Background Research

For almost as long as humans existed, they had moisturizers in different types of forms, but the earliest recorded use of the moisturizer actually dates all the way back to the Mesolithic era which is basically around 10,000 years ago. (Lovejoy Bess,17 April 2014)However, back then moisturizers used was different for each country as it depended on the country’s culture and the natural resources available there. For example, women of Pre-Columbian Latin America would use avocado, while both men and women in Brazil and Africa used palm oil. Others also included the Native Americans, which had more practical applications such as using animal fats to keep the skin supple and insulated. Next, the Ancient Greeks regularly used olive oil and even the Bible too even and mention lotions and moisturizers made from olive oil and spices. Last but not least would then be the Sumerians , which created moisturizers from pulverized plant, animal or mineral materials, before combining them with wine and tree oils before applying to the body. Queen Cleopatra was also famous for her use of ancient beauty products and is said to have regularly applied olive and sesame oil to her skin.(PrettyCompact, n.d.)

But in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, new ingredients like petroleum jelly and mineral oil were welcomed to the field and after being perfected in the late 1800s, they became a regular addition to moisturizers. However it wasn’t until the 1930s, which had the invention of the television did the development of moisturizers really took off due to mass advertising. (PrettyCompact, n.d.)

Today, in the current day and age, there are thousands of moisturizer types and brands out there in the market, each developed for a specific skin criteria – be it anti-aging, oil-free, extra hydrating etc but most importantly, to keep the skin moistfull and supple for the simple sake of getting beautiful skin that is younger, healthier and brighter. However, due to wide range of ingredients available for moisturizers,some may not be as effective as others in keeping the skin moisturized, thus our group decided to embark on this project to find out which ingredient among 5 moisturizers is the best at keeping the skin moisturized and healthy. We only chose to experiment on 5 moisturizers as it is impossible within our reaches to experiment all on the available moisturizers out there in the market.(Lovejoy Bess,17 April 2014, PrettyCompact,n.d., Wikipedia, n.d.)

Literature Review

The test involves applying moisturizers containing five different ingredients on the surface of Jell-Os in petri dishes. Humans have approximately 3.6 kilograms and 2 meters of skin, including three layers of skin - the epidermis, the dermis which contains blood vessels, hair roots, sweat glands and nerve endings, and the hypodermis, that contains the larger blood vessels and other nerve endings. (Jergens-me, n.d.) The top layer of the epidermis helps to moisturize in the skin, making up of about 15% water. When the moisture is gone, the skin would appear dry and flaky, until the point whereby it cracks. (Jergens-me, n.d.) We need moisturizers as the amino acids and salts in the epidermis to hold the skin’s moisture is water soluble, and is easily washed away when our skin is being exposed to too much solvent. Therefore, moisturizers are needed to keep the skin hydrated.

The ingredients that allow moisturizers to be effective are humectants and emollients. Humectants take moisture from the air and hold it in your skin. They rejuvenate the skin and smooth out or soften scaly, thick skin. (Jergens-me, n.d. & Christina Pander, n.d.) They are good for people why dry skin. Humectants include urea, glycerin, alpha hydroxy acids and dimethicone. Emollients, based by oil and water, provide moisture by occupying the spaces between skin cells where the fat cells were once in. Emollients include lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum. Another ingredient found are preservatives, preventing bacteria growth from occurring. They have vitamins, minerals, plant extracts such as jojoba, almond or olive oil, sunscreen, and sunless tanners. Specialized moisturizers might include ingredients like collagen and exfoliants.

Moisturizers affect how the skin looks by doing three things -- fighting against dryness, balancing skin tone and improving the texture of the skin.


If we apply Propanediol (the main ingredient present in Innisfree’s green tea pure sleeping pack), then the Jell-O will have the most amount moisture left in it at the end of experiment.

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