Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

The Science of Beauty

The Chemical Compounds in Cosmetics

Due to the terrible redness and pimply-ness of my face I try to it hide with layers makeup over the top. Sounds like nice and easy solution to hide the disaster zone that is my skin but finding nice foundation is very difficult. Having giant pores, acne scars, and active acne, I often wonder if the long list of ingredients that I cannot pronounce on the bottles will actually do anything to help.

In this blog I will investigate some of the chemical substances that are found in foundations and if they’re properties are useful in cosmetics. Surely there must be some science behind all the different ingredients and chemical compounds in makeup!

Maybelline FitME Matte + Poreless Foundation 30 mLL'oreal Paris True Match Foundation 30 mL

I thought I would start by investigating some foundations I have and wear on a daily basis, L’Oréal’s True Match and Maybelline’s Fit Me foundations. Both of them contained isododecane, cyclohexasiloxane and glycerin in various amounts. Why?

Isododecane is a common ingredient in cosmetics, in everything from lipstick to mascaras and of course foundations. Its main role in foundations is to allow for easy and smooth application to the skin with no recorded side effects. Isododecane is unsaturated 2,2,4,6,6-pentamethylheptane, a hydrocarbon that prevents water evaporation from the skin.

The hydrocarbon is highly hydrorefined and quick to dry. Being hydrorefined means it cannot be felt or seen on the skin once dry as the substance is that smooth. Isododecane drys so quickly that it sets the foundation before it can be effected by wear, which makes it in very useful for the application and longevity of foundations.

So isododecane seems to make sense but what about cyclohexasiloxane?

Well it is also found in deodorants and hair conditioner but has similar effects as isododecane in regards to smooth application of cosmetics.

Cyclohexasiloxane’s bonus feature is its ability to fill in wrinkles and fine lines. It is a cyclic silicon-based polymer that has great abilities to build up and remain in hollows of the skin’s surface. Doing the same in hair conditioner to follicles of hair.

You would think this ingredient could be problematic and not assist in my acne issue but the silicone polymer that fills in the larger pores and hollows of my acne scars will not block any pores of the skin. The polymer it self is porous and resistant to air, being breathable for the skin and not creating future acne by blocking pores.

Glycerin is one ingredient that interested me. Isn’t it a food sweetener? Why would they put it in cosmetics?

Turns out glycerin can be great for the skin as well as food! It can be used as a skin-repairing substance in low concentrations and in combination with other ingredients.

Used in most moisturizers, glycerin draws water from within the dermis to the surface of the skin, reducing the surface dryness. In combinations with fatty acids, glycerin can be useful at healing skin, reducing dermatitis and restoring skin barriers.

Glycerin sounds super helpful with my current skin condition.

So there is a lot of logic and science behind the crazy list of ingredients and almost impossible names to say on the back of my foundation bottles. Everything I researched in combinations with other ingredients play an important role in foundations success at hiding my horrible face.




One comment on “The Science of Beauty

  1. tanvi05
    May 8, 2016

    Really good topic, I have always wondered what all the big names on my cosmetic products were supposed to do. Sometime i thought they were just there to make the product look cool because lot of people are not aware of them. Are they good or bad for our skin, no one knows. But after reading your blog, it makes me want to find out what all the chemicals in any of my products do. Will always research before purchasing now.
    Overall, the blog was really good and easy to read. very interesting.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 21, 2016 by in Geelong - Wednesday 3pm, Uncategorized.

Deakin Authors

%d bloggers like this: