Ingredient Super Stars
Ingredient Names You May Not Recognize
Let's talk preservatives and why they are necessary in your products. Preservative systems are specially designed to reduce the likelihood of a product growing unwanted bacteria and mold. In the organic and naturally derived skin care world, we are more careful about the preservative systems used.
All unpreserved products will go bad, and those containing water will degrade faster. Unlike the ‘sniff test’ some of us give the carton of milk in our refrigerator, spoiled beauty products may often look and smell just fine even when teeming with harmful microorganisms. Who wants to put that on their skin? Signs that something isn’t quite right may include an off-smell, separation, or visual evidence of mold. Unpreserved products can be contaminated by the water in the product, mold spores in the air, even unseen contaminants in your packaging as well as the germs introduced with fingers, sponges, brushes and other applicators. A stable preservative system can keep your product safe and free from microorganism for months and years. Organic Moon maintains a strong commitment to providing safe and effective products, as well as transparency of all of our ingredients.
The expanded ingredient list is something we are doing because we believe you want to know what is really in your product.
Another factor in adding certain ingredients to our formulas is pH. When making skin and hair care products, it is important to be mindful of pH. It’s easy to forget this important step, as we tend to focus on the more obvious product attributes, like smell and texture. While it is important for a product to look, smell and feel good it is also very important to ensure that the product exhibits the correct pH for its application. Doing so is a matter of safety and efficacy. You can spend time selecting just the right ingredients and making sure your product looks, feels, and smells just right, but if the pH is incorrect, all of your efforts can be wasted.
Skin has a protective layer on its surface called the acid mantle. The acid mantle is made up of sebum excreted from the skin’s sebaceous glands. The sebum mixes with lactic and amino acids from sweat creating the skin’s pH, which ideally should be somewhere between 4.5 -5.5. All skincare products should be tested to ensure they remain within this range.
Selecting the correct preservative for both the application and efficacy are important and many preservatives have a pH range in which they are considered to be most effective. In fact, some preservatives will not work at all if pH is out of the suggested range.
The human scalp is obviously still skin, so the pH range is 4.5-5.5, however, the hair shaft pH is 3.67. Any product applied on hair that has pH higher than 3.67 causes an increase in the negativity of the electric network of the hair, that is, an increase of static electricity and the repulsion between strands. The fiber surface bears a net negative charge because of its low isoelectric point. Positively charged ions are attracted to the negatively charged surface, thus helping to overcome the electrical barrier for anions.
When we rinse our hair, the water leaves both the scalp and hair shaft at a pH of about 7. This can cause issues with the scalp and can cause hair to be frizzy and easily tangled. Therefore an increase in negativity occurs. The negative electrical net charge generated will tangle the hair and make it hard to comb, thus causing the frizz effect. In alkaline pH, hair has increased capacity to absorb water. Water penetrates the scales that open, hydrating the strand and breaking the hydrogen bonds of the keratin molecule. Generally, a pH of 5 is a good balance for both hair and scalp.
Following is a list of ingredients in which the names are long and you may be wondering what they are and why they are in your 100% Natural, Made with Organic Ingredients Product.
Glycerl Stearate - Glyceryl Stearate acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. It also slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin's surface. Glyceryl Stearate, helps to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. Scientific Facts: Glyceryl Stearate is made by reacting glycerin with stearic acid (also listed on our labels), a fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils.
Decyl Glucoside - Decyl Glucoside is obtained from 100% renewable raw materials, through a combination of plant based fatty alcohol, decanol which is derived from coconut and glucose (corn starch). Decyl Glucoside is a mild, and gentle, surfactant because it does not dry the skin.
Lauryl Glucoside - Lauryl glucoside is derived from Coconut and has an excellent and stable foam. Lauryl glucoside is useful in haircare products as it aids hair cleaning abilities. Lauryl glucoside can be used alongside other glucosides to enhance the foam and skin conditioning properties. Lauryl glucoside can also be used in ionic formulations to add foam depth and emulsifying properties. Lauryl glucoside is biodegradeable.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine - Cocamidopropyl betaine is an organic compound derived from coconut oil that you can find in many of your “natural” or “organic” skin care and hair care products. When used in shampoos and soaps, it creates a thick lather. When used in conditioner, it becomes an anti-static agent.
Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate - is a multi-purpose, clear liquid chelating agent and preservative booster. Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is made from plant material.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA) - This product is derived from coconut and palm oils, and conforms to Ecocert's natural and organic cosmetic standard and is 100% of natural origin.
Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate - Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a surfactant. It is a disodium salt of ethoxylated lauryl alcohol bound to sulfosuccinic acid. DLS is a cleansing agent also known as a surfactant but [it] is not considered a sulfate. It is a common chemical found in many ‘greener’ or more natural formulas that is used to replace the harsher sulfates because of its non-irritating yet effective properties. It is found in many shampoo and cleansing formulas and is used for its degreasing, foaming, and emulsifying benefits. It is known to be extremely gentle to the skin and hair even at higher concentrations.
Cetearyl Alcohol - Vegetable source fatty alcohol derived from sustainable palm and coconut oil fatty alcohols (cetyl and stearyl alcohol) are used to thicken and stabilize formulations. Cetearyl Alcohol imparts an emollient feel to the skin.
Stearalkonium Chloride - Stearalkonium Chloride is derived from stearic acid, a fatty acid found in plants and animals. It is used primarily in hair products (including rinses, conditioners, setting lotions and bleaches) to serve as an anti-static agent, although it is also used in some formulas as a preservative or surfactant. It is found to increase luster and improve the condition of wet or dry hair, often serving to detangle the hair.
Phenoxyethanol - A common cosmetics preservative that’s considered one of the least sensitizing for use in formulations. It does not release formaldehyde. Phenoxyethanol is approved worldwide (including in Japan and in the EU) for use in all types of water-based cosmetics, up to a 1% concentration (At Organic Moon, we almost always use Phenoxyethanol at one percent or less concentration.) The safety of phenoxyethanol has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel several times. This group evaluated the foundational scientific data plus the newer relevant data, and concluded that phenoxyethanol is safe as a cosmetic ingredient. Interestingly, although the phenoxyethanol used in skincare products is almost always synthetic, this chemical occurs naturally in green tea. In short, phenoxyethanol is considered a safe and effective preservative when used in amounts approved for use in leave-on or rinse-off cosmetics products.