Why moisturizers white even though they contain dark ingredients?

edited January 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
Hi, why are most moisturizers and serums etc are mostly white or light colored even though they contained lots of ingredients that should tint the product? Ingredients such as CoQ10, grape seed extract, lycopene, green tea, blueberries etc., if I mix them into the moisturizer at home it would turn into mud. Does the extracting/purifying process in the lab removes the colors? I have not seen any dark products, even those that claim to contain a high level of the actives. Thanks so much!


  • Hi Cadence. There are two reasons why the products you asked about are white:

    1. The main reason is that moisturizers are made by dispersing drops of oil in water. These droplets are so small that they scatter and reflect light. This scattering of light is what makes the product appear white. 

    2. The "dark" ingredients you mentioned are typically used at very low levels so they don't have a significant impact on color. "Dark" ingredients that are used at higher levels (like dyes) do actually give the product color which is why you have moisturizers that are pink, green, blue, etc.  (By the way, many of the extracts you mentioned are actually colorless.)
  • Thank you so much for the explanation! However, sometimes I break open supplement gel caps such as grape seed and CoQ10 and mixed a few drops into the moisturizer to make a mask, the mixture was pretty muddy. Therefore I thought they are dark ingredients? I guess the extracts manufactures use are very different.
  • The "stuff" in the supplement capsules are not necessarily the same as the ingredients that would be added to a lotion. The concentration in the capsules could be much higher and their could be other materials included. 
  • Thank you Randy for clearing things up!
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