Read-The-Label: Beauty So Clean Brush Cleanser

I was very curious about the Beauty So Clean Brush Cleanser, so I decided to take a look at the ingredient list:

Aqua, Alcohol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betain, Propylene Glycol, Cocamide DEA, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Aqua, or water, the main solvent.
Alcohol is the next in line. I’m worried about the amount of sanitizing this product does, since a percentage of 70% is required to kill any bacteria. Next up the list is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. This is quite an agressive cleanser. Since you use this cleanser only on your brushes, and not on your face, I see no problem with this.
Cocamidopropyl Betain is one of the milder cleansers. Next to the Sodium Laureth Sulfate, this looks a bit odd.
Propylene Glycol is a humectant.
Cocamide DEA helps to maintain the right pH, very important to preserve to product.
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract conditions the bristles of your brush, while Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil and Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract is added for their scent and anti-microbial properties. Polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier and Disodium EDTA is a chelating agent. A chelating agent is a stabilizer that is used to prevent the ingredients from reacting with trace elements, mostly minerals in water. Unwanted product changes to the texture, odor and the consistency are reduced.

Limonene is a perfume compound that has to be listed separately because it is a known irritant.
Diazolidinyl Urea is a preservative which fights a broad range of bacteria, while Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate fights a broad range of viruses.

Overall, this brush cleanser is a powerful mix of disinfecting agents and cleansers.

Until next time,

A-Closer-Look-At: Ethyl Alcohol aka Ethanol

Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanolpure alcoholgrain alcohol, or drinking alcohol. In this article I will refer to it as ethanol, because that is the term I personally use the most.

I love, love, love to use ethanol in disinfection. I do a lab study and before and after, we have to clean/disinfect your work space. I usually spray some ethanol on the surface and wipe it off with a paper cloth. I have to wait a minute (or a few minutes if I used to much), during which time I get my supplies and voilà, a clean and sanitzed space. A tip: do wait at least 10 minutes before lighting any flame – not that I have any weird accidents with it, but just to be safe. I personally would recommend sanitizing with ethanol for non-plastic surfaces and testing a little patch before spraying it all over.

Ethanol is made by the fermentation of sugar by bacteria or by the hydration of ethylene (the adding of a hydrogen atom). I know for sure that the ethanol used in beer is made by the fermentation of sugar. Actually, the reason why some beers are stronger than others, depends on the bacteria culture and the amount of sugar added. Until the sugar runs out, the bacteria produces ethanol, or until the amount of ethanol is too high for the bacteria to survive in.

Because of hydroxide (the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, the characterizing group of any alcohol), ethanol can form hydrogen bridges with water molecules, helping dissolve organic compounds, such as sugars or parts of the celwall of bacteria. If you want to sanitize, keep in mind that a concentration of 70% or higher is to be used. Below that concentration, the ethanol isn’t effective enough. So, disinfecting with beer (5-10%) or wine (15%) is not really smart. Absinthe (70%) and Neutral grain spirit (90%) are somewhat better, but it’s still better to use regular ethanol (available in 70% or 96%) which can be found at drugstores or pharmacies. I’m alo guessing that Absinthe and Grain spirit do not need any preservative.

Oh, and, according to my old chemisttry teacher, 100% pure alcohol is a myth. Even if you attempt (as a chemist) to obtain a mixture of 100%, pure alcohol, it will disintegrate. 96% is the highest concentration of ethanol possible.

Ethanol can also be found in skin care. If it’s at the top of an ingredien tlist, (as in the first 5 ingredients) it can irritate the skin, but if it’s at the end of an ingredient list, the concentration isn’t considered a problem. High concentrations of alcohol can be found in most products for oily or skin with acne. The alcohol dehydrates the skin, making the skin produce more sebum, causing it to become more oily and clog the pores even more.

To sum it all up, ethanol is great for sanitizing, but not so good for the skin. And if you want to use ethanol for sanitizing, a concentration of 70-96% works best.

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,


Read-the-Label: Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizing Mist

I have been asking Monique for months (ok, just one) if I could do a post on the Beauty So Clean Sanitizing Spray. Because the Beauty So Clean products are back in stock, I finally could take a look at the ingredients. Yay!

Beauty So Clean Sanitizer Mist

So, what’s on the list?
Ethyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Myristate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate.

Ethyl alcohol/”Ethanol: In order to sanitize a product, at least 70% of the cleaner must be a sanitizing agent. The most common agent is alcohol. Bleach is also used a lot in laboratories, however, in order to maintain that gorgeous deep red colour of that one particular eyeshadow, stick with alcohol. Ethyl alcohol consists of two carbon atoms, one hydroxy group and five hydrogen atoms. Is it safe? Yes, because it is also the alcohol that is used in beer. However, don’t drink this.

Then, a mixture of emmolients/thickners/emulsifier follows. Isopropyl palmitate is derived from palm oil and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride from coconut.

Isopropyl myristate is the reason you would buy the Sanitizing spray instead of regular ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) in a spray bottle. It dissolves the wax from the exoskeleton of microbes (especially lice), which results in dehydration. It is made from isopropanol and myristic acid.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is also an emmolient/thickner/emulsifier, made from benzoate (a benzene ring) and a lot of carbon atoms. There are 12 carbon atoms left of the benzene ring and 15 carbon atoms right of the benzene.

The sanitizing spray excells in well, sanitizing because of it’s unique blend of ethanol, isopropyl myristate and the three emulsifiers.

Oh, and get them while there hot, because they are going fast! Last time I tried to order them, I had no such luck. (I’ll save you a pack Dymphy 😉 ~Monique)

Until next time,


HYGIENE on set.. is it REALLY necessary?

Edited to add a great new product that has recently become available for this exact purpose! Scroll down to the bottom to read up!

In a word YES it is.
I know it’s a pain, but there is just no way around it, it has to be done.

With this post I aim to explain what proper hygiene is and I’ll try and help you on your way to a work routine that is both safe and easy to adopt. All it takes is a little discipline, but trust me, once you are aware of the health risks that your model (and you) are exposed to, you will be happy to put in the effort. I felt the need to post this because I see a lot of mua’s kits that are just beyond nasty. Not cleaned, disinfected, with dirty brushes that are used on everyone, sponges that are never even washed. If anyone were to do makeup on ME with that nasty mess, I would not walk out Continue reading