Do You Use Your Own Products?

This is a silly question that came to my mind the other day.

How many of you chemist actually use products that you formulate? 
Do you make items specific to you/your family or do you purchase things from the store? 
Do you use products from colleagues?
Is your home filled with products or do you keep what you like/need and discard the rest?

;)) Just something I've wondered for a while now.



  • I do! i only use the ones that have been leftover from formulation trials but too good throw out!
  • Yes, I do, though I mostly make them for my family who suffers from severely dry skin because of frequent hand-washing or diabetes. My major skin problem is acne, but I can't get as fancy and nice with my at-home formulations as I want them.
  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    I formulate so many different products for my clients that I couldn't hope to use them all on a regular basis!  I have my favourites which suit my skin type. 

    I do also formulate specifically for myself, as I have very picky skin and do also give away some products.

    I seem to have accumulated quite a stock of miracare based body wash which will keep me going for a couple of years. 
    Jane Barber (free online course)
    Formulation discussion forum (18,000 members):
  • heraklitheraklit Member, PCF student
    Yes, all the leftovers. We don't buy any cosmetic - we use only the basics (soaps, shampoo, creams). And now I will start making and colognes also for us.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    I test new formulations on such a frequent basis that I have to throw out perfectly good items quite often. If someone comes to me with a particular problem I sometimes will formulate specifically for that person, but only if I believe I might be able to come up with an effective formula. My family and many relatives use our products.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • :)

    Since I started testing formulations, which is some 5-6 years now, i have had no need to buy creams. Good or bad (non-microbially challenged), I use the personally. 

    In fact, I sometimes take several showers, just to test the effect of different fragrances in shower gels. :D
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I tried and used all the formulas I worked on.  In fact, while I don't work for them any more I still use Tresemme and VO5.  It was strange the first time I had to go and actually buy the product.  As a formulator you got left over samples from QA or any batch you were working on.

    I know there were a number of formulators who didn't use the products they worked on.  It never made sense to me.

    An interesting tidbit...I believe in 2005 I had the most shampooed head in America.  I was working on reformulating the Tresemme Shampoo and Conditioner formulas plus evaluating every new raw material I could get my hands on.  My evaluation was to wash my hair and condition with every prototype.  That year I washed my hair about 1500 times. (We had a shower at work and I could got through 6 or 7 samples pretty quickly.

    I'm proof positive you can't wash your hair too much.  Of course your scalp will hurt like hell.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Yes, I do test and use each and every product I work on, at least once.

    No, I will not discuss how I tested products when I worked for Estee Lauder and Maybelline.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • @Perry I'm sure you memorized the key components of your VO5 formulas. Why not just make some for yourself at your new job?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Iaskedbetter - When you can buy VO5 for less than $1, making it for yourself doesn't make any sense even when you know the exact formula.  

    I couldn't possibly buy SLES, SLS, or Betaine for the prices that company was able to get.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    yes, I'm happy to be a guinea pig for my own products, except where it's not practical to do so (e.g. my hair is too short to style or comb, so I can't meaningfully evaluate conditioners or styling products); it also helps that I have no known allergies 

    in contrast, my old boss wouldn't even consider using anything until it had been run through all the tests and safety assessed, but by her own admission she was something of a hypochondriac
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • @Perry ....  1500 washes.... and your hair hasn't turned grey yet? :D
    I can just imagine how sore that scalp would be. If only the hair strands could talk, they would have carried placards in protest and claimed violation of their living rights.... :D

    I hope you haven't forgotten the "like" button.
  • I test everything myself and use only the hair care products I design and make. How else do you know how the consumer will experience the product? Plus it's great stuff!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @braveheart - lol!  I've only got a few gray hairs and I'm 46.  It's all about the genes.

    @CosChemFan - That's the spirit!
  • @Perry Did you get any dermatitis from washing your hair that often? I think mine would've.
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @Perry Since the cat is out of the bag can we see this now



  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @MichelleReece - I was lucky and didn't get dermatitis.  Guess I have good skin genes.
  • I use this stuff, basically to use it up, since I haven't been successful in marketing it -- .  When I was experimenting on the formula, I took a lot of baths, as well as putting solutions in my ears & up my nose!

    However, for washing myself I usually use Ivory soap or even cheaper stuff such as Silk brand from Abu Dhabi, because I find solid soap more convenient, even for hair washing.  If I move to where the water is "harder", I might switch.

    I have used samples colleagues wanted me to test or which were promotional, but I only use products of a general kind that I'd use anyway.  However, when I was trying to sell my foaming formula for use in foam dancing, I did try foam dancing at the Palladium night club with the material they were already using.

    I use all my homemade fireworks, because I wouldn't let them out of my sight, although I did have other people light them in my presence when I was somewhat disabled from plantar wart surgery.

    I used cis-4-methylaminorex obtained by a friend (who was promoting it as U4Euh), and wound up getting a patent on its method of use as a sinus decongestant.  I also used gamma-butyrolactone that a friend was using to make Na GHB, and found that it's actually better as a liquor substitute (in water tastes like bourbon, feels like booze w/o some of the latter's adverse effects) in cyclic form than saponified.  I was also among the first people outside General Foods to try their aspartame-sweetened Kool Aid, which may have been the first commercial use of NutraSweet, when Tom Borelli brought some into our class & we made it up in a volumetric flask.

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