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.
THE NERDY PART
The ingredients list below has been quoted directly from the IT Cosmetics website that I will reference back to throughout this article:
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: TITANIUM DIOXIDE 9.0% ZINC OXIDE 6.3% INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: WATER, SNAIL SECRETION FILTRATE, PHENYL TRIMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL DICAPRYLATE/DICAPRATE, ORBIGNYA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, BUTYLOCTYL SALICYLATE, CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, POLYGLYCERYL-4 ISOSTEARATE, DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, HEXYL LAURATE, STEARIC ACID, CALCIUM STEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL OIL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SORBITAN ISOSTEARATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, DISODIUM EDTA, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) PEEL OIL, CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA (LIME) OIL, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL, PUNICA GRANATUM SEED OIL, PINUS SYLVESTRIS LEAF OIL, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO) OIL, NIACINAMIDE, CITRUS GRANDIS (GRAPEFRUIT) PEEL OIL, CHOLESTEROL, ANTHEMIS NOBILIS FLOWER WATER, LACTOBACILLUS/HONEYSUCKLE FLOWER/LICORICE ROOT/MORUS ALBA ROOT/PUERARIA LOBATA ROOT/SCHIZANDRA CHINENSIS FRUIT/SCUTELLARIA BAICALENSIS ROOT/SOPHORA JAPONICA FLOWER EXTRACT FERMENT FILTRATE, PERFLUOROHEXANE, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) LEAF EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF OIL, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CHRYSANTHEMUM INDICUM FLOWER EXTRACT, PUERARIA LOBATA ROOT EXTRACT, PERFLUORODECALIN, MORUS ALBA FRUIT EXTRACT, MAGNOLIA KOBUS BARK EXTRACT, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) SPROUT EXTRACT, DIOSPYROS KAKI LEAF EXTRACT, CINNAMOMUM CASSIA BARK EXTRACT, ARTEMISIA PRINCEPS LEAF EXTRACT, PENTAFLUOROPROPANE, CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT, STEARETH-20, HYDROLYZED HYALURONIC ACID, COLLOIDAL OATMEAL, HYDROLYZED SILK, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, N-HYDROXYSUCCINIMIDE, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, CAPRYLHYDROXAMIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL, THIAMINE HCL, RIBOFLAVIN, RETINYL PALMITATE, PANTOTHENIC ACID, PALMITOYL OLIGOPEPTIDE, NIACIN, FOLIC ACID, CHRYSIN, CARNITINE HCL, BIOTIN, ASCORBIC ACID, PALMITOYL TETRAPEPTIDE-7, CHLORHEXIDINE DIGLUCONATE. MAY CONTAIN: IRON OXIDES (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499).
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.
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.
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.
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.