moisturising

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Deep Radiance Gel Oil

When I saw this gel oil on the shelves earlier this week  I just had to get some to try for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s always great to find new ways to moisturise when you are a chronic eczema suffered – my skin gets VERY dry – and secondly I am always being asked for ways of making oils thicker.

So, on the first point this is a very convenient oil for those living in a hot climate, beach lovers or people who like to use oils to moisturise but don’t want to risk the lining of their handbag (that is a real problem BTW).  It is great for those people because unlike straight oils that tend to get runny and leak in hot weather this one holds its form while providing super long-lasting moisture locking power to boot.

Looking at the formula this absolutely isn’t something for natural product lovers.  There’s nothing wrong with it in my opinion but it is held together by a chemical ingredient that is best described as liquid plastic. The ingredient I’m referring to is Hydrogenated Styrene/ Butadiene Copolymer which, according to my literature search is a great film former, oil thickener and scalp and hair protectant.  Before you get worried about slathering plastic on your skin this ingredient is an approved cosmetic additive and as its job is to sit on top of the skin where it can lock in moisture it should be quite safe. Oh and lastly it is such a big chemical that it wouldn’t fit through the usual channels.

Another interesting ingredient in this product is also a mouthful to say – Ethylene/Propylene/ Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene Styrene Copolymer.   This equally technically great synthetic polymer […]

Smooth Like Silk (but what is it doing in my skin cream?)

Have you ever wondered why us cosmetic chemist types insist on putting silk and stuff into your skin creams and hair products?  I’m sure that the thought has crossed your mind once or twice but for most of us the association between silk and silky smooth soft skin/ hair says it all but is that really all there is to it?

Of course not so let’s have a look!

Silk’s wound healing properties.

Testing on non-human animals isn’t something that I condone but I just had to share this as it makes the point beautifully.  In this study mutant silk from a spiders web improved the healing times of traumatised rat skin so well that it is being looked at as an option for human burns victims.  Now while that sounds like something from a horror show it does demonstrate one of the key properties of silk.  Silk is a natural protein fibre and protein is made from amino acids. Our skin is rich in amino acids and so adding the right type of silk to the right type of product can help to strengthen and re-build the skin or hairs structure.  It’s a bit like that spray on hair or skin only a little more rudimentary.

Silk as a moisturiser.

Silk proteins and their individual amino acids are great molecular sponges that will soak up and deliver moisture into the skin.  As our skin is over 70% water adequate hydration is just so important for its healthy functioning and so adding silk to a product is like giving your skin or hair a super charged drink.

Silk as a re-builder.

By the time you get down to smaller silk peptides or amino acids the molecules are small enough to be […]