Tag Archives: Skincare

Nivea Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy

Nivea is extending this July 2017 its Q10 range with 3 new products associating Q10 Plus complex with Vitamin C.


With this launch, Nivea comes back with a very classic and powerful skincare ingredient, Pure Vitamin C : interesting addition to Q10, and interesting launch as the star product is not the Day Cream but the Night Cream. The technology and the claims behind this launch are not drastically innovative.

The range

The line-up is made of 3 products :

  • Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy SPF15 Day Cream
  • Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy Restoring Night Cream
  • Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy Anti-fatigue Eye Care

Communication and Claims

This new range is a revamp and extension of the Q10 Plus Energy Day Cream launched in 2012, itself being at the time the revamp of Nivea Pure Energy Day Cream launched in 2008. This is why the emphasis on this launch is not put on the Day Cream, but rather on the Night Cream.

The Night & Eye formulas are new for the Q10 Plus range, and display a “new” technology : “pure vitamin C”. The formulas indeed contain Ascorbic Acid, the true pure chemical form of Vitamin C that you can find in fruits or vegetables. As said on the packs, this form of Vitamin C is very sensitive to oxygen, and get oxidized very easily : apart from being degraded by oxygen (and turned to be inefficient), it turns the formula to brown. This is why Nivea :

  • offer the formulas in an aluminum pack, with a specific cap to keep the formula out of air until the first use
  • writes a paragraph on the pack dedicated to Vitamin C and its stability

This sensitivity of Vitamin C to oxygen is the reason why, in many skincare products, manufacturers use derivatives of Vitamin C, like Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (often called in the profession “Vitamin CP”). Derivatives are more stable, but also much more expensive, and efficient in a different way.

Choosing Pure Vitamin C is a great choice from Nivea : it is a very well known ingredient, full of interesting properties for skin, especially to fight against skin ageing (lightening, antioxidant, …etc). To solve the stability issue of Vitamin C, they used the usual trick used many times by other cosmetic manufacturers : sealed metal tube. They surf on the trend of Vitamin C reinitiated by Clinique and its Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-day system with pure vitamin C, but in a more classical way, except on the fact that the star product is not a day cream, but a night cream.

In terms of claims, the new Night Cream, star product of this launch, focuses on “energy”, as opposed to stress and fatigue : the formula is claimed to “awake skin”, “reduce main signs of stress : wrinkles, dull and tired skin”, and “makes face looking visibly relaxed”.

Let’s read the label

Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy SPF15 Day Cream

As said, this cream is a revamp of the Nivea Q10 Plus Energy Day Care SPF15 launched in December 2012, itself a revamp of the Nivea Visage Energy Day Cream launched in 2008 (see article here on CosmetoScope). Compared to the 2012 formula, few changes were made in the 2017 one :

  • removal of a botanical extract : the Goji Berry, claimed in 2012 as an “antioxidant fruit widely used in traditional Chinese medicine” is not present anymore.
  • addition of a Vitamin C derivative (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) : to match the new concept of the product “Q10 Plus & Vitamin C”.
  • change in the preservative system to a paraben-free version

Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy Restoring Night Cream

O/W emulsion, with Glyceryl Stearate and Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate as surfactants and Cetearyl Alcohol as co-surfactant, and Xanthan Gum, Carbomer & Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer as thickeners and stabilizers.

The oil phase is made of Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii Butter), Dicaprylyl Ether, C12-15 Alkyl Benozate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Dimethicone.

The aqueous phase contains Glycerin.

The preservative system of the formula is made of Methylpropanediol and Phenoxyethanol, helped by Trisodium EDTA.

As a improving agent for the touch and feel of the formula, Tapioca Starch has been added.

The formula contains several active ingredients : Ascorbic Acid (pure Vitamin C), Panthenol, Ubiquinone (Q10 Co-enzyme), Creatine, and 1-Methylhydantoin-2-Imide (Creatinine).

As said before, Vitamin C is very sensitive to oxygen and can be oxidized very easily. To stabilize Vitamin C, the Beiersdorf’s formula includes a stabilizer not so often seen in skincare formulations : Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate. It corresponds very probably to Merck’s Oxynex ST (INCI name : Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonata (and) Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride), presented by Merck as providing “highly effective stabilization of colorants, antioxidants and UV filters”. Vitamin C is also stablized with a pH buffer system (Potassium Phosphate).

Q10 Plus C Anti-wrinkle + Energy Anti-fatigue Eye Care

Looks to be the same formula as the Night Cream, without fragrance.




Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-day system with pure vitamin C

Clinique is launching in April 2017 a new “system” with pure vitamin C : Fresh Pressed.

Read More »

L’Oréal Age Perfect Rosy Glow Mask

L’Oreal is extending its Age Perfect range with a new product, Age perfect Rosy Glow Mask, a cream-mask sold in a jar.
From a technical point of view, this formula is a emulsified gel, based on 2 polymers (Clariant Hostacerin AMPS – Ammonium Polyacryloylsimethyl Taurate, exclusive to L’Oreal as patented, and Xanthan Gum). This blend allows to suspend and stabilized dispersed oil drops, without using surfactants.

The oil phase is mainly made of silicone oil (Dimethicone) and fatty ester (Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate). Lower in the INCI, so probably at a concentration below 1%, the formula contains plenty of natural oils (Rosemary Leaf Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Lavender Oil,…).

The formula is protected against microbiological development by Alcohol (2nd in the INCI list), Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl Glycol.

Interesting texture of surfactant-free emulsified gel. It is interesting to see Alcohol so high in a mask formula. Indeed, mask are more difficult to formulate than creams from a safety point of view : they are appied as thick layers on skin and left-on for several minutes. Preservatives and other ingredients can cause tongling if not carefully selected. If successfully formulated, Alcohol here in this formula probably greatly participate to improve skin glow (due to its refreshing effect).



Acetyl Glucosamine has been patented by Estée Lauder in 1999 as an exfoliating agent.

Sold by MMP under the tradename Skin’ential HA, it is claimed to be the natural primary constituent of hyaluronic acid in the skin, essential for skin moisture and skin barrier. This cosmetic grade glucosamine derivative would also have anti-tyrosinase activity.


Actractylodes Lancea is the latin name of a chinese plant called Cang Zhu. Clarins uses an extract from its rhizome.


This extract seems to be very specific to Clarins. They present it in their “herbarium” as follow :

“Cang zhu is a plant that grows in the mountains of northern and central China. It has been used since ancient times in Chinese medicine. The bitter-tasting root can be eaten cooked for its toning benefits and raw to fight water retention. In cosmetics, Clarins Laboratories have demonstrated that through the intermediary of G-protein, the root extract improves the skin’s barrier function.”

We already saw this ingredient in Clarins Vital Light products, also used in the Clarins Double Serum.

According to Chinese medicine, it would have effect on stomach.


The association of Xylitylglucoside / Anhydroxylitol / Xylitol is sold by Seppic under the tradename Aquaxyl. It is patented by Seppic, and claimed to “reinforce the synthesis of essential lipids and proteins involved in the organisation of the corneus layer”. This leaded Seppic to emphasize the 2 following benefits of its active ingredient in moisturization :

  • it “increases reserves and circulation of water” in skin dermis / epidermis
  • it “reinforces skin barrieres” for “anti-dehydration power” in epidermis

These benefits are claimed by Seppic to be visible within 8 and 24 hours.

Aquaxyl is made from glucose and xylitol from vegetable origin.

Seppic summarizes the benefits of its ingredients as “AQUAXYL™ offers the 3D hydration hydraconcept for circulation of moisture throughout all skin layers and boosting of hyaluronic acid. The skin barrier is reinforced in 24 hours by limiting water loss. Results are softer smoother skin in 28 days with normal desquamation and smoothing of fine lines. Also effective for hair moisturization and foaming formula sensory profile.”


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.”