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With so many preservatives to choose from how do you work out which one is going to give you the protection and label claims that you require? The answer is that it is actually quite complex.

One of the most frequent questions we get via the technical help desk is with regard to product preservation and more specifically which, out of our range is the best preservative to use. While the question seems reasonable, simple and relatively easy to answer the reality is somewhat different as we will now discover...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Oct 27, 2014
According to the Danish Asthma and Allergy Association as many as 10% of the Danish population suffer from contact allergies attributed at least in part to cosmetic exposure. That is a huge number and one that I have some sympathy for being a contact allergy sufferer myself (although I take responsibility for that having chosen a career as a chemist in spite of my dermatologist telling me that it was a crazy idea being an eczema suffering, hay fever blubbering wreck of a human without too much extra encouragement).Anyway, suffice to say that contact allergies are no fun at all and by the look of it lots of people are suffering...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Oct 10, 2014
A closer look at speciality carrier oils available from New Directions.What makes an oil so special?
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Oct 08, 2014
We take a closer look at how the skin seeks to protect its self to help inspire better cosmetic chemistry and formulations...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Oct 08, 2014
Many of our brands start mixing in the kitchen, excited to get turn their beauty product ideas into reality and spread a little joy! This is awesome and empowering but at some point if things go to plan the brand takes off and your kitchen needs to be replaced by a factory.

As some of our clients BECOME their own factory we thought it would be a good idea to talk about Cosmetic Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Jul 28, 2014
I get asked this quite a lot and sometimes I don't get asked why but I do meet with prospective brand owners who have decided that their philosophy is simplicity with what few ingredients they do want having to be pure, natural and recognisable (i.e.: nothing that sounds like a chemical).Commercial brands often seem like a chemical soup with ingredient lists stretching into 15 or maybe 20 ingredients and making the same but different - with only say 5 natural lovely things is ultra appealing...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Jul 17, 2014
Mention the phrase 'safe cosmetic' to someone and they will most probably reel off a selection of ingredients that they don't want to put onto their skin. While the 'toxins in, toxins out' populist philosophy has some merit the biggest risk posed by your cosmetic obsession lies elsewhere in the land of microorganisms.

The problems arising from Microbial contamination are very real for cosmetic brand owners who essentially produce micro-feeding broth every time they put that water in a bottle or jar and try to sell it. Practically everything that we label as a cosmetic product could fall foul of micro contamination, which is why it pays to have a plan...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Jun 13, 2014
I avoid eating gluten. Thankfully I do not have Coeliac (Celiac in America) disease (our family all ended up having genetic tests to rule it out as it affects my daughter and I so much) and am instead just sensitive to it, intolerant / allergic. As such I have a vested interest in knowing which foods do and don't contain said allergic particle but when the subject of gluten-free cosmetics came up my initial reaction was 'really? Whatever will they think up next'. However, it turns out that I was wrong. There is a need, albeit a very small one for this...
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Jun 06, 2014
Dirt, muck, grit, sludge, soil, dust, not something that you probably want to cover your face in but as our thirst for natural personal care shows no sign of letting up we'd better put some effort into getting to know the brown stuff a little better.

Not a day goes by when someone is shouting about lead in their lipstick, asking if this material is 'free from nanoparticles' questioning the levels of asbestos in talc or arsenic in rice. While these are all good and legitimate questions it does seem that we have lost touch with the origin of all things natural, the soil.

Natural cosmetics demand natural ingredients and that usually means ingredients that have grown in or around the soil. Those of you who look out for or manufacture organic products know that human activity can damage the gentle balance within the soil rendering it quite toxic and totally unsuitable for farming and that is one appeal of the standard - no pesticides, no herbicides, no fertilizers, no 'nasties'. But is that true? Further, is that all we have to look out for? We decided to take a closer look at soil in its natural state to see what lies in the ground beneath us.
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Apr 29, 2014
"Petroleum oil clogs your pores, suffocates you skin, gives you pimples, gives you cancer and generally wrecks your life".

That is about the size of it, well according to a couple of hours of internet surfing (do we still surf the internet or is that a very uncool thing to say?) it is. So it is lucky then that we have alternatives:

"Vegetable oils won't clog your pores, are light weight and blend well with your skin, clear pimples, prevent cancer and generally make life better".
posted by Amanda Foxon-Hill on Mar 26, 2014
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