Polar and non polar - What does it really mean?

Posted By: Roccoco Botanicals Published: 06/07/2018 Comments: 0

With the increase in green and eco consumerism, I feel sometimes that common sense has been thrown out the door.  There are some ingredients you simply can't mimic from nature and vice versa there are some synthetic ingredients that there isn't a substitute in nature for either.  Part of our mission at Roccoco and Educated Therapists is to raise the level of education to empower both the Esthetician and consumer in being knowledgeable.  Our mission in raising awareness is because we see far too many consumers particularly being lured by the latest craze and the result is a skin that is just a "hot mess". If there is one favour I could ask of you it is this.....I beg you please do not use google as a your source of reliable information.  The internet is fraught with incorrect information. Recently the wonderful blogger Sarita Coren asked 6 of the top experts what advice they wish consumers knew.  This blog is in response to the confusion that has followed with regards to my comments. Many consumers and formulators wrongly assume that if a substance doesn't mix with water then it is non-polar.  This reasoning however doesn't stack up if you dive a bit further into cosmetic chemistry.  In chemistry oils refers to a very broad category of ingredients.  Oil by definition is a substance that is both hydrophobic (water-hating) and oleophilic (oil-loving). Oil, unlike water, is not one compound but a vast variety of compounds.  The term oil includes mineral oils, vegetable oils, triglycerides, esters, fatty alcohols.

So what is the deal with whether or not it is polar or non-polar?

The reason has to do with cleansing.  If you are not using a non-polar substance in your cleanser then you aren't actually cleansing the skin sufficiently and you will be left with product and makeup in your pores, in other words the fuel for a nice breakout of acne. With chemistry like attracts like.  Oils will dissolve oils, however waxes require a hydrocarbon or non-polar oil to remove them.  If you have acne then you can relate to the waxy feeling that sometimes accompanies your skin.  It almost feels like there is a film on it.  So first let's dive into the definition of polar and non-polar and then go further into why vegetable oils simply can't be non-polar. So the definition of polar and non-polar has actually not got to do with whether they dissolve in water.  It actually has to do with the charge on the molecule.  With a polar substance they have an excess charge on them which is how they bond together.  For examplemethanol (CH3OH) and glucose (C6H12O6), are very soluble in water. These two substances, along with water, are polar substances. Their charge is neutral, but one end of the molecule is positive and the other end is negative. polar-molecules Now here is what the MAJORITY do not know and this is how we at Roccoco differ.....
Oils can be divided into non-polar oils and polar oils.  What you say???
Yes they can be both polar and non-polar.  Now remember oils are a broad category and don't just refer to vegetable oils. So the definition of polar and non-polar has to with electronegative charges.  Whether a substance is water soluble or not has NOTHING to do with it.  To make the assumption of polarity based on water solubility is a huge mistake and a mistake that is made by many formulators.
Non-polar oils lack an electronegative element like oxygen. Polar oils contain atoms that differ in electronegativity. This results in what is called a "dipole moment". 36272372 - engine oil splashing isolated on white background
Vegetable oils however are polar.  This means they don't remove waxy residue and inefficiently clean the skin. 
This is the reason our Pore Cleansing Oil doesn't contain just vegetable oils.  It has been formulated correctly with a thorough understanding of chemistry and skin science. not-all-oils-are-non-polar You will find I am one of these people that continually provide evidence and the reason being is because many don't.  I want you to trust what we say as we always have the best interest of you at heart.  Behind the scenes at Roccoco what you don't see is us reviewing and approving other companies products for use for our clients.  Our interests are not self serving.  Our priority is you and the care of your skin and ensuring you reach your goal without you wasting your money. Yours in beautiful skin Jacine - Founder of Roccoco Botanicals and Educated Therapists      


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