Article by: Perry Romanowski
Another installment of our Dissecting the Label series. In these blog posts we dissect a lable and discuss what each of the ingredients do in the formula and ponder why they are added. Last time we did a skin self-tanning prodcut. This time we’ll look at a hair conditioner. Organix Conditioner
Here’s the ingredient list.
Aqua/Water/Eau (Water), Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Parfum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Jojoba), DMDM Hydantoin, Panthenol, Silk Amino Acids, Cocos Nucifera Extract (Coconut), Albumen, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Coumarin
The 1% Line
Our first challenge as a cosmetic chemist is to figure out where the 1% line might be. This can give us a clue as to what are the most important ingredients in the formula.
In this product there are two likely spots for the 1% line. Either right after the Behentrimonium Methosulfate or after the Dimethicone. My gut belief is that it is right after the Dimethicone. They certainly aren’t adding the jojoba oil at levels above 1%. I’m just a little surprised that the Parfum (Fragrance) would be used at a level above 1% but Cetearyl Alcohol most likely is so that’s what I’m going with.
You can see that figuring out this 1% line is not a precise science.
What the ingredients do
As always, we’ll group common ingredients and describe what they do.
These ingredients make the formula look and feel appealing.
Water – The solvent. Probably makes up 85-90% of this formula.
Cetyl Alcohol – Opacifying / emulsifier
Cetearyl Alcohol – Opacifying / emulsifier
Cetearyl Glucoside – Emulsifier
Glyceryl Stearate – Emulsifier
These are the things that make the formula work. It’s why people use the product.
Behentrimonium Methosulfate – Hair conditioning. For anti-static, detangling. Makes hair easier to comb.
Dimethicone – Hair conditioning for shine & slickness
Cyclopentasiloxane – Hair conditioning
Glycerin – Some moisturizing effect but likely rinses down the drain.
Claims & Puffery ingredients
These ingredients are added to make the product sound more appealing. If these raw materials were left out of the formula, it is unlikely that anyone would notice a difference in performance.
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Panthenol – Some evidence this could effect hair but I remain skeptical
Silk Amino Acids
Cocos Nucifera Extract (Coconut)
Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut)
Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
Since microbes can grow in the environment created in this formula, preservatives have to be added to ensure they don’t. This conditioner uses two classic preservatives that have a broad spectrum of organisms that they will kill.
DMDM Hydantoin – Preservative
Tetrasodium EDTA – Helps to losen cell walls & make preservatives more effective.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone – Preservative
Methylisothiazolinone – Preservative
Parfum – In US this should be labeled Fragrance.
This is a pretty standard conditioner formula with lots of claims ingredients added to give the Marketing department something to talk about. Using both silicones and a cationic surfactant is a good idea as it provides a nice effect that the ingredients separately can’t achieve. Overall, a nice formula.