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OMG it’s hard not to get mad sometimes…

July 20, 2019

Ok so this post may make my business flop like a lead balloon but hey, let’s give it a go anyway.

These are the Angry Beavers. The image was found on Wikipedia and is attributed here. 

It’s hard not to get mad sometimes because:

  1. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and I’ve seen people that I’ve ‘trained’ in a one or two day course start calling themselves ‘cosmetic chemists’ or ‘cosmetic formulators’ even though I know that my short course plus lots of ‘google research’ is all they have done.  No industry experience, no science background, no scale-up knowledge. Now I know I’m a decent teacher but the laws of physics are stacked against me when it takes some 10,000 hours to become expert enough to consult and there are only 48 hours in two days…
  2. I’ve had to sit through customers telling me things about chemicals using the exact words I’ve written on here, as if they thought them up, when I know they have been reading my work, without even acknowledging it.  BTW I don’t need the acknowledgement for my ego but it’s actually good manners to give a nod to those that have helped you become so bloody smart 🙂
  3. I’ve seen brands that I’ve developed products for go out and sell their products as something they are not (natural, organic, vegan etc) even after we’ve had discussions about these very things so I know that they know that their products are not these things. This upsets me to be honest, it’s not like anyone will die because of this. Also, as  ingredients are listed on product labels, most customers could fathom this for themselves with a little effort. However it does annoys me that people would be so blatantly disrespectful to their market.
  4.  I have worked with people who want to develop a product who send me information to review from people who they look up to but I know that have NOT THE FIRST CLUE in how to successfully make and scale a cosmetic product.  This leaves me in a predicament, do I look like a bitch for saying ‘oh but that person isn’t really qualified and the information they have given you is not that good’ or do I just lie and say ‘I’ll consider this’ or do I burn down the whole universe?
  5. I have had people who market themselves as product developers ask me for advise on the simplest of things ‘how do I measure the pH, it is necessary’  type of stuff when they are developing products for PAYING CLIENTS.  Now not only is it cheeky to ask me for my advise for free on this when they are making money out of giving this advice back to their customers, they shouldn’t be calling themselves that if they are asking this type of question! It would be like a tiler if grout is really that essential.
  6. I’ve had brands argue with me about my stability testing protocol, saying that I take too long and that if I only increased the temperature a bit I could get it done in half the time when clearly they don’t understand that their whole emulsion struggles to get through at 40C let alone 50 and that most natural systems will oxidise terribly at that temp. Sure, we used to use 50C acceleration when formulations were mineral oil based because you can’t kill something twice (mineral oil is already dead) but organic cosmetics are another thing entirely…
  7.  I have sadly come across too many brand owner who only care about money, not about the quality of their product range. Now this is just business and I understand that but it still makes me feel a bit angry so I don’t tend to work with these people.
  8. I’ve seen brand owners who KNOW THE LAW with regard to product claims but still claim that their cosmetic product can cure, treat or help customers manage health conditions. This is seriously not cool, especially when I get new customers who hold these brands up as benchmarks and I have to say ‘no, you can’t legally say that’. Again, I’m left feeling like a dick head (my feelings are my own responsibility, yes I know that but…) because I can’t endorse this illegal behaviour. Why that makes me feel bad I don’t know, maybe therapy will help!
  9. Then I’ve had customers argue with me about the law after asking me about the law and me showing them the law.  That really is a hard one not to blow a gasket over.  I mean, I don’t make the law but if you ask me a question and I answer it WITH EVIDENCE please do not argue with me about it, go get a lawyer if you want to try your luck at breaking or manipulating said law.  May the (police) force be with you.
  10. Finally (for now hahahahaha) I have customers who tell me that they advice I gave them is wrong and that the advice they got from their other source (could be google, could be a Facebook group, could be another course provider) is better, mainly because it agrees with their currently held beliefs of how things should be. Now this only makes me mad to a point, at the end of the day I can sometimes be wrong and I actually don’t mind that as I am genuinely interested in learning and developing further. However, when customers tell me I’m wrong and I know 100% that I’m not and that their version of reality will turn out really badly for them I get mad. Not because the customer burst my ego bubble (In spite of this post being quite anger-filled I don’t really), more because I’m angry that people can’t recognise the value of different perspectives on an issue and how experience can give you some insights that people on a home-crafted Facebook forum maybe hadn’t ever imagined. Anyway, you get the picture.

At the end of the day my business is fun, my customers are mostly lovely and I genuinely love what I do so it is all worth it. However, what I sell science in the form of testing, formulating, article writing and trouble shooting. I don’t sell popular opinions, gut feelings, hunches or celebrity endorsed trends.  It does annoy me from time to time that people seem to be finding it harder to pick qualified input from opinion and don’t forget, they only get my input when they ask for it-I don’t lurk in forums handing out ‘wisdom’ to make myself feel important all day and night.  I am investing in turning my annoyance into more qualifications. I figured that maybe people need better teaching so hopefully my masters degree in chemistry teaching will help out there. If not, at least it’s fun for me to learn.

Before I go, if you have read that and thought ‘OMG what a bitch’ then that’s also a bit sad but I get it, it’s not nice to say bad stuff about people.  However, if you have read this, please do reflect on the spirit that I wrote it in. That is as a consultant who works behind the scenes to make your brand better. I am not trying to become the next famous person, celebrity brand owner, celebrity chemist or whatever, I don’t like the spotlight enough for that.  Sure that doesn’t mean I am justified in being mean or saying hurtful things  but in a world that is anti-science I think some resistance is warranted.



PS: I know I’m not perfect either but this post isn’t about that. Maybe one day I’ll write another post about everyone that thinks I suck but today is not that day 🙂

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