Intermission Hair Talk: John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum

It has been a while since my last post and I do owe you all an application post on those Tom Ford lipsticks but today I would like to talk about the John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum.

I came to examining hair products that I use when I decided to bleach my hair twice and commit to a life to dry, lifeless, chemically damaged but blond hair. I could not afford to get it done in a salon thus I did the bleaching and toning myself, leaving time between each process to try and not fry or melt my already weak and fine hair. I might share my process someday but that is for another post.

I was quite turned off by the tangly, rough texture of my hair and thus begun applying various masks, ampoules, hair mists, oils and serums on my hair, testing which combination is the most efficient and healthy when I came across this old bottle of John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum. I had used this serum in minute amounts in the past but it had fell out of favour as I never really enjoyed the strangely smooth texture that remains on my hands after application that is extremely difficult to wash off. I kept the bottle around and used it occasionally when I wanted my hair to be more shiny and smooth. It does work quite well in improving the touch feel of the hair, however, I have always felt a slight itch on my scalp when I used it and didn’t enjoy having it being transferred onto my skin from then ends of my hair. I had success with applying it recently before I decided to bleach my hair and thought it would work well to help my bleached hair, it did say “smoothes” and “hydrates” on the bottle after all.

However, I attempted applying this serum on the ends of my hair a day after my second bleaching session when my hair was extremely dry. Aside from the chemical processes, I also had naturally curly hair, thus I really needed a hair serum to smoothen it all out. I sprayed hair mist on my hair, then applied the Frizz Ease serum and waited for my hair to air dry. Unfortunately, instead of restoring my hair’s natural curl and giving it some shine, my hair became somewhat straightened and was frizzy instead of shiny. Some parts of my hair even felt a tiny bit crunchy. Thus, facing such abnormalities, I decided to investigate.

John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum Ingredients List:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Hydrolyzed Silk, Parfum, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene.


Before I checked the ingredients, I already had a feeling that silicones were part of this product solely because of the unusually smooth texture and coating on the skin that I can feel when I use it. It is very much similar to those silicone containing pore-filling primers that are used on the skin. Furthermore, I am aware that some hair masks that I use do contain silicone as their 3rd or 4th ingredient and many makeup products contain them too.

However, my beef with this product is that the very first 2 ingredients are silicone. Meaning, instead of a water or oil base where a smaller amount of silicone is swimming in, for this product, there is a small amount of oils (or other stuff) swimming in a big pool of silicone. I was then even more concerned when I did a little research and found that both cyclopentasiloxane and dimethiconol are prone to build up due to their waterproof nature, making them difficult to remove without a strong shampoo. (Source:  I don’t have a huge issue with its removal as I am not one who doesn’t wash her hair for days due to living in the tropics, but I have an issue with a product that claims hydration when in fact you are just applying silicon on your hair, coating it to make it seem smooth but not actually providing much real hydration or nourishment, especially in my case with my hair now being chemically processed.

The other ingredients didn’t quite make up for the pool of silicone either. Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is an organic compound, used also in lipbalms and sunscreen. Usually it is mixed with other compounds to form sunscreen, but in this case I am guessing that it is probably just a mixing media. Paraffinum liquidum is liquid paraffin which is basically mineral oil that forms a coating on the surface. There is hydrolyzed silk added in the mix which contains proteins for the hair but it is a wonder if any of it really gets in the hair while being suspended in a soup of silicones and mineral oil that coats and seals off the hair.

It suddenly all made sense to me why my scalp felt uncomfortable when I used this product and why my curls weren’t returning. It did nothing for my hair. All it did was coat my unhealthy, dry hair and weighed it down.

And so I had to try something else and find out if it was truly the product or I had fried my hair beyond salvation. I had a small bottle of Tarte’s Maracuja Oil sitting around from an old Ipsy bag as my face just doesn’t bode well with oil. I went in with my hair mist after washing my hair and applied the oil quite generously.

Curls and shine back after using Tarte’s Maracuja Oil on my twice bleached hair.

The difference was clear. While it air dried, my curls returned and my hair had some of its shine back again. My hair didn’t feel oily as a lot of the product seemed to have been absorbed. I decided to check what’s in this product and as expected, it made perfect sense.

Tarte Maracuja Oil Ingredients
Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Tocopherol


It was a simple product containing the said oil and Tocopherol, which was vitamin E, a clinically proven ingredient that moisturises. No silicones, no slippery feel, no strange crunchy hair, just simple oil and vitamin.

I don’t really want to condemn a product as it may work for other people, but the John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum is just a bad product. It does not add to the health of your hair but instead just coats it to create the illusion that your health is healthier. I don’t understand how it claims to be an “award-winning” formula. Perhaps it is meant to create an immediate illusion of good hair texture for styling but it seems to be damaging when used in the long run. Furthermore, from my personal experience, it did not do much to smooth out my chemically treated hair. On the other hand, a simple natural oil that contained only two ingredients was able to restore my hair and is probably healthier in the long run. The difference is night and day. I rest my case.

Tom Ford Lipsticks: What really sets it apart? – Part 1 Ingredients and Comparisons

Recently, I had a massive lipstick swatching session with my collection of lipsticks as I tried to pare it down to a more manageable number, or at least where it all fits into my storage. In the process, I was reminded of how much I really enjoyed certain formulas of lipsticks. For example, my favourite formulas include the Nars Audacious Lipsticks – a rather hard formula with superb pigmentation and a slightly matte finish but doesn’t dry up your lips and of course the infamously expensive Tom Ford Lipsticks – a creamy formula with great pigmentation and a satin finish that feels nourishing on the lips all day. That got me thinking too, what makes a lipstick formula and what sets them apart?

Thus, today I would like to discuss and try to understand what goes into a Tom Ford lipstick other than the luxury branding and marketing campaigns. Is it a product that is worth its hefty price tag based on its own implicit value and does it add so much value to our makeup application that it is worth keeping a space for in a curated vanity?

Ingredient List:

As a starting point, again I would like to reference its ingredient list that I was able to pull off the Sephora website:

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Diisostearyl Malate, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lanolin Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax\Candelilla Cera\Cire De Candelilla, Ozokerite, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polyethylene, Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline, Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopherol, Squalane, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D’Orge, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cholesterol, Ceramide 3, Acrylates Copolymer, Linoleic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Barium Sulfate, Alumina, Vanillin, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Carmine (Ci 75470), Copper Powder (Ci 77400), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)]
Please be aware that ingredient lists may change or vary from time to time.� Please refer to the ingredient list on the product package you receive for the most up to date list of ingredients.


What are lipsticks made of?

Basically, lipsticks are generally made of three categories of ingredients: wax, oil and pigment. Wax is mainly used to give lipsticks their solid form while oil is used to moisturise and make the lipstick emollient enough to spread across the surface of the lips. Finally, of course, the amount and combination of pigments will determine how opaque the lipstick is and its colour.


I was pleasantly surprised to find many natural oils present in the ingredient list, namely the castor seed oil, lanolin oil (sheep oil), astrocaryum murumuru seed butter, squalene (usually derived from shark liver oil), camomile flower oil, shea butter and ceramide. These oils act as moisturisers for the lips and are probably in high concentrations, given that the lipstick is a rather creamy, moisturising one. Aside from looking at the number of oils included, the types of oils do matter as well, as the molecular size and structure of different oils determines how effective it is, as do the scarcity or process of extraction of it determines how expensive it is. Other than oils, there are also other extracts included in the lipstick, such as wheat germ extract, soybean extract and barley extract.


The waxes used in this lipstick are candelilla wax and microcrystalline wax. Candelilla wax is derived the leaves of the candelilla plant in Mexico while microcrystalline wax is derived from petroleum. Both are commonly used waxes in lipstick formulation.


The final part of the ingredient list denotes the pigments used, and for each colour in that lipstick line the combination would be slightly different. Pigments can be derived from plants, animals (such as carmine from the bug cochineal), minerals (like iron or copper oxides) or even be synthetically produced. In this ingredient list I find a mixture of animal, mineral and synthetic pigments.

Other ingredients are added that have various functions to the formula too. For example, acrylate copolymer is added as a binder to help in the film forming function that helps the lipstick stay on snugly on the lips. Linoleic acid and octyldodecanol are fatty acids (essentially building blocks of fats) and are included for skin conditioning functions. Silica is also included as a filler ingredient.

Comparison with a cheap drugstore lipstick

As this article aims to discuss the value of a Tom Ford lipstick, I thought it would be helpful to compare the ingredient list with lipsticks from other brands. Firstly, let’s examine the following ingredient list of a low end drugstore brand lipstick that I had found had a similar creamy consistency to the Tom Ford lipstick.

Catrice Ultimate Colour Lipstick:


It is easy to identify the differences immediately. Instead of castor seed oil as the main solvent, octyldodecanol is used. Candelilla wax and microcrystalline wax are used just like in the Tom Ford formula but a clear difference is seen with the oils. Oils that are more expensive such as lanolin, shea butter, squalene and ceramide are out of the equation. Instead, in replacement, cheaper plant-based oils such as sunflower seed oil, camelina sativa seed oil, euterpe oleracea fruit oil and oilus oil are used. There is also a lack of additional plant extracts. Carmine is not used as one of the pigments, instead, synthetic pigments are used. (probably because Carmine is more expensive) Therefore, is there more value in a Tom Ford lipstick as compared to a cheap drugstore alternative? Based on the ingredients, yes there definitely is.

Comparison with a luxury brand lipstick

However, that is not how business works. With giant conglomerates that buy up companies and brands, many beauty brands in fact are bought up or operate as a derivative of a main mother company. Tom Ford Beauty is owned by Estee Lauder. The basic idea is that Estee Lauder, being a well established brand that’s been around for a long time and has amassed alot of wealth but has not been able to keep itself current, needs to branch out into smaller, more contemporary brands, while these brands can rely on Estee Lauder’s wealth for RnD, distribution channels and formulas. Thus, I find that it is worthwhile then, to consider when we pay for a Tom Ford lipstick, are we just really paying for an Estee Lauder lipstick with Tom Ford’s name and packaging?

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick Ingredients:

Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil; Diisostearyl Malate; Trioctyldodecyl Citrate; Lanolin Oil; Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax\Candelilla Cera\Cire De Candelilla; Castor Isostearate Succinate; Silica; Octyldodecanol; Ozokerite; Polyethylene; Polydecene; Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2; Ethylhexyl Palmitate; Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract; Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract; Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Bran Extract; Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D’Orge; Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter); Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil; Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter; Ceramide 2; Squalane; Cholesterol; Sodium Hyaluronate; Linoleic Acid; Lauryl Pca; Acrylates Copolymer; Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer; Tocopheryl Acetate; Silica Dimethyl Silylate; Glyceryl Stearate; Oleic Acid; Butylene Glycol; Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate; Saccharin; Potassium Sulfate; Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline; Calcium Sodium Borosilicate; Synthetic Fluorphlogopite; Polyethylene Terephthalate; Palmitic Acid; Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate; Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate; Vanillin; Fragrance (Parfum); Barium Sulfate; Alumina; [+/- Mica; Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891); Iron Oxides (Ci 77491); Iron Oxides (Ci 77492); Iron Oxides (Ci 77499); Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850); Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985); Manganese Violet (Ci 77742); Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140); Red 22 Lake (Ci 45380); Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360); Red 6 (Ci 15850); Red 27 (Ci 45410); Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163); Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090); Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410); Orange 5 (Ci 45370); Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200); Red 21 (Ci 45380); Carmine (Ci 75470)] <ILN40387>

Please be aware that ingredient lists may change or vary from time to time. Please refer to the ingredient list on the product package you receive for the most up to date list of ingredients.

While the previous comparison was stark, this makes you do a double take in the sense that the Estee Lauder formula is really similar to Tom Ford’s. There are even some additional ingredients such a sodium hyaluronate and apricot kernel oil that are included that are used for moisturising the skin. It is perhaps tempting sometimes for us to think that because it is from a different “brand” it means that the product has a unique, bespoke formula, however, it is rather sobering to see when you compare the ingredients list.

A sub-conclusion

Thus, I believe that when you are paying for a Tom Ford lipstick, you are really paying for an Estee Lauder formula lipstick and Tom Ford packaging and branding. A Tom Ford lipstick costs 54USD while an Estee Lauder lipstick costs 32USD. The difference of 22USD means you are possibly paying that 22USD to the branding and marketing for Tom Ford. I won’t say that one should not buy a Tom Ford lipstick. If you pay the price and you feel that you get the luxury experience and enjoyment from the product and feel that it is worthwhile, please do what you like. However, in the spirit of being minimal and looking beyond beautiful packaging and marketing, I would think that a Tom Ford lipstick is not really worth the 54USD that you are paying for it if we are just talking about implicit worth. It is, however, one of the best lipsticks I have used in my life.

On the other hand, it is true that Tom Ford’s lipsticks are not all just air either. The oils and pigments used in its formulation sets it apart far from that of a drugstore brand lipstick. However, similar oils and pigments are used in Estee Lauder’s lipsticks. Thus if you are purchasing the Tom Ford lipstick or Estee Lauder lipstick over a Catrice lipstick, I would agree that you are paying for a difference in implicit value to some extent.

In the next article we will discuss the practical application of the lipstick and further consider the lipstick’s value from the experience of wearing it.

As a footnote, I have been notified of followers who have signed up to receive articles from this blog and I am so grateful for it as it gives me an indication that someone out there has gained some value in the articles that I’ve written and are interested to see more. I do apologise for the slow uploads as I do like to research and consider thoroughly before I do my blog posts. I hope you can continue to gain value from my writing and I thank you for your support.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF50+ – The answer to one step base makeup? Part 2: Practical Application

In this blog post, the practical aspects of the product will be analysed. Namely the ease of application, coverage, shade range/compatibility, comfort, finish and longevity.

This week we continue our exploration to the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream. If you are interested in our in-depth ingredients list analysis of this product, do head on to Part 1 here. In this blog post, the practical aspects of the product will be analysed. Namely the ease of application, coverage, shade range/compatibility, comfort, finish and longevity. We will also talk about how essential this product is to a consumer who is trying to be minimal and effective with the types of product she/he owns.


Ease of application

The product is packaged in a tube and has a pump that is similar to that which is seen on glass bottle foundation bottle. It is a pretty handy design, as you get the ease of the pump whilst having the lightness and durability of a tube packaging. I used a dense kabuki-like brush to apply the product on my face. I am adversed to using my hands thus I pump the product on the brush and stipple it (dot it) on various parts of my face to distribute it before using a circular motion to blend everything in. Basically this method allows me to complete the base makeup in 30 seconds. The product also works well just rubbed in with your hands for the true minimalists. However, I would advise a similar dotting method to distribute the product before using swiping motions with your fingers to blend the product in.

As the product does contain a physical sunscreen and has a combination of moisturising agents (refer to part 1), it does perform like a tinted moisturiser. Thus, I was able to get away with applying this product on a bare face without much problem as compared to other foundations which would require a moisturiser underneath or would result in dry patches and cakey looking skin. It is a product that is multi-function and a time saver.


I would like to refer back to the claims of the product as basis for our next discussion:

“Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream + Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum + SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Physical Sunscreen”

This CC cream claims to be a full coverage cream. However, I find that in my application, I would only classify it as a medium coverage product.

The above is the original state of my face. I do not have big issues but like most people I have minor texture, some enlarged pores, some pigmentation, visible boken capillaries on the cheeks, dark eye circles and some redness on the sides of the nose. I had also gotten tan due to some film jobs that required me to work under the sun.

This set of photos above shows the coverage that can be achieved with one thin coat of the product, using only a small pump of it. This product does not really alter the texture of your skin, but it was able to cover up some pores to give it a slightly more refined look. The pigmentation on my face (eg moles) was still visible but seemed to be lightened, covered slightly by the lighter pigments in the product. The effect is more significant on the broken capillaries on my cheeks, which has become not very noticeable, as well as the sides of my nose, where the redness has been remediated. There was also an effect on my under eye circles where the product has lightened them quite significantly.

However, the above, though significant, was hardly what could be classified as what is expected out of a full coverage claim. The description fits that of a medium coverage product to a larger extent, although a lightening effect seemed to be visible, as the face looks somewhat brighter. However, due to my tan which altered my original skin colour, the CC cream was of a lighter colour and I am unable to ascertain if there is a true brightening effect as opposed to just having the wrong colour. The product does remove discolouration on the face and result in a more united skin tone which could contribute to the illusion of  brightened face.

This set of photo is of the final result, after I applied an additional small pump of the product, especially to the cheeks and under eye areas. (I had also done my eyebrows here but it does not affect the effects of the CC cream.) The result is pretty significant. The broken capillaries on the cheeks have disappeared, the under eye area has been further brightened and the redness around the nose is also gone. The moles could not be completely covered but they have been significantly lightened.

Overall, I find that this product definitely provides medium coverage and is buildable to a fuller coverage. Thus I do not find its claim of being a straight up “full coverage cream” to be true.



The above side by side comparison shows the extent of coverage of the product. However, what I picked up on more by comparing these photos was a true blurring effect and some kind of reflective element of the product. It is unclear if this is due to an in-built pigment that reflected light or a side effect of the minerals from the physical sunscreen, but personally I find it to be a rather skin-like and radiant look.

The resultant finish is a skin-like, natural finish that has slight reflective properties on its own. A matte finish, however, can be achieved through application of setting powder.

Colour correction?

In terms of colour correction, to be totally honest, I think that claiming that a foundation product is “colour correcting” is erroneous (wrong) in the first place.


Allow me to explain in reference to the above colour wheel. It is a generic, simplified colour wheel that I had downloaded off the internet. The basic idea of colour correction is that a colour on the wheel can be negated when the complementary colour (the colour that is opposite to the initial colour on the colour wheel) is applied. I.e., for my dark circles that has a blue tint, I can apply some orange to remove the blue tint from my face. Similarly, somebody who has reddish skin can negate that by applying some green.

However, have you noticed the loophole (or rather, condition) in/to this technique? Yes, it is a COLOUR SPECIFIC technique. In other words, each colour can only be negated by another specific complementary colour and it will not be effective once the colours are mixed. I.e., if I want to reduce redness and dark circles by mixing green pigments and orange pigments in a product, it would result in just a brownish pigment (original yellow pigments cannot be created through mixing) which neither cancels out red nor blue.

Thus, no, there are no colour correcting properties in this product, or any foundation product to be completely honest. How then, do some Korean CC creams seem to brighten your skin? (or make it really ashy-looking) Basically they are targeted for pan asian skin tones which have a yellow undertone and purple pigments are mixed in to reduce the “yellow-ness” of such skin tones. This is why some people who have cooler or reddish skin tones find their face looking ashy when they apply such cc creams. Ironically, it is somehow fortunate that the IT Cosmetics CC cream does not seem to have this function.

Shade Range/ Compatibility


That said, I did find that this product either resulted in a slight white cast (perhaps from the physical sunscreen) on my face, as you might notice in the photograph above if you compare the skin colour on my neck with slightly ashy colour on my face. It is very slight and not very noticeable to the casual passerby but it is there.

I used the shade “medium” and there are only 7 shades available on the IT Cosmetics website. However, locally in Singapore, the sole distributor of IT Cosmetics here, Sephora, only offer 3 shades. Light, Medium and Tan. There are no shades made for specific undertones and a significant lack of tan to dark shades for consumers here (which is really ironic as there is a huge population of Malays, Indians or general South East Asians who have tan to dark skintones, also due to tanning in the hot tropical sun). The lack of in-between shades also contributed to my inabillity to find a shade that completely matches my skin tone, thus having to put up with a slightly ashy-looking result.


I found that this product sat very comfortably on my skin. As aforementioned, its texture is like that of a tinted moisturiser, thus there was no tightness or dryness that I felt. It was also not too thick as the cream spreads out rather thinly when blended into the skin. However, for users with combination or oily skin, I would advise allowing some time for the product to set after application before applying setting powder as it seems to let the product “dry” and result in a less shiny finish as well as prevent it from grabbing too much powder.


There is little claim from the company on the longevity of this product. Despite that, I found that the product was able to wear well throughout a normal work day.

This set of photos above shows the remaining look at the end of 8 hours of wear in a regular office (mainly in air-conditioned room with some walking in regular tropical heat) working day. The coverage did not seem to falter although the finish looks more shiny due to sebum produced throughout the day. I have combination skin but did not use powder to set the product. I did blot once but there was not a lot of oil absorbed.

Thus, my thoughts are that this product does have a decent staying power and does not induce the secretion of excessive sebum, probably due to its high content of various moisturisers that is tied together with a silicon base.  The moisturisers prevent the skin from secreting more sebum while the silicon base probably is able to withstand some oil.

So, is this essential?

In my short experience of working with makeup, I find that bases are especially essential in creating a clean canvas on the face. Through uniting a person’s facial skin tone, the effect it has on raising their facial aesthetics is rather significant. That, paired with the multifunction features of this product puts it in the essential range. Not only does this product function well in its own realm, it also allows the consumer to reduce the need for other products such as a day moisturiser and sunscreen.

The ingredients used in this product also passes the test for majority of the population, aside from people with sensitivity towards Vitamin A, which can prove to be a potent irritant for certain groups of people.

The real downfall occurs when it comes to shade range and shade selection. If a shade is unable to match the user to large extent, the product’s value will be lost, as a mismatched face and neck does not serve well to improve the beauty of the user.

In conclusion, the IT Cosmetics CC Cream is a solid foundation type product that is potentially essential in your makeup kit, that is, if you can find a shade that matches you.

Want more? Read up on my analysis of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream ingredients list in Part 1.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF50+ – The answer to one step base makeup? Part 1: Ingredient list breakdown

I have broken down my review of the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream into two parts. Part 1, which is this post, will analyse extensively the ingredients present in the product while in Part 2 we will explore more on the actual application of the product and its visual effects. Thus if you do not wish to be bogged down by a long scientific babble, do look out for Part 2 of the review that is coming soon.

As I rummaged through my still way oversized collection of makeup with the idea of making makeup simple and intentional, this particular product seemed too good to be true. The IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF50+. Below is the caption for the product that I quote directly from the IT Cosmetics website:

“Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream + Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum + SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Physical Sunscreen”

Let us examine each of these claims based on the ingredient list before we look at the effect this product has visually, starting from the physical sunscreen aspect, which is the easiest to identify.


Ingredient list

The ingredients list below has been quoted directly from the IT Cosmetics website that I will reference back to throughout this article:



It is easy to identify the ingredients that make up the physical sunscreen: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Physical sunscreen has returned as a popular sunscreen choice for consumers in recent years due to it’s low irritation to the skin as compared to chemical sunscreen which is prone to cause skin irritation. Basically, physical sunscreen are minerals which reflect and diffuse UV rays while chemical sunscreen are chemical compounds which absorb UV rays and change their electromagnetic frequency into something harmless. Physical sunscreen can sometimes cause a white cast on the skin and may also cause flashback in photographs, however, in recent years the emergence of nano-sized physical sunscreen particles have reduced the resulting white cast although it is unclear what are the size of the particles used in this CC cream. However, I would avoid using this product for photoshoots or filming where high powered lighting is used to avoid causing unwanted white casts in your photos or film.


Hydrating Properties

In the daily products that we use, the ingredient list provided lists the ingredients from the highest concentration to the lowest and in liquid makeup or skincare products the first ingredient is usually water which is also the solvent that suspends all the other ingredients.

Thus what is crucial are the ingredients that follows. The next ingredient in this CC cream is snail secretion filtrate, which in layman’s term means snail slime, the mucus that snails secrete to aid in lubrication and to protect itself from dehydration. In snail slime there are humectant moisturisers which are moisturisers that draw in water from the environment, namely hyaluronic acid and glycoproteins. It also contains glycolic acid which is an exfoliant as well as humectant moisturiser. The mucus may also contain antimicrobial peptides which kills bacteria or micro organisms. There may be a variable combination of components in snail secretion, but mainly it is a moisturising ingredient that has some (but probably minor) exfoliating and anti-bacterial effect. Furthermore, the product also contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid further down in the list.


Butylene glycol is an organic molecule that is essentially a type of alcohol. Now, there is no need to panic with the term alcohol as essentially it is a common chemistry term used to describe any organic molecule that has an -OH group. This ingredient is widely used in cosmetics and are used to increase the penetration of other ingredients into the skin through its role as an organic solvent and also as a humectant moisturise that draws in water. It is usually a safe ingredient in low concentration but may cause irritation in high concentration or on more sensitive skin, like around the eyes. Butylene glycol dicaprylate is basically a derivative of butylene glycol. Another alcohol ingredient in this product is phenoxyethanol which is lower down the ingredient list which acts as a preservative instead. Other chemical ingredients that have moisturising properties include hydrolyzed silk which has moisture binding properties.


There is a long list of plant extract ingredients in this product as well. I shall not go into great detail for these plant extracts due to the sheer length and number of ingredients. Essentially, many of these plant derived extract have one or more of the following functions: act as an emollient or occlusive moisturising agent (especially for oils which are made up of fatty acids), is an anti-microbial or are used for skin conditioning to create a smooth skin surface. There are claims that some of these plant extracts are antioxidants or have whitening (anti pigmentation) properties but such claims await further proof from scientific research.

Anti-aging Properties

For anti-aging, essentially the active ingredients that are proven to have anti-aging properties are Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is an antioxidant, and Vitamin A (retinol or in this case the derivative retinyl palmitate), which stimulates skin cell regeneration and prevents wrinkles. Both of these ingredients are present in this product although towards the end in lower concentrations, which is understandable as this is essentially a cosmetic and not a skin care product. Thus it is permissible to consider this product “anti-aging”, however its effect could very well be limited due to its concentration and in the mix of many occlusive ingredients such as silicones that form a film on the skin. Furthermore this product is to be used during the day where both vitamins C and A are subject to deterioration by sunlight that can instead cause them to lose their functions. Personally, I would not consider this product to have active anti aging properties. Vitamins C and A are better absorbed from skin care products that are applied at night.


There is the presence of Vitamins B5 (pantothenic acid) and B9 (folic acid) in the ingredients but they are mainly used for skin conditioning purposes. There is the presence of palmitoyl oligopeptide which is a molecule containing chains of fatty acids, the building blocks of lipid or fats,  and amino acid, the building blocks of proteins. There are claims that this ingredient can have similar anti aging effects as vitamin A without the risk of irritation but requires more research study and proof.

Smoothing Properties

Phenyl trimethicone and dimethicone are both derivatives of silicone and thus are occlusive agents that form a film on your face to smooth out the skin surface and lock in moisture. Other silicone derivative ingredients in this CC cream include cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer and riethoxycaprylsilane which all function similarly to create a smoothing effect on the skin.


Coverage and colour correcting

Aluminium hydroxide is a white powder used to increase opacity in the product, and together with iron oxides, form the pigment part of the product that gives it its colour and provides coverage. However, it is difficult to assess solely from the ingredients list how the colour correcting property will work. This will be explored more in Part 2.

Other miscellaneous ingredients

The ingredients that do not contribute to active functions of the product and are there to control the consistency or for other functions such as an emulsifier, preservative or fragrance include magnesium sulfate, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, hexyl laurate, calcium stearate, ethylhexylglycerin, pentafluoropropane and citric acid.

Conclusion on ingredients

I would say that this product is very much designed to achieve most of its claims. There is the presence of physical sunblock minerals, there are many humectant moisturisers that draw in water, many occlusive ingredients that form a film on the skin to prevent loss of moisture and mineral pigments that provide coverage. (We will explore the actual coverage of the product in the next section) There are also silicone based ingredients that is used for smoothing the skin surface. There is the inclusion of active anti-aging ingredients, however it is unlikely that these ingredients will be able to express their function in such a product. Therefore I would be skeptical of its actual anti-aging properties. Furthermore the inclusion of retinol derivatives in the product may mean issues with sensitive skin types as it can be an irritant. Otherwise, this is a rather solid product that has potential to deliver on many of its claims.

I will be posting the Part 2 of this review soon in which we shall explore the actual application and wear of the product.

Simple.Beauty Blog – What and Why

Welcome to the blog! My name is Jay and I have a great amount of interest on the things that we put on our faces on a daily basis. I have a diploma in professional makeup artistry and have worked as a freelance makeup artist. In the past, I would have been what people termed a “beauty junkie”, spending vast amounts of money on cosmetics and skin care products that I did not need and weighing myself down with them.

My former life as a beauty junkie. Still a work in progress.

Over the last year, through the influences of the minimalism movement, I have worked on re-examining this obsession with chasing makeup trends and my consumption of makeup and skin care products. What I realised was that there was so much excess with makeup and that I longed to reduce the process and the number of products I was working with. Instead, I would like to be more intentional and minimal in the types of makeup and skincare products I use. During my stint as a makeup artist, I also realised that the usage of a few suitable but basic makeup products and techniques were all that was necessary to dramatically improve a person’s look for their day-to-day lives. The same could be said for skincare.

Thus, this blog aims to provide a closer glimpse into makeup and skin care products beyond just their beautiful packaging and trendy appeal and into how effective they are in improving our skin and makeup. We will also explore how necessary they are and how they work. With these articles, I hope to, in the process, learn more about the chemistry of skincare and makeup, as well as to have a discussion to help all of us make more intentional and better choices in the products we use.

I hope can help us all move to be more educated and socially responsible in the way we care for and beautify our skin.