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


  1. Avatar

    hi perry,

    thanks thats quite interesting.

    but where did you classify emulsifiers?

    1-pure kojic acid lightening lotion
    Aqua, Carbopol, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Edta, Fragrance, Glyceryl Monostearate, Kojic Acid, Methylparaben, Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum
    functional ingredients: mineral oil, propylene glycol, kojic acid, Carbopol.


    1. Avatar

      2-Free & Clear Hair Styling Gel, For Sensitive Skin & Scalp
      Water (Purified), VP/VA Copolymer, Panthenol, PEG 45 Palm Kernel Glycerides, 1,2 Hexanediol, PEG 14, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG 33, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG 8 Dimethicone, Amino Methyl Propanol, Tetrasodium EDTA

      functional ingredients:VP/VA Copolymer, Panthenol, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG 8 Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol,PEG 45 Palm Kernel Glycerides

      3-Softsoap Body Scrub Coconut & Jojoba Butter
      Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Titanium Dioxide, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Hydroxide, Laureth 4, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
      functional ingredients:Sodium Laureth Sulfate,Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Cocomidopropyl Betaine,DMDM Hydantoin,Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil.

      i hope i did did the chalenge correctly.


  2. Avatar

    Hi Perry,

    I did it on the following product. I am not sure if it is correct. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

    Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner (with shea butter, peppermint and apple cider vinegar)

    Claim: A reparative leave-in conditioner that softens and detangles hair. Nourishes, moisturizes and supports elasticity so hair resists breakage when detangling. Conditioners provide a protective layer that improves the appearance of split ends. Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience.

    Ingredients: Water, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Certified Organic Ingredient) (Fair Trade Ingredient), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Panthenol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycerin (Vegetable), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Yeast Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Niacin, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Vinegar, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol.

    Functional Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Hello – You’ve got some of them but missed a few.

      Here are the main functional ingredients: Castor seed oil (emollient), Behentrimonium Chloride (conditioner), Glycerin (humectant), Shea butter (moisturizer).

  3. Avatar

    Hi Perry!

    So grateful for all of the great info you are sharing! I’m really enjoying this series so far!
    I am wondering if products that are being categorized as claims ingredients, like jojoba and apricot kernel oil, can be used as a functional ingredient like moisturizer, if used in larger amounts? Apart from cost, are there other reasons why oils like these are not typically considered as functional ingredients? Thanks for considering this!

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Yes, claims ingredients can theoretically be functional ingredients. Cost is a big issue but the other issue is that these ingredients typically do not work as well as other, established ingredients. For example, jojoba oil can be a nice moisturizer but it is not nearly as effective as petrolatum.

  4. Avatar

    Hi perry it wa a useful lesson i am asking about your book beginning cosmetice chemistry how can i get it

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      At the moment, the book is not available. Sorry.

  5. Avatar
    Celestyna Pietruszka

    Hello Perry.

    I have chosen three following products:1) Natural Instinct Moisture Surge Conditioner

    Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Sweet Almond Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Phospholipids, Glycine Soja Oil, Glycolipids, Glycine Soja Sterols, Hydroxylpropyltrimonium Honey, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Carrot Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Jojoba Seed Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Cinnamonum Zeylanicum Oil, Vanilla Oil, Tonka Bean Extract. Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Citrate.

    The functional Ingredients are as follows:
    Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera Oil)
    Hydroxylpropyltrimonium Honey
    Cedarwood Oil
    That was a tricky one because there are a lot of kinds of oils included in the formula, but I guess not all of them are functional ingredients.

    2)Moose Head Defining Paste
    Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Oleth-30, VP/VA Copolymer, Alcohol Denat., Carnauba Wax, PVP, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Oleth-5, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylexyglycerin, Coumarin.

    The functional ingredients are as follows:

    Carnauba Wax
    Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Hello – Well, it seems you missed the main functional ingredients in the conditioner. Cetrimonium Chloride & Sweet Almond oil. The ingredients you listed Coconut Oil & honey and Cedarwood oil are claims ingredients. In fact, except for the preservative & salt everything after the Cetrimoniumn Chloride is a claims ingredient.

      You got most of the functional ingredients in the defining paste except you missed VP/VA Copolymer & PVP. These polymers are what give the product hold.

  6. Avatar
    Endlex victor Okechukwu

    thanks perry for lesson 2, from your illustration i thought fragrance should be a functional raw material,
    thanks for day 2 lesson.

  7. Avatar

    Hi Perry!
    in the given challenge I am not able to identify the functional ingredient easily so please can you help me understand it better.

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      You have to first start with figuring out what the product is supposed to do. Then look for ingredients that provide that benefit.

  8. Avatar

    Hi Perry,
    Thanks for all the info. It’s really informative especially for cosmetic chemists. Since this topic is about raw materials, I needed to know about raw material testing. Request of you could impart some knowledge on testing of cosmetic raw materials and the instruments that could be used.

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      We get into testing in a later episode. But the main equipment used to test cosmetic ingredients includes an IR, a mass spectrometer, a pH meter and a viscometer.

  9. Avatar

    Hi Perry,

    Deep Moisture Creamy Formula Petroleum Jelly with Vitamin E

    Ingredients: Aqua, Petrolatum, Propylene glycol, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl alcohol, Stearic acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, vitamin E, Parfum, Methylparben, BHA, Sodium Phosphate

    Functional Ingredients
    Petrolatum Functional (Conditioner) – Emollient
    Propylene glycol Functional (Conditioner) – Humectant
    Paraffinum Liquidum Functional (Conditioner) – Emollient & Occlusive
    Cetyl alcohol Aesthetic & Functional (Conditioner) – Multi-Purpose Capabilities

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      You’ve got it! Although, I would say Cetyl Alcohol is probably mostly an aesthetic ingredient as an opacifier & bodifying agent in the formula.

      1. Avatar

        Could you explain what you mean by a bodifying agent?

        1. Avatar
          Perry Romanowski

          Oh that just means it adds to the thickness (viscosity) and provide resistance when you push on it with your hand.

  10. Avatar

    I am not a Cosmetic Chemist but just an average joe trying to make sense of literally thousands of products in the market.This Site is a revelation to me Sir.I am shocked senseless seeing all the comments on how much ingredients are added to cosmetics just for marketing purposes.They make the products sound so exotic luring us and our hard earned money.But one correction sir.You say that customers love a good story and all those fancy vitamins and herbals.Yes we love them but we also falsely believe in them hoping they are true and waste so much of our money on products that underdeliver.I sincerely hope that this information will reach not only chemists but also the average buyer and educate them on making wise choices.

  11. Avatar

    Your style of teaching is great. At least I know, the functions of active and non active ingredients. And I want to be someone who can produce a products that give values to customers.

  12. Avatar

    Organic Lipstick in Nude

    Kaolin, talc, butyrosperum parkii (shea butter), mangifera indica (mango butter), candelilla wax, carnauba, simmondsia chinesis (jojoba oil), prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond oil), ricinus communis (castor oil), beeswax, tocopherol, lanolin, isopropyl myristate, bht, pongamia pinnata seed extract, vanilla planifolia fruit.

    Functional Ingredients :

    Shea butter
    Candelila Wax
    Carnauba wax

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Nice work. Since this is a lipstick product, the functional ingredients would be the ones that provide the coloring. In this case there doesn’t seem to be a specific color so I’d say the Kaolin is probably the main functional ingredient. The other ingredients you mention will also provide moisturizing so they could be considered functional depending on the claims of the product.

  13. Avatar

    Thanks for the podcast. Here is list of ingredients and functional ingredients.
    Product Name: Biore – Charcoal Pore Minimizer
    Ingredients: Water, Alumina, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Laureth-4 Carboxylic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xantham Gum, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyquaternium-39, Ehtylparaben, Disodium Edta, Charcoal Powder, Benzophenone-4, Methylisothiazolinone.
    Functional Ingredients: Glycerin, Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyquaternium-39, Benzophenone-4,

    Product Name: Acure Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Facial Scrub
    Ingredients: Organic Curoxidant™ Blend [(Organic Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Fair Trade Organic Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos)], Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Organic Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile), Organic Aloe Barbensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, French Green Clay, Organic Lemon Peel Granules, Saponified Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Cellulose Gum (Vegetable), Organic Olea Europaea (Olive Oil), Organic Ascophyllum Nodosum (Sea Kelp), Theobromo Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Organic Chlorella Pyrenoidosa (Chlorella Growth Factor), Chlorophyll, Glucono Delta Lactone (Fermented Sugar), Carageenan, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Potassium Sorbate (Food Grade Preservative), Essential Oil Blend of Salvia Officinalis (Sage) and Mentha Spicata (Spearmint).
    Functional Ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin, French Green Clay, Theobromo Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Cellulose Gum (Vegetable), Organic Ascophyllum Nodosum (Sea Kelp), Chlorophyll, Glucono Delta Lactone (Fermented Sugar)

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Nice review of ingredients, but I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of the first one. I would say the functional ingredients are Sodium Laureth Sulfate (cleanser), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (cleanser), Polyquaternium-39 (moisturizer). All the other ingredients get washed away without doing much.

      1. Avatar

        May I ask why do the cosmetic companies add those other ingredients that eventually gets washed away without doing much? Is it to show the customers that there are various ingredients in the product? Or is there other reason to it? Thank you!

        1. Avatar
          Perry Romanowski

          It’s because customers are impressed with ingredient names and they buy products with ingredients in them. It doesn’t usually matter if those ingredients actually do anything or not.

  14. Avatar

    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. Avatar
      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. Avatar

        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. Avatar
          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.

  15. Avatar

    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,

    1. Avatar
      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.

  16. Avatar

    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. Avatar
      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.

      1. Avatar
        Jonathan O

        IN addition any ingredient under 1% can be listed in any order. They exist mainly to make the purchaser feel that they are harvesting natures remedies! Which is the basis for this test of functional ingredients. Perhaps the inclusion of 0.0001% gold particles to make people feel that the product is glamorous and a luxury product.

        1. Avatar
          Perry Romanowski

          Yes, that is why something like gold particles would be added to a formula.

  17. Avatar
    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. Avatar
      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. Avatar
        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. Avatar
      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!!!!

  18. Avatar
    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. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      You can get all of the podcasts for free.

  19. Avatar

    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

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

    1. Avatar
      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.

  20. Avatar
    Rasha Mansour

    Hi Perry!
    Thank you for this useful podcast. For the challenge I choose Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser
    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. Avatar
      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.

  21. Avatar

    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
    2.willow bark extract (antimicrobic?)
    3.zinc chloride ( I know Zinc is very good for acne-prone skin)

    1. Avatar
      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%.

  22. Avatar

    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.

    2. dimethicone
    3.Sodium Hyaluronate,
    4. Hydrolyzed Collagen,
    5.Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate,
    6.Solluble Collagen

  23. Avatar

    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

    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. Avatar

      Oh and Peg/ppg dimethicone

    2. Avatar
      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.

  24. Avatar

    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
    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
    Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter
    Zinc Gluconate (anti-inflammatory ?)
    Aloe Barbadensis / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Soothing or just a claim ingredient?)

    Best regards

    1. Avatar
      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.

  25. Avatar

    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)
    Not sure about Cetearyl Alcohol (functional or aesthetic) and Aloe barbadensis juice (functional or claim)

    1. Avatar
      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.

  26. Avatar

    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. Avatar
      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!

  27. Avatar

    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. Avatar
      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.

  28. Avatar
    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.
    Kindest Regards
    Prof M. Gundidza

  29. Avatar
    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.

    Bilson Shukla

    1. Avatar
      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.

  30. Avatar
    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
    Bilson S

    1. Avatar
      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.

  31. Avatar

    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. Avatar
      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.

  32. Avatar

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

    1. Avatar
      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. Avatar

        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. Avatar
          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.

  33. Avatar
    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. Avatar
      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.

  34. Avatar

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

    1. Avatar
      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.

  35. Avatar

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

    1. Avatar
      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.

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