Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ChapNews Volume 14: Lip Balm Lab

A few weeks ago the New York Times had a cute article about junior high girls taking a weekend seminar called Cosmetic Chemistry at Boston's Museum of Science. I would have loved this at that age.

Dr. Huang, whose mother used to work as a chemist who formulated shampoos, designed the course last year with fifth to seventh graders in mind. She wanted to pique young women’s interest in science by teaching them a bit of chemistry about everyday consumer items, she said.

To stoke the students’ curiosity for cosmetic ingredients, Dr. Huang simply invoked the gross-out factor.

“Cochineal beetles, if you squish them, give you a beautiful carmine red that is used in some lipsticks,” she said. “Why would you want to eat that, right? It’s gross.”

Not only do they get to learn about what's in the cosmetics, but they got to use the lab to make their own products.

Luci Proud, 12, of Braintree, Mass., decided to make vanilla lip gloss. Into her jar went a spoonful of coconut oil, a spoonful of petroleum jelly and a dollop of aloe vera. Ms. Proud, a seventh grader, said that she had decided to take the class because her mother had recently instituted an organic-only rule at home.

My favorite quote was from Ms. Cornelia Bendel, who after the seminar concluded,

“O.K., so there’s no pig fat in lipstick, but people are still spending hundreds of dollars on a tube of fatty goop,” she said. “You could just make that at home.”

Adorable! The Times also provided the lip balm recipe used in the lesson.

(Image via NYTimes)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really love these kind of post, plus it give home made ideas. =]

11:06 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

I'd sooner have some squished beetle on my lips than some horrible lab-made colour.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks like fun. Yeah, Cornelia is funny she makes me laugh a lot, she's my new friend.

10:12 AM  

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