This part of cosmetic ingredients is just as important for professional crafters of skin care products as is for amateurs (DIYers). Preservation ingredients make our products safe and antioxidants prevent rancidity, so they are both essential for healthy skin.
What’s the difference between these two?
PRESERVATIVES are used for products with oil and water phase. Water is what makes bacteria growth possible, so it’s very important to use preservatives to prevent any infections or other bacteria and mold-caused skin problems.
ANTIOXIDANTS are used in oil-based products. Such products are balms (lip balms, hand balms), hair pomades, body butters etc. They extend the shelf life of oils used in the formulation and prevent rancidity.
INCI: Gluconolactone + Sodium Benzoate
Geogard is a stable natural preservative. It’s used in many cosmetic products, in those that are washed off the skin (face scrubs) and products, that stay on the skin for longer (creams). Geogard acts as a preservative and moisturizer and its effect is similar to glycerin. It offers a wide spectrum of preservation and is suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Geogard is a white powder that is soluble in water and glycerin. Add it to the water phase or the cooling phase.
Suggested use: 0,75% – 2%
Where to use it: in products with water phase (body lotions, creams, hair shampoos, conditioners, liquids soaps, shower gels, sun products)
Grapefruit seed oil
INCI: Glycerin, Citrus grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed oil is derived from the seeds of the grapefruit. It’s a natural antioxidant that can also be used as a preservative due to anti-microbial properties.
Uses: add it to the oil phase or to the cooling phase.
NOTE: some studies have researched whether grapefruit seed oil really has anti-microbial properties. Some say that any anti-microbial properties are present due to the process that the oil goes through and not due to the natural occurrence. Here is an interesting post about that topic:
INCI: Retinyl palmitate
Vitamin A is used in moisturizing products, such as lotions, creams, shower gels etc. It has antioxidant properties, improves skin elasticity and makes product’s consistency better.
Vitamin A became increasingly popular in the last few years, especially in anti-aging products. It improves enzyme activity in our skin, helps treat epidermis, promotes collagen production and decreases the appearance of thin wrinkles. With products rich in vitamin A, your skin will be smoother and will appear younger. Products will also have extended shelf life.
Suggested use: in the oil phase or the cooling phase – 0,2%-0,7%
Uses: creams, lotions (emulsions), balms
INCI: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant. It’s widely used in acne products, but also in anti-aging, pigmentation and stretch marks products.
It+s often combined with vitamin E and this creates even stronger antioxidant effects. Vitamin C promotes collagen production and prevents premature aging signs. It also decreases fine lines and wrinkles. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is more stable than vitamin C (ascorbic acid), so it’s less prone to oxidation.
Suggested use: in water phase or in the cooling phase – 0,5-2%
Uses: hair products (for dyed hair), lotions, creams
INCI: d-mixed TocopherolsVitamin E je vitamin, topen v maščobah. Deluje kot antioksidant, saj ščiti nenasičene maščobne kisline pred oksidacijo. Pomaga zaščititi kožo pred prostimi radikali ter ohranjati zdravo ravnovesje v koži. Prodira globoko v celice, spodbuja zdravljenje ran in zmanjša škodo, povzročeno zaradi UV žarkov. Prav tako je močan vlažilec.
Vitamin E is soluble in fats. It acts as an antioxidant that protects unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation. It helps protect our skin from free radicals and promotes a healthy balance of our skin. Vitamin E penetrates into deep skin layers, promotes healing and decreases damage caused by UV rays. It’s also a great moisturizer.
Suggested use: 0,5-5%
NOTE: Some users use vitamin E oil on its own (topically) for increased scar healing, but no research found any connection between the use of vitamin E oil and scar healing. In fact, Paula’s choice warns against topical use of vitamin E due to the danger of ‘worsened appearance of scars‘. The positive outcomes that patients report about might be the result of anecdotal beliefs of vitamin E’s efficiency. Small amounts of vitamin E do not cause dermatitis or other discomfort, but it’s best to add it to other skin care products (in reasonable amounts). (Source)
Use: add to the oil phase
This post is the fourth part of series Cosmetic basics. Here’s the list of other posts:
Part 4: Preservatives and antioxidants (you are here)
Part 5: Moisturizing & foaming ingredients
Part 6: Vitamins, clays, minerals
+ two more posts that will soon be revealed. 🙂
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