For Reference: Ingredient Research

This will be an on-going list of ingredients I have done some quick research into, mainly ingredients I have come across on products that I had no clue about and/or wanted to find more info on.

  • Dimethicone – via WebMD: “This medication is used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations […]. Emollients are substances that soften and moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking. Some products […] are used mostly to protect the skin against irritation (e.g., from wetness).” Side Effects: “Most emollients can be used safely and effectively with no side effects. However, burning, stinging, redness, or irritation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.”

    Via “A silicone based polymer. Also referred to as polydimethylsiloxane. One of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics,dimethicone works as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and skin & hair conditioner- it prevents water loss by forming a hydrating barrier on the skin. Like most silicones, this ingredient has a unique fluidity that makes it easily spreadable. When applied to the skin, its known for creating a subtle gloss that feels smooth and silky to touch. It also acts a mild water repellent by forming a protective barrier on the skin, and can fill in fine lines/wrinkles on the face, giving it a temporary ‘plump’ look.” [read more]

    Concerns: via EWG’s Skin Deep: “Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)Other LOW concerns: Data gaps, Ecotoxicology”. Also via Dr. Frank Lipman: “Why Dimethicone is Bad for Your SkinThat artificial coating on the outside of skin causes several issues: It traps everything under it—including bacteria, sebum, and impurities—which could lead to increased breakouts and blackheads; The coating action actually prevents the skin from performing its normal activities—like sweating, temperature regulating, sloughing off dead skin cells, etc.; Prolonged exposure to dimethicone can actually increase skin irritation, due to the coating property and because dimethicone is listed as a possible skin and eye irritant; Those with sensitive or reactive skin are at risk of an allergic reaction to dimethicone; On top of all this, dimethicone is a non-biodegradable chemical—bad for the environment.” [read more]

  • Royal Jelly – via WebMD: “Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker honey bees. It typically contains about 60% to 70% water, 12% to 15% proteins, 10% to 16% sugar, 3% to 6% fats, and 2% to 3% vitamins, salts, and amino acids. Its composition varies depending on geography and climate. This product gets its name from the fact that bees use it for the development and nurturing of queen bees. […] Some people apply royal jelly directly to the skin as a tonic or to the scalp to encourage hair growth.” — did not know that! I need to definitely try that!

  • Thioctic Acid – via – aka Alpha Lipoic Acid, “an antioxidant used in cosmetics, personal care formulas, and anti-aging products because of its ability to scavenge free-radicals which lead to premature aging and wrinkling. According to, Thioctic Acid is “readily transported through cellular membranes and helps to recycle other antioxidants – when vitamin E for instance quenches lipid peroxidation, and a vitamin E radical is formed, alpha lipoic acid will reduce it back to the active state of vitamin E. The same reaction occurs in the presence of the anti-oxidant, vitamin C.” By containing free radicals, less oxidative damage is done, and aging can be prevented at the cellular level. Thioctic Acid is also thought to serve as an anti-inflammatory by preventing the activation of NFk-B and cytokines from forming.” [link to read more]

  • Acyl sarcosine – via – “Oleoyl Sarcosine: The acyl sarcosines (Cocoyl Sarcosine, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Myristoyl Sarcosine, Oleoyl Sarcosine, Stearoyl Sarcosine) are modified fatty acids, and acyl sarcosinates (Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Ammonium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Ammonium Lauroyl Sarcosinate) are their respective salts. In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are used in the formulation of shampoos, bath, cleansing and shaving products. […] Acyl sarcosines and sarcosinates enhance the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment. They also clean skin and hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. Scientific Facts: The acyl sarcosines are prepared from fatty acids and sarcosine, which is a breakdown product of creatine or caffeine. These modified fatty acids impart greater solubility, crystallinity and acidity compared to the parent fatty acid , i.e., coconut acid, oleic acid, lauric acid, and myristic acid.” [link to read more]Via National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) – “Carcinogenicity data were not available. These ingredients are nonirritating and nonsensitizing to animal and human skin, although they can enhance the penetration of other ingredients through the skin. For that reason, caution should be exhibited in formulating cosmetic products that contain these ingredients in combination with other ingredients whose safety is based on their lack of absorption or where dermal absorption is a concern (e.g., HC Yellow No. 4, Disperse Yellow 3). Because sarcosine can be nitrosated to form N-nitrososarcosine, a known animal carcinogen, these ingredients should not be used in cosmetic products in which N-nitroso compounds may be formed. With the above caveat, and based on the available data, it was concluded that these acyl sarcosines and sarcosinates are safe as used in rinse-off products.” You can read the full safety report article here.

  • Cocamidopropyl betaineEnvironmental Work Group (EWG) ranks this in the low to moderate scale of Health Concerns. From their website: “Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic surfactant; it has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, reactions that could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it, such as 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. Function(s): Antistatic Agent; Hair Conditioning Agent; Skin-Conditioning Agent – Miscellaneous;Surfactant – Cleansing Agent; Surfactant – Foam Booster; Viscosity Increasing Agent – Aqueous; FOAM BOOSTING; VISCOSITY CONTROLLING” [link to read more]Via Livestrong: “Cocamidopropyl betaine is a chemical found in many personal care products, including shampoo, toothpaste and body wash. The chemical is derived from coconuts and is used to make products produce more foam. Because cocamidopropyl betaine originates from coconut oil, even some personal care products labeled as natural still contain it. Although the government regards the ingredient as safe, some people do have negative reactions after exposure to it.
    […] can cause allergic reactions in some people, according to Tom’s of Maine. Some of the reactions the chemical can cause include irritated skin and rashes. […] can also cause serious skin reactions, including burning and itching. According to the online natural living magazine, cocamidopropyl betaine is even linked to blistering skin, especially in products with a lot of impurities. […] As an ingredient in shampoos for both adults and children, cocamidopropyl betaine can easily get into the eyes. This may cause significant eye irritation, according to the HERA Project, which assesses the risks of ingredients in common household products.” [link to read more]

  • Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosine – this also falls under the same category as the acyl sarcosines previously mentioned above. Via : “Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is the salt of lauroyl sarcosine (produced by the breakdown of creatine or caffeine), a modified fatty acid. It is often seen in shampoos, bath, cleansing and shaving products as a foaming agent, surfactant, and hair conditioning agent, according to and Wikipedia. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate has the ability to enhance the appearance and feel of hair by improving body, suppleness and sheen, especially in hair that is chemically damaged. This ingredient also serves to clean skin and hair by mixing with oil and dirt and enabling them to be rinsed away. As a modified fatty acid, it is thought to be more soluble, and have increased crystallinity and acidity compared to its original fatty acid composition. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is FDA approved as an indirect food additive, and CIR approved when used in rinse-off products, or in leave-on products at concentrations of 5% or less. Safety Measures/Side Effects of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate: The Cosmetics Database finds sodium lauroyl sarcosinate to be a moderate hazard ingredient, primarily because of its potential to be contaminated with nitrosamine (a known carcinogen) and because of its classification as a penetration enhancer, which may alter skin structure and allow other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate should not be used in cosmetics and personal care products in which N-nitroso compounds may be formed ( Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful, and has a low oral toxicity. It is not found to be mutagenic, irritating or sensitizing, although as stated above, it may enhance the penetration of other ingredients through the skin.” [link to read more]

  • GRECAT BTMS-350 – tradename for: Behetrimorium methosulfate; Cetearyl alcohol; ISOPR – via “Behetrimorium methosulfate is basically considered to be the most promising hair detangling ingredient ever; it is also considered to not only be effective but also safe and mild to use. Behetrimorium methosulfate is also known as BTMS, Behenyl Trimethyl Ammonium Methosulfate and Docosyltrimethylammonium Methyl Sulphate. It is synthetically created from modified rapeseed oil. It may be seen as off-white pastille shaped with a faint odor when in room temperature. It is insoluble in water but dispersible in both water and oil.” [link to read more]via LUSHopedia: “Cetearyl alcohol is a white, waxy, solid material in the form of flakes. It is oil soluble, but it is not water-soluble. It is a mixture of fatty alcohols.An alcohol in this sense is not a fermented mixture; it is a chemical compound of a certain molecular structure based on carbon and oxygen. Fatty alcohols were originally prepared from fats and oils by hydrolysis, which produces fatty acids. These were then hydrogenated to form fatty alcohols. More efficient forms of hydrogenation enable fatty alcohols to be formed directly from triglycerides (vegetable oils). Cetearyl alcohol is a wonderful emulsifier. In creams and lotions, it supports the main emulsion system and gives texture to the product. In conditioners, it creates a thickening effect. We use it about 1%. Cetearyl alcohol in combination with other ingredients in the formula (such as triethanolamine and stearic acid) forms an emulsion. This stops the oil and water from separating.” [link to read more]

  • Cetyl alcohol – “works as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients contained in a cosmetic solution. It keeps the oil and water parts of an emulsion from separating, and gives products good spreadability. […] It is often misinterpreted as an “alcohol” related to ethyl or rubbing alcohol, both of which can be extremely drying to the skin. The truth, in fact, is quite the opposite, as cetyl alcohol is well known to effectively condition and soften the skin and hair. Because of its multi-functional capabilities, this ingredient is used in a wide range of personal care products such as moisturizer, face cream, shampoo/conditioner, anti-aging treatment, hair dye, sunscreen, cleanser and lipstick.” via Truth In Aging.

  • MSM is methylsulfonylmethane.  According to WebMD, it is “a chemical found in plants, animals, and humans. It can also be made in a laboratory.” If we were take the benefits relating to skin only from the information on these two sites here and here, it would break down as follows: helps reduce wrinkles, protection against sun/wind burn, oral hygiene, improves skin health and complexion, accelerates healing, and anti-inflammatory.

  • Tea Tree Oil – “Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil is thought to have antiseptic properties and has been used to prevent and treat infections.” from MayoClinic.

  • Sea Salt

  • Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C

  • Mineral Oil – I know mineral oil has been a controversial ingredient in beauty products for the past few years, so if you’d like to read up more about that, here are some links that may be informative on both sides of the debate, and may help you decide whether or not you want to use products containing it: Is mineral oil bad for the skin? | 3 key reasons to avoid mineral oil | Why mineral oil is bad for your skin | Beauty myth or fact: Mineral oil is bad for your skin

  • to be continued…

From that information I gathered, some of the ingredients could be mildy concerning. Make your best judgement in using products, be sure to observe whether you develop any of the side effects noted after use of the product, and if so discontinue use immediately.

4 thoughts on “For Reference: Ingredient Research

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