As a recent college graduate (finally got that B.S. in chemistry!) I have learned the fine art of using skin care products after enjoying a few too many at happy hour with friends. Typically I aim to remove my makeup and put on moisturizer before I climb into bed to watch Netflix and eat pizza. It wasn’t until recently that the whole removing makeup part of this routine got super easy. My roommate gave me a product she didn’t use much (the scent bothered her nose) and I’ve become obsessed with it – Estee Lauder’s “Take It Away” Makeup Remover Lotion. I somehow didn’t know that lotions like this existed and I was in awe for weeks. Now, most people probably know of Pond’s Cold Cream makeup remover lotion, but I somehow missed the makeup remover part of this cult product. I’ve become extremely curious as to how these products remove makeup so easily – so I’m here to start my investigation.
Take It Away ingredient list
WATER; C11-12 ISOPARAFFIN; BUTYLENE GLYCOL; CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT; TRITICUM VULGARE (WHEAT) GERM EXTRACT; SQUALANE; ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT; HORDEUM VULGARE (BARLEY) EXTRACT\EXTRAIT D’ORGE; SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL; ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER; PEG-8 DILAURATE; FRAGRANCE (PARFUM); TROMETHAMINE; PHENOXYETHANOL; GREEN 5 (CI 61570); YELLOW 5 (CI 19140)
Cold Cream ingredient list
MINERAL OIL, WATER, CERESIN, BEESWAX, TRIETHANOLAMINE, CETETH 20, FRAGRANCE, BEHENIC ACID, MONTAN WAX, CETYL ALCOHOL, CARBOMER, DMDM HYDANTOIN, IODOPROPYNYL, BUTYLCARBAMATE
Now you probably don’t need a chemistry degree to see this, but I’ll tell you with my new expertise that these ingredient lists look nothing alike. Yet, both products easily remove makeup and provide the moisturizing effects of lotions. So let’s look at each product separately.
Ponds Cold Cream
The two key ingredients here are mineral oil (which I’ve written a little about here) and beeswax. Mineral oil is a colorless, odorless, liquid compound that is extracted from petroleum and highly purified (i.e. it’s totally safe for you). Mineral oil gives products a nice soft touch, obtains a slip good enough to help remove makeup, while also providing moisturizing benefits to the skin. Ceresin and Beeswax are both waxes that act as emulsifiers keeping the liquid and oil components together in the formula. Beeswax acts a slight moisturizing effect that helps with the lotion part of this product. Behenic acid is a fatty acid oil used in cosmetics to act as a conditioning agent. Ceteth 20 is an emollient that helps keep skin soft, Butylcarbamate is a preservative that helps keep this lotion free of bacterial spoilage. I could keep going but essentially each ingredient has a unique purpose that allows this product to remove your makeup easily while providing a slight moisturizing effect.
Take It Away
Aside from all the extracts, fragrance, and colorants the ingredient in this formula, while different, act in the same way as the previous product. C11-12 Isoparaffin is a hydrocarbon compound that is used in cosmetics as a skin conditioning agent, which is basically an emollient so it keeps the skin a soft and smooth appearance. Butylene Glycol is a solvent used in cosmetics as again, a skin conditioning agent. PEG-8 is a polymer that acts as an emulsifier, acrylate is a texture enhancer, and phenoxyethanol is a preservative. So much like the cold cream, these ingredients each have a special purpose in the formula and are able to remove makeup while moisturizing the skin.
So what am I trying to say here? Both Estee Lauder and Ponds were able to formulate a makeup removing lotion with very different ingredient lists. Hopefully, my readers find this as interesting as I did, as I thought it was neat to look at how two products that serve the same function were able to use entirely different ingredients. It’s also no surprise that the Estee Lauder lotion ($30) was significant more expensive than the Pond’s lotion ($5), which may make this entire thing a case for beauty marketing. Either way, post-happy hour me is happy that I’ve found a product that makes climbing into bed with clean skin easier.
Have you ever tried a makeup removing lotion? I’d love to see any comments or questions below!