Why do manufacturers squeeze so many ingredients into a small jar?

moisturiserWhy do manufacturers squeeze so many ingredients into a small jar? If you take a look at the ingredients in high street facial moisturising creams. generally, you will see a long list.

It has always amazed me that the manufacturers make over-blown claims of the benefits of using their moisturiser on your face. But the amount of the active ingredients are actually miniscule in relation to the amount of everything else they pack into the jar.

The size of a jar of moisturiser is typically 50ml (or 1.69 fl oz). Here is an example. The following list has been taken from a current, very well known anti-ageing cream, which you can buy on the high street.

Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Myristyl Myristate, Shorea Robusta Seed Butter, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, PEG 100 Stearate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 20 Stearate, Acrylamide Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isohexadecane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 80, Acetyl Trifluoromethylphenyl Valylglycine, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Polycaprolactone, Crithmum Maritimum (Crithmum Maritimum Extract), Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Butylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Fragrance, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, Hexylcinnamal, Limonene, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methlyproprional, Geraniol, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Alcohol, Amyl Cinnamal.

There are 42 ingredients. You have to dig deep to find any natural ingredients and by the time you take out the water and emulsifiers, etc, then there can only be miniscule amounts of each ‘active’ ingredient. I use that word lightly, because as you can see, there are far too many ingredients with very long chemically-derived names. Also, you should bear in mind that the ingredients are listed in order of volume. So, water is the most prominent ingredient, and Amyl Cinnamal the least in volume. Incidentally, Amyl Cinnamal is a chemical fragrance and also an irritant.

The basic formula for making creams to put on your skin is simple. You need water (mostly), oil or fat, and emulsifier(s) to hold the mixture together. Then you add your active ingredients and some preservative.

Generally speaking, the water content will be around 65 to 75%, emulsifiers and preservatives around 10%. Which leaves about 8ml (o.27 oz) of the 50ml jar for all of the active ingredients.

Also, the larger cosmetic companies (who in the main make the loudest claims about how their moisturisers / serums, etc will be beneficial to your skin) also pack their products with ingredients to make the cream feel smoother on your skin, chemical fragrances and preservatives, as you can see in the list above. This is typical.

So, always have a look on the label, before you buy a product. Maybe you will have a different perspective, now.



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