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Gleams & Notions

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Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
April 5, 2011
Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are the most commonly used surfactants when formulating hair shampoos due to their excellent foaming ability and the ease of viscosity adjustment. However, when formulating a body wash or body shampoo,…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
March 11, 2011
Hydroquinone (dihydroxybenzene) at a 2% concentration is still a common skin lightening agent in the U.S., even though it is banned in Europe and some Asian countries. Other skin lighteners include kojic acid and magnesium ascorbal phosphate. Labor…  Read More »
Think Outside the Bottle For Sun Protection
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
February 17, 2011
The Environmental Working Group, a non-government organization, voiced concern last year about the use of oxybenzone-based sunscreens on children and babies. Even though the FDA approves it for use, the body may still absorb oxybenzone and certain…  Read More »
All About Hair... and the Lack Thereof
January 7, 2011
This month's column could be subtitled, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Hair, But Were Afraid to Ask.” Hair comes in various sizes and shapes: stiff and short on the eyebrows, long and soft on the head, and almost invisible on mo…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
November 23, 2010
Most hair product manufacturers have a salon with professional hairdressers who compare experimental products created by the formulating chemist to a competitor’s product currently being sold. Both formulas are applied and evaluated on the same…  Read More »
Despite Effectiveness, Questions Regarding Nanoparticles Persist
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
November 4, 2010
Despite controversy, cosmetic companies have been using nanoparticles in some formulations for the past decade. Nanoparticles are very small and range between one and 100 nanometers which is about 1/5,000th the diameter of a human hair.…  Read More »
Cosmetics in the News
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
October 1, 2010
It is time once again for my occasional roundup of media articles and cartoons pertaining to our industry. The following is a rare non-political Doonesbury cartoon by Gary Trudeau. Those of us who are consultants may resent the sarcasm, but often the…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
September 7, 2010
Testing the attributes of hair products can be quite simple. For example, to check the color of a newly formulated hair dye, both gray and brown humanhair swatches are dyed and the results are evaluated. To check foam height of a shampoo, I put 30g o…  Read More »
Making Sense of Your Sense of Smell
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
August 3, 2010
The sense of smell is said to be 10,000 times more sensitive than your sense of taste, although temperature and humidity affect the odor’s strength by determining the volatility of the odor from its source. A dog’s sense of smell can be m…  Read More »
Chelants Show Their Mettle
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
July 8, 2010
Although chelating agents are used in small quantities, a little goes a long way in keeping a formula stable. They do this by binding metallic ions in water or other chemicals that might adversely affect the color, quality or appearance of the formul…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
May 28, 2010
The 2010 edition of the New York Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC) Suppliers’ Day was another success. The event included nearly 600 exhibit booths and more than 8,000 attendees. Moreover, attendees took advantage of online pr…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
April 29, 2010
Bentonite is a rock composed of clay minerals formed by the alteration of minute glass particles that once were volcanic ash.The name is derived from Fort Benton in Wyoming where it was discovered. American pioneers moistened bentonite and used it to…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
March 31, 2010
It is time once again for my periodic media survey to uncover news, both good and bad, relating to cosmetics. First, the good news. A Japanese scientist has identified a gene linked to early hair loss in mice, raising the possibility of an eventual…  Read More »
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
March 9, 2010
Cosmetic packages come in many different sizes and shapes because cosmetics are sold in different forms such as solids (powders or gels), semi-solids (creams and lotions), liquids and gases (aerosols). All packages must contain and isolate a specifi…  Read More »
The causes and treatments of dermatitis and eczema.
Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant
February 4, 2010
Two month ago ("More on Skin Treatments," December Gleams & Notions), I wrote about acne. Other skin maladies are dermatitis and eczema. Dermatitis is any type of skin inflammation not caused by an infectious agent. Eczema is chronic de…  Read More »