Everything made from petroleum!

And today’s secret ingredient is….Everything made from petroleum! Oils are mostly carbon and chemists know that carbon is carbon is carbon- wherever it comes from. So why is that if I rub vegetable oil on my skin for 20 years … Continued

DEA (Diethanolamine) and You

Take a look at the ingredients in your shampoo right now, even those touted as “natural”. Chances are the of those ingredients is DEA or Diethanolamine. This foaming chemical is found in combination with fatty acids (bits of oil molecules) … Continued


And this month’s ingredient of the month is…pthalates! Pthalates, (pronounced thalates) is a large family of molecules used in a variety of industries. Pthalates are used to flavor cheap whiskey, and they are what makes plastics flexible. The rule of … Continued

Healing Power of Essential Oils

Robert Tisserand, essential oils and aromatherapy expert, speaks with Larry Plesent, founder of Vermont Soapworks, at the 2011 Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild convention in Miami, FL. Larry tells a true story about how an essential oil blend saved a man’s life … Continued

The Role of Surfactants

The Role of Saponified Systems as a Substitute for Ethoxylated and Sulfonated Surfactants and the Assembling of Safe and Sustainable Molecules in the Green Formulator’s Kit “Above all else, do no harm”, wrote Hippocrates 2400 years ago. This, more than … Continued

GOOD Ingredients

Previous “Ingredient of the Month” columns have focused on topical ingredients to avoid, generally petrochemical based materials and specific preservatives like Triclosan™ and Butyl Parabens. Let’s talk some GOOD ingredients to look for, like plant-based vegetable oils. Remember; “Good ingredients” … Continued

Antimicrobial Chemicals (Part 1)

In this column we will continue to explore Green Chemistry and how it impacts the transition to a more sustainable society. This month’s focus is on antimicrobial chemicals. The word “antimicrobial” is regulated by the FDA. They control the meaning … Continued

Synthetic Chemicals

Welcome to another addition of our mini course in Green Chemistry. I cannot guarantee that paying attention to the synthetic chemicals around you will give you a longer or healthier life. I can however guarantee that if you do NOT … Continued