What makes Paula's choice 10% Glycolic acid moisturzier feel so moisturizing?

ZinkZink Member
edited November 2020 in Formulating
Presumably it's loaded with silicones? The volatile cyclopentasiloxane evaporates leaving dimethicone and a talc-like feeling?

Cyclopentasiloxane looks like it's going to be banned in the EU btw so are there other options? https://www.obelis.net/blog/cyclopentasiloxane-d5-and-cyclotetrasiloxane-d4-restricted-in-the-eu/

My ingredient guesstimates:

>50% Water

10% Glycolic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant)

5-10% Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Dimethicone (hydration)

3-5% Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing)

2-3% Glyceryl Stearate (texture-enhancing), Stearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Cetyl Alcohol (texture-enhancing), Butyrospermum Parkii (shea butter/emollient/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), PEG-100 Stearate (texture-enhancing)

< 1% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (stabilized vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria Flower Extract (chamomile extract/skin-soothing), Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil (grape extract/non-fragrant oil/emollient/antioxidant), Camellia Oleifera Extract (green tea extract/antioxidant), Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (willow herb extract (skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), sodium benzoate (preservative), phenoxyethanol (preservative).


  • Does it feel moisturizing right away or after some time?
  • It's the after effect minutes after application I'm interested in, a lot of AHA lotions will make your skin -feel- dry after.
  • I make pretty generic glycolic acid toner and it has the same effect (ph 3.7). I thought it’s because of humectants (I add 7% of either butylene glycol or glycerin).
  • Glycolic Acid is said to be a humectant.. Stearic Acid is occlusive/film forming. Dimethicone is occlusive. Glycerin and Butylene Glycol are effective humectants. Personally I think Shea Butter is one of the most moisturizing ingredients ever. So it's a combination of everything.
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