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Oh no, we can’t use THAT! The down side of a perception led market

February 18, 2013

Want to know a little secret?  Well,  after years of science nerdery I can’t help but get a little excited when I read things like this:


  • Very high bio-renewable content (wow, that’s envirotastic)
  • Forms gels with low-polar liquids (wow, that means I can thicken oils and make amazingly awesome lip products, moisturising gels and baby oils. No need for that most precious of resources ‘water’ which means higher efficiency, lower carbon footprint, less packaging etc etc etc all good).
  • Water repellent agent, film former, SPF enhancer, colour dispersing ability (OH MY GOD does it get any better).

And I call the guys up to get me some.

But then I realise that good old chemical X, this eco warrior (yes the back data does stack up really, really well) has a terribly  un-green sounding name and I go:

‘You know what, forget it’

while my brain boils at the craziness of this science-based industry.  Balls to that,  this isn’t science. This is a a perception led marketing vehicle for some cashed-up chemophobic crazy nutbag of a group of nobodies who like people to think that they are ‘saving the planet’.  Bah humbug.

The chemical that I am talking about here is actually called ethylenediamine/stearyldimer dilinoleate copolymer and while that sounds like some petrochemical ticket to cancer town it isn’t.

The chemical that I am talking about is made from pine pulp in a highly efficient, no solvent or nasties,  totally waste-to-useful product way and it is taking the mass market by storm but you won’t find it in many organic or natural formulations. Why?  Because of the name.

Before you say ‘yes well this does sound particularly nasty’  I do get it.

I get the importance of brand perception.

Of marketing.

Of simplicity.

Of familiarity.

Of ‘safe’ cosmetics.

But I am also painfully aware of the problems that our industry contributes to – over-use of resource, dirty chemical factory rubbish and pollution, toxic catalysts and by-products,  throw-away culture, consumerism etc.

So what do I want you to do?

Well nothing really.  Nothing and everything.

I would like people reading this to just think for a moment about how they might go about thinking through and actually investigating the ‘safety’ of this ingredient should they happen across it in their freshly-purchased lipstick or body oil?

If you are tempted to say to yourself ‘well, that’s just too hard. I can’t be bothered’ maybe you could sit with that thought and weigh it up against your environmental personality, your personal and family health ideals or your financial goals.

To help you I will tell you that I could use this chemical in place of several petrochemical based non-biodegradable thickeners, dispersing agents and film formers all of which are used in large volumes across hundreds of different products.


This one chemical can’t and won’t save the world but it isn’t a bad place to start but I can’t use it if you won’t buy products containing it.

Here is the link to their website so you can have a look for yourself.

and here is their Arizona Chemical_ Bio-Renewable Solutions. In my experience the team are very open to questions and are more than willing to answer questions.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2013 9:54 am

    This sounds awesome I hope they start using it.

  2. February 20, 2013 10:34 am

    Great post! It does seem like perception is reality when it comes to marketing green cosmetics. I’m curious though, do you have the specifics of how this ingredient is processed from pine pulp? I’d be surprised if there weren’t a few “nasties” involved somewhere along the line since this is a polymerized product.

  3. RealizeBeautyEd permalink
    February 22, 2013 10:40 am

    Hi Randy, I have added their bio-renewable solutions booklet which talks a bit more about the products and process. If you have more questions I’d not hesitate to give them a call as they are very helpful.

  4. Courtney Ball permalink
    January 25, 2014 12:37 pm

    I really appreciate your blog. I would like to use this chemical to make a lip balm with goat milk in it. What do you think of that?
    Also, I came across this lady’s review

    And as you can see she doesnt speak too highly of it. I researched the full chemical you’ve talked about in this article and it has been deemed skin-friendly and of no concern… so where is this lady coming from?

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      January 25, 2014 2:37 pm

      Hi there Courtney,

      I have no idea why you would want to put that into a lip balm as it would serve no good purpose and isn’t a cosmetic ingredient. It is sometimes used in the manufacture of polymers for skin conditioning which may be suitable but they don’t share the same properties as the above. I have no idea why the truth in ageing people have reviewed it as a cosmetic additive and where you have been to get info to show that it is safe. Both are a bit odd in my opinion. Let me know if you are intending to use one of the polymers and I’ll look at that for you.


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