Johnson's Baby Lotion, a popular emollient for infant skin, contains ingredients formulated to protect skin from dryness without leaving a greasy residue. Advertised as hospitals' number one choice for baby lotion, the manufacturer's website indicates that the ingredients in Johnson's Baby Lotion are hypoallergenic and clinically proven to be gentle and mild.
Water is the solvent in which all of the other ingredients are dissolved. It assists in the formation of emulsions, the oil and water components of the lotion, helping keep the combined ingredients in a smooth and dissolved state for an overall even application on the skin.
Propylene Glycol/Myristyl Myristate
Propylene glycol absorbs water and helps the overall product maintain moisture. Also known as 1,2-propanediol, propylene glycol conditions and moisturizes skin due to its ability to attract water. Similarly, myristyl myristate acts as a skin conditioning agent, helping skin products retain moisture. Myristyl myristate is the ester derivative of myristic acid.
Glyceryl Stearate/Stearic Acid/Oleic Acid
Glyceryl stearate is an esterification product of stearic acid. Glyceryl stearate, a white or cream-colored waxy solid, is made by reacting glycerin with stearic acid, a fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Oleic acid is also a fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Together, the mixture of glyceryl stearate, stearic acid and oleic acid act as skin conditioning agents, helping blend normally immiscible ingredients into a uniform lotion.
Additionally, glyceryl stearate stabilizes the formula, decreases water evaporation, makes the product freeze-resistant, and keeps it from forming surface crusts. Glyceryl stearate is the main ingredient responsible for reducing the overall greasy feeling of the final product.
Polysorbates are general purpose hydrophilic, nonionic surfactants, which means they attract water and do not dissociate into positive and negatively charged ions when dissolved in water. Reacting sorbitol with ethylene oxide produces polysorbates. Each polysorbate has a different number associated with it, reflecting the average number of moles of ethylene oxide reacted per mole of sorbitol. For example, polysorbate 61 indicates that there was an average of 61 moles of ethylene oxide reacted per mole of sorbitol. Polysorbates disperse oil in water helping to emulsify the lotion, aiding in the even dissolution of the other ingredients.
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
C12-15 alkyl benzoate is an ester of benzoic acid. In Johnson's Baby Lotion, this ingredient functions as an emollient and thickening agent. It provides a conditioning aftertouch to sensitive baby skin, and acts as an antimicrobial agent and preservative.
Sorbitan stearate is a white to tan-colored solid produced by the reaction of sorbitol with stearic acid. Sorbitan stearate is not soluble in water, but does work as an excellent emulsifier, helping to blend the oil and water ingredients together.
Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol
Cetyl Alcohol is a white, waxy solid having 16 carbons. Stearyl alcohol has 18 carbons. They are used as emollients and co-emulsifiers increasing the viscosity or thickness of the lotion. The desired thickness can be adjusted by adjusting amounts of these alcohols.
Benzyl Alcohol is a liquid, used primarily as a preservative, which increases the shelf-life of the lotion.
Beeswax helps keep the emulsion, or mixture of oil and water ingredients, from separating into its individual components. It also helps increase the thickness of the final lotion. Due to the addition of beeswax, Johnson's Baby Lotion has a creamy consistency that also has a certain stiffness to it, but is not hard.
Dimethicone is a silicone based polymer containing two methyl groups. It is a fluid mixture of siloxane polymers which are clear, un-reactive, non-toxic and non-flammable. It is used in Johnson's Baby Lotion as a skin conditioning agent, as well as for its unique flow properties, helping in the smooth application of the lotion on skin.
Isopropyl palmitate is a colorless, nearly odorless, liquid produced by reacting palmitic acid with isopropyl aclochol. The ester product functions as a skin conditioning agent, binder, opacifier--making the final product opaque--and as an emollient.
Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben
Parabens are a class of ingredients derived from para-aminobenzoic acid. They function primarily as preservatives, increasing product shelf-life.
Carbomer, Fragrance, BHT, Sodium Hydroxide, Red 33
Carbomers are large molecules prepared from single units of acrylic acid and polyakenyl polyethers. They absorb and retain water, swelling to many times their original volume.
BHT stands for butylated hydroxtoluene. It is a white to yellowish-white, crystalline solid that functions as a weak antioxidant, preventing or retarding product spoilage from rancidity.
Sodium hydroxide helps control the final pH of the product, so that it is not too acidic and irritating to baby's skin. Fragrance and Red 33 impart the desired odor and color to the final product.
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.