybe I’ll make up my own seal for certified, conventional, and un-organic.

Freedom is why I left the corporate world.  To avoid being dictated to by some organization who boxes me in with their “approved” list of ingredients.  Screw that crap.  With ~10,000 hours of cosmetic formulating under my belt I don’t need those restrictions.  I also don’t value an organization who wants to hold the world to 100 year old agricultural techniques, or won’t accept biotechnology.  Easy to have that frame of mind when you have a full belly, but there are other people in the world that need to eat besides the privileged food elitists.

I’m not gonna “pay to play” to have an organization make me look green/wholesome/eco/cruelty-free for a price.   That brings me to animal testing.   I always have to smile when I see “no animal testing”.  It’s supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but I find it disingenuous because of the implication that all the makers who haven’t paid for the seal are cruel.

The dirty work has already been done.

The dirty work has already been done.

It’s one of the reasons why I don’t have the leaping bunny on my site.  I think it’s a fine organization and applaud what they do to help outlaw animal testing on cosmetics (according to what I’ve read, animal testing has been pretty much phased out since the 90’s anyway, except for some big conglomerates who want to tap into the China market).  I can’t imagine using animals to test frivolous things like cosmetics.  They aren’t necessary to our survival.  From what I understand, certification only pertains to new testing.  Virtually every ingredient we use has been tested on animals in the past.

On the Leaping Bunny site it says:  “Some companies choose not to join our program because they continue to conduct or commission animal tests for ingredients or formulations, or they wish to reserve the right to test on animals in the future”   This is so NOT applicable  for small companies or solopreneurs!  Hello? ding-dong,  We’re not Avon or L’oreal!

“We don’t test on animals”.  Of course you don’t.  How would you?  It’s like me saying I don’t put plutonium in my cream. (I’ve tried to locate labs that perform animal testing to no avail;  I wanted to find the cost of Draize testing for something small companies weren’t going to do anyway).

Does that mean you didn’t rub Fido’s eyes with shampoo or didn’t spend thousands on testing?  Or you did the legwork to get certs from your suppliers that they don’t currently test on animals.  The dirty work has already been done! There’s no need for suppliers to repeat it.

The unrestricted use of these phrases by cosmetic companies is possible because there are no legal definitions for these terms. A cosmetic manufacturer might only use those raw materials and base their “cruelty-free” claims on the fact that the materials or products are not “currently” tested on animals.  I don’t know of any small company that has the funds or desire or need to do animal testing.  For all practical purposes, everyone is cruelty free.

Anyone can put a statement on their site and claim that they are ‘cruelty free’.   Ya know what would be a better spend of money?  Ditch the seal and donate to your local animal shelter.



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