We don’t often think about it, but virtually every type of cosmetic or personal care product in our bathrooms is predominantly made up of one very important ingredient, water. This includes our shampoos, conditioners, suntan and shaving products, deodorants, moisturisers and creams. The list is pretty much endless, flip over almost any product and you’ll see “aqua” listed as one of the main ingredients. This is because water is a good solvent and can dissolve many of the ingredients that provide skin or hair benefits.
While water is a critical ingredient for the cosmetics industry, it’s not just your average tap variety. This is because the usual water supply is filled with all sorts of metals and salts, as well as micro-organisms. Only H2O that is free of these microbes, toxins and pollutants can be used in the intricate formulations required to produce high-quality cosmetics and personal care products. This is why the beauty industry primarily uses a highly purified variant known as distilled water for the production of these emulsions.
What is Distilled Water?
Distillation is the process whereby impurities are eradicated from the water by boiling it and then condensing the steam into a sanitised container. In general, based on PRODCOM estimates in the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2014, the UK experienced an increase in distilled water sales value over this period reaching £674 000 in 2012.
For the cosmetics industry specifically, the purer the water the higher the chance of shampoos not causing build-up on hair, as well as the preservation of longer shelf life for most cosmetics and hygiene products. Not to mention the prevention of bacterial contaminants growing in products or auto-oxidation ruining them.
The benefit of this component is that you always know how distilled water is going to behave and quality doesn’t change from bottle to bottle. It isn’t dependant on seasonality, weather, altitude or growing conditions the way that alternative plant extract emulsions would be. Not to mention it’s highly affordable and can help to keep an enterprises costs down and profitability up.