Weekend Wonderings: Labelling laws for products and ethoxylated products

I’m off this morning to teach my first class at Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. If you’re interested in learning more about their class schedule, click here! The next one is on November 2nd on hair care products. (And they offer great soap making classes!) I’m so excited! In this Weekend Wonderings post,…...

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Much maligned ingredients: Revisiting 1,4-dioxane

In this post, Anonymous asks about PEG-7 olivate: How is this in terms of non-toxic? Are there any concerns about health with this ingredient? I keep hearing some personal care products linked to a 1,4 dioxide carinogen for example. I wrote a post about 1,4-dioxane in the much maligned ingredients series, but I’ll write a little…...

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Discussion: Ingredients banned by Whole Foods

There’s been a lively discussion about ingredients banned by Whole Foods in this post, so I thought I’d create a post for that topic here. (Here’s a link to Tony Dweck’s argument as to why many of these ingredients shouldn’t be banned.) I have been unable to find any rationale for why they ban these ingredients,…...

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Experiments in the workshop: Behenyl alcohol in a lotion

I decided I’d try behenyl alcohol in place of cetearyl alcohol in this recipe – the rice bran oil based hand protector cream I made as a duplicate of the Body Shop’s hemp hand protector cream for my husband. The original recipe is a very thick lotion that feels slightly greasy going on your hands,…...

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Let’s take another look at mineral oil!

As I mentioned the other day, the thickening posts and Iron Chemist will be delayed a few days until the weather warms up enough for me to enter my workshop! I’m willing to suffer for my beloved chemistry, but not so much that the headaches return and keep me in bed for days!  I thought…...

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Some thoughts on what’s “bad” for us.

I get e-mails and comments all the time asking if something is better than something else (for instance, if one preservative is “better” than another) or if an ingredient is bad. I’m not really sure what those words mean any more, hence this very short series on maligned ingredients (which will continue in the near…...

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Much-maligned ingredients: Phthalates

So what are phthalates? They are esters of phthalic acid (an aromatic dicarboxylic acid) used as plasticizers, emulsifiers, and lubricants. They have low water solubility, high oil solubility, and low volatility. They’re found in fragrances, nail polishes, and many other cosmetic ingredients. They are suspected of being endocrine disruptors, that is to say they “interfere…...

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Much-maligned ingredients: Fragrances (overview)

Fragrances show up a lot in various reports about ingredients we should avoid in our cosmetics, and there are a few reasons why this might be. One of the main concerns is that not all the fragrances or components of a fragrance are listed (although in the EU it appears they list all the various…...

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Much-maligned ingredients: Ethoxylated ingredients & 1,4 dioxane

Many of the complaints about ethoxylated ingredients – those that have gone through the ethoxylation process, when ethylene oxide is added to fatty acid alcohols to give them detergent properties, to turn them into surfactants, like SLeS, our PEG esters, and things like ceteareth-20 – is that they contain 1,4 dioxane. A report put out by…...

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Much maligned ingredients: Mineral oil (part 2)

A lot of the concerns about mineral oil relate to occlusion. (One quote is that it “coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores”.) If you’ve read any tiny bit of this blog, you know that occlusion is a good thing that helps reduce transepidermal water loss, and that mineral oil isn’t the only thing that causes occlusion. Great…...

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