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Noxzema is a skin cleanser designed to remove dirt, oil and makeup from facial skin. It has a distinct fragrance and a characteristic tingle. The original deep cleansing cream was developed in 1914, as a sunburn remedy by a doctor named Francis Townsend in Maryland. Since that time, the product has belonged to many different companies, including the Noxell Corporation, and Proctor and Gamble. As of May 2010, the Noxzema line is part of Alberto-Culver.
Products list the order of their ingredients from most abundant to least abundant. Water is listed as the first ingredient for the Noxzema Deep Cleansing formula, and is therefore the most abundant ingredient. The primary function of water is as a solvent and emulsifier. It not only dissolves many of the ingredients that make up the product, but is helps combine the water and oil ingredients to create the resulting cream.
Stearic acid is also known as n-octadecanoate, 1-heptadecanecarboxylic acid, n-octadecylic acid, cetylacetic acid, or stearophanic acid. It is a white or yellowish solid. As a saturated long-chain fatty acid, and it is particularly useful as a lubricant in soaps. It acts as both a cleansing agent and an emulsifying agent, helping to lift dirt from the skin as well as combine the oil and water ingredients of the product.
Linum usitatissimum is another name for linseed oil or flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil contains fatty acids. The body can absorb small amounts of these fatty acids through topical use. Flaxseed oil can also soften skin, reduce skin irritations, and even aid in wound healing by decreasing redness and swelling.
Glycine Soja Oil
Glycine soja oil is also known as glycine soybean oil. Soybean oil is extracted from soybeans and consists mainly of the triglycerides of oleic, linoleic, linolenic and other saturated acids. It functions as an antioxidant, an emollient to help the water and oil products mix, and a skin-conditioning agent.
Noxzema does not indicate specifically what fragrance is added to its product. However, fragrance is usually added to make the overall product more pleasing to the consumer.
Ammonium hydroxide has the chemical formula H5NO. The main function of ammonium hydroxide in cosmetic products is to help adjust the pH or acidity of the final product. Noxzema skin cleaners contains acids, such as stearic acid. A product with too much acid could be irritating to the skin. Ammonium hydroxide is a base that can help neutralize the acid.
Camphor is a white waxy crystalline solid with a very distinct odor. It is often used in cosmetic and personal care products to soften synthetic polymers and relieve pain.
Menthol is a fragrance isolated from mint oils. Its purpose in Noxzema is primarily as a fragrant ingredient.
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil
Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil is also known as blue gum. It is made from the leaves of the Eucalyptus globulus tree. It is used as a fragrance as well as a skin conditioning agent.
Propylene glycol is one of the most widely used organic alcohols in personal care products. It attracts water and therefore acts as a moisturizer, reducing dry skin flaking. It is also helps stabilize the final product, increasing its shelf-life.
Gelatin is a natural protein. When used in face masks, gelatin binds to dead skin cells and oil. When the mask is removed, the dirt is removed with it, leaving smoother, softer skin. Whether or not this same mechanism works in Noxzema is not clear.
Calcium hydroxide, similar to ammonium hydroxide, is used to control the pH balance of the product. Because calcium hydroxide is a base, it can neutralize excess acid, which could be irritating to the skin. Noxzema contains acids such as stearic acid, and therefore, may need pH adjustment by calcium hydroxide, to achieve a more neutral, less irritating end product.
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Robin Wasserman has been writing and prosecuting biochemical patents since 1998. She has served as a biochemical patent agent and a research scientist for a gene-therapy company. Wasserman earned her Doctor of Philosophy in biochemistry and molecular biology, graduating from Harvard University in 1995.
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