Polyethylene beads are being scrutinized across the country for not being biodegradable and being made from non-renewable petrochemical sources. Unilever’s St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub takes advantage of two hot trends in the cosmetic industry by using natural exfoliants in the “brightening” category. This column will review the ingredient listing for functionality and claims substantiation.
The natural exfoliant in this opaque scrub is hydrated silica, a form of silicon dioxide (sand). Glycerin is the primary humectant or moisturizing agent. The sulfate-free surfactants are a blend of sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate, decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine and disodium 2-sulfolaurate. Cocamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloride phosphate is a multifunctional conditioning phospholipid that also helps to counteract irritation from anionic surfactants and boost the preservative system. Acrylates/palmeth-25 acrylate copolymer and acrylates copolymer are the synthetic thickening and suspending agents. Polyacrylamide is a film-former per the manufacturer, but I am not sure of its purpose in a wash-off scrub.
The “bio-active” or cosmeceutical ingredients include Citrus medica limonum (lemon) fruit extract and Citrus nobilis (mandarin orange) peel extract. The preservative system is a proprietary blend of phenethyl alcohol and methylisothiazolinone in PPG-2 methyl ether.
The colorants are red 30 and titanium dioxide, which form red beads in the product. Also included in the formula is chelating agent disodium EDTA and fragrance. In my opinion, the ingredients listed do support the marketing claims of “sulfate free," "100% natural exfoliants" and “oil free.”