Day 2 – Functional Raw Materials

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.

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.

12 thoughts on “Day 2 – Functional Raw Materials

  1. Avatar
    Margueritte says:

    Thank you Perry,
    It has been a great exercise to be able to list ingredients for different types of shampoos

  2. Avatar
    Kati says:

    Interesting episode, but the task is impossible for a newbie like myself. When you don’t know the lingo, how will you know which ingredients are *actually* functional? My sunscreen from Cliniderm starts with “Aqua, Octocrylene, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Salicylate” and ends with “Ubiquinone, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate”. Well hello there! The only words I truly understand are “Aqua” and “Citric Acid”. How do I even find out which role the 21 other ingredients play in the product? (Actually, one of them I understand: Butyrospermum Parkii Butter – good old shea butter). Do I have to become a walking encyclopedia of chemical compounds to learn how to formulate? And if so, where do I even start??

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      You make a good point. You only learn the lingo over time when exposed to ingredient information. No, you don’t have to become a walking encyclopedia. Ingredients can be grouped into categories which was discussed in this episode. Learning raw materials is a bit like learning to read. If you don’t know an ingredient you can look up what it is & what it is claimed to do. Just know that not all the information that you read will be 100% accurate. You should get verification from good resources. like

  3. Avatar
    Marina says:

    It Cosmetics, Confidence In A Cream Hydrating Moisturizer (source:

    Aqua (Water, Eau), Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate / Dicaprate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Caprylic / Capric / Myristic / Stearic Triglyceride, (…)

    – Functional ingredients:
    1. Glycerin
    2. Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride (as emollient?)

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      Yes, although I think Butylene Glycol (humectant) & Cyclopentasiloxane (emollient) may also be functional ingredients.

  4. Avatar
    rebecca says:

    Firstly, absolutely loving your work, thankyou. I’m not sure about your example, as a (wannabe) natural formulator I would leave out your examples of functional ingredients with the possible exclusion of glycerin and listed ingredients like the oils such as olive, jojoba etc. or is this dependent on the relative percentage present?

Leave a Reply

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