Ingredient obsession

I am not against transparency in labeling. I think it’s a subject that could use a lot of discussion. But I am against ingredient obsession. In a society that allows alcohol, tobacco and firearms to be freely purchased, and that turns a blind eye to the widespread use of illegal drugs, why are we concerned [...] [...]

Lavender oil – skin savior or skin irritant?

Dit artikel is ook beschikbaar in het Nederlands! A question came up recently on TheBeautyBrains forum: Lavender oil in cosmetics – does it cause skin cell death, and is that a problem? This was in response to the description of “lavender extract and oil” on Paula Begoun’s Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary. Paula is known for her belief [...] [...]

Negative bias

Safety legislation does not always accord with current knowledge on safety, for the simple reason that new scientific data are always being published. Guidelines are periodically made more stringent, but they are almost never loosened, even when new information suggests it. Regulators don’t like to admit that they were wrong, and this is especially true [...] [...]

From lemon to rosewood – it’s only skin deep

It’s hard to tell how many essential oils are covered in Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s database, because if you put “essential oil” their search box, the results are pretty hit-and-miss. When I tried it, only 16 of the first 50 items listed were essential oils. Lemon oil, interestingly, was listed twice: CITRUS MEDICA [...] [...]

Zero tolerance

Toxicology is tough to grasp. It’s full of jargon like No-Adverse-Effect-Levels, Uncertainty Factors, and Acceptable Daily Intake. But, the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics has a simple solution – “Let’s not debate how much lead should be allowed in lipstick – just get the toxic chemicals out of our products!” Yay! Go for it! – prohibit [...] [...]

Toxic baby alert!

Concern: Inhalation of toxic gases Target of alert: Pregnant mothers Introduction One of the greatest health threats to an unborn child may come from a totally unexpected source. A CFSC (Campaign for Scaring Consumers) directive is currently being formulated to advise pregnant women not to change the diapers of their babies, or even be in [...] [...]

Ravensara rant

OK, here’s the problem as I see it. And, if you’re not an essential oil aficionado, I advise you to stop reading now. There is an oil produced from Ravensara aromatica, and it is known by the (somewhat uninventive) name of “Ravensara” or, occasionally, “ravensare” It is produced only in Madagascar, and the name derives [...] [...]

Bad science

I have been reading a book called Bad Science by an English doctor, Ben Goldacre. His principal targets are the media (for consistent misinformation), nutritionists and homeopaths, but all “quacks” are fair game, since “quack therapy”, according to Ben, is no more than placebo. He goes to great lengths to explain that the placebo effect [...] [...]

The paraben parable

Most of the consumers I have spoken to, usually visitors to natural product trade shows, know that they don’t want to see parabens in the natural products they use. Most of the same people, when I pressed them for an explanation, had no idea why. But they know with great certainty that parabens are now [...] [...]

Placebo? What about the rats?

I have heard it said that a pleasant-smelling massage is surely very relaxing, but there’s nothing more to aromatherapy than that. And if there is, well it’s just that old placebo effect. It must be so because, I am reliably informed, there are no clinical trials showing that the administration of essential oils has any [...] [...]

Essential Oil Safety

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