There is a high chance that many of the products on your bathroom shelf contain mostly water. In an effort to preserve Earth’s water supply, beauty brands are looking to make water in skin care a thing of the past by creating and curating water-free formulations. Read on to learn more about this longstanding Korean beauty tradition and the products that do not use water in their formulations.
“Up to 50% of what makes up a skincare product may be water. most products are what are known as emulsions, which are mixtures of oil and water phases that make up traditional creams and lotions,” he says.
The History of Waterless Beauty
The origins of waterless beauty were born in Korea, and not because cosmetic chemists were thinking about the future of Earth’s water supply. They believed eliminating water would increase the efficaciousness of the products’ other ingredients. In turn, skin care users can reap more promising skin care benefits and results.
Dr. Zeichner explains the chemical makeup behind these products and their benefits to the skin.
“Anhydrous products are water-free and are based in oils and polymers. The advantage of water free products is that without water, microorganisms cannot grow and contaminate the product, so fewer preservatives are needed if any,” he says.
Waterless Product Recommendations
It is possible that your daily skin care routine can start off water-free by using a waterless toner. A good starting point is the Some By Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Toner.
Ahh, serums – those small bottles of goodness that can be applied between an essence and moisturizer to address a variety of skin care concerns. Many serums typically do not contain water, but these three water-free serums top our list as our K-beauty favorites (and they all contain vitamin C, an ingredient we love).
To Give You Some Peace of Mind…
Despite all the environmental and skin care benefits of using waterless products, it’s difficult to swear off all products that contain water. The truth is, there is a good reason why most products do contain water.
For some ingredients, water is a crucial addition to the formula to boost effectiveness and act as a solvent. Certain ingredients are “hydrophilic,” which means they work best with water. This includes tea tree extracts and fruit acids, as well as various other plant-based extracts. In addition, active ingredients are extremely potent, so being slightly diluted by water won’t make them less powerful—having water in the formula will actually make them far more effective on the skin.
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