Tag Archives: oil

Nivea Men Beard Oil

Simultaneously to L’Oréal launching its Barber Club range dedicated to men with beard, Nivea is launching a Beard Oil.

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L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Barber Club

L’Oréal Paris is (finally) launching a men grooming range dedicated to beard under its skincare range for men “Men Expert”.

“Finally”, because wearing beard is such a huge trend in men fashion, at least in Western Europe, that it is surprising that L’Oréal have not done it before…

Transversally to the range, L’Oreal claims “no silicone, no dyes, no ingredient from animal origin”, and supports the Movember foundation for men’s health.

The range is build around 3 steps, and 4 formulas, all designed to help men to take care of their beards. The technologies behind are known, with some transfer from the hair category (conditioning agents, caring oil).

– Step 1 : Cleanse, with a 3 in 1 Cleanser – Beard, Face and Hair.

The formula is a pearly (Glycol Distearate as pearlizing agent) foaming gel built on Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Covo-Betaine. It contains a quaternary guar (Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride), a conditioning agent, positioned in the first ingredients of the ingredient list. This ingredient helps to support the claims “softens beard” and “detangle hair”. The formula also contains Menthol,  ingredient providing a cool sensation on skin.

– Step 2 : Soften, with 2 formulas :

– Oil for Long Beard & Face :

The formula is an anhydrous oil made mainly of 3 liquid oils : Isopropyl Palmitate (a light fatty ester), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (a synthetic triglyceride, with the same feel as natural oil while not being sensitive to oxidation) and Polybutene (synthetic apolar hydrocarbon compound).

– Care for Short Beard & Face

This formula is contains Croda Cithrol DPHS as main surfactant (PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate). Cithrol DPHS is supposed to help to make W/O emulsions. But the formula does not contain an oil phase. It looks rather like a gel where the stabilizing/thickening polymer is Acrylate/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (e.g. Pemulen), with several ingredients added for feel and touch : Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (a water-soluble silicone wax), sodium hyaluronate.

– Step 3 : Give Style with a Styling Cream Hair & Beard

The formula is an emulsion with Croda Arlacel 165 (PEG-100 Stearate (and) Glyceryl Stearate) as emulsifiers, Cetearyl Alcohol as co-emulsifier, and Dow’s Aculyn 44 (PEG-150/Decyl Alcohol/SMDI Copolymer). The oil phase is made of Mineral Oil, Microcristalline Wax and Phenyl Trimethicone. The formula contains VP/Dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate Copolymer (e.g. Ashland Copolymer 968) as hair grooming and conditioning.


Natural oils are generally triglycerides, ie ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acids. Triglycerides are the main constituents of body fat in humans and other animals, as well as vegetable fat. They have a very good compatibility with human skin.

Naturally occuring triglycerides are generally unsaturated, ie one or several Carbon / Carbon bonds are double bonds. For example, the triglycerides of the olive oil are made of two radicals of oleic acid and one of palmitic acid attached to glycerol. Oleic acid has one Carbon/Carbon double bond.

Below, an example of triglyceride with double bonds on the fatty chaines.

Example of Triglyceride

These double bonds are sensitive to oxidation, which turns natural triglycerides rancid. As a consequence, the use of natural triglycerides in cosmetic needs to be balanced with their tendancy to turn rancid, with a typical malodor associated. The solution is often to add anti-oxidants to cosmetic formulations with natural fats, to prevent oxidation and rancid odor.

Another option, to keep the benefits of natural oils (skin feel, emolliency), without the drawback of oxidation, is to go with Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride. This ingredient is a synthetic triglyceride from natural origin (generally Coconut and Palm). This means that the fatty chains and glycerine can be from natural origin, and a chemical reaction is made (esterification) to synthesize the triglyceride. The fatty chains come from Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid, both saturated (ie without double bonds), so resistant to oxidation.

Molecule of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride :

Example of Triglyceride

Croda is one of the suppliers of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, under the tradename Crodamol GTCC. It is described as a “fully saturated emollient triester, recommended as an alternative for mineral or vegetable oils in a wide variety of personal care and pharmaceutical applications. Fully saturated triglyceride. Light emollient with good lubricity. Excellent solvent for chemical sunscreens and wetting agent for physical sunscreens.”


Silybum Marianum Seed Oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of Lady Thistle (Chardon-Marie in French).

Silybum Marianum - Lady Thistle

The oil contains Silymarin, a complex mixture of polyphenolic molecules, including Silibinin, the major active constituent of this mixture. It exhibits a number of pharmacological effects, particularly in the liver.

According to one of its suppliers Aldivia, Silymarine is known for its hepatoprotective effect: it acts on the cell membrane, making it difficult for toxins to pass into the cell. In addition, silymarine appears to slow down the lipid peroxidation process, giving a membrane stabilizing effect. Lady thistle oil can be used in all finished cosmetic products. It is used particularly in body and hair care products: creams for damaged and dull skin, massage oils and shampoos for thin and fragile hair.


Isononyl Isononanoate is the ester of isononanoic acid and isononanol alcohol.

Isononyl Isononanoate

It is a highly branched low molecular weight, dry and silky ester that exhibits unique characteristics including extremely low freeze point, low viscosity, good penetrating power, excellent solubility and compatibility in a variety of ingredients such as esters, volatile silicones, mineral and vegetable oils. It acts as a replacement for volatile silicones in antiperspirants where it reduces tackiness and prevents clogging in aerosols and as a resin plasticizer in hair sprays.

In particular is skincare products, it gives them a distinctive velvety feel.


Cyclomethicone is the generic name of cyclic siloxane. The usual cyclic siloxane used in skincare are Cyclopentasiloxane and Cyclohexasiloxane.

Cyclomethicone are volatile silicone that improves the playtime on skin, without leaving a greasy feel, but rather a very light, soft and not shiny finish on the skin.


Hydrogenated Polyisobutene is a non-polar (i.e. non-hydrophilic, or lipophilic, or going into the oily phase of an emulsion) polymer. It has a branched chains aliphatic hydrocarbon structure, without ring structure.

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene

It is supplied by NOF Corp. under the tradename Parleam, or by Sophim under the tradename Sophim MC.

Sophim claims the following benefits of Hydrogenated Polyisobutene :

  • Colorless, odorless, tasteless
  • Totally stable versus oxidation
  • Stable across the pH range
  • MC 300 is an effective waterproofing agent
  • Enhances SPF retention after water exposure
  • Soluble in main sunscreen filters
  • MC 30 has excellent spreadability and fast penetration into the skin
  • Emollient, moisturizer, restore skin suppleness
  • Prevents Insensible Water Loss (IWL)
  • Miscible with lipophilic substances
  • Soft feel, non  greasy
  • Easily emulsifiable
  • Pigment dispersing agent for decorative cosmetics
  • Non comedogenic
  • Non irritant, non toxic, full inocuity

In NOF Corp. portofolio, there are several grades of Parleam. The standard grade of Parleam is claimed to “have a similar physical and chemical properties as Squalane. The product is widely used for skin and hair care such as lotions and skin creams as well as make-up cosmetics and ointments.


Squalane, brings nutrition to skincares, without greasy feel.

Actually, skin produces Squalene. Squalane is the saturated form of squalane. Squalane and squalene have the same interesting properties on the skin (moisturizer), but Squalane is easier to formulate since less susceptible to be oxidized.