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.