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Ingredient Labels Explained

By: Robert Manzo
Posted: May 28, 2013, from the June 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Before & After

Before: After weeks of cleansing with a waxy cleanser, there is no visible occlusion. After: Under UV light imaging, a heavy occlusive layer is visible.

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You will be able to identify most thickeners through root words, such as “carbomer,” “crosspolymer,” “polyacrylamide” and “gum.”

Water, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, laureth-23, laureth-4, petrolatum, dimethicone, ceteth-10, steareth-21, polaxmer 335, glycerin, polyacrylamide/C13-14 isoparaffin/laureth-7, bisabolol, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol,potassium sorbate, hexelyene glycol, fragrance

Lotion & cream realities

1. Perception is reality in lotion and cream formulations. Above all, the product must smell and feel good. A good cosmetic chemist will be able to formulate a product that functions properly, as well as has very good aesthetic features. If clients do not like the feel or smell of a product, they will not be compliant with its usage.

2. No matter the function of the lotion or cream (hydrating, anti-aging, acne, etc.), it is important to look for the occlusive/humectant moisturization blend of ingredients near the top of the ingredient list. Remember that the formula ingredients work best and most efficiently in skin if they are in the presence of water.

Lotion & cream myths

1. Did you ever have the client who had chronically dry skin, and no matter what you did, the skin stayed dry? There are two potential reasons for this. The first is that her barrier function had been impaired and transepidermal water loss remained high. Barrier repair active ingredients need to be applied to improve the lipids in the skin. The second is a perception issue. Clients, particularly women 40 and older, tend to have less sebum on their skin and it will feel dry. However, what is happening is that their skin is more rigid and less supple because of an absence of oil, which lubricates it. More moisturizing ingredients won’t help this client. Only by including sebum supplements, such as specific esters (capric/caprylic triglyceride) in the formulas, will skin become lubricated and relaxed so it feels more hydrated.

The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook is so much more than an ingredient dictionary. You will learn about cellular functions and skin aging; skin care trends for ethnic skin, scalp and hair products, BB creams, suncreens; active versus functional ingredients, natural, organic, and synthetic ingredients; OTC drugs; INCI names, antioxidants and DNA and how to read labels. Did we mention the newest ingredients are listed?

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