Opaque Transparency


I’ve been reading ManRepeller (SO much LOVE and RESPECT for this woman! True talent and character.) recently and noticed her new endorsement of a Chanel moisturizer called LA SOLUTION 10 DE CHANEL- a cream that boasts having no more than ten ingredients. Their pitch is focused on the cream’s simplicity, and while they don’t claim explicitly that the product is natural, the connotation is that this cream is better for you because of its pared-down formula. The number 10 included in the name reinforces the intended selling point.

Curious, I looked up the cream and LOLed. The ten ingredients? Here ya go:


Now if you’re scratching your head, its with good reason. This basically looks like a dinner recipe that states:



As in… it doesn’t tell you anything. Soft Powder, Emollient, Emulsifyer, Humectant and Preservative are not actual ingredeint names. They are categories of ingredient. Its unfathomable to me how they even got away with not including the chemical names on the product.

What could these mystery ingredients really be composed of? I wondered incredulously to myself.

Before I did some digging to discover these sleuthy chemicals, I enjoyed a game of “WHAT COULD THEY POSSBLY BE?” After some major goooooogling, I found all the possible chemicals for each category, and italicized all the possible chemicals that could be used in Chanel’s LA SOLUTION 10 that would be considered, at least by JFB, dirty.


An emollient is “complex mixtures of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of the skin softer and more pliable. They increase the skin’s hydration by reducing evaporation”

Common Emollients: Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Mineral oil, Lanolin, Petrolatum, Paraffin, Beeswax, Squalene.


Emulsifiers are stabilizing substances used to keep oils and water from separating, preventing you from having to vigorously shake your lotion before use.

Common Emulsifiers: Borax with Beeswax, Beeswax, BTMS 25%, Carbomer, Cetaryl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax-NF, Lecithin, PEG-20 StearatePropylene Glycol, Silky Emulsifying Wax, Stearyl Alcohol NF, and Polysorbate 80.


Humectants are substances that are used to keep the skin moist, drawing in water from deeper layers of the skin or from the atmosphere, and trapping it at the skin’s surface. Humectants also speed up the active ingredient’s ability to penetrate the skin.

Common Humectants: triethylene glycol, tripropylene glycol, propylene glycol, and PPGs, glycerin, sorbitol (sugar alcohol), hexylene and butylene glycol, urea, and collagen


Preservatives prolong and preserve the shelf-life of products, while also preventing the growth of microbes and contamination by bacteria and fungi.

Common Preservatives: Parabens, Formaldahyde Releasers, Isothiazolinones, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid/Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid/Potassium Sorbate


So some OKAY possibilities, but more problematic ones for sure.

Will the real ingredients please stand up?

Obviously, nowhere on the Chanel website could I find the ingredients’ true identities. So I back-doored in some blogs and found ONE comment that listed them all!

I truthfully have no clue where said commented retrieved her information, but it was all I had to go on, and thankfully, my “scholarly source” standards from my MA in English Lit days are long gone, so I chose to roll with it.


Let’s break it down.

(The numbers represent these ingredient’s ratings on the ewg.org/skindeep database)

1. Water (deionized purified) = fine. (while water itself is not a problem, it always requires a preservative to prvent yeast and mold growth, plus usually a stabilizer to keep the formula together.)

2. Vegetal Squalane (extracted from the olive)= looks like this is a pretty good ingredient. Its some type of extract from an olive that keeps skin moist. See more here.

3. Soft Powder (Lauroyl Lysine) 1 = Lauroyl Lysineis an Amino Acid derivative that is made from natural coconut fatty acid (coconut oil). It is most often used as a hair and skin conditioning agent, although it is also used in the formulation of products by contributing to a product’s texture by helping to gel solvents
 4. Glycerine 2= colorless, odorless, syrupy, sweet liquid, C 3, usually obtained by the saponification of natural fats and oils: used for sweetening and preserving food, in the manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes, inks, and certain glues and cements,as a solvent and automobile antifreeze, and in medicine in suppositories and skin emollients.

5. Silver needle tea extract= Silver Needle white tea also has some of the best medicinal effects of any variety of tea.  Silver Needle tea can create a cooling effect on your system, as well as holding many anti-oxidants to detoxify your body and prevent harm from toxins, radiation or other pollutants.

6. Shea butter extract 1 = is an off-white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).[1] Shea butter is a triglyceride (fat) derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion.




The next four are about as real as Insta Bloggers who post liquified kale salad breakfasts while they hide an Egg McMuffin behind the camera.

I feel you, man.
I feel you, man.

7. Emollient (sodium polyacrylate)= 3

8. Emulsifier (steareth-21)= 3

9. Humectant (Caprylyl Glycol)=1

10. Preservative (Phenoxyethanol)=4

Whatever guys, these kinda suck. Not gonna bore you with the science. Click on the ingredients to find out more, I inserted links if you’re really interested.

My point here is that there is a clear desire on part of consumers for transparency—but this, Chanel, is pulling our leg. We deserve better.

My message to you readers, if you lasted till the end of this, is—don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are entitled to know whats in your products, your food, the air you breathe, the water your drink. Take control- your google abilities are just as good as mine.

Signing off till next time, and let’s keep on keepin it real.




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