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Oh Baby, Skin So Soft!

Most of us would tend to agree that babies are somewhat cute but as a parent of one they can, more often than not, leave you feeling a little stressed, not least about their skin! Our concerns might start on the day the over-due baby arrives with their dried-out skin, over-developed fingernails and under-developed co-ordination skills (often leaving them with an abundance of minor scrapes). Or maybe it's a few weeks into life when skin eruptions and rashes leave baby looking more like a pimply teenager than a new-born. For others, it is later on when things get messy, when they start to need something more than just warm water and a wash-cloth to cleanse them - the weening and toddler years when things get messy! It is around this point that the skin can really start to feel like a challenge. Let's first have a look at how a baby's skin differs from that of an adult and then look at how to manage the skin through babyhood.

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More about: Baby Skincare, Skincare
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Mamma and Baby Skin

I remember those early days of being pregnant. The morning after the two lines appeared on the test when I stood in the shower looking down at my still empty-looking stomach, hands hugging the space where my baby had just started to grow, wondering what changes were ahead of me and whether I was ready. I wondered if I would I recognise 'me' in a few months, when baby's growth had really kicked in. I wondered if I would I ever look like me again, would I cope, and could my body really fit a baby inside? I let all of the emotions come and go freely as I stood there that morning comforted by the rhythm and warmth of the water raining down on my skin. That morning, in the shower in the tiny bathroom of our first house all those years ago is when I realised that life would never be the same again and by the time I'd finished my shower I was ready to accept that.

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More about: Baby Skincare, Skincare
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Maintaining the Range at New Directions

New Directions have been sourcing and supplying ingredients for well over twenty years and what started with an essential oil has developed into a thriving multi-dimensional hub of ingredient activity. But what does it take to keep all of these ingredients on the shelf and how do we choose what to purchase? Here's a look at the intricacies involved in maintaining the range at New Directions and where our ingredients come from!

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More about: Business Tips, Cosmetics
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Exploring Our Newest Palm Free Emulsifier

It's fair to say that if you want to make palm oil free moisturisers at the moment your emulsifier options are quite limited. Most of the larger ingredient manufacturers continue to pursue one level of palm oil certification or another and while some of these programs and initiatives are resulting in environmental protection and progress, others are achieving less. Wherever there is a gap in our ability to trust or gain control over a system there is a decision to be made and for some brands that decision has been to evacuate the palm space altogether. If this is you then you might like to try our new olive oil emulsifier.

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More about: Emulsifiers, Palm Free
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Introducing The Actives Cheat Sheet and How to Get The Most Out of It

When it comes to formulating a good, honest cosmetic product there are three formulating components to consider:

  1. Is the base optimised for my purposes (stable, feels good, helps do the job)?
  2. Have I achieved a usable shelf life and a safe product?
  3. Have I added ingredients that will help back up what I'm claiming for my product?
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More about: Actives
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Preserving Your Cosmetic with Radishes and Coconuts

In cosmetic science, as in all aspects of life, it is important to be careful of the stories you tell in case they come back and bite you. The 'chemical' free preservative story is one such case but, as it is a story that many people want to tell (and I can understand why) it is one we should explore pro-actively, so that we might write our own product narrative on fact rather than fiction. With that in mind, this is a story about preserving your product with Radishes and Coconuts.

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More about: Cosmetics, Preservatives
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Urban Lifestyle - Pollution Busting Skin Care

For many the bright lights hustle and bustle and vibrancy of the city is exciting and full of opportunity and promise. That may well be true but what's also true is the fact that big city living may well be conspiring against our skin, ageing us prematurely and leaving us itchy, dry and a little bit more wrinkled. This, my friends, is a story about urban pollution.

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More about: Skincare, Urban Lifestyle
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Plastic Packaging - What Choices Do Cosmetic Brand and Business Owners Have?

"Today, an average person living in Western Europe or North America consumes 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging"

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The Goodness Hiding In Your Vegetable Oils, The Unsaponifiable Fraction

Vegetable oils are not created equally with regards to chemistry. In fact you couldn't get a more diverse set of ingredients (that we all tend to take for granted). We have delved into this world of vegetable oils before, have plotted their essential fatty acids, free oleic acid, shine index and yield value. How some vegetable oils have the power to enhance skin penetration and how others can contribute positively to a products inherent sun protection (although not by having an SPF as such) but have we been missing something? Have we truly explored the unsaponifiable fraction and all its glory? I think not.

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More about: Vegetable Oils
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Should I Store My Essential Oils In The Fridge? and Other Exciting Questions

The saying that 'nothing lasts forever' is partially true for essential oils. While some actually seem to get better with age, others will fair much, much worse and start smelling flat and generally causing trouble. What we want to know is who, what, where, when and how? Most of all we want to know if there is any science behind the common advice of storing in a 'cool, dry place' or the other favourite 'put them in the fridge'.

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More about: Essential Oils
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