New Book! Navigating the Rules & Regs

I am so pleased and excited to announce the upcoming release of my new book, Navigating the Rules & Regs: A Practical Guide for Soap and Cosmetic Handcrafters! If you’ve wondered where I’ve been the last few months – well, I’ve been researching and writing like crazy. This new book covers labeling, but also the myriad of other rules and … Read More

Natural Ingredients and Products

So far, the FDA has declined to provide a formal (in regulations) definition of the term “natural” as applied to cosmetics (or food). That said, there are some standards that can guide when the claim of “natural” is appropriate (that is, not false or deceptive) for a cosmetic product. FDA – Food While there is no FDA regulatory definition for … Read More

Parabens in Cosmetic Preservatives

Parabens are a class of preservatives including methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben (and 17 more). They are commonly used preservatives which form the basis of several commercial preservative blends including Germaben(TM) II and Liquapar(TM). Paraben Safety Parabens have been used in cosmetic (and other) products for over 100 years.However, there have recently been safety concerns regarding the use of parabens … Read More

Plastic Microbeads

Plastic microbeads are prohibited for use in rinse-off cosmetics. If a rinse-off cosmetic contains plastic microbeads, it is adulterated (and therefore illegal).1 21 USC 331(ddd) Definition: A plastic microbead is any solid plastic particle that is less than 5 millimeters in size and is intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body or any part thereof. For … Read More

Rubbing Alcohol

The term “rubbing alcohol” originally referred to alcohols that were applied to the body rather than drunk as a beverage. Especially during Prohibition, when consumable alcohol was illegal, the distinction was important. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the United States Pharmocapeia (USP) define two different formulas for rubbing alcohol that start with ethyl alcohol. For … Read More

Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol)

Isopropyl alcohol (also called 2-propanol or isopropanol) is a colorless, clear, flammable liquid with a strong and recognizable odor. It is made from propylene (also called propene) which comes from petroleum.  Isopropyl alcohol is often also referred to as “rubbing alcohol” although it is not the only type of rubbing alcohol. It is highly poisonous and not suitable for consumption. … Read More

Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol)

In cosmetic ingredient naming, “alcohol” is the INCI name for ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Ethyl alcohol – also called grain alcohol – is the consumable kind of alcohol. It’s naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars, from which we get all sorts of alcoholic beverages; beers, wines and hard liquors. It can also be produced synthetically from petrochemicals. Many cosmetic products … Read More


As an ingredient in cosmetics, talc has been under some scrutiny for years now. I’ve recently done a survey of the current information about talc, and here’s what I found out. Talc was originally used as “talcum powder” – the original body or baby powder. Now it has many uses in cosmetics and other personal care products – to absorb … Read More