“Free from” claims have been around since the dawn of time. I remember when “PABA Free” was all the range (and evidently still gets some mileage: https://www.babypibu.com/product/baby-sunscreen-spf-30/). That sunscreen also gets some extra side eye for the “chemical-free” claim, which we can probably all agree is nonsense. But we know what they mean, right? They meant that there are no organic UV filters, totally the same thing, no? I guess at some point the claims become so meaningless that you just ignore them and move on.

Like the first sentence of this post.

But you know what really grinds my gears? When the claim is based not in puffery but ignorance. You know what do don’t ever get to say? You never get to say that your product with ginkgo biloba  is “toxin-free”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgotoxin I mean, look, there it is, right in the name…


We all want to help the environment, especially fragile coral reefs, but Hawaii has put their residents at increased risk of the most common form of cancer in the US. Hawaiian residents already suffer from melanoma at 30% higher rate than the national average. Compounded with the already limited number of active ingredients available for use, this is not going to be good for people, even if it’s marginally better for the coral.

Mineral sunscreens are typically formulated for consumer acceptance within the demographic their brands serve: natural product users. Average beach-goers are typically turned off by the whitening and heaviness of those formulations. Also, mineral sunscreens are rarely optimized for efficacy and stability; most of the products I’ve surveyed from the market are “good enough”. But perhaps this is the impetus needed to finally bring those products from “good enough” to “great”. If that’s the case, then we’ll start seeing some clear winners, instead of a questionable winner (coral reefs) and a clear loser (at-risk consumers).






You know what? I’m not even mad. But if you’re going to do that, you’d better

  1. Check every incoming raw material at the door
  2. Have strict sanitation, equipment cleanout, and sterilization procedures
  3. Run expanded PET testing to include common contaminants beyond the 5 USP <51> species
  4. Use packaging which will minimize opportunity for contamination
  5. Test every lot before it goes out the door
  6. Spot test product in commerce

Anything less and you’re asking for trouble. Chemophobia should not trump public safety.

I’ve been around the world and now I’m back to posting here. I’m not sure if I’ll keep the old format or not. Also, there’s another guy out there calling himself “The Soapy Guy” and I’m not sure what to do about that either.

Since I left without warning I’ve gotten a new job and a couple new titles there. I’ve moved and am planning to move again. I’m more involved in the industry than ever and still amazed on a daily basis. So what’s been going on in your world?

Classic. I once had a customer ask me if they could replace cetearyl alcohol in a hair conditioner with ethanol, because that’s what they had on hand.


While wingnuts like the EWG seek to squash US producers of safe cosmetics, we’re importing boatloads of mercury. Great.
clipped from www.chicagotribune.com

Some skin whitening creams contain toxic mercury, testing finds

High levels found as products gain popularity worldwide

Some creams promising to lighten skin, eliminate age spots and zap freckles contain high levels of mercury, a toxic metal that can cause severe health problems, a Tribune investigation has found.

The newspaper sent 50 skin-lightening creams to a certified lab for testing, most of them bought in Chicago stores and a few ordered online. Six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law.

Of those, five had more than 6,000 parts per million — enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time, according to a medical expert.

The Food and Drug Administration banned mercury in skin-bleaching or lightening products in 1990, but the agency rarely tests the products to see if consumers are at risk. The Tribune’s tests — among only a handful ever conducted — show that tainted products are still readily available.
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clipped from www.scientificamerican.com

August 6, 2009 | 0 comments

Do Cosmetic Companies Still Test on Live Animals?

A brief history of Draize testing, and an update on its use today

bunny eye
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