Chinese researchers from Sichuan University recently found that the products that women use to remove makeup can actually exacerbate some of the conditions that caused them to use some cosmetic products in the first place. Excessive skin cleaning can lead to problems like skin sensitivity, facial telangiectasia, rosacea, acne and other issues related to contact dermatitis.
When trying to resolve this problem, the researchers were reportedly inspired by the protective effect that a fiber-rich diet can have on the intestinal mucosal mechanical barrier. This inspiration led them to develop and study a cellulose-based liquid foundation.
Researchers created a healthy, hemp-based foundation
Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls and vegetable fibers. It can be harvested from a variety of sources, including wood, cotton seeds, flax bast, bamboo, and others. However, these researchers used cellulose nanochrystals from the bast fibers of hemp plants.
The research, which was published earlier this year, states, “[I]n the field of dermatology, increasing attention is being paid in using [hemp] for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, melanoma, and other skin diseases. However, the main substances applied in relevant drugs and cosmetics are usually extracted from hemp flowers and leaves, whereas the hemp stalks often end up discarded of burned."
The research also states, “As one of the earliest fibers used by human beings, the waste hemp stalks can be reused, which in the meantime can conserve resources and protect environment. With the natural emulsifying and stabilizing characteristics, hemp cellulose is going to play an important role in cosmetics, besides food production and packaging industry.”
According to the research, the liquid foundation that they created reportedly provides “superior concealing properties, outstanding flaw covering function, bedecking pores, long covering efficiencies and nonirritating nature.” It also reportedly adheres well to the skin and maintained stable gloss and uniform colors over about nine hours.
Ease of removal may be more important than consumers realize
Researchers found three main reasons why their hemp-based liquid foundation was superior to the existing alternatives. Perhaps, the most noteworthy reason is the product’s ability to be easily removed with only a gentle wipe across the skin with a cotton pad. No harsh cleansers or makeup removers are needed to remove this product.
The researchers found that cleansers or makeup removers are needed to fully clear other products from the skin because these other products leave behind a significant amount of residue. However, the hemp-based foundation left little to no residue on the surface of the skin.
The research also showed that most of these cleansers and makeup removers can reportedly cause damage to the barrier of someone’s skin, so a product that eliminates the need to deep clean the skin, can save someone that potential skin damage.
Makeup could actually protect against pollution
Another benefit that the researchers reportedly observed was the foundation’s ability to absorb excess oil and air pollution. This ability was attributed to the cellulose in the formula.
This ability suggests that the foundation helps protect the skin from air pollution by acting as a barrier between the skin and the pollution. However, the main reason this absorption is beneficial is that it allows the excess oil and pollution particles to be easily wiped away along with the makeup at the end of the day.
Hemp can replace less desirable ingredients
The third reason the hemp-based foundation is superior to existing alternatives is that it prevents the need for more harmful ingredients.
The cellulose nanocrystals reportedly replace the mineral oil and titanium oxide found in most other liquid foundations. According to the research, other products use these two chemicals to help create a moisture barrier, but these chemicals are considered environmental pollutants that have an undesirable local tolerance and sensitizing potential.
Instead, the cellulose nanocrystals for the hemp-based formula are harvested from hemp plants, which are natural and have the potential to actually clean the soil that they grow in. These cellulose nanocrystals are also harvested from part of the hemp plant that would otherwise be wasted.
This liquid foundation may be the first to feature the use of cellulose nanocrystals from hemp plants, and based on the results presented in the research, it appears that the hemp-based foundation may offer a healthier and more environmentally friendly option for consumers. However, only time will tell when a product like the one tested in the study will be available to consumers.