This is a well written post on a topic very close to my own heart. It’s very unfortunate that some companies go for the big bucks instead of protecting innocent animals. Why on EARTH would anyone want to do that when there is clearly no need. And worst of all.. Just for vanity. ~Monique

the beauty shortlist

 

Under Chinese law, all “human cosmetics” sold there must be tested on animals first.  So a British or American beauty brand, e.g., which launches in this lucrative (no, very lucrative!) market risks getting its “Leaping Bunny” logo taken away.

Urban Decay and Dermalogica set foot in China earlier this year but pulled out quickly (in the process Dermalogica lost their leaping bunny logo very recently, but to be fair, they have withdrawn from China and they do not test on animals).  The problem is, even if your products are NOT tested on animals in Europe, the USA or wherever they’re made, once you enter Chinese territory you’re playing by Chinese rules. And therein lies the Chinese takeaway effect: Brand goes into China, Leaping Bunny logo gets taken away.

L’Occitane, Yves Rocher and Caudalie (and big-in-America cosmetics range Mary Kay) are among those who can no longer use…

View original post 172 more words

Why Pinterest is the new black

Unless you’ve been hiding out in the desert somewhere, bereft of all things social, it’s been almost impossible to avoid the rise and rise of Pinterest.

Pinterest.com is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and whatever else they fancy. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest was intended to become a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing.

Another social sharing platform you sigh? As if we don’t have enough to do keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, Google+ and whatnot. Social sharing sites come and go and most die a quick and quiet death, but Pinterest is different. And that is because it is incredibly visual. And people are visual creatures. We love pictures. Which is why Pinterest has grown 145% in 2012 alone.

But beware: it’s addictive. I have spent many a night glued to my screen, wondering where people find all these beautiful images and repinning, liking and commenting on them like a woman obsessed. Only to find myself with way too little beauty sleep  to get me through the day ahead. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Of course Promakeupstore has a beautiful, ever evolving account which can be found here. It is maintained by myself and the lovely girls over at FashiontweetPR. For a look into my personal favorites, check out my personal Pinterest account here. You’ll find my personal faves on beauty,  food, fashion, hair, behind-the-scenes shots, DIY and much much more! Check it out, comment, repin and follow if you like!

Please share a link to your own account in the comments below, so we can follow you and enjoy your beautiful finds!

Have a great day!
Monique

 

 

A-Closer-Look-At: Argan Oil

Argan Oil is hot at the moment, in the sense that it is trendy to use it
And why not? Celebrities like Beyonce are said to use Argan Oil. It is a deep, golden colored oil and is a very multi-functional product. Argan oil can be used as a skin- and hand serum and as bathing oil. It can be used by all skin-types from greasy to super dry, flaky skin types like myself. I’ve been using argan oil in the evening as a serum under my regular night cream and it’s wonderful! Flakes disappeared in a few days and the oil gave my skin a natural glow. Argan oil originates from Morrocco, where it was first used as an oil for cooking and baking. Later, it was also used for skin and hair.

Argan oil is extracted from the seeds of the Argania Spinoza tree. The argan tree grows in infertile and dry regions of south-west Morrocco. From June to September, the fruits are harvested and processed into oil.

A single tree produces about 30 kilos of argan fruit, which in turn yields 700 ml of argan oil. Until a few years ago, the seeds of the argan tree were found in goat droppings, since they were the only ones able to climb up the thorny trunk.

Nowdays, the demand is much higher and so the fallen fruits of the argan tree are collected.
The fruits are then taken to the villages to be processed.The seeds are beaten with rocks to get  the kernel out.

The fruit is used to feed livestock and the shells are used to make the fire which is needed in the extraction of the oil.

If the oil is used for consumption, the kernels are roasted before pressing to add some flavor.

After cooling down, the nuts are ground by hand. Water is added during the grinding process, so a paste will be formed. The paste is pressed by hand and what’s left is pure argan oil.

 

This labour intensive process takes about 15 hours, which makes argan oil pretty expensive.

Nowdays, this process is more and more replaced by mechanical press machines to extract argan oil. The collection and removal of the outer shell of the seed is still done by hand, but everything else is done by a machine. This saves time and eliminates the use of water, thus prolonging the shelf life of the oil.

Argan oil contains twice the amount of vitamin E found in olive oil, an anti-oxidant. It also contains a lot of lipids and fatty acids which are beneficial for the skin, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and especially linoleic acid. It is therefore great for people with acne, as well as eczema and psoriasis.

Until next time,

Dymphy

A-Closer-Look-At: Polymers & Plastics

Polymers & Plastics

Although I already explained polymers briefly in the article on methyl methacrylate and poly(methyl methacrylate), I wanted to write a more in depth explanation of polymers.

Aw, look at my old science notes. Brings back memories. 😉

Polymers are the result of a polymerization reaction. I think the best way to explain this is with Lego. Within Lego, you have different building bricks. You have white bricks, blue bricks, red bricks, yellow bricks and so forth. You have bricks with four studs on them, and bricks with six or eight studs. If you take a brick, and place it onto the next, you are building a column. Building with Lego has a lot of similiarities to a polymerization reaction. You have individual units of small molecules, which you can bond to each other.

I have only seen two major polymerization reactions (I’m a biologist, not a chemist, so excuse me if I exclude some possibilities) in cosmetic science. The first one is the formation of the most common polymer, by the breaking a double bond. A double bond can be found in a molecule (a brick), mostly between two carbon atoms. Oxygen is also known to form double bonds (other atoms as well).

As shown in the figure above, carbon atoms (and also oxygen atoms) are going to form a double bond to make sure to get the necessary 4 (carbon) or 2 (oxygen) bonds. In a polymerization reaction, another molecule is present to which a carbon atom can bond. The double bond breaks and both carbon atoms form the fourth bond with another molecule.

A polymer can consists of a large number (10.000+) of molecules, hence the ~ sign on both ends. Another polymerization reaction is shown in the photo of my old science journal above, when a hydroxyde (OH, also known as the ‘alcohol’ group) reacts with another hydrogen atom and thus forms water (H2O). The carbon atom then bonds with the other oxygen atom and a polymer is formed.

Polymers are considered plastics and are used in cosmetics as thickening or film forming (for instance in nailpolish) agents. If you find a plastic or a polymer in a ingredientlist, please do not flush it through the sink. The plastic ends up in the ocean, where it can contribute to the plastic soup that already is floating around there, killing sea animals by choking or contributing to the malformation of a sea animal. Rinse the product off with a make up removal wipe or by using a cotton pad and some cleanser.

I hope the topic of polymers and plastics is even clearer now. If not, just ask a question in the comments.

Until next time,

Dymphy

Read-the-Label: FACE Atelier Lip Glaze

Today I wanted to do another lip product and I choose the Lip Glazes from Face Atelier.

FACE Atelier Lip Glazes are available in 10 beautiful and versatile colors: Clear, Ice, White Gold, Flamingo, Peach, Cameo, Dianthus, Primrose, Plum and Shiraz and come in generous tubes of 15 ml/.5 fl.oz. at € 21,50. An enduring industry staple!

 

 

What’s in the product?

Polybutene, Octyldodecanol, Petrolatum, Beeswax, Ozokerite, BHA, Trihydroxystearin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii, Silica, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalene.

May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Carmine, Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 33      Lake, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 36 Lake, Red 21 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Tin Oxide, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate.

Polybutene is a polymer that is used for lubrication and thickening. It ensures that the application is even and smooth. Octyldodecanol is an alcohol, which is a surfactant. It is used as a thickener and emulsifier. It also gives the product a bit of opacity and provides lubrication. Petrolatum can form a film and is also used as a thickner. Beeswax is a thickening agent with some moisturizing capacities. It is made by bees, so this product isn’t vegan. Ozokerite is a mineral that is a thickening agent.

BHA, betà hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid (aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, and thus closely related), is an exfoliant which is probably used in a concentration of 0,5 to 2%. BHA has the ability to penetrate into the pore, and therefore can exfoliate inside the pore as well as on the surface of the skin. Trihydroxystearin is a mixture of fatty acids and glycerin and is used as a moisturizer and thickening agent. Ascorbyl Palmitate is the stable form of Vitamin C, and acts as a anti-oxidant. Tocopheryl Acetate is also a vitamin and anti-oxidant, Vitamin E. Butyrospermum Parkii, also known as Shea Butter and should be listed as Vitellaria paradoxa, is a thick butter that is renowned for it’s moisturizing properties, but can be used as a thickener as well. Silica, a mineral is used as a thickener.

Methylparaben and Propylparaben are the preservatives which stop the formula from going rancid. They are the most safe and effective preservatives. Retinyl Palmitate is better known as Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant and Squalene is an oil which could be derived from sebum, plants (mostly olives) or shark liver. It’s a natural component of the skin, and thus can moisturize the skin. It also has antioxidant and immune stimulating properties.

Now onto the “may contain” list. Keep in mind that the ingredients in this section are added in such low quantities, that is has no other effect than to color the product. For instance, Titanium Dioxide has some thickening properties, but because of the low concentration, it only acts as a white pigment. Same for iron oxides, a group of chemical compounds with have range of colors such as yellow/orange/red/brown/black. Mica is white as well. Carmine (derived from bugs), Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 33 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 36 Lake, Red 21 Lake are pigments used for their red color, Yellow 5 Lake is yellow, Blue 1 Lake is blue, Tin Oxide can give the product, in stable form a blue-black color or in metastable (the stability is long, but not infinte) a red color. Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate is another preservative.

It is a bit weird is that a polymer is the major ingredient. No water or any kind of (cheap) oil is used as a carrier for the other ingredients, but then again, based on the ingredientlist, this is a quite a thick liquid, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Until next time,

Dymphy

A-Closer-Look-At: Cetearyl Alcohol

Many people cringe when they see alcohol on an ingredientlist. And they should, because the alcohol/hydroxy group dries out the skin. The hydroxy group that makes alcohol an alcohol, consists of both an oxygen (symbol: O) and a hydrogen (H) atom. A hydroxy group can form a hydrogen “bridge” with another water molecule. It basically pulls out water and takes it with it when you, for instance, wash it off your face.

But why is cetearyl alcohol (or cetostearyl alcohol/cetylstearyl alcohol) good for the skin? That is because of it’s fatty acid tail. The tail usually has an even number of carbon atoms, ranging mostly from 8 to 22 carbon atoms, although 36 or more aren’t an exception.

To be more precise, Cetearyl Alcohol is a mixture of fatty alcohols, of which cetyl and stearyl alcohols make up most of this ingredient. Since cetearyl alcohol has a polar, (water loving) head and a non-polar (oil loving) head, it is a surfactant. It can therefore be used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, opacifying agent (cetearyl alcohol turns into a white, waxy solid at room temperature) and a foam boosting agent.

Cetearyl alcohol was first extracted from whale oil, but since commercial whaling is forbidden, cetearyl alcohol is now produced from vegetable oils, like palm or coconut oil. It is also an end-product of the petroleum industry. It can also be made synthetically, from, for instance, breaking up triglycerides (three fatty alcohols bound together). The source can determine the amount of carbon atoms. For instance, rapeseed produces longer molecules of about 20 tot 22 carbon atoms, whilst coconut oil will yield molecules with 12 to 14 carbon atoms.

Please be careful if you have sensitive skin, cetearyl alcohol can possibly worsten dermatitis.. If you don’t have dermatitis, cetearyl alcohol is a very safe to use moisturizer and surfactant.

Until next time,
Dymphy

Read-the-Label: Yaby Cake Liner

I’ve heard Yaby cake liner has great colour pay off because the high level of pigmentation! The ingredientlist contains the following:

Talc, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Sorbitan Monooleate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT.
May Contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarine Blue, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Chromium Hydroxide Green, FD&C Red No.40 Al Lake, FD&C Yellow No.5 Al Lake, FD&C Blue No.1 Al Lake.

Talc, otherwise known as hydrated magnesium silicate, is a mineral which can absob oils. It is also known to be a filler and a thickening agent.
Mica is a group of crystallized minerals that naturally occur in thin, separated sheets. It is used as pigment in most mineral makeups (and many other products like eyeshadow, blushes and powders) to give it colour and to add a luminescent shine. The colour of mica ranges from pale green to black, as well as colourless. Mica has a nearly weightless and silky texture. It can also be used as a thickening agent and it can be the ingredient that most people with oily skin dislike: it can interact with the oil in the skin, making the colour look darker and shiny even. It also enhances wrinkles and fine lines.
Titanium Dioxide, also known as Titanium white, Pigment white 6, or CI77891, provides the enhanced coverage and a matte finish. It can also act as sunscreen and as a thickening agent. Because of it’s gentleness, it is great to use around the eyes.
Sorbitan Monooleate is an emulsifier, keeping this formula together. Isopropyl Palmitate, derived from palm oil,  is a moisturizer and thickening agent.
Then we have methylparaben and propylparaben, two very safe and effective preservatives (do use sunscreen!) and BHT, Butylated hydroxytoluene, another preservative. It is an anti-oxidant with antiviral properties.

Then, on to the “may contain” section. Keep in mind that the amount of product in this section maybe be too low to do anything other than provide the product with a color. So, for instance, Iron oxide, would not provide any sunprotection or thickening properties. It just gives a color. Which color I do not know, since iron oxide is a group of compounds with iron and oxygen in it. Ultramarine blue gives a blue color, as does Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide. Chromium Hydroxide green is green, obviously. FD&C Red No.40 Lake is red. FD&C Yellow No.5 Al lake is yellow and FD&C Blue No.1 Al Lake is blue.

I haven’t spotted the texture in person yet, but it does look similar to eyeshadow to me. The only thing that is different is the amount of talc and mica in it. Those two ingredients are known to thicken products, and I wonder if that’s what gives the eyeliner that cake-like texture.

Until next time,

Dymphy