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What role does water play in skincare products?

What role does water play in skincare products?

If there is one significant ingredient that is present in large quantities in beauty care products, it is undoubtedly water. Referred to as "Aqua" or "Water", the official terms for water in the I.N.C.I., it plays a crucial role in the formulation of skincare products, as well as in their effectiveness.

What is the purpose of water contained in beauty treatments?

A skincare product can be composed of between 60 and 90% water. Thanks to this significant quantity, this ingredient is placed at the top of its components list. The democratisation of water in beauty care came about when the cosmetic industry decided to replace ointments, primarily formed by fatty substances, with emulsions combining a volume of fatty substances and water. As a result, the skincare product presents a fluid and less greasy texture, as well as a shiny and fresh appearance.

In skincare, haircare, or other similar areas, water is used as a solvent. This ingredient dissolves active principles to facilitate their transfer to skin cells or hair fibres. It is valued for its qualities, notably its hydrating, soothing, or regenerating properties. Furthermore, water, in its various forms, is interesting for developing a care product with a pleasant texture to handle.

The role of water in beauty care.

The water contained in beauty treatments is an active ingredient that impacts the effectiveness of the treatment and the skin cells in many ways. Indeed, as water and fatty substances or lipids are not miscible with each other, it is essential to establish a balance between these emulsion ingredients. To achieve a light emulsion, the quantity of water is greater than that of lipids. Conversely, in the case of a thick emulsion, the quantity of fatty substances is greater than that of water. These emulsions are effective in strengthening the hydrolipidic barrier. The water that carries the active ingredients into the epidermal cells also ensures the hydration of the horny layer. In galenic form, water allows control over the texture of treatments as well as their fluidity. It facilitates their application and distribution on the skin, hair, and elsewhere. In the case of a gel, water is used to support the gelling agents to establish the structure of the treatment. It helps to diversify the formulas according to their use, notably lotions, hydroalcoholic solutions or aqueous gels like shampoos.

The various types of water used in the field of cosmetology.

In order to obtain high-quality water that meets the needs of the cosmetics industry, it is essential to carry out certain treatments. Distillation is one of the processes used to achieve sterile water that is devoid of minerals. Reverse osmosis treatment is also adopted to obtain mineral-free water, although it is not sterile. The use of filtration membranes or the ultrafiltration method are also among the treatment techniques that ensure sterile water with a partial absence of minerals.

Beyond natural, thermal, sea or other types of water, active waters are also being adopted in the field of cosmetology. These include floral waters obtained after the hydrodistillation of flowers, which generally have soothing and purifying properties. The hydrosols obtained by distilling other parts of the plant are a source of benefits. With their unique composition, special waters such as glacier water are also incorporated into beauty care.


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