Wednesday, October 11, 2006

San Francisco 30-somethings clean up with Method dish soap

SF Chronicle, 10/08/06.

In 2000, two men in their then-twenties decided to transform the stodgy old household soaps and detergent business. Today, their business (Method Home) has been recognized as the seventh fastest growing private company in America by Inc. Magazine. Their current revenue is about $45 million a year.

What they did: they took a look at the detergent aisles in the grocery store and thought "yawn!". The bottles looked outdated, stodgy and just no fun. They then packaged a natural dish soap in a neat bottles and they spiced it up with new, cool scents.

When they started out, they went door-to-door, getting in the face of grocery store buyers as they came in to work in the wee hours of the morning. Once the product was on the shelves, they personally restocked and did in-store demos.

Their big break came in 2002 when they were signed on with Target. They partnered with one of the high end industrial designers to come up with new packaging and pitched the idea to Target.

Now that they are being knocked off more and more, they have lost a little of that which set them apart. So they are going back to their roots of also being a "green" and "good for you" product.

Check out their products at www.methodhome.com.

My take-away from this post: expect to have to reinvent yourself over and over. You may be fresh and unique at first, but competition will always run after your profits. Enjoy the race and enjoy the competition.

And, if you are looking for interesting new products for your own creative endeavor, be sure to let us know at www.tkbtrading.com.

Kaila Westerman

Asian American Makeup Artist creates her own cosmetic line

SF Chronicle, 06/04/06. Taylor Pham, a local Vietnamese-American woman worked as a makeup artist specializing in wedding makeup. Then she got the idea to create her own line.

Her line is called Thi (pronounced "tea") and may be viewed at www.thicosmetics.com. It includes shadows, blush, lipstick, gloss and brushes. While the color palette is limited, the packaging and formulation are designed to be luxurious. In particular, the line is geared to suit the Asian woman.

Pham's efforts reflect the trend toward boutique "prestige" makup brands. According to industry experts, growth in these brands is very strong.

One thing that makes her stand out is an invention for which she has "patent pending" status. The invention is a unique type of false eyelashes specifically for the Asian eye. More than 5000 were sold in the first three weeks they came out, at $15 a pop.

Pham also worked to develop her own line of brushes which work particularly well to accent the Asian eye.

I think the take away from this post is that if you develop your own line, coming up with an idea, an invention or something that otherwise sets you apart from the crowd is very important. In the case of Pham, for example, her unique false eye lashes got the attention of professionals and made them curious about her other products.

If you are interested in making your own cosmetic line, don't forget to check out all the goodies that we sell at www.tkbtrading.com!

Kaila Westerman

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

NY Times Article on Mineral Makeup

Read an article this weekend by Christina Valhouli of The New York Times. Here are the hilights that grabbed me:
  • Urban Decay now has a line (called Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup)
  • Neutrogena and Physician's Formula also now have mineral makeup lines
  • MAC is reissuing its Mineralize line
  • Prestige mineral makeup brands now account for 4% of the cosmetics market in the US, which is double from when it first came out
  • QVC (cable shopping network) more than 12.5 million units of Bare Escentuals have been ordered since 1998. Since late 2002, QVC sales have increased 217%
  • Price Points: Urban Decay and ColoreScience from $28 - $55 for foundation. Jane Iredale is $48. i.d. bareMinerals is $25. Neutrogena and Physicans Formula are around $12.
  • The term Mineral Makeup was coined in 1977 by Diane Ranger, the founder of Bare Escentuals who is now the founder and president of ColoreScience.
  • Jane Iredale claims the following as her customers: Madonna, Condoleezza Rice and the cast of "The View".

For many of your raw ingredient needs to craft your own mineral makeup, be sure to visit our site, www.tkbtrading.com (www.wholesalecolors.com).

Kaila Westerman

Friday, August 25, 2006

Website Development: Consider Salonbuilder.com

I started TKB Trading, LLC the same year as EBAY. Ahhh, those were the days!

Back then, Paypal didn't exist and many websites didn't take credit cards (you had to mail a check in with your order). Customer expectations were low. It didn't matter so much if your photographs were hard to see, your content was in pink-colored script or if your shopping experience lacked such functionalities as wish lists or order tracking. Heck, none of us even new what wish lists were!

Things are sure different today. And it strikes me that someone just starting out might find it all very overwhelming.

That's why I wanted to pass along to you a program which I found recently. I think it will appeal to a certain segment of my customers who are just getting started. I have absolutely no affiliation with the program, and we don't use it here at TKB Trading, but it is one option to consider.

The program is Salonbuilder.com. As of this writing, you can try it free for 30 days and after that it is $29.00 per month for the bare bones package. I think anyone serious about selling online might also want to upgrade to add the ecommerce package for an additional $9.50 per month and possibly the photo gallery ($7.50 per month extra).

You can view a website which uses both of these functionalities here: http://www.naturalbalancemassage.com/.

Anyway, this is just a link I'm passing along.

In the meantime, for all your color needs, please keep visiting us here at www.tkbtrading.com!

Be well!

Kaila Westerman

Monday, July 10, 2006

Foster Pets Are Good for Your Business (and you!)


The recent issue of the trade magazine Art Materials Retailer (easily found online at www.artmaterialsretailer.com) has an article about the benefit of having pets in your shop to make your customers more relaxed and eager to visit your shop. Additionally, they believe that having pets in the shop can relax and entertain the staff as well!

We couldn't agree more! While TKB Trading doesn't really have a shop for browsing in, we do have some folks who come by for "will call" pickup. We also have one staff member with strong mood swings (also known as Kaila) who needs regular stress intervention.

But rather than commiting to the responsiblity of a company pet, we enjoy fostering animals in neeed for short bursts of time. This allows us to a) do good, and b) not do good 24/7, just as time and space allows.

Our first bundles of love were three kittens with us for less than 48 hours before they were adopted. Next came three siamese mixes named Cricket, Bucket and Sweetie. We hosted them for about six weeks.

A few months ago, we grabbed the opportunity to foster Cookie, a Katrina Hurricane refugee with heartworm. Cookie (pictured above begging for a walk) was with us for about six months. (Lucky her, she was later adopted by a writer for Bark Magazine, a magazine devoted to modern Dog Culture).

Thanks to the article in Art Materials Retailer, we've been inspired to put in a call to our local resuce organization (www.hopalong.org) for more kittens. So, if you see little pawprints on your invoices in the next few weeks, you'll know that we've added a couple of furballs to our staff -- for the moment.

Won't you consider fostering a needy pet? It really is a short term commitment and can really bring good energy to your business, as well as save an animal's life.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Air Cleaners


The air cleaner that we use here at TKB Trading, LLC is the Friedrich C-90B Electrostatic Air Cleaner, which runs about $450 - $500.

This is an expensive air cleaner for "consumer level" (as opposed to even more spendy "industrial level") products. It is also somewhat bulky and not particularly attractive. But we really like it because it seems to be quite effective at keeping the air in our studio fresh, it doesn't have a huge energy demand, and it is easy to clean.

The fact that there are no filters to purchase and constantly replace was a big seller for us because we generate a lot of dust. You simply remove two pull-out filters and rinse them down with water before replacing them. We wash ours about once a week and always "ooh and ahh" over the amount of particulants that we send down the drain instead of breathe into our lungs.

Also, the unit received a #1 ranking by Consumer Reports (when compared to other consumer level machines).

The machine only really works in about 500 square feet of space, so we actually have a couple of them. We don't run them during the day, because they would be noisy and also they blow fresh air which can actually kick up more dust in our powder studio. Instead, we switch them on every night and let them do their duty while we sleep.

For more information, type the product name into a search box and browse the net. As of this posting, www.sylvane.com was offering the unit with free shipping at $489 each. At that site, there is a lot more detailed information about the product.

Hope this Helps!

For more information about our company and products, visit www.tkbtrading.com or www.wholesalecolors.com.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How to Make Eyeshadow

The colored micas that we sell can be used "as-is" as eyeshadow.

However, you can save money and actually improve the adhesion and feel of the colored mica by extending it with a filler. The cheapest filler that we sell is Kaolin Clay. At $6 per pound (as of this post), that makes it a super-inexpensive filler. It also adds adhesion to the colored mica.

Other fillers which we recommend include: magnesium stearate, boron nitride, talc, silica microspheres, ronasphere, authentic silk powder and bismuth oxychloide.

Any time you mix a colored mica with a filler, you will change the look of the powder. Typically, the additives will make the colored mica less intense in hue and sometimes less shimmery. This can be a good thing, if it is what you want. You have to experiment.

For example, in the photo above, the color to the far right which is deepest in hue is our Deep Blue mica "as is". Below and to the left is the color mixed with equal amounts of our Authentic Silk Powder. You can see it becomes somewhat more matte, more translucent, and duller. Above and to the left is the color mixed with equal amounts of our Boron Nitride. It retains more of the shimmer and opacity, but it is also paler.

If you used less filler (in our examples it is equal parts filler to colored mica) the result would be a darker, more vibrant hue. You just have to experiment!

The easiest way to do your experimenting is to spoon your colored mica into a small zip lock bag (we sell 2" x 2" bags for this purpose) and then spoon in your filler. Then, zip the bag closed and mix by mushing between your fingers.

When you are doing this, start with a measured amount of colored mica and then add a small amount of filler to it (for example, start with 1 teaspoon of colored mica and add only 1/16th of a teaspoon of filler). Mush and then test it on your skin. Look for color, slip (how it feels going on), sheen (how shiny it is), and translucency. Slowly add more filler in small amounts, as you desire.

You may have heard that you should mix the products with a small grinder such as a coffee bean grinder or bud grinder (a handheld machine used to grind "herbs"). While this is a good idea if you are using pure oxides and ultramarines (heavier, more intense colors), we don't recommend it when you are working with colored mica.

These machines damage the shine and brilliance of colored mica. Colored mica is specially manufacturered and that kind of blending (called "high shear") breaks the powder up and makes it duller. Since gentle mushing between your fingers is sufficient, we suggest it!

Finally, don't forget that you can use this technique to blend your own colors. For example, you could do a blend of the Deep Blue mica, Patagonia Purple mica and then some boron nitride. You can also use different kinds of fillers. For example, maybe you'll want to use a blend of boron nitride and bismuth oxychloride for your filler. You just have to play!

Hope this helps you get started playing with our colors! We sell our samples for an affordable price just for this purpose.

For more info, visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Coloring Lip Products

Lip products are essentially a blend of oil and wax. To that, we add color.

The 3 kinds of color products used in lipstick includes: dyes, pigments and mica.

When you think "dyes", think "food dye", because it is essentially the same thing. The good thing about dyes is that they are very intense and they actually stain the lips, making the color last longer. The down side is that most dyes are chemically manufactured (aniline dyes). Folk who want to sell only a natural lip product tend to avoid dyes. There are a handful of natural dyes, however, which are popular in lip products. Foremost among these is Carmine, a lovely red which, while natural, is unfortunately not vegan as it is derived from insects.

An example of a natural lip product company which uses Carmine would be Burt's Bees.

Pigments (typically the Oxides) are another color additive used in lip products. When you think pigments, think "like paint". They are opaque, and while they may also stain the lips a little, mostly they "sit" on the surface of the lips to impart color. This is why pigments are best in lipsticks, and OK but not so great in lip balms, which tend to come off quickly. Dyes are better in the balms.

Most lip products are actually a blend of dyes and pigments, using both to get the best of both worlds. In addition, people will add Mica. Mica is an uncolored mineral which imparts shimmer. Often people will purchase a colored mica (for example: Bronze) and use that to color their lip products. Colored mica is really just mica blended with either pigments, dyes or both. In the case of Bronze, for example, it is mica with iron oxide pigment.

Finally, you can also use the metallic color additives. We offer a great red color called Crucible Red which is made from copper.

How much color do you use in your formula?

The general rule of thumb is that colorants are 10-20% of the formula by weight. This assumes that you are working with a dye which is predispersed in castor oil (such as our liquid lip colors) and/or pigments and micas in powder form.

Here are some sample formulae:

1) 2.5% of our Ruby Liquid Lip Color, 2.5% of our Rose Liquid Lip Color, 15% of our Australian Amber Mica (in powder) mixed with 80% by weight of our pre-made Lipstick Base.

2) 1-1/2 tsp. Dye (powder form) or Iron Oxides, 1/2 tsp. colored mica add to 3 tablespoons premade lipstick or lip balm base.

For more info, visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Coloring Salts, Crystals and Salt Potpourri





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Making Salt Crystal Potpourri is a simple process. The trickiest part is the coloring of the crystals. You have 3 choices for colorings: Liquid Based, Glycerin Based or Mica Powders. The liquid based colorings will dry the best, glycerin will be a nice translucent coloring and Mica gives you opalescent options. You can also simply rinse the crystals for a "glass like" look.

Add Fragrance and Color. Lay the Crystals out on Parchment to dry. If you’re using liquid or glycerin colorants, an easy way to color the crystals is by wearing rubber gloves and rubbing the color on the crystals. Mica’s you will have to sprinkle then mist with your fragrance.
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The colorants we sell here at TKB are going to be either the “glycerin based” colors they mention or the “mica powders”. If you want “liquid based”, the simplest thing would be to go to the grocery store and purchase some food colors (if you don’t already have them in your kitchen!).

I have gone to our website and updated it so that if you type “salt dye” into our search box, you will get the colors which I recommend for your project. These colors are both the “glycerin based” liquid colors as well as a handful of unique micas that will add shimmer, shine and irridescence.

For the liquids, I suspect that 4 ounces of colorant will tint your 55 pound bag of salt to a medium shade. If you were also going to add mica to the product (and I do suggest you consider using both), you will probably need about 1/8th teaspoon per pound of salts, so it would take about an ounce or two of mica.

If I were putting together a trial order for myself, I think I would go with this:

Sample of each of the Salt Dyes (Yellow, Blue, Red and Fuchsia) for $6
Sample of liqud Teal Blue (a lovely green/blue) $1.50
Sample of the following micas: starlight blue, sparkle turquoise, sparkle violet, starlight green, hilite gold, for $1.50 each or $7.50.

Total: $15 plus $5.50 for shipping = $20.50. But of course, you can always order more or order more variety.

Finally, here are some other instructions that I picked up in my research:
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Coloring Sea Salts: Be sure to use FD&C approved, or herbal, colorants for bath salts. It is recommended scenting the salts first and then coloring. Once you mix in the color, let sit in a sealed container overnight. The color will disperse for a more even coverage.

How to use: the crystals can be colored with mica or liquid coloring. To color, place the crystals in a sturdy plastic zipper bag, add the mica or colorant and shake until the crystals are coated to your liking. Mist with fragrance oil or essential oil as desired and spread out on parchment paper to dry. For a more translucent appearance, the crystals can be rinsed with water and air dried prior to coloring and scenting. They’re pretty when used in their natural state too.

Hope this helps!

For more info, visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mineral Makeup for Women of Color

06/22/06 UPDATE. After posting this, I received an email from a woman who had followed our link to Ada Cosmetics in order to make a purchase. Her experience was frustrating and she asked me to advise potential customers of that fact. While her money was refunded on a lost or never sent shipment, the process of communicating with the company was not to her satisfaction and she felt it was completely unprofessional.

So . . . . now that you have read my warning, here is the original post:

A new line of mineral makeup catering to the ethnic market has been announced. Please visit www.adacosmetics.com to view their 18 unique foundation shades and other products. I don't know the owner of this company, but I wish her well. It is a market that is definitely underserved with regard to the mineral makeup products.

Be sure to visit our site at http://www.wholesalecolors.com/ (or http://www.tkbtrading.com/).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Color Trouble Shoot #2: How to Adjust Colors

Adjusting a product's color as a last step in processing is not uncommon at all -- people in industry do it all the time. It's kind of the nature of the business.

The first step is to first figure out in what way a the color of your product is off. The big guys use computers and sensors for this and have very precise ways of measuring hue. We have to depend on our eyeballs and a good sense of color.

Here is what we do at TKB Trading, but it is not the only way to handle things.

Let's say we make a foundation which has a very simple recipe of: 10 grams titanium dioxide white, 20 grams sericite mica, 4 grams yellow oxide, 1 gram red oxide (this is just for discussion, please don't run out and make this foundation as I have no idea what it will look like).

The "Base" of this recipe is the titanium dioxide and the mica. The "Color" is the yellow and red.

We start by mixing together the base ingredients. Typically, we will mix more than what we need (in this case we'd mix twice the amount, 20 grams of white and 40 grams of mica). We measure out what we need (10 grams of white and 20 of mica) and set the extra aside in a zip lock bag.

Next Steps: we mix together the colors; we add the colors to the base ingredients; we compare the results with the original sample that we are trying to match. To compare, we may use any of the tests which I discussed in the Color Troubleshoot #1 post.

If we determine that the color is, say, too red, then clearly we need to add yellow. But to just add pure yellow oxide directly to the batch we are working on could be a disaster. Pigments are very intense and it is easy to add too much color.

Instead, we take some of the pre-made, set-aside Base and to it we add some yellow. For example, we might take 5 grams of base and add to it 2 grams yellow. The result is kind of a "color corrector" of yellow.

We then add small amounts of this "color corrector" yellow to our batch, little by little, keeping careful notes all the while.

I hope this gives you some ideas for how to make color adjustments on your own. If you come up with suggestions, feel free to share.

Be sure to visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Color Trouble Shoot #1: How to Test for Color Variations

As suppliers of raw materials, we try to make sure that our products are consistent batch to batch. But that doesn't mean that we always succeed. Once we received 100 pounds of a brown oxide which was definitely more red than the "old brown". Another time, we received a titanium dioxide white which was heavier than the "old white".

The result in both cases was frustration for our customers who found their finished products were "off-color" as a result. (In the industry, we call this being "Off-Spec", short for "Off Specification").

Receiving raw materials which are Off-Spec is not as uncommon as you think. So, I recommend that when you come up with a formula you like, you make a point of keeping samples of each of the raw materials used in the formula, as well as a sample of the finished product. Label these and set them aside in a safe place so that you can refer to them in the event that you run into problems.

The day that you find your formula is turning out completely Off-Spec, go back and pull out these samples. Then look at the raw materials you used in your new, Off-Spec batch. Then compare. Here are are some of the tests that we use:

  1. Visual. Usually, you can just look at the color and see a difference. In the case of our Off-Spec Brown, it was obvious.
  2. Touch. Sometimes the product feels different. In the case of our Off-Spec White, the color looked the same, but it felt heavier. We confirmed this by weighing 1 teaspoon of the old and new and finding a significant difference.
  3. Draw Down Test. This is useful when comparing colors. Take a small amount of each sample and put them side by side on a sheet of white paper. Using a palette knife, press hard and then pull the knife down the page (do each color one at a time). By doing this, the difference in color sometimes becomes more obvious.
  4. Paint Down Test. Similar to the Draw Down, take a small amount of each sample and wet each with water and then draw the color down just as if you are painting a line.
  5. Whiteout Test. This test is also useful when comparing colors. Take a small amount of each sample and add it to a larger amount of titanium dioxide white, or a similar whitener. Whitening the colors really makes the differences "pop".

The purpose of these tests is to first of determine that there is a difference, and then secondly to figure out what the difference is. You are looking to determine if there are differences in intensity or hue (or both).

If the colors are different in intensity, they are essentially the same shade, one is just darker than the other. In this case, the fix is too use less of the darker color (or more of the lighter one).

If the colors are different in hue, they are essentially the same intensity, but they have a different shade. For example, the brown may be more red and less yellow. Or the blue may be more red and less violet. In this case, the fix is too adjust your recipe by adding a little bit of the missing hue. I cover how to do that in my next Blog Post.

Finally, and importantly, if you do not see a big difference in your colors or raw materials, you need to take a hard look at your manufacturing process. A big, big factor in variations batch to batch is how you mix your products. If you normally mix for 30 seconds, and then one day mix for 2 minutes, the shades are very likely to be different. If you normally mix in a small coffee bean grinder and then switch to larger batches in a blender, you are very likely to see changes. The changes in this case should mostly be related to "intensity", and can be adjusted by using less or more of your total color blend.

Be sure to visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Labeling your Mineral Makeup

Recently, a customer asked me this question:

I am creating a line of "multi purpose mineral cosmetics" with micas.
Let's say one of the colored micas contains mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, and ferric ferrocyanide. Does the ferric ferrocyanide have to be listed on the ingredients list?? Is that considered something that would be a "trace" ingredient, and therefore I'm not required to list it?? I see a lot of little mineral companies list on their sites: multi purpose minerals - contains mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides. May contain: chromium oxide green, ferric fero., etc.... , but it doesn't seem they list it on their products. Is this right?

Labeling of cosmetics is regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The laws require that your label do the following:

  1. State the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor
  2. Give an accurate statement about the quantity of the contents (e.g., "3 grams")
  3. Include any safe use and/or warning statements
  4. Include an Ingredient Declaration.

That last one, the Ingredient Declaration, has lots of exceptions and subrules, which can be confusing.

For example, flavors and fragrances can be listed in the Ingredients Declaration without mentioning their ingredients, instead you can just list them as "flavor" or "fragrance".

Another example: While you need to list the ingredients that are greater than 1 percent of the formula in descending order, you can group the "less than 1 percent" ingredients together and list them at the end in no particular order.

Color additives are another exception. These are listed at the end of the Ingredient Declaration, regardless of order of predominance. The FDA also allows colors to be listed in a "May Contain" phrase. This lets you have one label for multiple products that are the same, just different in hue (like several different foundations).

The best place to go for a full understanding of the rules and regulations is straight to the FDA website. They have a very easy to read "Cosmetic Labeling Manual".

Plan on spending about 30 - 45 minutes just sitting down and reading, browsing and learning. Because of the potential liability in "misbranding", you are ultimately going to have to rely on yourself to figure out how your labels should read. Your vendors (such as TKB Trading) can provide information and guidance, but they are never going to give you specific instructions.

The good news? It really is not that complicated nor difficult. The other good news: once you are done, you don't have to think about it again!

Be sure to visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

About MSDS Sheets

MSDS stands for "Material Safety Data Sheet". People often think that a MSDS sheet is an ingredients list. While it does disclose ingredients, this is not its purpose. Its purpose is to be an instruction sheet on how to safely handle the product.

The MSDS gives information such as "What do I do if I accidentally eat it, or get it into my eyes, or inhale it?" Or, "What do I do if I accidentally spill it, or start a fire with it?" Or, "Do I need to wear rubber gloves to handle it, or a face mask?" An MSDS describes the hazards of working with the material in an occupational fashion.

MSDS sheets are not meant for consumers; no OSHA (U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration) nor FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulation requires that you transmit them to consumers. MSDS sheets are meant for workers who handle your products, employers of those workers and emergency personnel (such as firefighters).

Therefore, let's say you make a line of mineral makeup foundations with three shades, "Ivory". "Beige" and "Caramel". Each foundation contains iron oxide, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and mica, in varying amounts.

If you are selling this line direct to the consumer, you do not need to create or provide an MSDS sheet.

If you have employees, however, you do need to create the MSDS sheets and keep them on file at your office, because OSHA requires that you make the information available to your employees.

If you are wholeselling the line to a retailer, then you must create and provide MSDS sheets for each of the three products. You may provide them as a hard paper copy, or you may provide them electronically. The retailer requires the MSDS sheet so that they are OSHA-compliant. Also, while not required by law, retailers like to be able to show them to consumers who are particularly interested in making sure they understand the product they are purchasing.

In the case of our three colors, Ivory, Beige and Caramel, each MSDS sheet would be exactly the same (except for the title), because they all have the same exact ingredients. The MSDS sheet does not require you to list the "percentages" of the ingredients, just the fact that they are in the product.

OSHA has a suggested format for MSDS sheets which you can download by clicking here. You may also wish to take a look at TKB Trading's MSDS sheets by clicking here.

For the complete, more-than-you-want-to-read compendium on MSDS sheets, I direct you to the following URL: The MSDS FAQ

The requirement for an MSDS sheet is not connected to the FDA requirement for consumer labels. That is a different topic entirely.

If any of these hyperlinks do not work, please let me know!

Be sure to visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).

Friday, January 06, 2006

Safe Cosmetics: a new law, a great organization, and a database to look at. If you are a cosmetics formulator, read this post!

In October, 2005, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a law that requires any company selling a personal care product in California that contains any ingredient that's a human carcinogen or reproductive toxin to disclose that to the Department of Health Services starting in 2007.

Personal care formulators don't like the law, because they feel it misleads consumers into thinking safe products are unsafe. For example, a product that is a potential carcinogen in powder form (because you inhale it) would not be in a liquid form (as in a shampoo or toothpaste). Yet, the company would still be required to disclose the fact that a potential carcinogen is in the liquid product.

The reporting information will not be on the product label, but it will be available online. For now, you can do some research at the Skin Deep website, which was created by an environmental NGO (non-governmental organization). Here is the URL: http://www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep/

Advocates of the law counter this by saying that having to make such disclosures will motivate companies to reformulate to make their products safer, and to make them rely less on known carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

200 companies have promised to do just that, including Body Shop, Kiss My Face, Burt's Bees, Avalon Natural Products, and Zia Natural Skin Care. The list of companies may be found at www.safecosmetics.org. This is a very interesting website and organization and if you manufacture cosmetics, I encourage you to visit it and consider participating. (For the industry response to this organization, visit www.cosmeticsaresafe.org).

Be sure to visit our site at www.wholesalecolors.com (or www.tkbtrading.com).
Hope you find all this helpful!