Ginseng extract

Ginseng or Panax ginseng is an extract that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, but it hasn’t been studied very well for cosmetic use. It is reported to be an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-tumour ingredient that stimulates collagen production and wound healing, as well as increase protein synthesis. How does it do...

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Happy birthday to the blog!

It was one year ago today that I started writing daily posts on this blog with an emphasis on the chemistry and formulating of bath and body products! And to celebrate…we’re having ribs! (Okay, they’re virtual ribs for you, but look at that wonderful rub and the smoking box…you know they’re going to be tasty!)...

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Horsetail extract

Horsetail extract (INCI: Equisetum arvense extract) is extracted from the horsetail plant – if you live in North America or Europe, you’ve no doubt seen these in your neighbourhood. If you’ve ever touched one, you’ll know they have a kind of almost dry feeling on the stalks. This is the thanks to the silica that...

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E-mail question: Thickening surfactant systems

In this post, Naomi writes…If I don’t have Crothix, could I substitute stearic acid? or Cetyl Alcohol? or another thickener – like Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose? So, you add in Crothix for thickening purposes? What do you suggest as possible substitutes?No, you can’t use stearic acid or cetyl alcohol. They will eventually separate out and leave a...

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Alpha-hydroxy acids

Alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs come in many forms, but we are probably most familiar with the glycolic (this lovely molecule), lactic, and citric acid versions of this water soluble carboxylic acid. I’m sure you’ve read a million times how fantastic AHAs are for our skin, but how do they work? The official statement is...

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