Anyone in our Facebook Group knows of my passion for the sciences. I am a Medicinal Chemist who serves at our local community college here in Florida as a Chemistry Professor.
I was drawn in DEEP when I saw someone share LipSense on their Facebook profile. “How in the world does that stuff work? Why must I use their gloss? Is it just a money grab or is it worth the expense?”
LipSense® by SeneGence® is a long-lasting, non-wax Liquid Lip Color with serious staying power. The gloss is said to “lock in the color” and moisturize throughout the day in such a way that is superior to chapsticks and other glosses. I HAD TO KNOW WHY and if this claim holds up to science. Let’s do this!
HERE’S THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE PRODUCT:
LipSense® Moisturizing Gloss by SeneGence® is a patented combination of ingredients. Here are a few key components of the chemistry behind its ability to lock in moisture and your LipSense® color:
INGREDIENT #1: Dimethicone – Silky soft and long term lip cell health all day, e’ry day.
Dimethicone (octamethyltrisiloxane) is a silicon-based, polymerizing oil and a dermatological agent used in the treatment and prevention of severely dry or chapped skin. It fills uneven surfaces, minimizes the appearance of fine lines, and provides a protective layer on skin making it a popular substance in the world of cosmetics.
Potential Health Concerns:
The # 1 ingredient in LipSense’s Gloss and a potent lubricant/conditioning agent, this substance is FDA approved for limited use (so you could eat a little if you REALLY wanted to) and while cited in the EC (Environment Canada) Domestic Substances List Categorization as having potential for “non-reproductive organ toxicity”, the research suggests this is due to the small (1 in 5 million) occurrences of reports for irritation. Read the study here! It’s actually quite fascinating!
As it provides a layer of protection over your skin, cleaning your face before applying is highly recommended to ensure you don’t trap and bacteria under there. Luckily the LipSense® colors have SDA (an antimicrobial agent) to protect against this potential concern. Read more about the ingredients found in the LipSense® colors here!
INGREDIENT #2: Synthetic Beeswax – Vegan? You’ll like this one.
Mind ya own! (Sorry, had to do it) Synthetic Beeswax is made via a blending a variety of lipids (oils and fatty acids) together to achieve the consistency of beeswax. This makes cosmetics creamier, easier to apply, and allows for even spread. SeneGence® appears committed to the cruelty-free initiatives and prefers to use synthetic beeswax as a method of minimizing stress on a struggling bee population.
INGREDIENT #3: Tocopherol (Vitamin E) – Take your vitamins!
Tocopherol is a naturally-occurring form of Vitamin E (fat-soluble vitamin potent with antioxidant properties) and is considered essential for the stability of cell membranes. It inhibits angiogenesis (which means it has a cancer-fighting property) by suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene transcription! Read more about Vitamin E here!
INGREDIENT #4: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Multi-Tasker!
Shea Butter! Who hasn’t heard of/loved this stuff! Shea butter is a botanical agent derived from the seeds of the African Shea Tree. This substance acts as a skin conditioning and thickening agent. Its purpose is two-fold! It helps to retain moisture and lessen the loss of water and reduces the appearance of dry, patchy, or flaky skin.
INGREDIENT #5: Trimethylsilylamodimethicone (say that 5x fast) – more silky stuff!
Trimethylsilylamodimethicone (IUPAC: [[1-(2-aminoethylamino)-2-methylpropyl]-dimethylsilyl]oxy-methylsilicon) is a branched chain silicone fluid that coats hair and skin allowing for that silky soft feel you find in salon-grade conditioners.
INGREDIENT #6: Oxtoxynol-40 – Emulsifier and Wetting Agent.
Probably the coolest chemical structure we’ve had yet, Oxtoxynol-40 (IUPAC: 3,6,9,12-Tetraoxatetradecan-1-ol, 14-(4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenoxy)) serves a simple purpose: to keep everything mixed well and emulsified. Anticlimatic? Maybe! But this is why LipSense® glosses don’t require those little spheres for mixing as found in their LipSense® color counterparts.
INGREDIENT #7: Isolaureth-6 – more surfactant/emulsifying/silky action.
Used in cleansing/sunscreen products, Isolaureth-6 is a surfactant and emulsifier that, again, keeps things mixed well but also can be used as a cuticle/hair moisturizer! Good to know in a pinch!
Potential Health Concern:
Can be toxic in large quantities if consumed (although the site that stated this claim is an environmental organization called EWG that did not list references…). So don’t drink 7,000 LipGlosses and you’ll be sittin’ pretty.
INGREDIENT #8: Propylene Glycol – Organic Solvent.
Propylene Glycol (in cosmetics) is an organic solvent that ensures the various substances within the gloss stay suspending in liquid form. Be cautious while searching for more information on this little guy. He’s not the same as ethylene glycol!
Watch the video below!
Potential Health Concerns:
Propylene Glycol is used in an enormous amount of products (cosmetic and not) and thus can yield concerning results. Keep in mind, its use in cosmetics is different than its use in artificial smoke, pharmaceuticals, paints, etc.
INGREDIENT #9: Propylparaben
Propylparaben (not to be confused with other “Parabens” which have recently received a lot of heat in the media) is the propyl ester of the substance p-hydroxybenzoic acid; a natural substance found in a number of plants and insects. It is used in cosmetics as a preservative (as it possesses anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties). It is used to extend the shelf life of various cosmetics products. All research suggests it is a non-toxic, non-irritant when used in 0.5-1% concentrations (the gloss contains a fraction of this percent).
THE “CL” INGREDIENTS – REFLECTORS FOR THE SHINE!
Each LipSense® tube has a varied formulation used to arrive at a particular color – often involving the use of many different color pigments. Some colors naturally last longer than others as some are thicker or richer in color pigmentations, while some are sheer and thinner than others.
These “CL” ingredients often use micas (minerals found in various shiny rocks) to create shine and shimmer. They reflect light and are made of particles that are larger than color pigments.
For your review, SeneGence has a list of their products and the ingredients that constitute each one. Click here to check it out: senegence-ingredients.
If you’d like to learn more, let me know! I’d be happy to write a post about any other ingredients or products you may find in a cosmetic. Next, I will write one about the ingredients in LipSense® by SeneGence® Gloss!
- “OCTAMETHYLTRISILOXANE | C8H24O2Si3 – PubChem.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
- Journal of Clinical Toxicology, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017. <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Abdullah_Alnuqaydan/publication/308598503_Toxicity_and_Genotoxicity_of_Beauty_Products_on_Human_Skin_Cells_In_Vitro/links/57e7ccee08ae9227da9ef58a.pdf>.
- “VITAMIN E | C29H50O2 – PubChem.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017. <https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/14985#section=Top>.
- Goreja, W. G. (2004). “Chapter 2”. Shea Butter: The Nourishing Properties of Africa’s Best-Kept Natural Beauty Secret. TNC International. p. 5. ISBN 9780974296258.
- Oishi (2002). “Effects of propyl paraben on the male reproductive system”. Food Chemical Toxicology. 40 (12): 1807–13. doi:10.1016/s0278-6915(02)00204-1. PMID 12419695.