Digging into Ingredient Detail - Milky Cleansers

Hi, I promised that I would write an ingredients review about a milky cleanser and when I plugged in best milky cleansers I ended up downloading 2 sets of ingredients. I have not tried either of these brands so these are not recommendations - just information about their ingredients to help any reader make choices and learn about the products and brands.

I haven't denoted natural and synthetic - fruit extracts are natural but ingredients like Bisabolol can be a natural distillate or synthesised. There is no way of knowing here.

So, a milky cleanser is a thin lotion which is basically water, oil , an emulsifier, preservative, fragrances and other ingredients to help with the feel of the lotion on the skin and its viscosity.

Note that Cosmetic labelling always lists the ingredients in order of amount. By the halfway point the amount of ingredient can be 1% or less in the product.

REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk £22 for 150 ml

Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Cetearyl Ethyhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Myristyl Myristate, Glycerin, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Oryzanol, Bisabolol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cinnamomum Linalloliferum (Ho Wood) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Tocopherol.

Water -Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract - this must be the water element being first on the list


Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil- A light oil with anti inflammatory effects, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea ButterA nice healing and moisturising butter, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil – anti inflammatory properties, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil-high in linoleic acid –can reduce skin scaling and a major component in ceramides)

Emulsifier – (keeps oil and water from separating) - Cetearyl Glucoside

Surfactants (foamers) - Myristyl Myristate – good cleaning action

Emollient (Skin Softeners/conditioners) -Cetearyl Ethyhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,

Modifiers to make the lotion glide on the skin, viscous etc

Cetearyl Alcohol – viscosity stabiliser, Citric Acid – PH buffer, Xanthan Gum – thickener, Tocopherol - vitamin e and extends shelf life

Humectant -draws water into the skin- Glycerin – one of the best humectants

Skin anti inflammatory action

Oryzanol – also has anti oxidant properties, Bisabolol, healing and protective properties, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract – astringent and soothing. Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract – antiseptic, healing, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract – anti aging, anti bacterial.

Preservative Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Essential Oil/Fragrance

Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cinnamomum Linalloliferum (Ho Wood) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil

Natural Skin Allergens - Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool

Kate Somerville Goats Milk Cleanser £32 for 120 ml

Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Betaine, Glyceryl Distearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xylitylglucoside, Propanediol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprae Lac (Goat Milk, Lait de Chèvre), Lactose, Milk Protein, Lactic Acid, Tocopherol, Mel Extract (Honey Extract, Extrait de Miel), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Bisabolol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Xylitol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Anhydroxylitol, Parfum (Fragrance), Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Xanthan Gum, t-butyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate

Water -Aqua/Water/Eau


Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil,- skin barrier repair properties Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil -can penetrate the hair follicles to mix with and thin sebum helping it to be washed away, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil- softens and conditions the skin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil -some anti aging action but can clog pores and cause breakouts

Emulsifier – (keeps oil and water from separating)

Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Glyceryl Distearate, Xylitylglucoside – probably part of a blended lotion base ingredient

Surfactants (foamers)

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate - a gentle surfactant, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine – a foaming surfactant, Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate

Emollient (Skin Softeners/conditioners)

Caprae Lac (Goat Milk, Lait de Chèvre), Lactose, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract – contains skin vitamins

Modifiers to make the lotion glide on the skin, viscous etc

Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, t-butyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol – thickener, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Xylitol, Anhydroxylitol, t-butyl Alcohol- solvent, Tocopherol, (vitamin E) stabilises oils

Its very likely that several of these elements form one blended ingredient used to make a lotion base with thickeners and viscosity enhancers

Humectant -draws water into the skin

Glycerin, Propanediol – also a viscosity enhancer

Skin anti inflammatory action

Mel Extract (Honey Extract, Extrait de Miel also skin regenerating, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract Bisabolol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

Skin Actives - Milk Protein – skin hydration, Lactic Acid – exfoliant, skin renewal.

Preservative -Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol,

Essential Oil/Fragrance - Parfum (Fragrance, Benzyl Salicylate

When you look at the ingredients they might raise some questions about beauty products and formulations in your mind. In my next blog, I will be addressing why, in my opinion, there are so many ingredients added to calm and soothe the skin in these and other formulations.

Resources – Swiftcraftymonkey blog by the Cosmetic chemist Susan Barclay-Nichols, Specialchem UK cosmetic ingredient database