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Does Hyaluronic Acid Really Hold 1000 Times Its Weight In Water?

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Hyaluronic Acid occurs naturally throughout our bodies and exists in our skin as part of our extracellular matrix. Here it functions as part of our water management system helping keep our skin moisturised from the inside, out.

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More about: Chemistry, Hyaluronic Acid
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Ceramides

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Ceramides: Waxy chemicals that make up a significant proportion of the intra-cellular fluid that surround our skin cells.

Our outer skin layers are collectively known as the Stratum Corneum and it is these skin-cells that are often referred to as the ‘bricks' in the popular ‘bricks and mortar' skin analogy. Stratum Corneum cells organise themselves into sheets and like bricks, these cells benefit from the application of a little glue to hold them together and seal any gaps that exist. That glue comes in the form of a ceramide-rich lipid matrix that also contains free fatty acids and cholesterol which work together to keep our skin barrier strong, resilient and water-resistant.

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More about: Ceramides, Chemistry, Skincare
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Supporting First Nations Business

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The Australian continent has a rich and fascinating history that is kept alive and vibrant today by our First Nations people. Interest in Australian native botanicals, bush foods, medicine, and traditional practices has grown exponentially for both Australian business owners and the public, fuelled by an increase in awareness of and access to ingredients such as Kakadu plum, Clays and Essential oils. For many businesses involved in the cosmetic industry, this interest has manifested in a desire to support First Nations Entrepreneurs by highlighting their involvement in the brands supply chain. While this attention could indeed prove very positive and lucrative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ran businesses, first, we should dig a bit deeper.

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Sleep Masks vs. Night Creams

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It is only recently that I've really got to know and love sleep masks. As a cosmetic chemist who has been in the industry for many years you'd think I'd take home every new thing but no, instead I've found it easy to slip into a comfortable skincare mindset and regimen, especially after finally discovering what works for me. I've already got my night serum, day serum, intensive cream and light moisturiser. I alternate between detox clay masks and hydrating sheet masks and use an exfoliating scrub, tonic and gentle cleanser regularly. If anything, I often think about simplifying the night portion of my regimen in order to get to bed sooner rather than adding another layer on my 'to do' list but that was before I tried sleep masks!

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More about: Skincare
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Is Foaming Soap Really Just All Fluff and Bubbles?

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Back in 2017 a range of articles about foaming soap were published on the internet declared it to be somewhat of a dud. A closer look revealed an intriguing truth, that these harsh, product-killing opinions were all emanating from one 10 participant pilot study. As pilot studies about soap don't usually get this much attention we decided to take a closer look in a bid to find out what was really going on back then and establish if it's true, that foaming soap is all fluff and bubbles...

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More about: Cosmetics, Sanitisers, Soaps
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Witch Hazel - Hamamelis Virginia

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Witch Hazel has been a 'go-to' herb for many natural skin care lovers, a reliable tonic that helps reign in and calm problem skin thanks to its toning and tightening chemistry. But our appetite for astringent chemistry has waned over the last few years, we now talk of microbiome balancing, of hydrating our skin back to health rather than seeking to suppress its natural secretions. Has Witch Hazel had its day or is there still a little something left to discover?

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More about: Skincare
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Powering Through The Pandemic, Blending Ancient Wisdom With Modern Cosmetic Science

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For many of us, the unfolding of the Covid 19 pandemic is confusing, scary even. The things that we used to take for granted about the way modern life operates are rapidly changing and falling out of reach. In fact, things are changing so quickly and dramatically that many of us feel dazed, overwhelmed and deeply confused. By the time you read this, this pandemic may be all over, then again, maybe it will only just be getting started...

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More about: Cosmetics
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A Closer Look at Benzalkonium Chloride

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Benzalkonium Chloride is one of a handful of recognised actives for alcohol-free hand and surface sanitisation. Here we unpick its chemical name and discover more about what it does, how it does it and its environmental fate.

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More about: Chemistry, Sanitisers
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How Encapsulation Can Enhance The Efficacy of Your Essential Oils

Using essential oils as your fragrance is a great way to turn what would otherwise just be a 'perception-only' ingredient into an ingredient with the real capacity to bring something positive to the formula. It's not that synthetic fragrances are bad, they give formulators and brand owners a lot of creative freedom, are often very stable, can be formulated with the specifics of a formula or target audience in mind and have great batch-to-batch uniformity but at the end of the day a synthetic fragrance just makes a product smell good whereas essential oils can actually do good.

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Behind the Brand with Austin Jackson from Stag Men’s Grooming

The relationship between Austin and New Directions started with him attending our skin care and business courses. Since then, Austin has been a client of the technical Help Desk and general business.

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