Olay Pro-X Clear

P&G has just launched in June 2011 a new range dedicated to adults with breakouts and blemishes under its Pro-X franchise : Olay Pro-X Clear.

Olay is extending is Pro-X range broaden its target, with a new range dedicated to adults with acne-prone skin : Olay Pro-X Clear. The range is made of 3 products :

– an Acne Protocole made of three products : an Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser, an Acne Skin Clearing Treatment and a Complexion Renewing Lotion

– an UV Moisturizer — SPF 15

Olay Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer SPF 15

– an Intensive Refining Sulfur Mask

Olay Pro-X Sulfur Mask

Olay Pro-X Clear Communication & Claims

Olay Professional Alliance and Pro-X Clear Consensus Statement

Olay Professional Pro-X is the “professional” skincare line of Olay, launched in January 2009 with an anti-aging line. More recently, Olay Professional Pro-X has been enriched with an “Advanced Cleansing System” – a electrical rotating brush. The latest line launched in the Olay Professional range is the Pro-X Clear line, dedicated to adults with acne-prone skin.

The specificity of Olay Professional vs “classical” Olay range is its endorsement by an “alliance” of dermatologist, named the “Olay Professional Alliance for Skin Care Innovation”. A “Consensus Statement” has been published for the launch of the Pro-X Clear range.

The two first points of the statement deal with the whole Pro-X Clear line, stating that :

– Pro-X Clear is a “professional” skincare line since it is “science-driven” innovative, “professionally designed”, made of “professional regimens and protocols”, “professionally tested”, with “proven results” with “peer-reviewed communications”.

– Pro-X Clear has been designed to “meet the special skincare needs of adult women with acne-prone skin”, “treating acne and providing facial skin pore, texture and tone appearance benefits”.

The three last points only deals with the Pro-X Clear Acne Protocole, and state that the Acne Protocole :

– “improves acne in adult women”

– “improves facial texture and pore appearance in adult women with acne-prone skin”

– “improves the appearance of skin texture and pores signifi cantly better than twice-daily use of  the standard of care treatment consisting of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of use”.

The aim of this statement is to position the Pro-X Clear line as a serious and reliable line for acne-prone skin. The starifyied product in the line is the Acne Procole. This choice is easy to understand : among the three products of the range, the Acne Protocole is the one that had the best chances to be efficient against acne, combining all the classical products used to treate it : a cleanser, an intensive acne treatment and a moisturizer.

The concept of this range is very basic, without any emphasis on a new ingredient, or a new innovative claim : treat blemishes and breakouts of adult acne-prone skin. The ambition of P&G seems to build a serious range with a professional endorsement at the center of the concept. The star here is this professional positioning.

OTC Formulations and Claims

Olay positions Pro-X as a  “professional” line, sincere, serious and reliable. As a consequence, the formulas and their claims must also fit to this positionning. To reinforce the positioning and efficacy of the formulas, among the 5 formulas designed for the range, 4 are OTC products :

– in the Acne Protocole, the Step 1 and Step 2 are acne products with Salicylic Acid as OTC ingredient

– the Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer — SPF 15 is a OTC SPF product

– the Intensive Refining Sulfur Mask is an acne pruduct with Sulfur as OTC ingredient

Using OTC formulas has a drawback :  it limits the “originality” and “creativity” of claims. Indeed, as OTC formulas, the claims are restricted to an authorized list. However, OTC formulas are perfectling fitting with a “professional” positioning, making products reliable and serious, without any emphasis on product efficiency.

Olay Pro-X Clear Acne Protocole

This product is a 3-step kit :

– Step 1 : Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser

– Step 2 : Acne Skin Clearing Treatment

– Step 3 : Complexion Renewing Lotion

Step 1 : Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser

Formula Structure

A patent owned by P&G describes a formula close to the one used for the Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser, except that it is claimed to be a leave-on formula.

Based on the informations given in this patent, it can be said that the Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser is a O/W emulsion emulsified with Steareth-21 / Steareth-2 / Distearyldimonium Chloride. Distearyldimonium Chloride is said in the patent to be a “acid stable, hydrophilic surfactant which can disperse the hydrophobic materials in the water phase. The surfactant, at a minimum, must be hydrophilic enough to disperse in water. The surfactant is used herein for emulsifying the oil and water phase ingredients and for stabilizing the resulting emulsion.”

As a cleansing formula, it also contains cleansing surfactants : Cetyl Betaine / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

The oil phase is made only with fatty alcohols : Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol and Behenyl Alcohol, and contains a alkoxylated alcohol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, said in the patent to be “useful as solubilizing agents for the acidic active ingredients in the oil phase of the oil-in-water emulsions”, like salicylic acid here in the formula.

The water phase contains Glycerin and PPG-30.

Preservative System

The formula contains a high level of salicylic acid : 1.8%. According to the patent, the formula certainly have a low pH (below 4), which can help to protect the formula. Disodium EDTA, and the quaternary ammonium surfactant (Distearyldimonium Chloride) can also participate to this protection.

Active Ingredient

–          Salicylic Acid

Step 2 : Acne Skin Clearing Treatment

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion emulsified with Seppic Montanov 68 (Cetearyl Glucoside (and) Cetearyl Alcohol) / Steareth-21, thickened and stabilized with Seppic Simugel FL or INS 100 (Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (and) Isohexadecane (and) Polysorbate 60)

The oil phase is made with fatty alcohols – Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol and Behenyl Alcohol -, silicones – Dimethicone and Dimethiconol, and like in the Acne Pore Clarifying Cleanser, contains a alkoxylated alcohol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, said in the patent to be “useful as solubilizing agents for the acidic active ingredients in the oil phase of the oil-in-water emulsions”, like salicylic acid here in the formula.

The aqueous phase contains Glycerin.

The formula contains two powders : Titanium Dioxide and Polymethylsilsesquioxane (Momentive Tospearl Microspheres, mono-dispersed micro-fine spherical cross-linked siloxane particules, providing soft focus effect for reduced appearance of skin irregularities).

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth mainly by Salicylic Acid. However, the formula also contain a glycol with preservative properties that could help to protect the formula : Symrise SymClariol (Decylene Glycol).

Active Ingredients

–          Salicylic Acid

–          Symrise SymClariol (Decylene Glycol)

–          Bisabolol

–          Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract

Step 3 : Complexion Renewing Lotion

Formula Structure

Emulsified cream-gel, thickened and stabilized with Seppic Simugel FL or INS 100 (Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (and) Isohexadecane (and) Polysorbate 60) / Lubrizol Pemulen (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer).

The oil phase is made of silicone oils : Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone and Dimethicone Crosspolymer and Dimethiconol.

The aqueous phase contains several glycols : Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Decylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol.

The formula contains a powder, Polymethylsilsesquioxane (Momentive Tospearl Microspheres, mono-dispersed micro-fine spherical cross-linked siloxane particules, providing soft focus effect for reduced appearance of skin irregularities).

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate and Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, helped with Disodium EDTA and Glycols (Pentylene Glycol, Decylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol and Ethylhexylglycerin).

Active Ingredients

–          Niacinamide

–          Panthenol

–          Symrise SymClariol (Decylene Glycol)

–          Seppic Sepiwhite MSH (Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine)

–          Bisabolol

–          Tocopheryl Acetate

–          Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract

Olay Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer — SPF 15

Olay Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer SPF 15

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion, emulsified with Seppic Montanov 68 (Cetearyl Glucoside (and) Cetearyl Alcohol) / PEG-100 Stearate, helped with several fatty alcohol as co-surfactants (Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol and Cetyl Alcohol), thickened and stabilized with Ashland Natrosol (Hydroxyethylcellulose) / Lubrizol Pemulen (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer) / Carbomer.

The oil phase is made of Dimethicone, Isopropyle Isostearate and Dimethiconol. The fatty alcohols participate also to the oil phase (Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol and Cetyl Alcohol).

The aqueous phase contains two glycols : Glycerin and Pentylene Glycol

The formula contains a polyethylene powder (Polyethylene) that helps to improve the skinfeel.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Sodium Dehydroacetate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben and Propylparaben, helped with Pentylene Glycol and Disodium EDTA. The pH of the formula is adjusted with Triethanolamine.

Surprisingly, while the cosmetic industry works on removing Parabens from its formulations, this new product contains parabens (Methyl-, Ethyl- and Propylparaben). The protection of UV filtering formulas against microbiological growth is often a challenge due to the presence of UV filters.

Active Ingredients

–          UV Filters (Octisalate 4.5%, Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 3% and Octocrylene 2.6%)

–          Panthenol

–          Tocopheryl Acetate

Olay Pro-X Clear Intensive Refining Sulfur Mask

Olay Pro-X Sulfur Mask

Formula Structure

Aqueous paste where two polymers – Acacia Senegal Gum and PVP – help to suspend several powders with oil absorbing properties – Bentonite, Talc and Kaolin.

The formula contains a small quantity of Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil). The quantity of oil is very probably less than 1%, due to the position of the ingredient in the ingredient list.

The formula contains two glycols : Propylene Glycol and Glycerin.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben and Propylparaben. Just as said for the SPF 15 formula, P&G uses here parabens to prevent microbiological growth while there is a clear will from consumers to avoid parabens in cosmetic products. On a technical point of view, the formula contains a lot of powders that usually make an aqueous formula more difficult to protect against microbiological growth (the surface of powder particles is a place prone to microbiological development).

Active Ingredients

–          Sulfur (10%)

–          Sodium PCA

–          Allantoin

–          Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil)

Conclusion

On a technical point of view, this new range is made of classical formulas, with, as usual in Olay, the use of several vitamins as active ingredients (Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Niacinamide) and other very classical cosmetic ingredients (Bisabolol, Sodium PCA, Allantoin, . There is not a “star” ingredient used in the whole range to give a main thread to the formulas. This is due to the use of OTC formulas, where the active ingredient is chosen in a positive list (Salicylic Acid or Sulfur allow to claim efficacy on Acne in OTC products). It is worth to note the presence of Symrise SymClariol (Decylene Glycol), a glycol with antibacterial efficiency, useful for acne-prone skin.

The Intensive Refining Sulfur Mask is quite original, due to the use of Sulfur, not so common in cosmetic, and due to the formula structure, an aqueous paste suspending oil absorbing powders.

Claims and communication of the Olay Pro-X Clear range are made to build a serious image fitting with a “professional” concept. Formulas are based on serious and well-known cosmetic ingredients, but very common after all. The “Consensus statement” made for Olay Pro-X Clear states that this range is based on “Advance Science-driven Innovation” : it is clearly not translated into formulation technologies and active ingredients. Will this “professional” concept be enough to make Pro-X Clear a successful launch ?

3 comments

  1. I don’t do well with parabens no matter what they say. Also too much salycilic acid! Eac of their products in this line contain salycilic acid. The only good thing in this line is the sulfur in the sulfur mask. But I don’t wan to buy everything else with it.

  2. Can I buy the complexion renewing lotion alone?

  3. Not sure, Olay has tested the two formulas together, and the claims are based on the association of both product. Maybe reading the Ingredient List, you will find a close formulation in another product of the Olay brand ?
    AB

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