Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body Lotions

After a launch in the US in Sept. 2009, Unilever extends in Europe a new range of body moisturizers in Feb. 2010  : the “Vaseline Sheer Infusion” range with a breakthrough moisturizing complex.

This new range includes 3 products :

  • Vaseline Sheer Infusion Botanical Blend Body Lotion
  • Vaseline Sheer Infusion Vitamin Burst Body Lotion
  • Vaseline Sheer Infusion Mineral Renewal Body Lotion

For this launch in US and UK, Unilever applies a strategy quite common in bodycare range : in the same range, keep the same formula structure, with only slight changes, mainly on the active ingredients. However, UK formulas are more similar between them than compared to US formulas : a change in silicones has been made.

Theses similarities are completely obvious when comparing the ingredient lists (see here and explanations below).

Last but not least, this strategy of similarity goes beyond the Vaseline Sheer Infusion range : all these 6 formulas are also very similar to those of the new Dove Visible Effects range (please have a look to the study published on our website).

Technology / Formula structure :

Vaseline Sheer Infusion range

Vaseline Sheer Infusion range

As for the Dove Visible Effects formula, both Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body Lotions US and UK are O/W emulsions, based on the couple of surfactants Cognis Lanette N (Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate) / Uniqema Arlacel 165 (PEG-100 Stearate (and) Glyceryl Stearate), without any polymeric stabilizer.

The oily phases of UK formulas are similar to the one of Dove Visible Effects formula made of :

  • fatty esters : Isopropyl Myristate (light feel on skin) and Cetyl Palmitate (heavier and more nutritious feel)
  • silicones : Cyclopentasiloxane (volatile silicone oil, with a dry non greasy feel), Dimethicone (non volatile silicone oil, makes the application more slippery), Dimethiconol (silicone gum, giving a very soft finish after application).

In the UK formulas, the aqueous phase contains glycols (glycerine, PEG-12), strong moisturizing and emollient agents, and a water-soluble silicone : PEG-12 Dimethicone. Usually used in shampoos, it is a “conditioner”, which lives skin smooth and soft after application, helping to reduce the stickiness of formulas.

In the US formulas, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol and PEG-12 Dimethicone are replaced by Dimethicone Crosspolymer, a cross-linked silicone polymer with a very silky touch. However, that type of raw material is quite expensive, maybe that is the reason why Unilever made a change for Europe formulas for less expensive silicone ingredients.

All Vaseline Sheer Infusion formulas also contain a powder – Tapioca Starch – to improve penetration speed and softness of the formula.

Preservative system :

The preservative systems are very classical : Phenoxyethanol + Parabens (Methylparaben, Propylparaben), with the help of an EDTA salt (Disodium EDTA). There has been no will or no other choice from Unilever to remove parabens from this new launch. This could be explained by the presence of Hydrovance in the formula : due to pH constraints (Hydrovance is more stable at neutral pH – pH 7), it was not possible to replace parabens by organic acids (benzoic acid, sorbic acid, …etc) only efficient in acidic conditions.

The only formula with a change in the preservative system is the Botanical Blean Body Lotion UK, containing the addition of three other parabens : Ethylparaben, Butylparaben and Isobutylparaben. We can assume that these three parabens come in the formula with the active ingredients added specifically to this reference of the range (Cypress or Eucalyptus extract). In the Botanical Blend US formula, no paraben is added to the ingredient list, but propylene glycol is : again, we can assume it comes from one of the two active ingredient specific to the Botanical Blend product, Cypress or Eucalyptus extract.

The formulas also contains Triethyl Citrate. Is is very likely added to stabilize formulas against pH drift due to the presence of Hydrovance, such as advised by National Starch, supplier of Hydrovance.

Active ingredients / Claims :

Vaseline Sheer Infusion communication is based on the “superior moisturization delivered across all layers of skin” by its new complex on active ingredient : Stratys-3. According to Unilever, the difference between usual moisturizers and Vaseline Sheer Infusion is that with its “biggest breakthrough in skincare this century” – Stratys-3, not only the top layers of the skin are moisturized, but all the layers : Sheer Infusion formulas “infuse and suspend superior moisture all layers of the skin”.

  • The Stratys-3 complex :

So what is Stratys-3 ?

Here is a video displayed on Vaseline websites (US & UK) about Stratys-3, available on Youtube :

According to this video, Stratys-3 is a complex of three moisturizing ingredients :

This complex is exactly the same as the “Multi-layer complex” of the Dove’s new range “Visible Effects”. The communication of Dove is also the same, claiming a moisturization from the top to the deepest layer of the skin.

  • Active ingredients specific to each product :

Vaseline Sheer Infusion range consists of three products. Each of them contains ingredients in line with its concept :

  • Botanical Blend Body Lotion is said to be “perfect for those looking for skin soothing benefits”, and contains “botanical cypress and eucalyptus extracts”. These two ingredients have the following INCI names : Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract and Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Bark Extract. They are both in the UK and the US formulas.
  • Vitamin Burst Body Lotion is said to be “perfect for those whose skin needs a boost” and “features Vitamins B5 and E”. These two ingredients are more precisely Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5) and Tocopheryl Acetate. They are both in the UK and US formulas.
  • Mineral Renewal Body Lotion is said to be “perfect for when your skin feels tired and depleted”, and “contains enriching minerals found in healthy skin”. We can explain the source of these minerals only in the US formula, were the ingredient “Mineral Water” is listed in the composition of the formula. This ingredient could actually be also in the UK formula, under the INCI name Aqua.

These ingredients are truely “marketing ingredients” : besides botanical ingredients, vitamins or mineral water, the three formulas are similar. Nothing else in the formulas except these ingredients could explain those differing concepts. That is certainly why the Sheer Infusion range is not organized according to skin types (normal, dry or very dry skin products for example).

Conclusion :

As said for the Dove Visible Effects formulas, Vaseline Sheer Infusion formulas are quite a challenge to take up to formulate, because of two active ingredients :

  • Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, the “Glycerol Quat”, is a cationic molecule. It can generates incompatibilities with anionic species, like stabilizing and thickening polymers commonly used in skincare formulas (e.g. carbomers)
  • Hydroxyethyl Urea is more stable when formulated at neutral pH. Moreover, certain formulations utilizing this active ingredient have shown to drift to higher pH over time.

Moreover, the formula had to remain pleasant to use, and efficient as a moisturizer. The solution found by Unilever is to associate two self-emulsifying surfactant : a non-ionic (Arlacel 165) and a anionic (Lanette N), stabilizing the pH with a low molecular weigh ester (Triethyl Citrate). The choice of Lanette N (Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate) is quite surprising, since this surfactant is anionic. Apparently, Unilever encountered no issue to formulate Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride with it.

With this new Sheer Infusion range, Unilever brings an image of technology and innovation to its Vaseline brand. The true novelty is the Glycerol Quat, coming with a new way to talk about moisturization.

Ingredient lists :

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Botonical Blend Body Lotion (US formula) :

Aqua
Glycerin
Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Myristate
Cetearyl Alcohol
Glyceryl Stearate
Tapioca Starch
Cyclopentasiloxane
PEG-100 Stearate
Triethyl Citrate
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract
Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Bark Extract
Fragrance
Hydroxyethyl Urea
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Phenoxyethanol
Dimethicone Crosspolymer
Cetyl Palmitate
Propylene Glycol
Disodium EDTA
Methylparaben
Propylparaben

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Botanical Blend Body Lotion (UK formula) :

Aqua
Glycerin
Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Myristate
Cetearyl Alcohol
Glyceryl Stearate
Tapioca Starch
PEG-100 Stearate
Dimethicone
Triethyl Citrate
Cupressus Sempervirens Bark Extract
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract
Hydroxyethyl Urea
Propylene Glycol
PEG-12 Dimethicone
PEG-12
Cyclopentasiloxane
Dimethiconol
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Cetyl Palmitate
Disodium EDTA
Parfum
Phenoxyethanol
Methylparaben
Ethylparaben
Propylparaben
Butylparaben
Isobutylparaben
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
Benzyl Alcohol
Butylphenyl Methylpropional
Citronellol
Geraniol
Hexyl Cinnamal
Hydroxycitronellal
Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde
Limonene
Linalool

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Vitamin Burst Body Lotion (US formula) :

Aqua
Glycerin
Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Myristate
Cetearyl Alcohol
Glyceryl Stearate
Tapioca Starch
Cyclopentasiloxane
PEG-100 Stearate
Triethyl Citrate
Tocopheryl Acetate
Panthenol
Fragrance
Hydroxyethyl Urea
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Phenoxyethanol
Dimethicone Crosspolymer
Cetyl Palmitate
Disodium EDTA
Methylparaben
Propylparaben

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Vitamine Burst Body Lotion (UK formula) :

Aqua
Glycerin
Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Myristate
Cetearyl Alcohol
Glyceryl Stearate
Tapioca Starch
PEG-100 Stearate
Dimethicone
Triethyl Citrate
Panthenol
Tocopheryl Acetate
Hydroxyethyl Urea
PEG-12 Dimethicone
PEG-12
Cyclopentasiloxane
Dimethiconol
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Cetyl Palmitate
Disodium EDTA
Parfum
Phenoxyethanol
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
Butylphenyl Methylpropional
Citronellol
Geraniol
Hexyl Cinnamal
Hydroxycitronellal
Limonene
Linalool

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Mineral Renewal Body Lotion (US formula) :

Aqua
Glycerin
Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Myristate
Cetearyl Alcohol
Glyceryl Stearate
Tapioca Starch
Cyclopentasiloxane
PEG-100 Stearate
Triethyl Citrate
Fragrance
Hydroxyethyl Urea
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Mineral Water
Phenoxyethanol
Dimethicone Crosspolymer
Cetyl Palmitate
Disodium EDTA
Methylparaben
Propylparaben

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Mineral Renewal Body Lotion (UK formula) :

Aqua
Glycerin
Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Myristate
Cetearyl Alcohol
Glyceryl Stearate
Tapioca Starch
PEG-100 Stearate
Dimethicone
Triethyl Citrate
Hydroxyethyl Urea
PEG-12 Dimethicone
PEG-12
Cyclopentasiloxane
Dimethiconol
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Cetyl Palmitate
Disodium EDTA
Parfum
Phenoxyethanol
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Sodium Benzoate
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
Butylphenyl Methylpropional
Citral
Citronellol
Coumarin
Geraniol
Hexyl Cinnamal
Hydroxycitronellal
Limonene
Linalool

Comparison between Dove Visible Effects formula and Vaseline Sheer Infusion UK and US formulas : click here.

One comment

  1. where can sheer infusion mineral renewal be purchased ? i cant find it anywhere.

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