Read-the-Label: FACE Atelier Lip Glaze

Today I wanted to do another lip product and I choose the Lip Glazes from Face Atelier.

FACE Atelier Lip Glazes are available in 10 beautiful and versatile colors: Clear, Ice, White Gold, Flamingo, Peach, Cameo, Dianthus, Primrose, Plum and Shiraz and come in generous tubes of 15 ml/.5 fl.oz. at € 21,50. An enduring industry staple!



What’s in the product?

Polybutene, Octyldodecanol, Petrolatum, Beeswax, Ozokerite, BHA, Trihydroxystearin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii, Silica, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalene.

May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Carmine, Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 33      Lake, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 36 Lake, Red 21 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Tin Oxide, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate.

Polybutene is a polymer that is used for lubrication and thickening. It ensures that the application is even and smooth. Octyldodecanol is an alcohol, which is a surfactant. It is used as a thickener and emulsifier. It also gives the product a bit of opacity and provides lubrication. Petrolatum can form a film and is also used as a thickner. Beeswax is a thickening agent with some moisturizing capacities. It is made by bees, so this product isn’t vegan. Ozokerite is a mineral that is a thickening agent.

BHA, betà hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid (aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, and thus closely related), is an exfoliant which is probably used in a concentration of 0,5 to 2%. BHA has the ability to penetrate into the pore, and therefore can exfoliate inside the pore as well as on the surface of the skin. Trihydroxystearin is a mixture of fatty acids and glycerin and is used as a moisturizer and thickening agent. Ascorbyl Palmitate is the stable form of Vitamin C, and acts as a anti-oxidant. Tocopheryl Acetate is also a vitamin and anti-oxidant, Vitamin E. Butyrospermum Parkii, also known as Shea Butter and should be listed as Vitellaria paradoxa, is a thick butter that is renowned for it’s moisturizing properties, but can be used as a thickener as well. Silica, a mineral is used as a thickener.

Methylparaben and Propylparaben are the preservatives which stop the formula from going rancid. They are the most safe and effective preservatives. Retinyl Palmitate is better known as Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant and Squalene is an oil which could be derived from sebum, plants (mostly olives) or shark liver. It’s a natural component of the skin, and thus can moisturize the skin. It also has antioxidant and immune stimulating properties.

Now onto the “may contain” list. Keep in mind that the ingredients in this section are added in such low quantities, that is has no other effect than to color the product. For instance, Titanium Dioxide has some thickening properties, but because of the low concentration, it only acts as a white pigment. Same for iron oxides, a group of chemical compounds with have range of colors such as yellow/orange/red/brown/black. Mica is white as well. Carmine (derived from bugs), Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 33 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 36 Lake, Red 21 Lake are pigments used for their red color, Yellow 5 Lake is yellow, Blue 1 Lake is blue, Tin Oxide can give the product, in stable form a blue-black color or in metastable (the stability is long, but not infinte) a red color. Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate is another preservative.

It is a bit weird is that a polymer is the major ingredient. No water or any kind of (cheap) oil is used as a carrier for the other ingredients, but then again, based on the ingredientlist, this is a quite a thick liquid, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Until next time,


Read-the-Label: O.C.C. Skin Primer

Tanistates was wondering (you are always allowed to ask more questions, don’t feel shy because I love to answer them!) where she should start her primer search. To make it a bit easier, I thought it would be nice if I reviewed the ingredientlist of one of Monique’s favourites; the O.C.C. skin primer.

O.C.C. skin primer contains the following:
Deionized Water (Aqua), Vegetable-Derived Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Chamomile (Anthemis Noblis) Extract, Comfrey Root Extract, Lemon Peel Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate

Deionized Water (Aqua) is hard to go wrong with (unless you happen to add another hydrogen which means you get hydrogenperioxide aka bleach used for bleaching your hair – don’t worry, that usually doesn’t happen, unless you force it to happen by means of a very complicated process). It is mostly used as a solvent.
Next up the list is Vegetable-Derived Glycerin, which is probably derived by fermentation of sugars. Fermentation happens to be a very posh word for “letting it rot”. Another great example of a fermented product is fish sauce. Glycerin is an excellent moisturizer, but don’t use it in it’s pure form as it will have a drying effect on skin.
Xanthan Gum is a polysaccharide (a type of sugar) and is used as a thickener in oil-in-water emulsions, to stabilize the oil droplets and it has some skin hydrating porperties. It could also be used to create a water-gel-like structure.
Chamomile (Anthemis Noblis) Extract sooths the skin, and has some anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties.
Comfrey Root Extract has some anti-inflammating properties, but could be toxic if taken orally. This proves that not only synthetic ingredients are ‘bad’ for you. Don’t worry if you put it on your face, since the water and glycerin (the first two ingredients) make up the most of the product, so it shouldn’t give any problems.
Lemon Peel Extract is a bit of a delicate subject. Some say it is great for moisturzing and it has some anti-bacterial properties, some say it could be irritating on the skin. Combined with the Chamomille, I would give a try.
Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate are preservatives, which are really necessary because the sugar (Xanthan Gum) makes it ideal for bacteria and fungus to grow.

The ingredientlist is what you make of it. Personally, I would give the skin primer a try, but if you don’t like the Comfrey Root and Lemon Peel extract, it’s up to you.

Anyway, do you have any other favourite primer as a recommendation for Tanistates? Please share below in the comments!

Until next time,


A-Closer-Look-At: Castor Oil

Castor (seed) oil is derived from seeds of the Ricinus communis plant.

The seed is bean shaped, but doesn’t belong to the bean family.

The oil from the seeds is a colorless to pale yellow liquid with no odor or taste.The seeds contain between 40% to 60% which is rich in triglycerides (fatty acids) of which (90%) ricinolein acid is the main compononent. Other fatty acids that are present in the castor oil include oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid.

Another component of castor oil is ricin, a toxic protein. This protein is denaturated (=inactivated/destroyed) by the heating during the oil extraction process.

Castor oil can be used as an moisturizer. It has a unique property that, when dry, it forms a solid film that can have water-binding properties. That film could feel a bit sticky on skin, but it is rarely associated with skin irritation or allergic reactions. I also read (although I couldn’t confirm it) that castor oil helps stimulate the production of elastin and collagen to soften and hydrate the skin; causing wrinkles to dissapear. It could therefore also be great for combating stretch marks and acne.

Castor oil can also be used as a bathing oil. However, the oil dissolves quite poorly in water, so it needs a little soap (showergel or something alike). Otherwise it just stays on the surface of the water, instead of mixing with it. As a massage oil, castor oil has some anti-inflammation properties. It could be used to relieve the pain of arthritic joints, nerve inflammations, and sore muscles.

A funny fact to end this post with: castor oil has been used for ages to induce labor.

Until next time,


Read-the-Label: Naked Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow Cabernet Blush

Naked Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow Cabernet Blush

Life is full of coincidences. I spoke of oxidation last Friday, and today I’m going to review the ingredientlist of the Naked Cosmetics Mineral Eyeshadow Cabernet Blush collection. The ingredientlist is quite short;

Mica, [+/- Silica, Tin Oxide, CI 77891, CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 75470, CI 77510, CI 77288]

According to the description of the loose eye shadows, they contain 100% oxidized Mica. Note that the product doesn’t contain just mica, because there would be (almost) no colour. The 100% reflects that the Mica is 100% oxidated. I have to admit, as a scientist, it actually doesn’t sound very pausible, because there is always a little bit left that didn’t undergo a reaction. A very good example is ethanol, the most common alcohol. Higher than 96% procent ethanol is just not possible, because it will disintegrate to a level of 96%.

Anyway, back to the Mica.
Oxidized Mica is a silicone. Mica itself is a silicon, and with the addition of oxygen, it becomes a silicone. There are some Mica’s known that don’t contain silicons, but I have never come across them (yet). It gives the product it’s shine and is a good base for a loose eyeshadow. In it’s non oxidized state, it gives the eyeshadow it’s sparkle and shine.

If I look at the first “may contain” ingredient (as usual, “may contain” can be read as “yeah, it is actually in it”) it is Silica. This kind of backs up my theory that the mica isn’t fully (100%) oxidized, but there is still some residue left. It won’t harm you anyway. Tin oxide, as wikipedia and my gut tells me, is added in small doses as a reducing agent, causing the mica to oxidize. In a redox reaction (as it is officially called), a oxidizer and a reducer are necessary. One cannot live without the other (wait, did J.K. Rowling say something like that – In case you’re wondering, I’m re-reading the series. Again). Don’t worry if you don’t get it, it cost me two years to get it.

Then on to the pigments. CI 77891, or Titanium dioxide (no, these eyeshadows will not give you the necessary SPF or work as thickener – the concentrations are just simply to low for that) is white. CI 77489, or Black 7489, is a brown-to-black synthetic colour. CI 77491, or Ferric Oxide is a brownish red color. CI 77492, or Iron oxide hydroxide is a yellow pigment. CI 77499, black iron oxide is well, black. CI 75470, is carminic acid (yes, made from bugs) and gives a red colour. CI 77510 is Ferric Ferrocyanide and blue. Last one is CI 77288, chromium oxide green, which is green. Together, they create the lovely colors of the Cabernet blush collection.

(Note: these are now € 32,95 which means 25% off, to get them click here)
Until next time,


A-Closer-Look-At: Bismuth Oxychloride and why it causes breakouts

Tanistates wonders in her recent article about the Ben Nye foundation and concealer why some of her foundations oxidize and why bismuth oxychloride causes break outs. I went out, did some research and found the answer plus some tips to prevent oxidizing.

What is bismuth oxychloride?
Bismuth oxycloride is a pigment that is composed of bismuth (a metal), oxygen and chloride. It is very rare in nature, and is mostly synthetically made. It is a crystal, but ground up it is a white, almost pearlescent powder. It can be found in many cosmetics, such as the so claimed “mineral makeup”, foundations and (pressed) powders. It is mostly used as a skin protective, thickener and absorbent agent. It adheres well to the skin.

Why does it cause break outs?
Bismuth oxychloride has a unique, cube like (for lack of a better word) crystalline structure. One of the corners of that cube can scrape, poke and thus irritate your skin. It also can get stuck in pores. And we all know, clogged pores can result in break outs.

Why do some foundations oxidize?
Oxidation is a process in which (in the case of foundation) the components react with the sebum (the oils in your skin). In the process, electrons are “freed”, which causes a ingredient in the foundation, mostly a metal or an oxide to oxidize. The extra electrons alter that ingredient, causing a color change. An extreme example (gotta love extreme examples) is Iron. There are two main Irons, Fe2+ and Fe3+. Fe is the abbreviation of Iron, while the number before the plus stands for the amount of free electrones. Fe2+ is light green, and Fe3+ is light yellow.

Helping the oxidation process along is the pH, the level of acidity of your skin. If you have a very acid skin (with low pH), you might experience more oxidation. Why? The optimum (= the best place/time/etc.) pH for oxidation is well, acidic.

How could I prevent oxidation?
There are a few tips and tricks to prevent oxidation:

1) Always ask for a small sample before you buy a certain foundation, or let a saleslady apply it and wait for a few hours before you purchase the foundation.
2) Moisturize well before applying a foundation to prevent the skin from secreting excess sebum.
3) Apply a primer. Not only it will help to make your foundation last longer, but it will form a barrier, so that the sebum can’t interact with the foundation.
4) Experiment. Every body is different. Try what works. Switch food (eat healthier, for instance, soda makes your body more acid), try different moisturizers/toners/primers.
5) Try a lighter foundation. If you really like the formula, try one or two shades lighter and after the oxidation, you might have the right match. Or try to set your foundation with a powder lighter than your skintone.
6) Avoid foundations which are oil-based, and read the ingredientlabels. Scan for ingredients that contains oxide or metal, and pick a foundation that contains as few metals or oxides as possible.

I hope this helps!

Until next time,


Read-the-Label: Embryolisse Cleansing Bar

Last Friday, I looked at triticum vulgare or wheat kernel oil, which is a component of the Embryolisse Cleansing Bar, and I was curious how the bar could be made without soap.

Let me first explain what soap is. Soap is the salt of a fatty acid and is a member of the surfactants family.
Soap is made by treating vegetable of animal oils and fats (which contain three tails) with a stong base (such as sodiumhydroxide).
The saponification (I’m not making this up) takes place by hydrolyzing and breaking up the oils into seperate tails and then mixed with the base. During this proces, glycerine is produced as a by-product. The reason soaps cleanse, is that they have a polar, water-loving head that can dissolves dirt that is water-soluble. They also have an a-polar oil-loving tail, that dissolves dirt that is soluble in oil. The reason why soap makes your skin feel dry is because while it’s cleansing, it will also wash away the natural oils (or sebum) on your skin.

So, I was quite interested in how the no-soap bar works and what the ingredients are.

Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate, sodium coco sulfate, triticum vulgare, cetearyl alcohol, paraffin, aqua, parfum, titanium dioxide.

On first glance, I see a sulfate. I’m not sure whether or not a sulfate is considered soap. There is also some paraffin and cetearyl alcohol to moisturize the skin. There is some water added, but not much.

Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate is a surfactant and it is a salt of a lauryl alcohol half ester of sulfosuccinic acid. So technically (as in, the chemical definition of soap), there is some soap in this cleansing bar. However, it’s emulsifying/cleansing properties are likely much less, so the skin doesn’t get stripped of all it’s sebum.

Sodium coco sulfate is a surfactant as well as the disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate. It is the less irritating version of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The difference of sodium coco sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate is the degree of purification. Purified coconut oil makes sodium lauryl sulfate, unpurified coconut oil makes sodium coco sulfate. However, sodium coco sulfate doesn’t foam as well and will vary depending on the quality of the coconut crops harvested in a particular year.

So, is there soap in this bar? Well, there are no ‘traditional’ soap components, but there are some surfactants that could be classified as soap.

However, there are just two components that are classified as soap (and they do make up most of the product), but after that, the good stuff comes. For instance, Triticum Vulgare, or Wheat kernel oil, an oil with a lot of good fatty acids and vitamin E to moisturize the skin.

There is also Cetearyl alcohol, known as the “good alcohol”, one of the small group of alcohols that moisturize the skin instead of making it feel dry. It is derived from coconut oil or can be made synthetically. It is basically a mixture of fatty acid alcohols.

Paraffin is a bit of a underdog lately. It is actually an alkaline (get it? fatty acids + alkaline makes soap!) and could be used as a thickener. It won’t clog pores, because the formula will wash away during cleansing. Then there is Aqua, water; always good and Parfum. Parfum is in the formula to make the product smell nice.

Titanium Dioxide It is only used in a concentration of 1% or less, so we can safely assume that it is used to give the product it’s white color (and not to provide SPF, since it is used in a such a low concentration and will wash away during cleaning). (~could also be used as a thickening agent ~Monique) Oh, and lately I have heard that titanium dioxide is a natural compound and not a chemical. Please keep it in mind that every substance is a chemical, whether it would be water, plastic or titanium dioxide. So, a “chemical free” sunscreen claim is not correct.

So, from the ingredientlist I can conclude that there is actually soap in the no soap bar. However, the used ingredients provide for a less irritating formula than traditional soap and might be worth a try.

Until next time,


A-Closer-Look-At: Triticum Vulgare

I browsed through the Promakeupstore website and I clicked on the Embryolisse Cleansing Bar. First I thought that it was a soap bar, so I was curious whether or not the ingredients would be listed (contrary to regular cosmetics this isn’t obligatory for soap bars). Then, I actually discovered that the bar was soap free. So, I quickly scanned the ingredient lists, and saw Triticum Vulgare listed. The name made me curious, what is this ingredient?So, Triticum Vulgare, otherwise known as Wheat germ, Octacosanol, Octacosanol concentrate, Octa cosyl alcohol, Polycosanol, Isopolicosanol, Ateromixol is a grain.

In the Embryolisse Cleansing Bar, the oil is used. It is extracted from the kernel of the grain
It is a light yellow or reddish oil. The oil contains octacosanol and policosanol(long, saturateded alcohols which are good for the body) , the fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6 and omega-3), palmitic acid, oleic acid and vitamin E. It is no surprise that the wheat kernel oil is used as a moisturizer. Scientist believe that it is the vitamin E that benefits the skin the most.
It is also used in the treatment of exzema, dry or irritated skin, wrinkled skin, scars and hair. However, it isn’t very wise to put pure wheat oil on your face. The oil has a drying effect on skin. If you do want to DIY with it, try an oil blend of a maximum of up to 10-15% of wheat kernel oil.
Is the oil all safe? No, people allergic to wheat or with Celiac’s disease (there is a difference between allergy and intolerance such as Celica disease) should avoid it.
Wheat kernel oil can also be taken as a supplement, but you should make sure that it doesn’t interfere with your medication. For instance, octacosanol may interfere with the Parkinson’s drug Levodopa. Policosanol may thin the blood slightly and thus should be avoided by people with potential bleeding disorders and who are taking blood-thinning drugs such as Asperin and Warfarin (Coumadin).
Until next time,