Popular ingredients of lotions and care products
The main components of various creams are glycerin, borax, and lanolin. What are these and what do they do?
Glycerin is viscose liquid formed from vegetable fat. It’s a byproduct of soap-making. Glycerin is dissolved in water and alcohol, but not in fat. It is useful for producing different cosmetic mixtures and soaps as it preserves moisture and helps moisten skin. When added to soaps, glycerin reinforces their cleansing properties and adds a moisturizing effect.
Glycerin is extremely hygroscopic, that is, it has the ability to absorb water from air and other sources. For this reason, glycerin is never used topically in its pure form – it can drain skin of moisture and have a drying effect. Therefore, glycerin and other moisturizers are always mixed with different components to achieve a softening action. If glycerin is mixed with other substances that are good for our skin, it acts as a softener and protects the natural barriers of skin.
The chemical name of borax is sodium tetraborate. It can be found in mineral water, salt lakes and volcanic mud.
Lanolin is one of the most widely used animal fats. Recently it was still used in nearly all creams and soap, whilst it is also among the ten most allergic cosmetic allergens. Today, lanolin allergies are not very common as most known cosmetics manufacturers don’t use it. It is still used in baby oils because it has a significant waterproofing property and this protects a baby's skin from inflaming.