Creams with water need lots of additives
Water never comes alone. Creams with H2O need a lot of additives. A look at the INCI list of most care products reveals that the ingredient no. 1 is water. Great, you think, it's healthy. You test the cream: a nice consistency, there is a fresh kick as soon as you apply it and it also absorbs quickly.
Feel good factor vs. skin health
While ointments were still used in grandma's time, the trend today is towards light textures. Sounds progressive, but it's just a step towards wellness, not towards skin health. This is not due to the water itself, but to the many side effects that the necessary additives cause. Below I will introduce you to the most important ones:
1. Water needs preservatives
Water contaminates within a few days because microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi thrive in it. Therefore, every cream containing water automatically also contains preservatives.
Natural cosmetics companies usually use alcohol because it has little allergenic potential and, as a broad spectrum preservative, protects against a whole range of germs. However, it is not suitable for sensitive skin because it irritates and dries it out.
Conventional products rely on a combination of preservatives for a wide variety of germs. That means even more substances that stress your skin. Some of these can cause allergies.
2. A creamcan only be made from water and oil with emulsifiers
Since oil and water don't mix, water-based creams need emulsifiers. They combine both substances with each other - in the pot and on your skin. When fat and water have long since moved in, the emulsifiers remain there. If new water comes in from the outside, they combine it with the skin's own fats.
There is a wash-out effect in which an important part of your skin's protective layer is removed, namely the skin's own fats, the so-called lipids. It is becoming drier and more susceptible to bacteria and the like. You can find out more about this in our article on emulsification.
3. No creamy texture without consistency enhancer
There are also substances that provide the right texture. Think of your favorite jam. It consists of many water-containing fruits that are mixed with a gelling agent so that the jam does not remain liquid but maintains its delicious consistency. Creams with H2O require similar stabilisers. So more for your skin to deal with.
4. Water requires substances that balance pH
The skin is surrounded by a protective acid mantle. Their pH value is therefore in the acidic range of 4.5 to 5.75. Water has a PH value of 7 and other ingredients have their own values. In order not to disturb the protective acid mantle, the pH value of the care must be adjusted to that of the skin. The more ingredients, the more complex the PH adjustment.
Photo: Ladina Bischof
Conclusion: Free from water means free from many additives
With our most popular product, the FIVE Shea Cream, we don't use water That means a whole range of ingredients less that stress your skin. But where does the moisture come from? Very simple, off the line. Wet your face and apply the care. So it absorbs well and helps your skin to store moisture for a long time.
If you are now wondering how this works when creams need emulsifiers for this, have a look under the tip Why should I apply oils to damp skin?.
Because FIVE products do without a bulky component that flows inexpensively from the tap, they are highly concentrated. Even a small amount is enough. This is not only good for you, but also for the environment. Because the low consumption is also reflected in packaging and transport.