As I mentioned in part one of this series looking at how to brighten skin or make skin more luminous, I’ve been playing with a new cosmeceutical from Lotioncrafter called Lipomoist 2036 (INCI: Water, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Pectin, Proline, Serine, Arginine, Glucose, Butylene Glycol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin) for almost two years now, which I’m loving in so many different products! Let’s take a look at this ingredient to see what it does.
Lipomoist 2036 creates a molecular film on our skin to increase skin hydration and prevent transepidermal water loss as well as offering a firming effect while behaving as an occlusive. It also increases delivery of actives and cosmeceuticals. Whew! Those are some awesome properties, so let’s see what this ingredient is all about!
As you can see, it contains a few different ingredients, which we can look at individually before putting it all together…
As a quick note, it might help to have this post – chemistry of our skin (2018) – open in another tab if you want to go deeper into some of these summaries.
Xanthan Gum: This is an anionic or negatively charged gum that thickens our products as well as forming a film for our skin.
Caprylyl Glycol: This is a preservative found in Optiphen combined with phenoxyethanol or Optiphen Plus combined with phenoxyethanol and sorbic acid. Caprylyl glycol (aka 1,2-octanediol) is a good bacteriostatic ingredient (meaning it limits the growth of the bacteria but doesn’t kill it) and bactericide, but it isn’t very effective against yeast or fungi.
Phenoxyethanol: This is used as a preservative that has good activity against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria as well as yeast, and is generally paired up with another preservative – a quaternium, benzoic acid, or parabens to increase the fungal fighting abilities. It is compatible with non-ionic ingredients and proteins. It’s found in Optiphen with caprylyl glycol or in Euxyl PE 9010 with ethylhexylglycerin.
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: This is a hydrolyzed protein derived from wheat that acts as a film former with high water holding capacities, to make skin feel smoother and more hydrated. It also acts as a humectant to draw water from the atmosphere to our skin.
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein: This is also a hydrolyzed protein that acts as a film former with high water holding capacities, to make skin feel smoother and more hydrated. It also acts as a humectant to draw water from the atmosphere to our skin.
As a note, you can soy and wheat protein together as part of phytokeratin, which also contains corn protein.
So why use both? The hydrolyzed wheat protein I have from Lotioncrafter notes its molecular weight is around 1,600 Daltons, which is small enough to penetrate skin. The suggested usage rate is 1% to 5%. The hydrolyzed soy protein I have from Formulator Sample Shop notes their version has a smaller molecular weight, too, but the usage rate is 1% to 10%. Different proteins offer different qualities, and I wonder if in this product, one may be larger than the other to offer more film forming?
As a note, I wrote my column in Handmade Magazine on proteins, which contains some updated information I don’t have on the blog yet, so check out that article if you want to learn more!
Pectin: You might recognize this as an ingredient from various fruits that helps create jams and jellies! It’s great for creating films on our skin, especially slightly thicker ones than something like the proteins might offer, which reduce transepidermal water loss and make our skin feel smoother. It’s also included to contract slightly, which gives the firming effect.
Proline: This is a non-polar, hydrophobic or water hating amino acid essential for biosynthesis of proteins. (It’s aliphatic, meaning it’s a chemical compound that isn’t linked to form a ring.) This amino acid makes up a lot of collagen, which accounts for 18% to 30% volume of the dermis, and is rich in amino acids such as hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine, and glycine. It makes up the framework for so much of our body, and for our skin. (Learn more about the biology of your skin in this post!)
Serine: This is a non-essential, slightly polar amino acid that is hydrophilic or water loving as it has a hydroxyl group (OH group), so it’s called a hydroxyl amino acid. It’s an important component in phospholipids, compounds we met last month as we looked at liposomes. This means this amino acid is a bit of a surfactant in that one end likes oils, the other likes water, and they can create a lipid bilayer, which is a “A thin polar membrane made of two layers of lipid molecules.” (Reference)
An aside: What are phospholipids? Phospholipids are natural surfactants and emulsifiers consisting of an alcohol (like glycerin), one or two molecules of a fatty acid, and a phosphoric acid compound. Lecithin was the first identified phospholipid and the main source of it is from soybeans or egg yolks. Lecithin contains about 60% to 70% phospholipids. Lecithin softens and refattens the skin, offering a non-greasy, long lasting skin feel. These have a phosphate hydrophilic or water loving head and a hydrophobic (water hating) or lipophilic tails composed of fatty acids, which is why they can act as emulsifiers. (Reference, reference)
An aside: What does polar mean? It means that a molecule may have one charge at one end or side – negative – and another charge at the other end or side- positive. You can see this with water. The end with hydrogens (white balls) is slightly positive and the bit with the oxygen (red ball) is slightly negative. This is why water and alcohol can mix – because they’re both polar – and oil and water can’t mix – because oil is non-polar.
Definitely take a look at the introduction to liposome post as I go into more detail about these concepts there.
Arginine: This is a semi-essential amino acids that has an important role in cell division, healing of wounds, immune function, and release of hormones as well as being necessary for the production of creatine.
Glucose: This is a humectant, drawing water from the atmosphere to our skin. As well, it’ll offer a slight tightening feeling.
As a note, these three amino acids and glucose are what are called osmolytes or compounds that maintain cell volume and fluid balance, prevent sudden changes in concentration, and help cells survive if this change happens.
Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract: This is a seaweed extract that creates gels – you see it in Lush’s jelly soaps – when combined with sodium salts. It also thickens products very nicely, as well as forming films.
As an aside, there are different types of carageenan, so make sure you’re getting the right one. Kappa carageenan is thickened when used with sodium salts, while iota carageenan is thickened when used with calcium salts. This means that if you’re making Lush’s jelly soap duplications, you need to use kappa carageenan along with surfactants that contain sodium salts, like cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium coco sulfate, and so on. Or you could add some salt to the mix. This is why these formulas don’t work with decyl glucoside.
Ethylhexylglycerin: “The addition of ethylhexylglycerin affects the interfacial tension at the cell membrane of microorganisms, improving the preservative activity of phenoxyethanol.” So it’s there to increase the preserving power, which is awesome! You can find it in Euxyl PE 9010.
So what we have here is an ingredient that contains are some great film formers to prevent transepidermal water loss and lovely humectants to draw water to our skin, both of which work to increase and maintain skin hydration. It has some light tightening and firming effects on our skin, and it alters our products slightly to offer a more pleasant skin feel that’s softer and lighter than those without this ingredient. It helps products spread more evenly, ensuring the ingredients and product are applied well to our skin and helping active ingredients absorb better by applying them to a larger surface area.
I bought my Lipomoist 2036 from Lotioncrafter for $5.95 for 2 ounces or 56 grams, which works out to ¢10.6 per gram, which is pretty affordable considering how much other cosmeceuticals can cost.
The viscosity is thicker than water, not as thick as pudding, maybe on par with ketchup?
Suggested usage: 5% to 10% in the cool down phase (40˚C or lower)
Final pH: 4 to 7, so it doesn’t work with alkaline (8+) products, or those that contain acids, such as AHAs, salicylic acid, and some forms of Vitamin C.
Shelf life: 12 months
Those of you who are $10 subscribers to the blog, don’t forget that 7% off coupon for Lotioncrafter if you go shopping there!
Join me tomorrow as we take a look at using this ingredient and others to create products that might make our skin more luminous!