Is water just a filler in your skincare products?

Is water just a filler in your skincare products?

Is water just a filler in your skincare products?

Ametrine Skin is & will always be a brand routed in cosmetic science & not uninformed marketing claims and greenwashing. As a brand that will work on creating handmade products using vegan, cruelty free, certified organic, sustainable & fair trade ingredients it’s easy for us to be lumped with every brand in the natural skincare movement but there’s a lot of things we don’t agree with. The first thing is claims that “water is a used as a filler” which is actually a selling & marketing tool in the industry to sell products & make waterless appear superior. The short answer is no, it not just a filler its a functional ingredient!

Why use water in skincare formulations?

What water in a formulation is a solvent that allows us to create a variety of different textures and consistencies, alternating the way the product feels on the skin, allows us to create different types of products for different skin types & allows ingredients included in the formula to absorb differently on the skin. For example a moisturiser (unless its an oil free gel moisturiser) is an emulsion created by combining water, oil & an emulsifier that helps binds the two together. Without the water component we wouldn’t have moisturisers. This emulsion delivers water to the skin and raises hydration levels because the oil and water molecules are bound together.

It also allows the inclusion of some of the thousands of amazing active & complementing ingredients that are only water soluble, meaning they won’t dissolve in oil. Adding water to a formulation, even at a small percentage allows us to include these amazing ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinimide, Panthenol etc. Without water these ingredients that can benefit the skin greatly can’t be included in a product. It is definitely a cheap ingredient to use & brings the cost of the product down a lot for the manufacturer but also for you. To keep an oil based product affordable you often have to still use more of the cheaper oils which aren’t always as potent or make massive batches of the product so you can buy the individual ingredients at a cheaper price. The sustainability when using water is a whole other topic that we’re definitely going to speak about soon.

When it comes to cosmetic formulation, every single ingredient has a purpose, nothing is put in just for the sake for it. Formulations may use a cheaper ingredient so it’s cheaper for you but it is still fulfilling a necessary purpose just like a food recipe. Just like water in a food recipe, without it what you’re trying to make would come out VERY different. The water in your tea isn’t a filler bit a necessary liquid that allows for you to get the benefits of the ingredients in the tea bag.

With anhydrous products there will always be a limitation and if you have dry skin you need to use products with water to boost hydration.


What about active ingredients being diluted?

In addition to claims water is a filler people often say that having up to 80% water means the active ingredients are only used at a small percentage. In fact most active ingredients are only allowed to be used at small percentages due to cosmetic regulation and skin safety. For example a lot of extracts like Green Tea have a usage rate of up to 5%. These ingredients don't need the high percent to work great and in fact with some ingredients a higher percentage has been shown to not make much of a difference. Niacinamide for example has been studied and shown to be the most effective up to 2-5%.

Oil based products are great but they aren’t necessarily better. In fact you need both water and oil. They are emollient & occlusive which means they help to soften the skin and provide protection to the skin barrier trapping in moisture & reducing water loss. What they can’t do is actually add extra hydration that you don’t already have as you’re missing the humectant part (water loving ingredient). Think of oil like the warm jumper in the winter that can stop you being so cold and losing heat, it ultimately helps you retain the heat you do have but it’s still cold. To actually add extra hydration to the skin you need to add water, there is no way around that. This is why the combination of a water based product & then an oil based product on top works amazingly well, or a water based product that also includes good emollient and occlusive ingredients.

As a brand we’re committed to always working with studies and facts to create our range of products & are careful about the words we use when marketing to make sure we’re not steering you from the truth just to sell you our products

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