Cosmetic science & the alchemy ritual
Posted on January 10 2020
When I ask people what they want from their skin care they often say.
“I want it to work and it needs to be free from chemicals”
Over the years the misconception on what beauty products actually are and what they contain. Part of the reason of the reason for this, I believe, is that we confuse the alchemy ritual of beauty with cosmetic science. We need to understand that these are different concepts, with different purposes… and they can coexist.
It takes somewhere between 6 months to a year to develop a beauty product. There are thousands of different ingredients formulators have at their disposal when developing a product. As a formulator, not only do you need to know about all of these ingredients, you also need to know how they interact, behave in a formulation and who they effect the skin. You also need an understanding of how the ingredients are sourced and their effect on the environment.
It’s not only the formulators who look at cosmetic science. We also have the cosmetic ingredient manufacturers and their teams chemists & biochemist that develop the ingredients. Many of these companies are considered “evil” because they’re chemical manufacturers. I would like to point out that in most cases, it’s quite the opposite.
Crystals or cosmetic science?
The chemists working for ingredient suppliers are also concerned about consumer safety & sustainability (Shocking right?). The R&D teams put a lot of effort in developing innovative, exciting cosmetic ingredients that are efficient, safe & sustainable - even if they are created in a lab and have a “chemical names”.
Unfortunately “clean” beauty enthusiasts consider many of these ingredients toxic. Clean beauty experts also claim that preservatives should be avoided and we should all base our products on crystal infused water instead. The vibrations will save us. (The vibrations will not save us from microorganisms thriving in our moisturizers - only preservatives will do that. FYI)
The Beauty of Alchemy
Crystal infused products; LED masks & jade rollers fill a different purpose. They create a mystery, some alchemy to our mundane lives. It gives us a chance to create a self -are ritual that makes us relax, feel good & have fun. That is also an important purpose. Personally I love the idea of having a gold facial followed by a diamond toner on a Friday night. Why not? It makes me feel glamorous and it’s fun. Do I believe that the gold will actually make a difference for my skin? No I do not. Gold is practically inert (does not react with anything) so it will not react with anything on my skin either. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the ritual.