Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hydrating Mineral Makeup - It's Simply Fun Chemistry

Is That Water In My Mineral Makeup?
There are several mineral makeup brands that have decided to become innovative with mineral makeup by providing hydration to the skin. Now one would think this is impossible since minerals need to be kept dry, let alone the fact that when any liquid is added, the need for preservatives becomes necessary.

"Hydrating" and "cooling" are the catch words to intrigue the customer, and I myself was also very interested in how this is done. And as many of my readers know, I dig and probe way beyond the typical review and investigate how this is possible.

Are we dealing with another marketing gimmick here, I ask myself?
Absolutely, and it is ingenious to be sure.

The three mineral makeup blends I located touting this new and surprising twist on the mineral makeup market are listed below:

Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Makeup

Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (3.7%); Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Mica, Silica Dimethicone Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Boron Nitrate, Lauroyl Lysine, Sodium Chloride, TrimethylsiIoxysilicate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Cocos Nucifera Water (Coconut), Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Extract, Methicone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Potassium Sorbate, Diazolindinyl Urea, May Contain (+/-):, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499)

Almay Wake Up Hydrating Mineral Makeup

Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide (3.7%). Non-Medicinal/Other Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Mica, Silica Dimethicone Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Boron Nitride, Sodium Chloride, Lauroyl Lysine, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Viola Tricolor Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Methicone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Potassium Sorbate, Diazolidinyl Urea. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499).

Bare Minerals Hydrating Veil

Ingredients: Water (Aqua); Corn Starch Modified; Zea Mays (Corn) Starch; Oryza Sativa (Rice) Lipids; Silica Silylate; Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract; Lonicera Caprifolium (Honysuckle) Flower Extract; Lonicera Japonica (Honysuckle) Flower Extract. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891); Mica (CI 77019); Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163); Iron Oxides (CI 77491); Iron Oxides (CI 77492).

The Claim To Fame

Now the first two products are all but identical until you remove the few irrelevant botanical ingredients from Almay brand and then they are exact in their ingredient profile. Well is it any wonder, since Revlon is the parent company of Almay. The location of the botanicals on the list are hardly going to do much for the skin, but make for a nice marketing concept.

They also have provided some questionable preservatives for maintaining a bacteria free zone based on their efficacy. Potassium Sorbate, will do nothing to stop the growth of bacteria, but will help fight mold and fungi. Diazolidinyl Urea has shown some microbial protection along with being a fungal and mold inhibitor, but some are concerned about it also being a formaldehyde releasing agent.

My only curiosity with much skepticism, is the ingredient profile of Bare Minerals Hydrating Veil. It absolutely does not make sense in the chemistry context of how they achieve the addition of water as the main ingredient without making the minerals muddy, pasty or gloppy. Plus the lack of preservatives is also a red flag since adding water to stored rice powder or corn starch in a jar is an absolute haven for growth of bacteria at a rapid rate, including yeast and I have to wonder if their ingredient deck is true and accurate, if not, I would be more concerned about contamination of this product.

How Do They Do That?

Water is the highlighted ingredient in all three products for delivering hydration and cooling effect to the face. However, the minerals may feel cooling, but they are not hydrating at all, well maybe for a few minutes, since water evaporates relatively quickly and the magic ingredient will dehydrate once again, since the delivery of the water is actually cool technology provided through chemistry.

The magical ingredient is Sodium Polyacrylate. This ingredient is also known as waterlock, it is a polymer with the chemical formula [-CH2-CH(COONa)-] and is widely used in consumer products. It has the ability to absorb as much as 400 to 500 times its mass in water. There are some scientists that believe it can also absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water depending on its polymer blend or derivative status.

For the most part, this ingredient is a derivative of what they use in disposable diapers to help absorb quickly and to keep the baby bum nice and dry and free from diaper rash. The original polymer used in the diaper world cannot be used in mineral makeup since this is a gel like substance, while the light and fluffy version they use in minerals would make the diaper there's a visual! The derivative ingredient Sodium Polyacrylate can be used to gather liquid chemical spills on roadways, yet is is also used to create fake snow and has the similar fluffy, dry feel that is found in mineral powders, yet cool to the touch, which is how this chemical can be milled into the powders.....

Chemistry Is Fun Stuff

Now below is a super fun video discussing the science and showing the before and after of this remarkable ingredient and it will provide the answer to how two of these mineral makeup brands achieve the application of water as the main ingredient while keeping the minerals dry. He also explains the ability to it feeling quite cool when handled. Now if you can't see the video below due to RSS Feed and Email you can see it by clicking on the link to the article: Hydrating Mineral Makeup - It's Simply Fun Chemistry.

As to the Bare Minerals version, stating again, I find the ingredient list a bit dubious based on achieving these results in the minerals as shown in the video. Without this type of chemistry, I have to wonder if the ingredient deck is purposely less than accurate since doing something like this would not fall in line with bare minerals mantra of not using synthetic chemicals. Yet Silica Silylate, is included in the mineral makeup as it is in the other two with their version being Silica Dimethicone Silylate, both used as anti-caking agents, plus offers the side effect of boosting sebum control on the skin. I find this marketing on behalf of bare minerals to be deceptive and disingenuous. In order to be innovative instead of remaining true to the Leslie Blodgett philosophy, the ingredients used in this mineral makeup formula fall outside of her ideals today.....not necessarily a bad thing since certain synthetically derived ingredients can improve performance and increase benefits of skincare and makeup, but she has always been about avoiding certain ingredients.

However, to be fair, it may have absolutely nothing to do with her since Shiseido purchased her company back in January 2010 for 1.7 billion dollars and all reviews and purchases seem to be after this date. Shiseido is definitely an industry leader and may have decided they wanted to compete with more commercialized brands by using comparative technology.....but without the magical ingredient used in the other brands, I really would like to know how the water portion is suspended within the product without Sodium Polyacrylate, and most importantly, not disclosed on the ingredient deck?

Do These Mineral Makeup Powders Perform?

Well the majority of women who have tried Almay and Revlon remarked positively on the cooling feel and thought their brush was wet for the most part, but also noted they felt it to be chalky, gritty, silken, shiny, glittery, weird odor, had terrible coverage and no staying power. In fact many who reviewed these products including YouTube gurus, if they liked it, stated it was better as a setting powder rather than as a foundation since the consensus seems to be universal as to, the coverage was poor.

This maybe why bare minerals (Shiseido) chose to utilize this technology in a mineral veil since it proved to not have the capability to provide coverage based on the composition of the products. It may actually cause a symptomatic problem of adhesion if you listen to the video about it not being able to compress. But yet again, many who reviewed this mineral veil also found it to be chalky, gritty, or gave a weird glitter ball or greasy look to the skin. Some even reported it to be excessively pink and shiny.

Gimmicks Are Always Just That....

As I wrote about Almay Smart Shade last week, it is clear to see that marketing gimmicks in the beauty industry are alive and well. For the consumer they provide a fun and unique experience, yet in most instances they fall short of what they and unique will only go so far without performance.

Sometimes when things become too gimicky they lose the benefits of what we as manufacturers, really want to achieve and provide to the end user.

I love gimmicks, I love how they work in most cases, especially when dealing with a truly fun harmless synthetic chemical which does cool stuff when it is applied to water, such as fake snow or in mineral makeup. But if cooling effect is all it can provide, yet falls short of what women are really wanting and needing, such as excellent coverage without looking aged or like they just stepped out of a "Dance Fever" movie, then the gimmick will not sustain the product purchases.

Only time will tell if these too will eventually hit the discontinued graveyard of the products that went before them.

But you certainly don't need a gimmick with our mineral makeup since we use cooling ingredients anyway, which can be activated with the use of the Moist Method application. This provides a similar effect to the products listed above, yet will be clean and safe every time you use it without the risk of bacteria and mold growth. Water is water, (only used distilled or a moisture mist spray such as Perfect Balance Facial Toner on the brush), and water doesn't need to be a part of the ingredient profile but can be used when your heart desires, except with improved results of providing excellent coverage without the cakey, aged look, and achieving a velvety soft, flawless complexion.

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