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Could The UK be Facing A Cosmetics Shortage?

A shortage of a vital chemical used in a wide range of cosmetic products could mean that the UK may face a shortage of everyday cosmetic products such as shampoo, fake tan, and even eczema cream.

Ethoxydiglycol, a chemical widely used in cosmetic products, has seen prices skyrocket due to the shortage, going from £12.10 per kg to almost ten times the amount, £103 per kg in recent weeks, reports The Guardian.

The chemical, which has been described as an ‘unsung hero’ of cosmetics, improves how the products are applied to the skin. Ethoxydiglycol is widely used in cosmetic products because it is soluble in both oil and water-based products, such as propylene glycol, water, vegetable oil and ethanol. Without ethoxydiglycol, many cosmetics would be unusable.

Many suppliers in the UK and EU are now out of stock, and those who do have ethoxydiglycol have set a minimum order quantity, which has increased from 24kg to 1,000kg, driving up the price for a minimum order to £103,000, which is too expensive for many smaller companies to buy.

Online pharmacy, Medicine Direct, said that the shortage will have a massive impact on makeup, fake tan, hair dye, shampoos, fragrances, anti-ageing and skincare products and manufacturers, and could also affect manufacturers of eczema creams.

Diane Higham, managing director of fake tan supplier, said that the company ‘quietly’ produces some of the UK’s largest fake tanning brands, but they are desperately trying to source ethoxydiglycol, and the shortages have impacted their production line.

Without the ingredient fake tan products will not have the same hold and quality that they normally possess, she added

For fake tan to remain on the skin and be resistant to water, the product must be able to absorb into the skin effectively. Without a good solvent, this may not be the case.”

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