Article by: Perry Romanowski

Welcome to Day 2 of the 30 Days to Become a Better Cosmetic Chemist series

Get the 30 days to become a better cosmetic chemist book

This 30 day challenge is all about giving you basic exercises that will improve your abilities as a cosmetic chemist.cosmetic ingredients

In this episode

In today’s episode I’ll share information about raw materials:

  • Three types of cosmetic raw materials
  • 7 types of functional raw materials
  • How to tell the difference between functional & other materials

Relevant to Exercise

Identifying functional ingredients.

For example, let’s look at the example of the Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer

Water, Glycerin, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dihydroxyacetone, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Ceteareth 20, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Steareth 2, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Stearic Acid, Hydroxyhexyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, BHT, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, Olea Europea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Tocopherol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Caramel, Erythrulose

Functional ingredients:

1. Glycerin
2. Mineral Oil
3. Petrolatum
4. Dimethicone
5. Erythrulose

Share your results from the exercise in the comments below.

 

TAGS:30 days
52

52 comments

  1. Niki1695

    Hi Perry, thanks for the podcast. I’ve chosen SynCare Hyaluronic acid night cream, hydrating and nurishing. INCI: Aqua (Water), Ethylhexyl Stearate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bis-PEG/PPG-20/5 PEG/PPG-20/5 Dimethicone; Methoxy PEG/PPG-25/4 Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, C13-15 Alkane, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Alcohol denat., Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Triethanolamine
    FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS: Ethylhexyl Stearate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C13-15 Alkane, Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Looks like you got most of them. I would say that the Sodium Hyaluronate probably is just a claims ingredient and isn’t having much effect on the formula.

      1. Eve

        Hi Perry,
        while it is mandatory for food manufacturers to indicate the percentage of each ingredients in the particular food product, it may seem that’s not applicable to producers of skin care products. Would the percentage of a specific ingredient present in a product not be relevant to determine whether the ingredient is more of a claim than adding any functional value to the end product?
        eg Vitamin E or Hyaluronic acid in Anti aging serum.

        1. Perry Romanowski

          Cosmetics are not allowed to affect skin structure or metabolism. OTC Drugs are required to post specific ingredient percentages because they are allowed to affect skin structure or metabolism.

  2. Elvira

    Hi Perry and thank for the podcast because according to me it is great and useful. I’ ve chosen two different formulations:
    Weleda Baby Calendula Soap 3.5 oz (100 g)
    inci: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Water, Sodium Olivate, Glycerin, Fragrance (from Natural Essential Oils), Limonene (from Natural Essential Oils), Linalool (from Natural Essential Oils), Citronellol (from Natural Essential Oils), Geraniol (from Natural Essential Oils), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Extract (Matricaria), Iris Germanica Root Extract, Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Extract, Oryza Sativa Extract (Rice), Malt Extract, Sodium Chloride
    FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS: sodium palmate, sodium cocoate, sodium olivate and glycerin.

    Mycli op rebuilding serum age
    INCI: aqua,cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, lecithin, tocopheryl acetate, bisabolol, cholesterol, thioctic acid, ubiquinone, carnosine, pseudoalteromonas ferment extract, tripeptide-10 citrulline,tripeptide-1, ceramide-3, ceramide-6, Ceramide-1, phytosphingosine, hydrolized soy protein, acrylates/C10-30 alkylacrilate cross polymer, phytic acid, sodium dehydroacetate, sodium lauroyl lactylate, tocopherol ascorbyl palmitate, citric acid, ormensis multicaulis flower oil, dimethiconol, carbomer, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben,ethylparaben, sodium hydroxyde.
    FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS: cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, tocopheryl acetate, bisabolol, cholesterol, ceramide-1, ceramide-3 and ceramide-6.
    Thank for your attention,
    Best regards,
    Elvira

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Good job. I think you got the first one pretty much all correct.

      For the second one, I’m afraid ingredients like tocopheryl acetate and the ceramides are mostly claims ingredients. So the main functional ingredients are cyclopentasiloxane, and glycerin. Also, the dimethiconol might help with feeling on the skin.

  3. Nk

    Do cosmetic chemists claim ingredient that is not in their product or claim their product do what it does not do.Is it law full to do that?

    1. Perry Romanowski

      It is not legal to claim ingredients are in your formula if you don’t include them. It is also illegal to claim the product does something that it doesn’t. You have to be able to prove your claims.

  4. Carla R.

    Perry, I chose Babassu Conditioning Shampoo by Mielle Organics.

    Water/aqua/eau, decyl glucoside, sodium cocoamphoacetate, sodium laurylglucodsides, hydroxypropylsulfonatte, babassuamidopropyl betaine, babassuamide MEA, PEG-150/pentaerythrityl tetrastearate, hydroloyzed sweet protein, Hibiscus esculentus seed extract, gluconolacton, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, *Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower/leaf oil, Citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit) peel oil, Mentha piperita, (peppermint) leaf oil Ociumum basilicum (basil) leaf oil, Litsea cubeba) fruit oil, *Abies grandis (grand fir) needle oil, *Mentha spicata spearmint leaf oil, sodium benzoate.

    Functional Ingredients:
    1. Babassuamide MEA
    2. Babassuamidopropyl Betaine
    3.Abies Grandis Needle Oil
    4.Decyl Glucoside
    5. Gluconolacton

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Good job. But I think you have overestimated the importance of the Babassua ingredients. These are most likely just secondary ingredients (aesthetic modifiers) and not really the functional ingredients. Typically, functional ingredients are listed near the top. The main functional ingredients in my view are..

      1. Decyl Glucoside
      2. Sodium Cocoamphoacetate
      3. Sodium Laurylglucosides

      All the rest are either feature ingredients or aesthetic modifiers.

      1. Carla R.

        Thank you for your response, I will be more mindful when identifying functional ingredients in products. This was a very good challenge for the segment!!!!!!

    2. Carla R.

      Thank you for your response. I will be more mindful when in search of functional ingredients in the products. This was a very good challenge for the segment!!!!

  5. Mary Patterson

    I have missed many sessions. Can I save all the podcasts? May I download the book at a reduced cost? Suggestions anyone?

    1. Perry Romanowski

      You can get all of the podcasts for free.

  6. Ellie

    Perry how to determine if an ingredient is functional. Do I need to consult a cosmetics dictionary?
    eb5 Original 5-in-1 Facial Treatment Anti-Aging Cream
    Water, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Avena Sativa Kernel Flour (Oat), Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Aminomethyl Propranol, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate

    Functions
    1) Propylene Glycol
    2)Mineral Oil
    3)Mineral Oil

    1. Perry Romanowski

      You just need to learn the basic raw materials. In the product you list I think you have identified the main functional ingredients. Since it’s in there at a high level Tocopheryl Acetate may also provide some functionality. Most likely as an emollient.

  7. Rasha Mansour

    Hi Perry!
    Thank you for this useful podcast. For the challenge I choose Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser
    Ingredients:
    Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, PPG 2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Polysorbate 20, PEG 16 Soy Sterol, Citric Acid, Chrysanthemum Parthenium Flower Extract (Feverfew), Glycine Soja Protein (Soybean), Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids (Essential Amino Complex), Sarcosine (Essential Amino Complex), Potassium Asparate (Essential Amino Complex), Magnesium Aspartate (Essential Amino Complex), Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Coco PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide.
    Functional ingredients:
    1. Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
    2. Decyl Glucoside.
    3. PPG 2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide.
    4. Polysorbate 20.
    5. Glycerin.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Nice job! I would agree with your choices except Polysorbate 20 is probably not a functional ingredient, but rather an Aesthetic Ingredient. Glycerin is also probably not providing much function since this is a rinse off product.

  8. Chiara

    Hi Perry, I have a question:
    Are the natural ingredients always just for claims? Or they can actually have a function given that they are present in sufficient amount?
    What about the willow and aloe in this formula?

    Boots Expert Anti-Blemish Night Moisturiser
    Aqua/Water/Eau (Water), Alcohol Denatured, Glycerin, Salix Nigra (Willow Bark) Extract (Willow), Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Zinc Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben
    Functionals:
    1.glycerin
    2.willow bark extract (antimicrobic?)
    3.zinc chloride ( I know Zinc is very good for acne-prone skin)

    1. Perry Romanowski

      In the vast majority of cases natural ingredients in formulas are just for claims. Usually, they will not even have a significant effect at a high % level. Even pure aloe is not much more than a good humectant. Glycerin is better. Willow…it won’t do anything. When you see the word “extract” you can be sure that it is simply a claims ingredient. Nearly all extracts are sold as 1% solutions so the active level of it in a product is usually less than 0.01%.

  9. Chiara

    Shiseido Aqualabel Special Gel Cream (moisturizing and anti-aging)
    Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone, PEG-240/HDI Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Gellan Gum, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Juice, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, PEG/PPG-14/7, Dimethyl Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Solluble Collagen, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Metaphosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, BHT, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance.

    Functionals:
    1.glycerin
    2. dimethicone
    3.Sodium Hyaluronate,
    4. Hydrolyzed Collagen,
    5.Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate,
    6.Solluble Collagen

  10. Lorraine

    This was definitely a challenge! I’m using Graftobian Oxyderm Moisturizer

    Ingredients:Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, Malachite Extract, Rhodochrosite Extract, Smithsonite Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Glycerin, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Sodium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sorbitan Oleate, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycoproteins, Saccharide Isomerate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl Acetate(E), Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed Extract), Titanium Dioxide, Quaternium-15

    Functional
    1. Cyclopentasiloxane (cyclopentasilicone)
    2. Gylcerin
    3. Anhydroxylitol
    4. Hyaluronic Acid
    5. Allantoin
    6. Saccharide Isomerate

    I thought maybe Butyrospermum Parkii (shea butter) would be one but not so sure?

    1. Lorraine

      Oh and Peg/ppg dimethicone

    2. Perry Romanowski

      I think you actually included a number of what I would call “claims” ingredients. This would include the Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Saccharide Isomerate. Actually, everything after the PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone is probably not a functional ingredient.

      So the functional ingredients are Cyclopentasiloxane and the PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone.

  11. JI

    Hi Perry,
    Thank you for the great series of podcasts and also for having such an inspiring blog!
    I’ve picked an after sun lotion for this exercise.
    Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Soothing Hydrating Lotion
    Ingredients:
    Aqua / Water, Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Gluconate, Linalool, Aloe Barbadensis / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carbomer, Farnesol, Geraniol, Bisabolol, Methylparaben, Citronellol, Citral, Parfum / Fragrance

    Function (Hydration, Moisturizing & Soothing)
    Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral Oil
    Glycerin
    Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter
    Dimethicone
    Zinc Gluconate (anti-inflammatory ?)
    Aloe Barbadensis / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Soothing or just a claim ingredient?)

    Thanks
    Best regards
    J.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Great job! I agree with most of your list. The Aloe and Zinc Gluconate are probably not in the formula at a high enough level to have a functional effect so they are more likely claims ingredients. But I agree with all the other choices.

  12. Olga

    Hi Perry!
    Thanks so much for your podcasts! are amazing! I recently started to work as a formulator in a small Compounding lab and I found your website very helpful. I find this series very helpful and I would be very happy if I am better formulator after that (and my boss too). I chose a “natural” cosmetic as its formula it´s a bit more complex and challenging. Here it is:

    Age Defying Rose Stem Cells
    Renew. Repair. Regenerate. For sensitive skin, pH Balanced & hypoallergenic, Boost cell vitality, Improve resilience, Counteract aging

    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic), Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus Oil (Sunflower, Certified Organic), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Cetearyl Alcohol, PhytoCellTec (Alpine Rosa, Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis, Certified Organic), BioActive 8 Berry Complex (Certified Organic), Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera Leaf Cell (Date), Boswellia Serrata Extract (Boswellin), Vaccinium Macrocarpon Juice (Cranberry, Certified Organic), Stearic Acid, Glycine Soja Protein (Soy), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter, Certified Organic & Fair Trade), Bisabolol, Rosa Canina Oil (Rosehip, Certified Organic), Punica Granatum Oil (Pomegranate, Certified Organic), Lecithin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Rosa Damascena Distillate (Rose, Certified Organic), Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis Extract (White Tea, Certified Organic & Fair Trade), Aspalathus Linearis Extract (Rooibos, Certified Organic & Fair Trade), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina Oil (Tangerine, Certified Organic), Pelargonium Graveolens Oil (Rose Geranium, Certified Organic), Rosa Centifolia Oil (Rose)

    Functional ingredients:
    Helianthus Annus Oil (Sunflower oil)
    Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides,
    Hyaluronic acid
    Butyrospermu Parkii (Shea butter)
    Allantoin
    Not sure about Cetearyl Alcohol (functional or aesthetic) and Aloe barbadensis juice (functional or claim)

    1. Perry Romanowski

      It looks like you got about everything. Certainly the Sunflower oil, Shea Butter and Triglycerides would be functional providing moisturization effects. All of the other oils may have an impact as emollients too. I doubt there is enough Hyaluronic Acid to have a significant effect. And Allantoin is more of a claims ingredient than a functional one.

      Great job though.

  13. AAli

    Thank You Perry for the podcast
    I looked at two different formulations and figured out this much:

    WELEDA Almond Sensitive Skin
    Soothing Cleansing Lotion
    Claim: Gently Cleanses, Prevents dry skin

    Ingredients: Water, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Alcohol, Prunus Domestica Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid.

    This one is probably too simple formulation:

    Functional Ingredients:
    – Sweet Almond oil
    – Glyceryl Stearate SE (Emulsifier, Cleanser?

    It claims to be a cleanser. But does the cleansing come from Alcohol or does Glyceryl Stearate act as a surfactant too?

    Another Example:

    ACO Rich Care Hand Cream – Canola Oil & Q10
    Claim: Intensive moisturizer
    Ingredients: Aqua, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Isopropyl Myristate, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Urea, Dimethicone, Canola Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Ubiquinone, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Phenoxy Ethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Parfum.

    Functional Ingredients (Moisturizer):
    – Isopropyl Myristate
    – Glycerin
    – Dimethicone
    – Urea (humectant)
    – Canola oil
    – (Ubiquinone) (Would this be a claim ingredient or a functional ingredient?)

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Nicely done. For the first product it appears to be an oil-based cleanser so the functional ingredients would be the oils (Dulcis & Seed oil). The Glyceryl Stearate probably won’t have much cleansing effect. It is used to emulsify the product and the alcohol is more of a solvent than a functional ingredient.

      For the second product, I would agree that the Ubiquinone is probably just a claims ingredient. The Q10 isn’t having much effect in the formula.

      Great job!

  14. Lara

    First thanks a lot for the great Podcast series! For the exercise you choosed: Why isnt Dihydroxyacetone a functional ingredient? Isnt is used in combination with the Erythrulose to cause the Skin colour Change? Also I think I would have added some other ingredients to the list of the functional ingredients for this formula, like Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Stearic Acid and Isohexadecane as I think they could also be inserted to adjust the Feeling on Skin when applied by the customer. It is really hard sometimes to see the difference if ist added for Skin feel or filling/structuring the formula

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Yes, DHA and Erythrulose are functional ingredients. I think I included it in the “reactive” section. See the graphic.
      I would also agree that those ingredients can be considered functional. Anything that affects the feeling of the skin could be considered a functional ingredient.

  15. Mazuru Gundidza

    I want to undergo your online courses . I am based in Africa, Zimbabwe in particular, and I have a passion for cosmetic manufacture and you seem to have everything that I need. Please elp me. Tell me how I should proceed from here.
    Thanks.
    Kindest Regards
    Prof M. Gundidza

  16. Bilson Shukla

    Silicones like dimethicone or PEG-12 dimethicone are often described as “conditioning agents”. Silicones are an interesting addition to shampoos. They were added precisely because of the detergents in shampoos – because the detergents are harsh , strip sebum and break your cuticular scales, the silicones are added to coat hair.

    Regards,
    Bilson Shukla
    bilsonusa@gmail.com

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Yes, conditioning ingredients essentially get hair “dirty” with useful dirt while shampoos remove everything. It’s a real challenge to make a good conditioning shampoo just because you are trying to do two opposite things at once.

  17. Bilson Shukla

    Thank you!, I would like to know more about silicone use in cosmetics formulations, its use, its value in % and applications.

    Thank you
    Regards,
    Bilson S

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Silicones are used for a variety of reasons including conditioning, moisturizing, improving shine, improving slickness, and feel. The amount used can be anywhere up to 5% but usually 1% or less. It really depends on the type of formula and silicone you’re making.

  18. Gilbert

    will the hands-on formulation exercises take into consideration the fact that
    some ingredients may not be readily available to some of us. in such cases
    how do we benefit from the program?

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Yes, no lab formulating will be required to follow the exercises in this series. You benefit by learning key background information about various aspects of formulating.

  19. Jacquie

    Are the carrier oils used considered functional ingredients? Aren’t they for the consumer benefit?

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Carrier oils can be functional since they are moisturizing/conditioning ingredients (emollients). However, they are more aesthetic modifiers for the formula because the oil itself is not providing the primary benefit. It really depends on why they are included in the formula.

      1. Karen

        Hmm… I’m a bit puzzled by this, Perry. If mineral oil is considered a functional ingredient, surely the other oils would be too?

        1. Perry Romanowski

          Yes, they are…mostly. If the oil is used as an emollient then it would be considered a functional ingredient because it helps with skin moisturization. Mineral oil could also be considered an aesthetic ingredient because it is used as a solvent in many formulas. It really depends.

  20. Hk. Riaz Hussain

    what about whitening agents like, Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid D/P, O.D.A white (octadecenedioic acid) I think they are Fuctional Ingredients which directly effect on user’s skin. Am I write.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Yes, those are functional ingredients. In this show I classified them as “Drug Actives”. In the US, skin lightening products are considered drugs.

  21. Romina

    Hi, it was a great big picture of the formulation ingredients, but why don´t you consider the preservative as a functional ingredient?

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Great question! A preservative is not typically added to provide a consumer benefit. It’s added to make sure that the product remains microbe free. So I consider any ingredient added to affect the formula instead of the user as an “Aesthetic Modifier”. In the next lesson on raw materials I do cover preservatives and other aesthetic modifiers.

  22. Jeremiah

    Thanks Mr Perry. Unfortunately i cant hear anything could it be a problem with my PC

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Yes, it’s probably a problem with your system. I’m playing the show now and it’s working. Check your speaker settings. They may be muted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *