Facial Wash Formulas Deciphered

Nov 1, 2010 | Contact Author | By: Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.
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Title: Facial Wash Formulas Deciphered
facial washx surfactantsx fatty alcoholsx betainex emollientsx moisturizersx UV stabilizersx
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Keywords: facial wash | surfactants | fatty alcohols | betaine | emollients | moisturizers | UV stabilizers

Abstract: Complementing his regular “Anatomy of a Formula” column that explains how to build formulas from individual ingredients, Eric Abrutyn now takes a top-down approach by breaking commercial products down to examine their individual components in this new column, “Formulas Deciphered.”

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ES Abrutyn, Formulas deciphered: Facial wash, Cosm & Toil 125(11) 16-21 (Nov 2010)

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Editor’s note: Complementing his regular “Anatomy of a Formula” column that explains how to build formulas from individual ingredients, Eric Abrutyn now takes a top-down approach by breaking commercial products down to examine their individual components in this new column, “Formulas Deciphered.”

Facial washes, offered either as clear liquids or opaque base creams, have been around for some time. The primary performance characteristics include: a creamy lather with some level of foam that spreads without dripping, exhibits low irritation, imparts a soft/silky after-feel, is non-drying and is easy to rinse off. In the case of facial wash, it is appropriate to reduce the surface cleaning properties so as not to strip away desirable lipids on the skin surface.

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Figure 1. Coco-betaine

Chemical structure of coco-betaine

Coco-betaine, shown in Figure 1, has a positively charged cationic functional group such as a quaternary ammonium or phosphonium cation.

Figure 2. Cocamidopropyl betaine

Chemical structure of cocamidopropyl betaine

When a cocamidopropyl constituent is attached to a coconut fatty acid, cocamidopropyl betaine results, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3. Johnson & Johnson's Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser

Image of Johnson & Image of Johnson

Johnson & Johnson's Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser, shown in Figure 3, is formulated with salicylic acid to prevent and treat acne.

Figure 4. Reckitt Benckiser's Clearasil Ultra Overnight Wash

Image of Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser's Clearasil Ultra Overnight Wash, shown in Figure 4, is a recent launch to the Clearasil brand range of anti-acne products.

Biography: Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.

Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.

Eric S. Abrutyn is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, a Cosmetics & Toiletries scientific advisory board member, and chairman of the Personal Care Products Council’s International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) Committee. Recently retired from Kao Brands, Abrutyn founded TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc., a personal care consultancy. He has more than 35 years of experience in the raw material supplier and skin and hair care manufacturer aspects of personal care.

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