What is deionized water in your skin care products?

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you would already know I like to go into discussions about water. It’s a subject that intrigues me because I believe it has great bearings on our health and hence our skin too. In fact, I’m in the process of learning more about water and I’ll be writing a few posts about the topic in the weeks to come. Today, let’s look at deionized or demineralized water you sometimes see listed in your ingredient list. What exactly is that and how is this type of water different from Aqua or Water.

Why use water?
Back in September 2010, I wrote an entry about the kind of base used in our skin care products, and I’ve touched on the usage of water as a solvent in cosmetics and personal care products.  Water is often referred to as ‘Aqua’ in skin care formulations and besides being used as a solvent for active ingredients, it also acts as a spreading agent. So it is an important ingredient and you will see it listed as the first ingredient for virtually every type of cosmetic and personal care products. In some cases, water can form over 50% of the formulation and this means, the quality becomes important to the finished product.

Why not tap water?
Cosmetic companies should not just use plain tap water as those contain minute quantities of substances, such as chlorine, sulphates, and various metal ions that could interfere with a product’s stability and performance. This is why companies should use purified water that is physically processed to remove impurities. According to Cosmetics Info, water needs to be purified to the highest standard and pass the most stringent microbiological standards to ensure that no impurities are present and that the water is de-ionized. Only water that is free of toxins, pollutants and microbes is used in the formulation of cosmetics and personal care products. Water used for this purpose is also referred to as distilled water, purified water and aqua, the name used in the European Union. So why is it that we sometimes see deionized or demineralized water being listed and what are they?

Why use deionized or demineralized water?
Deionized water, also known as demineralized water, is water purified by a chemical filtration system that has had its mineral ions such as calcium, sodium, iron, copper, chloride and bromide removed. Distilled water on the other hand, is gathered by evaporation and is said to still contain trace mineral elements. So deionized water is extremely purified in the production of cosmetic products and in that sense, slightly better.

Do you care?
Personally, it has little influence on me because it is still water and that ingredient has no influence over my purchasing power. So I don’t expect to pay more just because a product uses deionized or demineralized water and make it some sort of selling point. However, I might be more impressed if the product uses something else like a floral water or even green or white tea as the base as opposed to just water.

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  1. Fevrier says:

    Hi sesame, been trying to post comment since my last one but i dont know why, it couldnt be posted and kept failing when i tried again. Anyway, just letting you know that i have been reading your blog religiously EVERYDAY !!! Now i know why you declined to my offer for extra samples of histroy of whoo whitening i purchased not long ago. after reading all your post about ingredients 101, i have a shocked of my life but well.. I already bought the whole range of the products, just gonna use it till it finished coz this products dont come cheap and after im planning to switch to MVO and go organic !! Your posts and work is wonderful, without you realizing, you not only helping people with beauty sake but also saving people’s lives !!! Pls dont go… *hik hik* coz im addicted to you… :'(

  2. Fevrier says:

    Yeayy.. It worked… I can post comment again ?

  3. Sesame says:

    Hey Fevrier: my apologies for the inconveniences you encountered with posting comments! I have no idea what happened. Do send me an email should you encounter further problems commenting.

    Thank you for coming by to read every day! I really appreciate it. Don’t worry about it…go ahead and finish your products first and it should yield you some benefits too. Then switch over to natural/organic when you’re ready. You can also do it gradually cos I know some pple find it problematic when they switch initially. MVO is a good brand but some of my readers cannot use some of their stuff too so this is something you want to be aware of. I don’t want you to go invest and then waste your money you know what I mean?

    Ah…save lives? No lah…but blogging is a learning process for me too and it helps me learn more stuff too. Recently, got an offer to work on a water product and realized there is so much about water I didn’t know! Will share that in the weeks to come. ?

  4. Fevrier says:

    Yup u save lives !! Imagine if i didnt find ur blog by accident ?? How much dangerous chemical i woulD put on my face EVERYDAY on my ENTIRE life basis ??? Definitely u save lifes ?

  5. Fevrier says:

    Oops, i forgot to say that because of ur blog and awareness of ingredients in cosmetics, it urges me to learn more about that and i found a video in utube THE TOXIC 12. This is the link to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4cCq4F0ZCs&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    Once again, thank you sesame ?

  6. Sesame says:

    ? But I sure hope I don’t come across like a scaremonger. I think we should take everything in moderation. Personally, I avoid skin care ingredients more because of the damaging effects some of them have on our skin than on our health. However, I also realized that for people with health issues, knowing what ingredients they put on their bodies become real.

  7. Audris says:

    I’m with you, that whether it’s deionised water, plain water or some special oxygenated water in the ingredients, I’d still consider the entire package on balance and price point. Wouldn’t spring more for ‘atas’ water. That said, I really like it when I read the ingredients and see aloe vera juice or something else other than water as the top ingredient.

  8. Sesame says:

    LOL to ‘atas’ water! Marketing gimmick! Aloe vera juice base is good…my fave are green and white tea base.

  9. Tina @ BeautyToasst says:

    It’s good to know about the differences in water but i often find that cosmetics companies just don’t tell you what kind of water they use in their ingredient list. Most of the time we just see water listed as “Aqua.” They just don’t specify, so how can you tell what kind of water they use??
    Tina @ BeautyToasst last post is: Eyeshadows for Different Eye Shapes

  10. Sesame says:

    Some will make a mention of what kind of water but most will state it as “Aqua”.

  11. Amanda says:

    Same here. I would much prefer the base is something like floral water, hydrosol, green tea, instead of plain water, no matter deionized or not. At least, I know that I’m paying for something that does good to my skin.
    Amanda last post is: Review: Marie Veronique Organics Anti-Aging Body Oil

  12. Sesame says:

    Yup…I find that there’s more value in a product using a more concentrated based than just water.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Deionized water is not the same thing as demineralized water. http://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_difference_between_distilled_water_and_deionized_water_DI_water2

    Some types of deionized water can be mixed with oil. Thus, an emulsifier would not be needed.

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