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#BrighterSkin: A Tale of Two Whitenicious Products

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Disclaimer: All information about products in this article is coming from her website. These are my opinions, however informed they may be. I reserve the right to change my mind if provided with new information. 

This is the last #BrighterSkin article. If you have any questions relating to anything on the campaign, please contact me here.

If you don’t know who Dencia(and what Whitenicious) is by now, I wonder what rock you’ve been sleeping under. Famous for coming out with a line of skincare products called ‘whitenicious’ (more so than her music), Dencia sparked a lot of conversation about the whole business of skin lightening, especially in Afro communities.

I thought it would be fitting to end #BrighterSkin with an ingredient review of 2 of her products. Below are ingredients and images. Highlighted  are the components that may have an effect of skin lightening.

 

Envydia Body Toning Milk (120mL for $400/ $100 per oz )

Envydia Body Toning Milk- Whitenicious

INGREDIENTS : WATER (AQUA), VEGETABLE OIL, CYCLOMETHICONE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, STEARIC ACID, CETYL PHOSPHATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, GLYCERIN, TRIDECYL STEARATE, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE [1% Line]  CARBOMER, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, SORBITAN STEARATE, PANTHENOL, HYDROGENATED EVENING PRIMROSE OIL, DIMETHICONE, MORUS ALBA ROOT EXTRACT(MULBERRY EXTRACT), ARCTOSTAPHYLOS UVA URSI LEAF EXTRACT(BEARBERRY EXTRACT), GLYCYRRHIZA LABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, ESCIN(1), CRATAEGUS OXYACANTHA EXTRACT(2), GLYCYRRHETINIC ACID(1), DAUCUS CAROTA FRUIT OIL(3), RETINYL PROPIONATE(4), TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, ALLANTOIN, CITRIC ACID, HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE, PHENOXYETHANOL, DMDM HYDANTOIN, ASCORBIC ACID(VITAMIN C), TOCOPHEROL(VIT E), RETINOL(VIT A).

The Good

It seems to contain a very good mix of interesting agents I mentioned previously here and some I was pleasantly introduced to. The new ones for me are(please note anti-oxidants may have some lightening effects):

1)Escin (Horse Chestnut Extract) and Glycerrhetinic Acid : Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Cyto-protective(protects skin cells).

2)Crataegus Oxyacantha Extract: Anti-microbial and anti-oxidant.

3)Daucus Carrota fruit(Wild Carrot) oil: essential oil that may have moisturizing and anti-oxidant properties.

4)Rentinyl Propioniate:  Milder Vitamin A that is not as sun-sensitizing.

The Bad

Notice I put  [1% Line] before all the important skin lightening agents were mentioned. In the US, products are listed in descending order (why water is first) and after the 1% line, can be listed in any order. I put the [1% Line] before carbomer because it is a thickener usually used in cosmetics at 0.1-0.5% concentrations.  Before that line are a combination of emulsifiers, thickeners and occulsive agents found in any [good] body creams and are used in sizable amounts.

Does this mean this cream isn’t very effective? No. With a cocktail of ingredients like this, it is possible that the ingredients may come together and work better than if they were used individually. However, sometimes companies may include ingredients they could use but not necessarily have used in the bottle you buy. Think of it this way, I could have used maggi or knorr to season chicken. So when I sell it to you, I add both on the ingredient list. I may have only used one but I’m not so sure so I include both.

The Ugly

With instructions to use twice daily, I’m sure you can see why this might be a very pricey pick, as are all of Dencia’s products. I am yet to see why the price is justified; to put things in perspective, I was able to make a body cream of 8 ounces with about $9(twice the size of this cream for oodles less).  This is me doing it for fun(not doing any bulk buying) or adding any special extracts(which aren’t all that expensive by the way).

Even at that I don’t expect my cost per item to skyrocket beyond $20 even if I used fancier packaging. So where’s the rest of the money going ? It’s not going towards new research because there’s really not THAT much you can innovate with in body creams. And I don’t believe Dencia is all that much of a celebrity, so why is it so flipping expensive?

I’ll put it down to creating artificial scarcity so people think it’s an out-of-the-world cream when it’s really not. Remember people,  price doesn’t necessarily equal quality.

 

Whitenicious Skin Clarifying Serum( 15 ML for $110/ $220 per ounce)

whitenicious serum

INGREDIENTS: WATER (AQUA), ASCORBIC ACID, RETINOL, TOCOPHEROL, MORUS ALBA BARK EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, CITRUS GRANDIS SEED EXTRACT(Grapefruit seed extract)(1), CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT(Green Tea Extract)(2), GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT [1% Line] HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN(3), SKIN RENEWAL COMPLEX DEIONIZED WATER, PROPANEDIOL, SQUALANE, T-RESVERATROL FLUID(4), CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, CYMBOPOGON CITRATUS LEAF OIL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER-3, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, ACRYLAMIDE/AMMONIUM ACRYLATE COPOLYMER, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, POLYISOBUTENE, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, POLYSORBATE 20, DISODIUM EDTA.

The Good

A lot of interesting ingredients here too. Some like:

1)Citrus Grandis Seed Extract(Grapefruit Extract): Astringent, good for skin toning.

2)Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract(Green Tea Extract): Anti-microbial, emollient and UV absorber( Still use sunscreen though!)

3)Hydrolyzed Collagen: amino acid that result from the breakdown of collagen(found in skin). It’s not going to be very effective in creams so it’s more of a claims product if anything. Still I thought it was an interesting product to add.

4)T-Reseveratrol Fluid: Anti-oxidant and hence, skin lightener.

The Bad(ish)

I was also pleasantly surprised that ascorbic Acid(vitamin C) was the second ingredient on the list. I’m estimating an about  10% concentration. However, I wondered if it was adequately protected. Vitamin C as ascorbic acid very easily oxidizes especially in the presence of water. Therefore most vitamin C serums usually come in dark bottles with instructions to be stored in a cool, dry place. Even at that, it usually takes about a week or so for the vitamin C to oxidize( meaning a lot of vitamin C serums are bust. That’s why I said there were expensive and unnecessary here).

The bright side is vitamin C’s shelf life can be extended using  a range of methods. I believe some of those methods are employed here in this serum. Some manufacturers add an ascorbyl ester( like Ascorbyl palmitate above). Others use polymers  like Dimethicone Crosspolymer and/or Acrylamide/Ammonium Acrylate Copolymer.

While I think it’s possible that this serum has an extended shelf life, I don’t believe it can be more than 3 months. I guess that the only upside to it being so small: you finish it very quickly.

The Ugly

Same as above. Just ridiculously expensive. You’re better off using products mentioned here.

 

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