Read the Label: Skinfood Apple Mango Hair Essence


The Korean hair care market pays attention to conditioning. Essences are used daily, especially by professional hairdressers, and recommended for silky, smooth hair cuticles. This Skinfood essence is a mist spray. The present column will review the ingredient listing for functionality and claims substantiation.

The scent of the essence is, contrary to the product claim, made with apple scent (artificial parfum, not extract) and mango extract (Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract). The texture is light. This formulation claims to soften hair (without weighing it down or making it stick together) and provide both volume and shine.

The instructions direct its use for wet or dry hair for optimal softening, nourishing and hydrating effects. The essence is sprayed directly onto wet hair after shampooing and towel-drying or prior to blow-drying for a voluminous effect; on dry hair, to refresh the style mid-day.

After water, the first ingredient of the formulation, VP/VA copolymer, functions as a hair fixative resin that provides light hold. Alcohol (denatured) is added to allow for quicker drying time, and the humectants include dipropylene glycol, betaine and hydrolyzed keratin to add a protective, water-absorbing film layer.

PVP acts as a film-former, foam-booster and stabilizer. Polysorbate 80 is a co-emulsifier and PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil is the emulsifier solubilizing the lipid system. Further, methacryloyl ethyl betaine acrylates copolymer is a film-forming hair fixative, and diethoxyethyl succinate allows for frizz control.

Citric acid is a stabilizer, benzophenone-9 a UV-absorbing filter and disodium EDTA a chelating agent. This water-based formulation is preserved with phenoxyethanol and methylparaben. In my view, the claims are met by the ingredients, although I cannot comment to what extent.

Ingredients: Water (aqua), VP/VA Copolymer, Alcohol Denat., Dipropylene Glycol, Betaine, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, PVP, Polysorbate 80, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methacryloyl Ethyl Betaine Acrylates Copolymer, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Citric Acid, Benzophenone-9, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Parfum, CI 15985, CI 60730

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