You’ve probably heard about all the hidden chemicals and health risks surrounding so many of the beauty and skin care products on the market, but what exactly are they and will you ever be able to put on that baby lotion or your eye cream again in peace without wondering if you’re poisoning your body? I have got you sorted there.
I have decided to use my precious spare time to write comprehensive yet simple reviews of products specially baby stuff so that together we are equipped to make the right choices.
The below three words will often be used hence I have given their meaning here. Most of the ingredients in this review fall into either of these categories.
- Emollient : A preparation that softens the skin by reducing water loss from the epidermis, the outer layer of skin.
- Petroleum : An oily flammable liquid,which occurs in many places in the upper strata of the earth, and can be extracted and refined to produce fuels including petrol, paraffin, and diesel oil.
- Emulsifier :Two or more liquids together create an emulsion if the liquids do not mix. For example, if you add oil to water, the oil floats on the surface of the water. To stop the two liquids separating, we need a substance called an emulsifier.
You should know that any label reads the ingredients in the descending order of their quantity. i.e the first ingredient is used in the highest amounts and the last ingredient, the least.
Let’s get straight to the ingredients , what they are and whether you should use the final product.
1. PARAFINNIUM LIQUIDUM: Rating: GOOD
Simply another name for emollient ingredient mineral oil. This term is acceptable to use on cosmetic ingredient lists, but should ideally be followed by “(mineral oil)”.
Despite mineral oil’s association with petroleum and the hype that it’s bad for skin or ages it, keep in mind that petroleum is a natural ingredient derived from the earth. Once it’s purified to become cosmetics and pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil, it has no resemblance to the original petroleum and isn’t a source of contaminants.
2. PETROLATUM: Rating: GOOD
It is a rich emollient ( think VASELINE) and FDA(The Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services )-approved skin protectant. It is one of the best ingredients for dry to very dry skin. Although derived from crude oil (thus making petrolatum a natural ingredient), it is highly purified prior to being used in cosmetics, so there’s no risk of exposure to unwanted chemicals.
For some unsubstantiated reason and despite solid research to the contrary, petrolatum has attained a negative image in regard to skin. Topical application of petrolatum can help replenish, soothe and beautifully moisturize skin’s outer layer. Extensive clinical data has shown petrolatum to be a gentle ingredient.
3. GLYCERINE : Rating : EXCELLENT
Glycerine is a humectant, meaning that it attracts water. When glycerine is applied to the skin, it seals in moisture that might otherwise escape. Glycerine is present in all natural lipids (fats), whether animal or vegetable. It can be derived from natural substances and can also can be synthetically manufactured.
Glycerine has always raised the question as to whether or not they take too much water from skin. Pure glycerine (100% concentration) on skin is not helpful and can actually be drying. For this reason, glycerine is always combined with other ingredients to soften skin. Glycerine combined with other emollients and/or oils is a fundamental cornerstone of most moisturizers and thus Mothercare has got it right here.
4. CETYL ALCOHOL: Rating : GOOD
It is simply fatty alcohol used as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener, and carrying agent for other ingredients. It is not an irritant and is considered safe for use in cosmetics.
5. GLYCERYL STEARATE: Rating: GOOD
A mixture of portions of glycerin and stearic acid used as an emollient and emulsifier.
6. PHENOXYETHANOL :Rating: GOOD
Common cosmetics preservative that’s considered one of the least sensitizing for use in formulations. Phenoxyethanol is approved worldwide for use up to a 1% concentration. Interestingly, although the phenoxyethanol used in skincare products is almost always synthetic, this chemical occurs naturally in green tea. In short,it is considered a safe and effective preservative when used in amounts approved for use in leave-on or rinse-off cosmetics products.
7. POLYSORBATES :Rating: GOOD
Simply put, Polysorbate ingredients help other ingredients to dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve.Considered safe!
8. PEG compound :Rating: GOOD
PEG is an acronym for Polyethylene glycol. Common PEG ingredients include the thickening and emulsifying agent PEG-100 stearate and they function as emollients or binding agents.
9. DIMETHICONE: Rating : Good
A type of silicone, dimethicone is one of the most frequently used emollient ingredients in moisturizers due to its gentleness and effectiveness.Applied to skin, dimethicone forms a permeable barrier that works to prevent moisture loss and impart a wonderfully silky feel.
10. PARFUM ( Fragrance) : Rating : POOR
Represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients that impart aroma and odor to products. These are often skin sensitizers . It’s sad ‘Mothercare’ incorporated them in a baby product.
11. IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA :Rating: AVERAGE
Imidazolidinyl urea is considered a formaldehyde-releasing preservative. (Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature and has a strong odor. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause adverse health effects.) Although that sounds scary, the amount of formaldehyde released is well below the limits for safe exposure.
12. DISODIUM EDTA : Rating: GOOD
Used as a chelating agent in cosmetic products, meaning it prevents ingredients in a formula from binding with trace elements (mainly minerals) that can be present in water. Studies have found that EDTAs as used in cosmetic formulations are safe.
13. BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE : Rating: BEST
It’s a synthetic sunscreen ingredient that provides broad-spectrum sun protection by absorbing aging UVA rays.
14. ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER :Rating: GOOD
A synthetic ingredient used to enhance the texture of skincare and haircare products.
15. XANTHAN GUM:Rating: GOOD
Natural ingredient used as a thickening agent, texture enhancer, and used for mixing of unlike substances such as oil and water.
16. OLEA EUROPAEA(OLIVE) fruit oil :Rating: GOOD
Olive oil is beneficial for dry skin because of its fatty acid content. It also contains compounds that provide antioxidant benefit.
This plant oil maintains a low potential for sensitivity.When olive oil is mixed in a formula in small amounts with other beneficial ingredients, you get the benefit of its slip and emollient properties along with some antioxidant benefit. The negative effects of olive oil are apparent only when used alone on skin. Think twice before massaging your baby with Olive oil alone!
17. CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA flower extract : Rating: BEST
Chamomile has moderate antioxidant activities and studies indicate it is has potent skin-soothing action, among other benefits.
However, If you’re allergic to plants in the daisy family, you may need to avoid products that contain chamomile.
18. SODIUM HYDROXIDE: Rating: AVERAGE
It is used in small amounts in cosmetics to establish and hold the pH of a product. In high concentrations, it’s a significant skin sensitizer. But here in this lotion ,it is used in small quantities as listed as the second last ingredient.
19. CI 17200red 33 and yellow 5 : Rating: GOOD
Safe coloring agents.
Please note that the first ingredient listed on the product is AQUA( Water). Now,if you look at all the 20 ingredients, 16 are rated as good or extremely good , two ingredients are average and only one is rated as poor, so overall this product is a winner !
√ It is lightweight and absorbs easily. The MRP is around 299 INR for 300 ml but you get in on 50% off during the sale period! It has a shelf life of 3 years . I would say , don’t be afraid of the intimidating ingredient names and go ahead and buy this lotion for your baby if you are a fan of Mothercare or are looking for a basic moisturizer for your baby!
♥I hope this post helped clear some of your doubts regarding the common ingredient names. Let me know if it did in the comments below.