According to the climate council of Australia 205 weather records were broken across the country this summer and boy did our skin feel it! Whether it's hot and dry, hot and wet or hot and humid our skin has to adjust and acclimatize to the conditions in order help maintain its barrier function and with so many extreme days our skin definitely had its work cut out. But now the winds have shifted and the calendar has flicked over to autumn, an in-between season, and a break from the extremes maybe. But rather than sit back and feel like our skin and our beauty routine can have a rest the best thing we can do now is take this opportunity to get busy.
Coenzyme Q10 is one of those ingredients that are easy to over-look. It has been the subject of scientific study since the 1970s when its role as a cellular energy booster was scrutinized and put to the test to 'cure' or relieve a number of different medical conditions. While not all of the trials worked out perfectly this research led up to Coenzyme Q10 being a validated, TGA approved active ingredient - no small feat! Trials showed COQ10 to be an energy booster to the cells and as such it was earmarked as a potential anti-ageing active very early on. However, attempts to demonstrate an 'energy boosting' effect on skin cells failed leaving scientists to conclude that this functionality is only available and demonstrable when the active is ingested. For that reason you can't currently list Coenzyme Q10 as an active in a topically applied TGA registered product, which begs the question, what is it good for?
Who would have thought the question of 'who picked the coconuts that make your coconut oil' would come up as we discuss the pros and cons of using coconut oil based skincare? It wasn't something I saw coming even though researching the stories behind our cosmetic industry supply chain is what I do and yet here we are, looking into this very thing.
Well yes, it appears you can!
INCI Nomenclature: Lactobacillus & Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract
When I first saw that we were to stock a coconut derived preservative I was a little skeptical to be honest. Mostly because I saw the recommended use levels were 2-4% and because that with the per Kg price point would mean this is the most expensive preservative we'd be stocking. But then I had a closer look.
In a world where fashion is fast and trends come and go in the blink of an eye the beard trend has become something of a standout for longevity. Maybe it is because they look so very good or maybe the boy’s just love the way they feel. I took a closer look into the world of beard oils to find out what role they are having in this hirsute revolution.
Bad things are said about water in skin care products:
'Just look what the first ingredient in the list is..... water.... You are literally just buying water when you buy a moisturizer'
A common question we get asked here at New Directions is 'Is it possible to make a natural or organic hair de-tangling product?' The answer is both yes and no.
In terms of natural ingredients that help smooth out the hair and make it easier to comb it is hard to go past Apple Cider Vinegar (or any non-sugar containing vinegar for that matter).
This discussion pretty much got started on the back of a Palm Oil story but then, somewhere around the beginning of 2014 I stopped writing so much about it. I felt that I'd shared all I knew, that there was both a system and support for this better way of doing things that would ultimately solve the problems and elevate the palm crop to the lofty status of 'super veg' that I thought it deserved. But that was back then. Much has changed in the past two years and I don't feel it is all for the better. People can be such a disappointment.
Personally I don't drink. I used to drink a bit but it has never agreed with me and I don't particularly like effect it has on my body - I go from feeling fine to instantly hung-over after a few sips - and as such abstaining is not a problem. But as a chemist I don't abstain from alcohol (ethanol in this case), I use it in a number of formulations, not always but often enough to appreciate the benefits it can bring to a formula. But do these benefits come with risks? Does alcohol damage the skin? I have had enough clients turn their nose up at an INCI listing that includes 'alcohol' to know that it is an issue and have even had people wish to add alcohol to their 'free from' list, sometimes for religious reasons but mainly not. The main reason customers give is because of underlying concerns that topically applied alcohol will somehow damage the skin. I think it is about time that we investigated whether this really is the case.
Alkyl Polyglucosides are a key part of any cosmetic chemists ingredient arsenal and it's for good reason. These little babies have many pleasing attributes including but not limited to: