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Posted by andriantoangkadirjo85 on May 24, 2011


You already know that Spend Less..Save More.. is my motto, right? I believe with this motto, I’m sure be able to survive to weathering tough economic times both in the year 2010 and the years ahead. Does anyone hasn’t read my posts about this? Just check it here : SPEND LESS..SAVE MORE.. & A Frugal Lifestyle.. So, here’s tips as an application of my motto in my daily life :

  1. I hardly ever dining out now.
  2. I hardly ever go to barbershop, just let my wife do the cutting of my hair..& it was not bad..:)

These tips are very good and apply to my situation, but not all. My suggest is read my posts, study all the tips and decide yourself which tips apply to yours and let the rest fly.

Since I work as apotheker in cosmetic industry , usually I read many articles including formulation and business in cosmetic. Lately, I just find out that with the same function, the product could be differ significantly in price. In other word, we can have the same result with the cheaper product. I try to gather these articles and resume so we can have better perspective and aware of such things, ie. get the same result with the cheaper product.

Another Spend Less.. Save cosmetics.. 🙂

The question is why people often don’t get the best quality of cosmetics for the amount they spend? Even sometimes they buy products that don’t work at all! Well, we are not realize of the mislead beauty myths that preoccupied our mind already, that trick us into spending more than we need to. These myths are all sound good. However, we have to be aware of if we want to be a smart shopper. Here’s just the 7 biggest beauty myths to be bust off :

1. If we pay more for a product, we should expect it to work better.

2. Beauty product advertising means exactly what it says.

3. Products from Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies have better   technology than drugstore or supermarket products.

4. Experts like stylists and dermatologists know the best products for your hair and skin.

5. If you spend enough money, you can find the right product to solve any skin and hair problem.

6. Chemicals are bad for your body, so you need to spend more on natural/ organic products.

7. Health food supplements will give you more beautiful hair and skin.

The beauty industry is a confusing combination of real cosmetic science and fictional marketing stories. To some extent one couldn’t survive without the other. The problem is that when a company leans too far to the marketing side, the customer may suffer. The exaggerated emphasis on making product look and sound better than they really are makes it tough for us to know what’s real and what’s not.

So, we have to be alert to three ways beauty brands baffle our brain :

1. Fooled by formulas. Sometimes companies use the same formula across different products, or even across different brands. One product is more expensive than other with the same formula !!

2. Confused by claims. A claim is any statement that a company makes about the properties of its product. ‘Long lasting lip color’, ‘5x stronger hair’, ‘reduces the appearance of wrinkles’ are all examples of claims. A cleverly written claim can imply the product does MORE than it really does to entice us into buying it.

3. Puzzled by packaging. By selling the product in more upscale packaging will convince the customer to pay more. It’s human nature to assume that if a product looks more prestigious than it will perform better. Our brain is easily tricked by packaging!

If you interested more get the article here How To Save Money On Beauty Products  

Later, we’ll see examples products cost higher but no guarantee of better achievement than cheaper one, straight from the inside experts who actually make these products.. more technically so if you’re not a chemist/apotheker it would be rather difficult..

1. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Facial Mask.

Customer Point :

If you have not tried the Rare Earth skincare line yet, this is a great time to try it. As a gal with oily skin who is not a fan of her pores, this product line targets them to pull all the toxins and gunk out of your pores. What’s not to love?

Experts Respond :

We should comment on this post from Product Girl on Kiehl’s Rare Earth Facial Mask. While we agree that Kiehl’s makes great products, they always seem over priced to us. Is there a way to get the same benefits for less money?

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Ingredients ($22 for 5 oz.)

Water, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, CI 77891, Zea mays, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80, Tocopherol Methylparaben Lecithin Retinyl Palmitate, Allantoin, acetyl methionine, Serica, Avena sativa, Prunus armeniaca, Persea gratissima, Triticum Vulgare, Guaiazulene, TBHQ, aloe barbadensis leaf extract.

Cautious clay

The most important ingredients in facial masks are the clays that produce the drying, tightening sensation. There are two basic types and Kiehl’s has them both: Kaolin clay (aka China clay or White clay) is very mild and is used for both sensitive skin and dry skin. It is good for use in masks because it does not expand with increasing water content. However, using too much Kaolin can make the product feel gritty.

Bentonite clay (a combination of montmorillonite and volcanic ash) is very absorbent and is best suited for oil skin. It doesn’t dissolve in water but it will absorb enough to swell to about eight times its weight.  However, large amounts of Bentonite will make the mask take longer to dry. In small quantities it helps make the mask more elastic.

The best mask formulas use a blend of both of these ingredients.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque Ingredients ($6.99 for 12 oz.)

Water, Kaolin, Bentonite (CI 77004), Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Propylene Glycol, Sulfur, Chromium Oxide Green (CI#77288), Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.

As you can see, both products have a blend of Kaolin and Bentonite.  But Kiehl’s is almost 9 times more expensive Queen Helene! At that price, the best use for this product may be to wear it as a face mask when you rob a bank so you can afford by buy more. (Just kiddin’, kind of.) But seriously, at that price, the cheaper alternatives, like Queen Helene, are at least worth a look.

2. Juice Beauty Moisturizer.

Customer Ask :

Does any one know some about Juice Beauty? I’m looking for a new mosturizer, but I don’t really know what to buy I don’t want something extremely expensive.

Experts Respond :

If you are looking for a new moisturizer but don’t want to spend a lot of money then Juice Beauty is not the product for you. Based on the ingredient lists and the marketing story, Juice Beauty products appear to be a bit over-priced for what you get. Of course, this is true of most facial products.

Juice Beauty Moisturizer

At $36 for 2 ounces of product Juice Beauty moisturizer is only about 50% more expensive than a store brand like Olay or Neutrogena. But is it 50% better? To figure this out we need to look at the ingredients and the marketing story.

Juice Beauty Ingredients

Here is the ingredient list for their nutrient moisturizer.

organic juices of vitis vinifera (white grape) juice, daucus carota sativa (carrot) juice & aloe barbadensis leaf juice, organic botanical extracts of calendula officinalis flower, matricaria chamomilla flower, tilia europea (linden) leaf & rose canina (rosehip) fruit, glycerin, organic plant oils of butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) & simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed, organic essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis (evening primrose), linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed & borago officinali (borage) seed, organic honey, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, organic algae extract, squalane, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), panthenol (vitamin B5), hyaluronic acid,hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, glyceryl stearate, potassium sorbate,phospholipids, beta carotene, palmitic acid, stearic acid, cetearyl glucoside, xanthan gum, disodium edta, sodium hydroxide, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, litsea cubeba (may chang), cananga odorata (ylang ylang), boswellia carterii (frankincense) & commiphora myrrha pure essential oils.

I have to give them credit, they sure pack a lot of ingredients into their formulas. But this is the first red flag. In fact, it could be a basic  belief.

“Beware of long ingredient lists”

You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a good moisturizer so when you see a long list you can be fairly certain that the company is trying to trick you. Why have carrots, aloe, grape juice, rose hip, jojoba, linseed, ylang ylang and more? Is this a martini, a salad or a moisturizer?..hahahaha…

Of the nearly 40 ingredients in the formula, only about 12 of them are actually making the product work. Those are the thickeners (hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, xanthan gum), and the “fatty/oily/moisturizing” materials (palmitic acid, stearic acid, cetearyl glucoside, glycerin). Other cosmetic ingredients like sodium hydroxide, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol & disodium EDTA are for preservation and formula adjustment. All of these ingredients can be found in less expensive store brands.

The rest of the ingredients are marketing fluff to make you think the product is worth more.

Juice Beauty story

On their website, Juice Beauty has the quote “Buy it because it’s organic…use it because it works.” They then go on to explain why “organic” is better than “non-organic” in an interesting Question and Answer section. In reality, no one has ever shown proof that using “organic” ingredients in skin care products will make them work any better or be any safer for you. It’s one of those things that might feel better even though it’s not.

Juice Beauty moisturizer contains ingredients proven to help moisturize your dried out skin. But these ingredients are the same ones you’ll find in less expensive store brands so you might want to try those products first. While Juice Beauty moisturizer is 50% more expensive, it’s not 50% better.

3. WEN®

Customer Ask :

This line of cleansing conditioners by Hollywood stylist Chaz Dean says that sulfates in most shampoos can be very damaging and stripping to hair and this cleansing conditioner cleans hair without stripping it. Can hair really be better off in the long run by cleansing with a conditioner? And if it does work, will a regular drugstore conditioner produce the same effect?

Experts Respond :

First of all, the idea of cleaning your hair with conditioner is not new and was not invented by Chaz. And no, he’s not using any kind of revolutionary technology. Let’s take a look at the ingredients

Wen ingredients

Water, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, rosemary leaf extract, wild cherry fruit extract, fig extract, chamomile extract, marigold flower extract, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, amodimethicone, hydrolized wheat protein, polysorbate 60, panthenol, menthol, sweet almond oil, PEG-60 almond glycerides, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, citric acid, essential oils.

Looking at just the functional ingredients (leaving out extracts, preservatives, pH adjusters, ) leaves the following:

glycerin, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (SADMA), and amodimethicone

These are very common conditioner ingredients. Here’s what they do: Glycerin can provide moisturization in a leave on product, but it doesn’t do anything for hair when it’s rinsed out. Cetyl and cetearyl alcohol are thickening and emulsifying agents are are used to make a conditioner rich and creamy. Because they`re oil soluble they could, in theory, help lift some of the sebum of your hair and scalp. Behentrimonium methosulfate, SADMA, and amodimethicone are very effective conditioning ingredients because they deposit on the hair.

Cleansing capability

Could you clean your hair with this product? Sure, if your hair isn’t very dirty this could work pretty well. But so could any basic conditioner. In fact, I’d look for a conditioner that doesn’t have any silicone in it, just to make sure it leaves as little on your hair as possible.

But what if you have greasy hair, or if you use hairspray, mousse gel, or putty? Then cleansing conditioners are not a very good idea. They don’t have enough cleansing power to remove gunk from the hair. Chances are that cleansing with conditioner will leave your hair feeling dirty and weighed down.

If you’re really worried about drying your hair out from over-shampooing, there’s nothing wrong with skipping your shampoo and just rinsing with conditioner once in a while. But you don’t need to spend $28 on a special product. A nice inexpensive drug store brand will do the same thing.

4. Penders products.

Customer Say :

 I’ve been told the new Paul Penders Natural Organic Products are better because they’re cold processed. Is this true?

Experts Respond :

If you’re worried about truthfulness in Penders products, cold processing is the least of your concerns. There’s so much exaggeration involved with this line I don’t even know where to start. But I guess I’ll force myself.

Penders products

First, for those of you who might now know, Paul Penders is based in theNetherlandsand has been selling natural cosmetics for over 35 years. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that but when a company makes claims that seem to be without a solid scientific foundation I feel compelled to comment.

Chill pill

I’ll begin with the cold processing comment. According to his website, Penders says normally, cosmetics are heat processed in temperatures that can exceed 40 degrees C. But this type of processing can significantly diminish the effectiveness of many active ingredients. While it’s true that some cosmetics are heated above 40 degrees C, that isn’t necessarily a problem.  That’s because not all ingredients are heat sensitive and for those that ARE, all you have to do is add them to the formula after it cools down. Problem solved. Cold processing sounds good, but it’s really just a marketing gimmick.

Silver bells and whistles

The next big issue in my mind is the emphasis on natural raw materials. Besides a host of extracts, the products contain colloidal gold and silver that actively and naturally sustain healthy skin. That’s just ridiculous. There’s no evidence that gold or silver is beneficial for skin in the context of typical cosmetic benefits (Silver does have certain anti-microbial but that’s another story.)

Penders also claims that all of the new Natural Organic Products are holistically and ethically produced, with no chemical colors, foam-boosters, emulsifiers, or harsh preservatives. At a glance, at least one of these claims is not quite true: his Natural Organic Low Suds shampoo uses laureth decyl polyglucose, a corn-derived surfactant that is most certainly used to boost foam. But hey, it’s got 22 natural herbs and it’s only $17.00 per bottle, that’s less than $1.00 per herb!

Finally, we’re not sure what holistically produced products are, but we question the ethics of fear-mongering and misleading consumers with overpriced promises. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If Pender has evidence of efficacy of these natural ingredients we’d be glad to review it.

5. OC8 Oil Control Genius.

Customer’s Curious :

I was wondering if you could tell me about the product OC8 Oil Control Genius. It says it has “ACRYSORB micro-particles” (which sounds like a marketing gimick to me), and it absorbs only the excess oil on your skin. I’m just wondering if it really does absorb the excess oil like it says it does. And if it is absorbing oil, like it says it is, and it’s all sitting on your skin, would this cause acne?

Experts Respond :

Acrysorb sounds like Marketing hype to us too! Let’s take a closer look:


Purified water, Acrysorb (brand of acrylates copolymer), propylene glycol, PEG-400, carbomer 940, sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, and disodium EDTA.

The last two are easy: methyparaben and disodium EDTA are simply preservatives. The PEG-400 and Carbomer 940 are thickeners; the sodium hydroxide is a neutralizing agent for the carbomer (that’s what makes it get thick). The propylene glycol provide some humectant properterties and finally the Acrysorb (which is just their trade name for a type of acrylate polymer, is in the formula to absorb oil as they suggest.)


Is this kind of absorption possible? Well, there are certain types of acrylate copolymers that can absorb oil. So theoretically, this kind of product could “trap” some of the surface oil on the skin and make your skin feel less greasy. That should not contribute to acne breakouts, however, because oily skin is not the only cause of acne. You also need bacteria and clogged pores.

But while it could work in theory, we doubt that it could absorb enough oil to really make a difference on your skin. To be fair, we haven’t actually tested it so we can’t say for sure.
6. Stila Hair Refresher.
Customer Ask :

Is Stila Hair Refresher anything more than thirty-dollar talcum powder?

Experts Respond :

Actually, this Stila product is not a $30 bottle of talc powder. It’s a $28 bottle of CORNSTARCH powder. Ok, to be fair they also throw in a little silk and tapioca starch, but for the most part it’s just cornstarch. (Aren’t you glad you watched our amazing cornstarch video. What, you didn’t watch it? Shame on you!)

Anyway, the product also contains fragrance to make it smell nice, a little silica to prevent caking, and a bunch of preservatives which it doesn’t really need since there’s no water in the product.

Does it work? Well, it sure smells nice and it will absorb some oil from your hair but there’s no special technology in the formula that makes it work better. We just can’t imagine that it’s worth this much money. Still, some of the people over at Makeup alley rave about it. To each her own!

Corn starch, silk powder, tapioca starch, mica, silica silyate, fragrance, benzyl benzoate, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben

7. Phytospecific Vital Force Cream Bath.

Customer Ask :

if one of Oprah’s favorite products, Phytospecific Vital Force Cream Bath, is good for ethnic hair and if it’s worth the money..
Experts Respond :
In our answer we explained why ethnic hair needs special treatment. We’ll talk about what this product is supposed to do and what it really does but first let’s address some of the comments from the previous post.

Some questioned why we used the terms “ethnic hair” and “distorted” hair shaft. We didn’t choose these terms to be judgmental or prejudiced – these are simply terms commonly used in the cosmetic industry to describe this type of hair. “Ethnic” is just the short hand to describe African or Afro-American hair. “Distorted” just means that the “bean” shaped cross section of this type of hair is different from the uniformly circular cross section that some hair has.  We forget sometimes that not everyone has the same vocabulary as those of us in the industry do and we apologize if that caused anyone concern.

Ok, now let’s take a look at the product:

Phytospecific ingredients

A quick review of the ingredients reveals a rich, although somewhat standard, mixture of conditioning ingredients. These use 4 different conditioning quats, (most conditioners only use 1 or 2); 2 types of silicones (but notably lacking in dimethicone, the most effective silicone conditioner); and 4 different natural oils (shea butter, jojoba, sesame and castor) that probably don’t do anything because of their low concentration and lack of substantivity. Finally, there are a few featured ingredients like keratin and panthenol that don’t add significant functionality.

What is this miracle product supposed to do? According to their website:

This unique blend of plant oils and Shea butter meets the needs of sensitized hair that has been made porous through chemical treatments or damaged by excessive styling. Brimming with highly nourishing and hydrating active ingredients, it penetrates to the core of the hair to rebuilt its natural defenses, strengthen brittle hair fibers and regenerate the scalp.

While much of the wording is advertising jargon, this product should be good for porous damaged hair. It will not, however, regenerate your scalp.

Keratin amino acids, Panthenol and Tocopherol, and anti-oxidant, help protect from external stress factors, prevent the formation of spit ends and maintain quality straightening results.

These ingredients are not really functional in the formula. They’re only there to increase the marketing appeal of the product.

Formulated under medical control and subjected to effectiveness tests, they ensure visible and long-lasting results from the first use.

This is a nice piece of marketing hype. Cosmetic products aren’t formulated under medical control although they may be medically tested to make sure they are non-irritating. Therefore, this claim doesn’t mean much.

Is Phytospecific a good product? Based on our review of the ingredients, it appears to formulated with a lot of good stuff. But $32 bucks for 6.76 fl ounces seems a bit steep, even for a good conditioner. While it appears to be an effective formula for ethnic hair, there’s no new technology here that justifies that high of a price. You can find other good conditioners much cheaper. Motions products, for example, are very good for the price.

8.Sense facial care.

Customer’s Question :

 I’ve been using the Sense facial care product line from Usana for quite a bit a time now, and I can say they have the best products I’ve used. They have quite a lot of plant extracts in their formulas, but after reading your blog for a long time, they probably do not work. So what is it that makes the products work so well?  Is the cleanser gentle because it has no SLS in it? And does the wax beadlets in the Rice Bran Polisher better than synthetic microbeads in normal skin exfoliators?  And finally (phew!) does the Perfecting Essence really do anything? Also, I hope you guys can give me some information on cheaper products that are compatible with these more expensive ones.

Experts Respond :

Whew! You asked for a lot of information; I’ll try to give you some simple answers.

Gentle Cleanser

This formula does contain mild functional surfactants such as sucrose cocoate and PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate. But it also contains foaming ingredients like yucca and soapwart that are in the formula because they sound good, not because they are very functional. Similarly, it contains natural extracts that sound good but which don`t really have any benefit in a rinse off cleanser, like Green tea leaf, Clary sage, and soybean protein.

Rice Bran Polisher

There’s nothing magical about wax beadlets. I’ve seen good products formulated with wax beads, synthetic microbeads, and even natural abrasives like walnut shells. It just depends on the type of exfoliation that you like.

Perfecting Essence

This product makes some outrageous claims about providing skin tissue building blocks. It may be a perfectly fine moisturizer, but I wouldn’t expect much more than that.

Finally, there are many cheaper products out there for you to try, you really don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re compatible. It’s really more a question of your taste, budget, and what works for your skin.

9. The Original Little Sprout line of baby products.

Customer Write :

I just got married AND I have a new baby. My friends told me to try “The Original Little Sprout line of baby products but, even though my husband Tom says we can afford it, I wonder if it’s really worth the money. What do you think?

Experts Respond :

As a rule, we find that cosmetics for celebrities (baby or otherwise) are over-hyped and over-priced. The Original Little Sprout line doesn’t appear to be much different.

Little Sprout Science

We looked at several products including their “2 in 1 Soft & Clean BABY SHAMPOO & BODY WASH” ($13.98 for 8.5 oz) and we weren’t impressed. While their website assures us that “An exquisite mixture of SOOTHING BOTANICALS leave your Little Sprout’s hair & skin ultra soft, nurtured & clean” a review of their ingredients reveals a pretty standard baby shampoo type formula. And as we’ve said MANY times – botanicals don’t really do squat! Here’s how they list theiringredients (complete with their spelling errors!):

Little Sprout ingredients

Aqua (WATER,Cocamidoproplye Betaine (FROM COCONUTS & BEETS), Sodium sweetalmondphoacetate (FROM ALMONDS) Sodium lauroyl Glutamate (MILD CONDITIONER & ANTIOXDIDANT) Decyl Glucoside (GENTLE SURFACTANT) Sunflowerseedamphoacetate (from SUNFLOWER OIL) peg 150 distearate, methylisothiazolinone-mild preservative,Methylchlorothiazolinone (E.U. APPROVED PRESERVATIVES).

It’s hard to fully decipher their ingredient list because of multiple spelling errors and their use of incorrect ingredient names. (They even misspelled “anti-oxidant.” As scientists, it’s hard for us to support a company that can’t even spell the names of their ingredients correctly. We hope they’re not that sloppy when formulating their products!! But we digress…)

Basically, it’s a baby shampoo. Instead of sodium or ammonium lauryl and laureth sulfates (which most shampoos use) this product uses the same basic ingredients as other baby shampoos: amphoacetate, decyl glucoside, and glutamates as primary cleaning agents and PEG-150 distearate to thicken and boost foam.

Is this a good shampoo for babies? Yes, it appears to be. Is it in any way better than a regular baby shampoo that costs much less? Not technically speaking. We do have one good thing to say about their formula, however: it’s fragrance free. So if your baby is particularly sensitive to fragrance, then this product could have an advantage. But it’s really rare for that to be a problem. For the most part, they`re trying to mislead you by cashing in on a fear of chemicals that’s based on bad science. They even make a big deal out of their products being paraben free when there’s no proof that parabens are bad in the first place (Go read our post on the perils of parabens for the true story on that topic!)

Do you need to be cautious about the products you use on infants? Certainly! But you don’t need to spend a lot of money to be careful. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person that wants to impress other women by using the same thing on your baby that Angelina Jolie uses on little Maddox, or if your goal is to be like Courntey Cox, Debra Messing, Brooke Shields, and other Hollywood types who are Little Sprout Devouts, then go for it. But we would rather skip the extravagant celebrity-hyped products and start saving for college!

10. Redken’s All Soft conditioner.

Customer Speak :

Nothing makes my wavy hair feel as great as using Redken’s All Soft conditioner and I want to know why. I accept that this may be my fate, but I’m not really delighted by spending that much money on conditioner when I swear by cheap shampoo. I aspire to be a beauty brain, so I looked at the ingredients of the $12, 250mL bottle and compared them to the 80-cent, 590mL bottle of White Rain regular conditioner I got at the discount store.
Expert Respond :

Wow, thanks for one of the best product analyses we’ve seen. We love it when our loyal readers catch the scientific spirit of what we’re trying to do. For everyone else to see, here’s how she laid out the problem:

Customer’s Suppositions

White Rain ingredients
Water, cetyl alcohol, dicetyldimonium chloride, sorbitol, phenosyethanol, stearyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, ceteareth-20, behenyl alcohol, fragrance, citric acid (Not many ingredients but they all sound familiar after reading your site for awhile.)

All Soft ingredients
Water (Aqua), Behenalkonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol Ceteth-3 Acetate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG 100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, PPG-5 Ceteth-10, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Taurine, Oleth 10, Disodium Cocamidoproprionate, Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Avocado/Persea Gratissima, Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Trehalose, Arginine HCI, Orange No. 4 (CI 15510), Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

So the marketing folk at Redken say that Avocado Oil = softness & moisture; Proteins = help strengthen; and Amino Acids = deep conditioning. But I say, looking at the ingredients, it’s got to be the glycerin. Avocado and proteins are pretty far down the list, and glycerin doesn’t show up in other conditioners, not even in most of Redken’s own other formulas (and nowhere near as high in the ingredient list). Glycerin is moisturizing, So my question is, a) am I right? Is it glycerin that makes my hair rock? If so, then b) what is it doing to rock so hard? And c) how likely am I to find cheaper brands that have it in the first five ingredients?

The real deal

Now, let us help you understand even better by dissecting the ingredients in Redken one by one.

  • Water – the solvent that acts as the carrier for all the other ingredients.
  • Behenalkonium Chloride – a long chain fatty conditioning agent, good for classic conditioning and moisturization.
  • Glycerin – not really functional in rinse off conditoners because it rinses down the drain. (So sorry, but you were wrong about that part!)
  • Cetearyl Alcohol – a thickener/emulsifier that is really a blend of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol.
  • Propylene Glycol Ceteth-3 Acetate – an emulsifier.
  • Cyclopentasiloxane – a type of silicone used as a light conditioner and spreading agent.
  • Cetyl Alcohol – thickener/emulsifier.
  • PEG 100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate – more emulsifiers
  • Fragrance – mmmm, smells soft.
  • Cetrimonium Chloride – an inexpensive traditional conditioner. Works well with the Behenalkonium chloride.
  • Dimethicone – a type of high molecular weight silicone that gives a protective layer on hair.
  • Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride – good, mild conditioner made from guar beans.
  • PPG-5 Ceteth-10 – yet another emuslifier.
  • Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA – preservatives
  • Disodium Cocamidoproprionate – a surfactant that helps disperse the other stuff in the formula.
  • Taurine, Oleth 10, Lecithin, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Avocado/Persea Gratissima, Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Trehalose, Arginine HCI, – basically featured ingredients that don’t add much, if any, efficacy to the product. Interestingly, Trehalose is a wood fiber that supposedly can replace silicone as a conditioning agent. We’ve tried to make formulations with it and could never get it do to a damn thing!
  • Phosphoric Acid- controls the pH.
  • Orange No. 4 (CI 15510), Yellow 5 (CI 19140) – colorants.

Alright, there you have a complete analysis of what each ingredient in the formula does.

Rock and/or roll

Which one makes the formula “rock,” as you so eloquently put it? Well, it’s certainly NOT the glycerin, that pretty much rinses off. It’s also not the avocado oil or other ingredients that Redken mentioned. It’s really the multiple conditioners in the formula but if we had to pick one or two we’d say it’s the combination of the Behenalkonium Chloride and the Cyclopentasiloxane.

11. Arbonne Skin Moisturizing.

Customer Ask :

Take Arbonne Skin Moisturizing lotion for example…

Expert Respond :

Ingredients Arbonne Skin Moisturizing lotion:
Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100Stearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20,Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Althaea Officinalis RootExtract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Taraxacum Officinale(Dandelion) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Ergocalciferol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Dimethicone, Quaternium-15, Triethanolamine

And if we get rid of all the “fluff” ingredients that don’t have a major impact on the formula, the ingredient list looks more like this…

Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Dimethicone, Quaternium-15,Triethanolamine

This is a standard lotion complete with water, fatty alcohols, oils, emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives. All of the natural sounding ingredients are added to boost the image of the product and do not actually do anything.

Ingredients that do have an effect like Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid & Carbomer are the same ingredients found in store brands like Jergens. Here’s the list of the Jergens Extra Dry Skin Moisturizing lotion

Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Ceteareth-20, AluminumStarch Octenylsuccinate, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum),Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, DMDM Hydrantoin, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Cetyl PGHydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Allantoin, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide

While these formulas are not identical, they do use similar technology and will essentially work the same.

If two products work the same but one costs less, why wouldn’t you buy the less expensive product? If you want to save money, you should.

12. Dr. Perricone’s Neuropeptide Firming Moisturizer.

Customer Ask :

Dr. Perricone’s Neuropeptide Firming Moisturizer sells for $280 for 2 ounces and claims “…to help firm,lift and tone sagging skin while correcting the appearance of deeplines and wrinkles.”

Experts Respond :

If you look at the ingredients of the product…

Aqua (Water), Isopropyl Palmitate, Taurine, Cetearyl Alcohol, L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylcholine, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pyridoxine HCl, Disodium EDTA, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Tocotrienols, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Neuropeptide), Parfum (Fragrance)

We see that it contains standard ingredients like emollients, fatty alcohols, emulsifiers, and all the other things you find in much less expensive products. The special ingredients that are pointed out such as DMAE, Phospholipids and Tocotrienols have not been sufficiently proven to have a noticeably beneficial effect when delivered from a topical skin lotion.

So that’s it.. if you have comment, write down below.

andriantoangkadirjo85 bottom line

– Spend Less..Save More..In Cosmetics really an interesting topic as we learn that many cosmetics are more expensive than the other with the same function.

– If we don’t want to get tricked, just be a critical shopper. Read the ingredients at the bottle/box, studying them, than compare with other products at the discount store/drugstore.

– There are many beauty myths that preoccupied our brain that need to be bust off.



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