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January 28, 2016
Deciphering the effectiveness and safety of the ingredients label on the back of personal care products can sometimes seems as daunting as attempting to crack the cryptex in the Da Vinci Code.
If it looks like a foreign language it is. That's because the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, abbreviated INCI, is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.
So which of these ingredients are friends and which ones are foes?
It requires some work to know.There are thousands of terms in the INCI library, so here are some quick tips and words to look for: Words with "-cone" or "meth" in them are emuslifiers. They bind the other ingredients together. Silicones belong to this category and should be avoided. The most common silicones are cyclopentasiloxane and cyclohexasiloxane. Preservatives are listed at the middle of the ingredients list. Not all preservatives are bad, but parabens are ones you should watch out for. Thickeners are listed toward the bottom, these typically have root words like “carbomer,” “gum" and “crosspolymer." Depending on on the percentage of concentration they are fillers. So are you paying for something you don't need? And as far as fragrance it's probably best to look for fragrances that are essential oil blends or naturally derived.
The FDA does very little to regulate ingredient safety, it has authorized the cosmetics industry to police itself through its Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel. In its more than 30-year history, the industry panel has declared only 11 ingredients or chemical groups to be unsafe and its recommendations on restricting ingredients are not binding on companies. And with the exception of color additives and a few prohibited substances, cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material in their products without government review or approval
Most cosmetic marketing claims are unregulated, and companies are rarely, if ever, required to back them up, even for children’s products. The FDA says descriptions such as “hypoallergenic” or “natural” can “mean anything or nothing at all,” and while most of these terms “have considerable market value in promoting cosmetic products to consumers… dermatologists say they have very little medical meaning”
Since the industry is largely self-regulated, a lot of terms we're used to seeing are entirely up to the brand's discretion. They don't have to be "proven" to an independent board. Terms like are "Dermatologist Recommended," "Clinically Proven," and "Non-Comedogenic" are pure marketing terms and should be viewed as such.
That's why we like to keep it simple and natural.
And that's why we started to make luxury soap. From coconut milk to olive oil to avocado oil to mango butter, there are reasons as to why it’s beneficial to seek out natural ingredients in your personal cleansing products and leave the more complicated labeled products on the shelf.
April 01, 2020
As we all do our part to help contain the spread of COVID-19 by self-isolateing and social distancing, it's easy to to feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed. We also suddenly more aware of how often we need to washing our hands, how we frequently we need to wipe down “high-touch” surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, toilets, phones, and keyboards using household cleaners and wipes. We suddenly need to be aware of how often we touch our faces, and how often All that awareness can increase stress levels.
March 15, 2020
A recent in-depth analysis by market intelligence agency firm Mintel reported that bar-soap sales in the U.S. declined 2.2% from 2014 to 2015 against an overall sales increase of 2.7% in the broader bath-and-shower category. Further, according to the report, the percentage of households using bar soap dropped five percentage points between 2010 and 2015 from 89% to 84%. What's causing the market for bar soap to continue to fall?
March 06, 2020
For several weeks now we've all been hearing the guidance from the CDC, federal and local governments and other public health officials.
Frequently. For twenty seconds. But have you been wondering why these scientists and public health experts are currently telling you, to clean your hands of dirt, grease, bacteria and viruses "plain soap and water works?"
We're All In This Together
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