Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coty Brand to acquire new beauty brands

Coty is the world's largest fragrance company, and a global leader in the beauty industry. It is also a beauty products manufacturer for color cosmetics, toiletries and skin care. After more than one hundred years in the business - it holds over 38 popular fragrances by working with celebrities and designers such as Adiddas, Celine Dion, Marc Jacobs and Sarah Jessica Parker.

It has gone through many acquisitions in its long history, notably by Unilever in 2005 then by Del Labs in 2007. The Calgon and Healing Garden Brands were purchased by Ascendia Brands in 2007.

New to its brand portfolio are the recent acquisitions of Philosphy brand bath and beauty products and O.P.I. nail color line.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bazzaar Today!

An all day HUGE event! Last year the crowd was lined up a hundred at the door at opening time. We had over 2000 attendees throughout the day. The Alexander von Humboldt German International School's Holiday Artisan Bazzaar is truly a wonderful event. The Egg Lady with her fabulous Holiday Egg Decorations, Anne Wheelan's Glass Crafts, Baked Treats, Hint of Eden, ECause Canada - over 100 vendors. -216 Rue Victoria, Baie-D'Urfé, QC H9X 2H9

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hidden Animal Ingredients in Cosmetics

Why would a cosmetic contain animal ingredients? Some of them provide results that people believe in, or have a use that does not have a plant-based equivalent. Three common ingredients are:

Tallow is animal fat, commonly of bovine or pork origin.

Does it work? Yes. Tallow derived ingredients actually will make your skin and hair feel better. Fatty acids and oils make excellent conditioning ingredients for both hair and skin products. But you can get these same fatty acids from plant oils like sunflower or soybean. The animal derived ingredients don’t provide much added benefit.

Keratin is a structural protein found in mammals that makes up hair, nails and horns.
Human hair is composed of keratin.

Does it work? The cosmetic industry theory is you can replace the lost keratin in your hair with more protein, then damaged hair will be repaired. While protein in general has been shown to provide some benefit when applied to hair, keratin protein in particular is not more effective than some other protein source. More effective hair conditioning ingredients are silicones. Silicones, however, do not breakdown in the marine environment.

Collagen is a protein and the main component of connective tissue. It is primarily used in anti-wrinkle creams. As the collagen in your skin naturally degrades over time due to environmental and age factors which results sagging, wrinkly skin. Collagen in your skin products is supposed to rejuvenate damaged collagen to firm up your skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. At best, collagen provides a temporary tightening of the skin.

Not all collagen is animal derived. There are plant derived alternatives. They are equally as ineffective.

Ingredient labeling laws in North America and Europe dictate the use of INCI (pronounced "inky") names for ingredients. This is the use of an internationally accepted list of latin or chemical names to avoid confusion with regional or colloquial names. If you want to avoid animal products in your products, look for these names in the partial listing below on their own or as part of the ingredient name. To avoid using animal ingredients, make sure the label states it is free from animal products.

Animal Origin Ingredients:
Adepts Bovis (obtained from tallow)
CI 77267 (bone charcoal) used as colourant
CI 77268:1 (black bone charcoal) used as colourant
Fish Oil
Hyaluronic Acid
Mink Oil
Serum Albumin (from blood serum)
Sqauli lecur, Squalene and Pentahydrosqualene (from shark liver oil)
Tallow - look for variants containing the name "tallow" or "tallowate"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Eczema in a bottle

Eczema is an inflammation of the skin resulting in itching, scaling and sometimes blisters.

There are many forms including dermatitis, atopic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis eczema and hand eczema. Of these, only hand eczema and dermatitis can be linked to cosmetics and toiletries, but the other forms may be irritated by personal care products, dishwashing liquids, rubber gloves, some fabrics, detergent residues and fabric conditioners in clothing.

Hand eczema is usually caused by chemical contact on the skin. It often occurs on the hands as a reaction to dishwashing liquids and detergents. Cosmetics and toiletries can have a similar effect on other parts of the body. In these cases the condition is called contact eczema and usually clears up if the offending chemicals are kept away from the skin. These may be difficult to identify in cosmetics and toiletries since the eczema may be caused by a combination of ingredients that, individually have no adverse effects. Stopping the use of any personal care product you suspect may be causing your skin problems is the best recourse. If you continue to use it, the eczema may become chronic and difficult to treat.

In all cases of eczema, the sufferer should avoid the use of potent cosmetics and toiletries such as exfoliants and skin lighteners. They should discontinue using any products that causes soreness and irritation, no matter how slight.

The following cosmetic ingredients have all been linked to eczema:
alcohol denat.
Methyl Alcohol
Potassium Tallowate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Tallowate

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lead found in Halloween Face Paints

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics web site conducted tests on Halloween face paints and their findings are alarming when we consider using these "fun" items on our children. Many parents opt for face paint as a safer alternative over masks, while our children are out trick-or-treating.

To quote CFSC article's findings: "For this report, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent 10 children's face paints to an independent lab to test for heavy metals. Among our findings:

* 10 out of 10 children's face paints we tested contained low levels of lead, ranging from 0.05 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm).

Experts say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that parents avoid using cosmetics on their children that could be contaminated with lead.

Lead exposures early in life can lead to hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, IQ deficits, reduced school performance, aggression and delinquent behavior. It can also impact fertility, including increasing risk for miscarriage and reducing sperm quality. Early-life lead exposure can even increase risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

* 6 out of 10 products contained the potent allergens nickel, chromium and/or cobalt at levels ranging from 1.6 to 120 ppm – far above the safety recommendations of industry studies.

Nickel, chromium, and cobalt can trigger skin rashes that appear throughout life with subsequent exposures."

Lead is non banned from Cosmetics in the USA, but is Canada and parts of Europe. Often, however, these small quantity - special occasion cosmetics slip through the testing cracks. It is important for us to know what we are putting on our own faces and those of our children. To download the full report please click here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cosmeceutical industry ‘disregards’ safety, according to cancer charity

By Katie Bird , 12-Oct-2009

The cosmetics industry has a ‘reckless disregard for safety’ and should be providing safety warnings on a number of its products, according to a cancer charity.

Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Dr Samuel Epstein, claims that ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) increase the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

In addition, he criticizes the preservative compounds parabens as well as the fragrance ingredient limonene.

Epstein said many of these ingredients can be found in cosmeceutical products, which he claims are not regulated properly by the FDA.

“The industry markets cosmeceuticals with anecdotal or even wild claims of effectiveness, rather than scientific data, and with reckless disregard for safety,” he said.

He called on the FDA to place black box warnings, a procedure usually reserved for prescription medications that have serious or even fatal side effects, on a number of these ingredients.

“Concering ingredients, the US public is hopelessly ignorant and they think the government should protect them,” Epstein told CosmeticsDesign; something which he feels the regulatory authorities are failing to do.

Glycolic and lactic acids are the two most common AHAs found in cosmetic products and are used to help soften and smooth the skin, according to cosmetics trade association Personal Care Products Council.

Safe to use

These ingredients have been deemed safe to use in cosmetics products as long as certain guidelines are followed, the Council said in a statement responding to Epstein’s claims.

Concentrations and pH limits have to be respected, and in addition manufacturers are advised by FDA to label a product with a warning about how it may increase skin sensitivity to sun exposure, and advising the consumer to use daily sun protection products.

“The highest priority of the Personal Care Products Council member companies is the safety and health of consumers who use our products. Companies are required by law to substantiate the safety of all ingredients and products before they are marketed,” it said.

The Council also takes issue with Epstein’s take on cosmeceuticals; a product category not recognised by FDA.

Under the FDA, products are regulated as cosmetics or drugs there are no regulatory differences between how a cosmeceutical and a cosmetic are treated.

“Therefore, any reference to a “cosmeceutical” fails to recognize the vast difference between the way cosmetics and drugs are regulated,” the Council said.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What does that label mean?

Cosmetics are a part of everyone's daily grooming routine. Whether the product is a beauty preparation (make-up, perfume, skin cream, nail polish) or a grooming aid (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant), estimated sales of cosmetics in Canada alone total over four billion dollars annually.

Studies in the UK have found that many consumers do not read the ingredient labels because they are "too difficult", "too confusing", have trouble due to size of the print, or simply trust the brand so that they don't bother.

Other consumers are mislead by the terms used to market the products. Some of these common terms have been clarified by Health Canada:

Fragrance Free or Unscented

This means that there have been no fragrances added to the cosmetic product, or that a masking agent has been added in order to hide the scents from the other ingredients in the cosmetic.


"Hypoallergenic" is neither a legal nor a scientific term. It simply means that the manufacturer has selected ingredients with the objective of producing a finished product with minimum potential for causing allergy. This does not guarantee that the product will not cause an allergic reaction in some individuals as people are allergic to a wide array of substances. There are no non-allergenic cosmetics.

Ophthalmologist Tested/Dermatologist Tested

These terms usually mean that a test on the product was conducted to ensure that the product is not (or less) irritating to eyes or skin, and that this test involved a skin or eye doctor at some point during the study. It is the safety of the product that has been tested and not the efficacy of the product. There are no regulations that standardize the type or number of tests needed to use this claim on labels.

Not Tested on Animals

The cosmetic product was not tested on animals. This does not guarantee that the individual ingredients were not tested on animals. For new ingredients, testing is sometimes essential to determine that the ingredient is safe. The scientific community is moving toward using fewer animals and is gradually producing valid tests that do not use live animals but use cell cultures instead called "in vitro testing" as well as predictive computer models, however these new methods, cannot completely replace animal testing at this time for the risk assessment of most substances.


We have all heard how preservatives are supposed to be bad for you. In most cases, they are actually good and very essential for most cosmetics. The warm and damp area of your bathroom, where people use and store many cosmetic products, can be an ideal environment for microorganisms to grow in your cosmetics. Microorganisms can also find their way into cosmetics through cross-contamination when a cosmetic or its applicator touches your skin or hair and then touches the cosmetic again. Fortunately, most cosmetics contain preservatives to keep harmful bacteria, mold and yeast from finding its way in and growing on your cosmetics.

Natural Versus Synthetic
There is a general assumption among consumers that "natural" products are better or healthier than similar ones using synthetic ingredients. Often, however, these "natural" ingredients are no different in chemical composition than their synthetic counterparts. In fact, a synthetic substance which mimics a natural one can sometimes provide a purer, more stable ingredient which gives the product a longer usable life.

Health Canada considers both natural and synthetic ingredients to be equally suitable for use in cosmetics. If you experience an allergic reaction to a cosmetic, try switching to a different brand.