Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fun With Ingredients

This is my first try at deciphering the ingredients of a cosmetic product.

I am not that into all so natural, all so organic products. I wouldn’t be too particular, even though I have really sensitive skin that is allergic to common off-the-shelf brands, such as J&J, Neutrogena, Olay, Clarasil, and Shokubutsu. I feel these brands are generally more oily and potent. Unless I know that a particular ingredient is very obviously horribly poisonous, I will not try all means and search high and low for replacements.

But I just think that this would be a fun exercise.

I am using Laneige’s Professional Makeup Remover – Refreshing Cleansing Oil (for normal to oily skin types), as my example.


Pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, C12-15 alkly benzoate, Isopropyl palmitate, Pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated C6-14 olefin polymers, Peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate, dicaprylyl carbonate, Peg-8 isostearate, Betula alba Bark/leaf extract, Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, Glyceryl linoleate, Glyceryl linolenate, Glyceryl arachidonate, Fragrance.

Pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate – Nothing wrong reported.

C12-15 alkly benzoate - an emollient ester provides light conditioning with a silky-soft after feel. Use in shampoos, body wash, lotion sprays, body mist, body oils, massage oils, lotions, and creams. Perfect for use o­n sensitive skin or in baby products. Non-toxic, non-sensitizing, non-comedogenic and odorless. It is supplied as a clear, thin, slightly oily liquid and used at a typical use level of 1-15%.

Isopropyl palmitate - a palm oil based emollient, moisturizer, thickening agent, and anti-static.

Pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate - an emollient, binder, skin conditioning agent, and viscosity increasing agent. Further research reveals that it can be vegetable derived ester, and is a slightly yellowish liquid with good emulsification stability.

Hydrogenated C6-14 olefin polymers - film-forming agent, emollient, thickening and viscosity controlling agent.

Peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate - an organic compound used in skin care products to aid in stabilizing oil-in-water mixtures. It is also a skin conditioning agent that acts as a lubricant on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance.

Dicaprylyl carbonate - A soild, plant-derived fat. Sometimes referred to as the trademark name Cetiol® CC. A skin conditioner and emollient that works by providing a protective film and enhancing the skin’s lipid layer. It’s often categorized as a “dry emollient” because of its ability to moisturize the skin, making it feel soft and smooth without leaving a greasy residue behind. It has excellent spreadability, and leaves a dry, velvety feel to the skin similar to how a silicone would. Furthermore, it emulsifier easily and, has long-term emulsion stability and facilitates the application of slow spreading ingredients. For this reason, it’s often used in sunscreens containing ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, an ingredient that is notoriously difficult to spread over the skin. You can find this ingredient in various personal care products such as facial moisturizer/lotion, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment, rosacea treatment, eye cream, baby oil and cleanser.

Peg-8 isostearate – is probably a natural self-emulsifying polymer.

Betula alba Bark/leaf extract - Used as an infusion, decoction, extract and tincture. For chronic or severe skin problems, a decoction of birch bark is sometimes used as a wash or bath additive. The inner bark contains an oil which is sometimes substituted for wintergreen in liniment.

Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil - has a fine texture and is almost odorless, light in texture and is easily absorbed by the skin. It has great emollient properties, making it an ideal skincare and cosmetic ingredient, without leaving any tacky or oily residue on the skin. It has mildly astringent qualities, which help to tighten and tone the skin, making it a good cosmetic ingredient for anti-aging products. It is a light and finely textured oil and is non-comedogenic. Grape seed contains proanthocyanidins, which are very potent antioxidants; helpful for diminishing the sun's damaging effects and lessening free radical damage. Proanthocyanidins are also helpful in wound healing.

Glyceryl linoleate – seems to be a human irritant. An emulsifier.

Glyceryl linolenate – a solvent

Glyceryl arachidonate – emulsifier

Fragrance – read that all fragrances are “wrapped” by Pthalum, a mineral oil.

Verdict: All ingredients are as of current, found to be very safe.

In fact, I think this uses more emollient, which are ingredients that makes your skin soft and smooth, than emulsifiers. I am a little bit surprised, as this is cleansing oil, and is primarily supposed to have more emulsifiers, which in this case, only appear towards the end of the list.

No wonder I find it so good! I really like the clean and soft feel on my skin after rinsing it off.

Here are my references: (I hope they are reliable enough, as I have not yet gone through each of them thoroughly.)

This looks like the Materials Safety Data Sheet that I will need for FYP. It provides straightforward scientific information about cosmetic ingredients.

This looks like a site for you to explore cosmetic ingredients, so that you can formulate you own potions.

Seems like an all-rounded information site on body care and beauty, which is more user-pleasant. Looks good to visit again… …

This is another user-friendly site that investigates cosmetics ingredients. This site seems to have already evaluated the ingredients in all the common products. Looks like a MUST go back to read.

This shows some common cleansing oil ingredients.

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