Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: Labelling laws for products and ethoxylated products

I'm off this morning to teach my first class at Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. If you're interested in learning more about their class schedule, click here! The next one is on November 2nd on hair care products. (And they offer great soap making classes!) I'm so excited!

In this Weekend Wonderings post, Rosi asks: On every bottle of beauty product the first ingredient on the label is always water, which means is the majority in the product right. I am curious about this one leave in conditioner that I bought that the first ingredient on the label is Cetac, glycerin, Cetearyl... and the last one is water. My question is, how is it possible to make leave in with so much Cetac, because i make with 2 to 3% and if i go higher with the amount of emulsifier I use, the leave in will have tons of bubbles. Let me tell you, I love this leave in, the hair is soft, no tangles and the curls are perfect, i don't know how they do but it works.

I don't think cetrimonium chloride is the first ingredient in the list with water being the least plentiful ingredient. I think what you have is a messed up list. I'm only guessing this, but I can't imagine that a product could stay liquid if there's more cetearyl alcohol than there is water in a product! Plus, that much glycerin would make your hair feel pretty sticky.

The way a list should look is that the first ingredient is the most plentiful, the second ingredient the second most plentiful, and so on until we reach the miscellaneous category, where everything used at 1% or less is listed.

This is one of the reasons we see "water infused with something or other" in products, so they can advertise the botanical feel-good stuff close to the beginning of the list instead of near the end because there's less than 1% of it in the product. 

But not every company does this. Take a look at this label for Body Glide, a skin lubricant/anti-chafing product, which prefers to put its ingredients in alphabetical order.

I would hope allantoin - which is to be used at 0.1% to 2% - isn't the first ingredient! This list is alphabetical, but your list could be organized in any way.

What's the proper way to list ingredients? It'll depend upon your country's labelling laws. Canada Health sets out the rules this way: Ingredients must be listed on the label in descending order of predominance, in their concentration by weight (as described in section 21.4(1) of the Cosmetic Regulations). This means that the ingredients at the beginning of the list are present in the product in a greater amount than those at the end of the list. Ingredients that are present at a concentration of 1% or less may be listed in random order after the ingredients present at a concentration of more than 1% (as described in section 21.4(2) of the Cosmetic Regulations).

So under Canadian rules either your product has a ton of cetrimonium chloride, glycerin, and cetearyl alcohol, or they're breaking the law!

In this post on PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, Aesthete asks: I like using peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil. There are many of these "green" websites that state 1,4-dioxane is a by-product of a petrochemical process called ethyoxylation, which involves using ethylene oxide (a known skin carcinogen) to process other chemicals, which can result in 1,4-dioxane contamination. They go on to say ingredients that are ethoxylated (all PEG's are on that list) should be avoided. 

It's a good thing to think about these things, and I've shared my thoughts on this topic in the maligned ingredients series. (Click here for the full post.) In short, the ethoxylation process can create 1,4-dioxane as a by-product, but it can easily undergo a vacuum stripping process to get rid of it, so it's not really an issue in our products, commercial or home-made. I encourage you to check out the post I wrote a few years ago and the links therein as I think there's some interesting stuff about this noxious chemical!

Better run! I've got an exciting day planned ahead! See you tomorrow!

1 comment:

Alexis said...

I recently used PEG-150 distearate to thicken my cleansing products and am really liking it. I finally made a shampoo that washes the way I remember shampoos washing!

I've only tried my hand wash formula once so far, but 3% of PEG-150 distearate thickened 30% of polyglucose/lactylate blend. My final pH was 4.74 - a bit low but that's where I like it.

PEG-150 distearate's thickening ability seems to be pH dependent, but I haven't made enough things to know to what degree.