Them and us …..

A little gem I robbed off the Cnwmr website
No its not Welsh, but a Marketing company in the US who proved that a Prius is less ecofriendly than a Hummer

Whats below is verbatim rip, but before you read it, if you substitute Japanese for the competition, and American for your company, does it still ring horribly true? If it does, ask yourself this one thing.

Do I need to learn Japanese?

The Canoe Race

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River.

Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese team won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.

A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

So American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the Americans’ rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the “Rowing Team Quality First Program,” with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment.

The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was outsourced to India!!!!

Jojoba, the month before November

Billy Connolly,

The most quoted video in the toiletries industry

Watch it, Watch it now

Sarah Beeny. How Toxic are you love?

Well that badly made bit of tat is rattling around the industry at the moment.

A premium example of badly made pseudoscience. I’m sure somebody somewhere has given it server space, but it sure as hell won’t be me.

There have been discussions in the lab where to start on it.

Is it the fact that the numbers don’t match up on the toxin loadings

Is it the fact that she can’t count the number of “MAN MADE CHEMICALS!!!!” on the back of a bottle of shampoo

Is it the fact that it was so disjointed and repetative, and that this was due to them having to edit out a lot of lies, and then they ran out of space.

 This will probably run and run, but for starters (And because if I did a full fisking of this I could easily rack up 2-3000 words minimum) I’ll just post a few links to forums where the full horror that is Beeny is being stripped bare

Beeny site

Channel 4 forums

Badscience forums

Doesn’t stop the crystal stroking side of the industry trying to cash in mind

 Oh and did I mention the “MAN MADE CHEMICALS”.

The bit about the breast milk though was the point that annoyed most people I’ve talked to on the school run.

The average Mothers attitude was. “Don’t you dare tell me that I have toxins in the tit, but its OK really”.

No information, no levels, no backup. That lost it for the target audience.

Note for producers: Don’t play the baby card unless you really want to back it properly. Without suitable wadding it will blow up in your face

Update 15/10/07

A mate of mine has suggested that if you were really p’d off by the programme, you should tell channel 4 about it. You can do it here:Channel 4 complaints

For every need a product

I’m a believer in manufacturing products for people who think they might have a need for them. It pays my Mortgage

I spotted some of these products in Boots, and fair enough I’ll link them here, as they have caused much astonishment in the lab

Bald Guyz Head Wipes (!)

 Only in America (And your local Boots)

I dread to think what category our friends in the land of the free will come up with next

Deodorants. The smell of bull

“I’ve had a wonderful day today explaining to the fluffy bunnies about the joys of Crystal Deodorants.

I’ll admit they look quite cool in a rustic tree huggy sort of way. The trouble is that tree huggy products come along with tree huggy vendors who don’t always understand the nasty technical details. A prime example is here, but it is echoed across the web. I’m a chemist. I like things to be basically right Warning BS Alert

If you can’t bear to give them hits, I’m doing a step by step below

It is a pure, natural crystal of potassium alum, (nothing to do with aluminium) formed from non toxic minerals in mother earth. It is hypoallergenic and has been used for centuries

Hmmm lets see. Google for a MSDS (Health and safety data sheet) for potassium Alum This was the first one found Courtesy of JT Baker a chemical supply house in New Jersey Well its Potassium ALUMINIUM Sulphate. That says to me thats a lot to do with Element 13. Also hypoallergenic may be a bit strong considering the pH of a 0.2M solution in water is 3.3, and it is described as an irritant, though to be fair most roll on Anti perspirants based on Aluminium Chlorohydrate are much the same.
If they’ve done the testing and it comes out hypoallergenic I’ll let that lie


1) A natural anti-bacterial action within the crystal eliminates the bacteria that causes odour.

Well its acidic and sits on the skins surface …..(Just like proper FDA approved Anti-perspirants that give you cancer)

2) On application a little of the crystal dissolves and sits on your skin’s surface as an invisible microscopic protective film, eliminating odour for 24 hours or until you next wash.”
(Just like proper FDA approved Anti-perspirants that give you cancer)

3) The crystal’s molecular structure is too big to pass into the body. This means your pores are not blocked as with anti-perspirants. Instead your body’s natural processes continue to operate but without the associated odour.
(Just like proper FDA approved Anti-perspirants that give you cancer, but with a twist).

Alum is not approved on the FDA monograph, as it really isn’t quite up to snuff, performance wise

Next two sections I shall ignore as they are hints for use. Thats up to the consumer to be honest

Now lets see

What is NOT in it (and often found in other deodorants):

1) Perfume (Bit difficult as you would have problems dissolving fragrance oils into a solid block) Unfragranced is a relevant market strategy
2) Preservatives (An effective deodorant inhibits bacteria on the skin. they rarely require preserving)
3) Emulsifiers or oils (As contained in the finest Creams and moisturisers)
4) Aluminium chlorohydrate – linked to Alzheimer’s & breast cancer (I’m not going to justify this)
. The FDA mandate that the warning “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease” is put on pack, but this is to do with concerns about putting Aluminium anywhere near anyone with renal Failure. Google the phrase “Dialysis Encephalopathy” for information. Basically people with kidney problems are likely to suffer buildup of Aluminium in the system. It can cause problems
5) Parabens (linked to breast cancer) See the previous post on this blog for that
6) Anything that may stain your clothes (If you’ve done the stain tests….)

Time to take a stand. The ASA has hit 3 cosmetic companies this week. Prehaps that should be four

Daily Mail: Poison in print, not cosmetics

Update on this 11 October 2007

It appears that the article in question has been taken down from the Daily Mail Website. I wonder why? 

Doesn’t matter, as I’ve got a copy of it available in all its glory! I just need to transfer it off my works laptop

Update 14-10-07. The original web article is now attached for viewing pleasure.

Daily Mail Article

It doesn’t have the pictures of the two young ladies featured spending a grand a month, but the text is there for everyone to work with.

Daily mail shite story  (Link now busted)
Unfortunately, I’m having to play catch up with this one. I spotted it this morning in work, but as I was in work, doing blogging may have been frowned on, so the excellent Dr*T at Thinking is Dangerous got his two penneth worth during lunch. Here are my choice quotes from this piece of trash. Apparently its based upon a Sarah Beeny programme on next week.She really ought to stick to property developing … Sarah love, you’re gonna have to understand this. Everything you wear, eat, build with is made of chemicals. Its Zen… “It just is”


“Emma, a personal trainer, follows a similar routine, but she also has an obsession with lipgloss: she owns 60 different ones and touches up her lips every few minutes. In a bid to ensure she always has fresh breath, Emma also cleans her teeth seven times a day and carries a tube of toothpaste in her handbag, which she rubs into her teeth and gums at almost hourly intervals. Between them, the two girls get through four cans of deodorant a week, and spend £1,000 a month on cosmetics. “

And I work in the industry. Product availability and cost is not an issue to me. My daily routine of products involves. Shampoo, Soap, Toothpaste, and Spray Antiperspirant. Thats it. Total of 4 products.These two have to me symptoms of OCD. I suggest a low dose therapy of Fluoxetine here

Continue please

we ingest through our skin, and occasionally through the mouth, up to 5lb of chemicals a year.I keep hearing this, I need to know where this comes from. Remember that when you apply a lotion, very little is absorbed. I suspect that of the 5lbs applied, at least 4 and a half is washed off.

“Her deodorant contains 26 chemicals and Charlotte’s hairspray has 23”

Aerosols. They list the propellant, 4 ingredients usually, and if they are highly scented there will be quite a few fragrance allergens listed. And don’t think that by using “Natural Essential Oils that this will be better. They’re loaded with these allergens, and they have to be declared as well. The hairspray in reality probably contains about 10 discrete materials.

“(….Parabens….)These are known hormone disruptors: evidence suggests they can mimic the female hormone oestrogen, and a lifetime of increased exposure to oestrogen is linked to a heightened risk of breast cancer. “

From Wikipedia:In an in vivo study, the effect of butylparaben was determined to be approximately 100,000 times weaker than estradiol, although this effect was only observed when employing a dose level which was 25,000 times higher than is actually used to preserve products ““One study found parabens present in 18 out of 20 breast cancer tissue samples (though it is important to note that the study did not prove they’d actually caused the breast cancer)”. Discredited D’Arbre paper

“Parabens are also thought to adversely affect male reproductive functions.” (I made this up in the pub reading wikipedia)

Also of concern are phthalates, a substance that gives our lotions that silky, creamy, texture, but which are also a ‘plasticiser’ used to make plastics flexible. Certain phthalates are known carcinogens, and studies have suggested they damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and the reproductive system, as well as affecting the development of unborn baby boys. “ BULLSHIT. They are not added to lotion to give texture, there are plenty of materials to do that. You may have caught them there as part of the fragrance years ago but no more. Manufacturers don’t need the griefaluminum in deodorants is linked to breast cancer by medical research. ” BULLSHIT

And did you know that certain eye shadows contain arsenic?

This little gem I wish to address personally. The pigments used in Colour Cosmetics in the EU have limits for this. They’re the same as for food. Also don’t assume that these are soluble and absorbable. they ain’t.

This from the annexe. The Legal limits for impurities in pigments
Arsenic Not more than 3 mg/kg
Lead Not more than 10 mg/kg
Mercury Not more than 1 mg/kg
Cadmium Not more than 1 mg/kg
Heavy metals (as Pb) Not more than 40 mg/kg
Have you ever seen a kilo of eye shadow?

Its Huge. A typical eyeshadow or mascara is a few grams. And how much do you apply? Even if you apply it like Devine used to? Exactly?

Given the facts, it’s hardly surprising that a growing number of experts believe these substances have a cumulative effect on our bodies.They think the ‘chemical cocktail’ inside us is contributing to the increased frequency of a host of illnesses ranging from eczema to cancers as well as developmental problems such as autism and dyslexia. “

An expert is a word of two parts. Ex as in has-been, Spurt as in a drip under pressure

The jury is well out, and most of the research is not conclusive by half

People who use permanent hair dye are more than twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as those that don’t.

 This has gone beyond now. Its not even funny anymore

This is my source, its got better credentials than yours

To summarise then. The Daily Mail as usual is spouting shite. Poisonous shite that scares people.

May they rot in hell


Now that word has caused a lot of concern in the media thanks to the publishings of a certain Dr Darbre from Reading University.

There have been a lot of column inches devoted to this, and the C&T industry being what it is, there are now products out there that proudly proclaim “Paraben Free”

Now in preparation for doing a long post about this, I thought I’d better get my sources together so that I could try and write from a position of Ad Authoritatum.

I then discovered that a bunch of eurocrats called the SCCP had done the hard work for me

 In this Document Here in PDF format

Now a bit of background for those people who think that the SCCP (SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PRODUCTS) are a bunch of people preserving the status quo.

They aren’t

 They are at times the biggest pains in the arse to plague the industry.

For instance they are the reason that my ex company had to reformulate 80+ products when they banned a preservative that had a safe history of use going back decades.

They are also looking to ban a sunscreen that has similar benefits, but are dragging their heels on that one, so that no-one knows whether or not to spend money on testing.

Anyway, read and enjoy, then ask questions later

Ding Ding Fluff Alert (Part one)

Now, I like a good marketing story like anybody else, so when the industry mailing list I’m on (Cosmetic Design Europe) popped this little gem, It ticked all the boxes     Cosmetics Design Europe newsletter Article Now the first bit “Artdeco has released its new skin care range Skin Yoga Face. Based on ancient yogic principles the range taps into the trend for holistic cosmetics influenced by ancient practices and spiritual ideas.” is quite commonplace. The best known of these is Aveda who have made a big song and dance about avedic principles, and they sell a range of products based on this philosophy. Now how close this is to true Avedic Medicine and principles is a moot point, but whatever…

Anyway, back to the article.

The extracts that are claimed to be in there, Tea extract (White or Green), lotus flower, phytic acid (A chelating agent) are all pretty standard fare. I’ve used them before, and they make a pleasant sounding bit of text that doesn’t say diddly, but implies good things. They’re the sort of things that are put in cheap foambath at 3/10ths of a smidgin per cubic mile along with an appropriate fragrance.

What was a step-back was the named active “Oxyvital” which to quote the newsletter “The main component of the products is an active the company call Oxyvital. Derived from corn, Artdeco claim that the compound increases the oxygen consumption of skin cells, leading to brighter, younger looking skin.
“Oxyvital stimulates the cellular respiration and increases the oxygen consumption of the skin cells by up to 116%” say the company, adding that the skin’s oxygen content is at its highest at 20, but has halved by the age of 40, when elasticity deteriorates and cell ageing becomes obvious.”
Well I want to know more, so lets have a gander at the website, skipping to the helpful rawmats bit and it says

Oxyvital is an ingredient derived from corn by means of the Filatov procedure. Corn originates in Central America and is appreciated for centuries by the Aztecs and Indians. In Aztec mythology the sun exploded during the creation of the world and sent a golden shower to earth which turned into corn as it touched the ground. The god off corn was worshipped as the god of life.  Corn is rich in unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, proteins, various sugars, mineral salts, vitamins and phyto-stimulants. Oxyvital stimulates the cellular respiration and increases the oxygen consumption of the skin cells by up to 116%. The skin reaches it maximum oxygen content at the age of 20. It has a fresh and firm appearance. At the age of 30 the oxygen content of the skin has already decreased by 25% and the first signs of ageing become visible. By 40 the oxygen content has halved, elasticity deteriorates and the cell aging becomes obvious. Lines and wrinkles appear and the complexion becomes pale and wan. By increasing the cellular respiration the skin is able to increase its ATP content and optimize the cells efficiency.”

Oh Dear God alive, I think we’ve got a live one here!.

Now I think I know how this story is going to end, as I’ve seen these sort of respiration claims in rawmaterial suppliers extract fluff before, so I’ll post a few thoughts, then post again once I’ve dredged some more info off teh interyweb to either confirm or deny this, so I’m postulating here.

This is how I would “Justify” a ludicrous claim like this.

Correction, this is how a ludicrous claim that I couldn’t or wouldn’t make has been marketed to me in the past

“Filatov procedure”: Now doing a google pops up two interesting bits. One is a Dr Filatov, who specialises in Laser eye surgery, nothing to do with him I suspect, nor anything to do with a Russian poet on Wikipedia, or a Ukranian (also wikipedia) who had a hand in developing corneal transplants.

I’m assuming here its a Corn hydrolysate or extract, probably quite rich in glucose and starch. A bit of a bug risk, and a bit cloudy and smelly.

Next bit is blah blah, history of corn, and how its wonderful. Ignore this its padding to make the copy more impressiveNow to the sexy bit “Oxyvital stimulates the cellular respiration and increases the oxygen consumption of the skin cells by up to 116%.”

Now how are they going to prove that? Now I don’t know, as I need to do more digging, but I’m thinking they had a petri dish full of cells, added a slug of extract, and the respiration rate went up. Because you fed the hungry little buggers.Comments on this one please, as I feel a Badscience moment coming on

Serves them right

Clarins got hit by the ASA

 Well sorry they deserved it.

When I saw the original advert, we had the marketeers asking how we could copy this, and they were accusing us of being obstructive (!) The original advert was in all the expensive glossies and was designed to tap into the paranoia about mobile phones giving you all sorts of symptoms.

I think the whole industry cheered when they got shot down. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few of its members stuck the knife in just to make sure.

We need all that PSB (Pseudo Scientific Bullshit) like a hole in the head

ASA Adjudication

Sometimes the strangest things seem utterly odd

I always thought there are certain sectors of the industry that are populated by wankers

Its now been confirmed for me

In this little nugget here

I can guarantee this much. That little bombshell is nailed to the wall of every lab in the industry. It certainly is in mine!

 Just don’t tell the marketeers

 Or the process guys for that matter.

Its the QC guys I feel sorry for