The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients

Multi-Functional Materials: Formulating Cosmetics Products Easier!

Belinda Carli – Dec 11, 2018

Multi-Functional Materials: Formulating Cosmetics Products Easier!Today’s modern consumer expects more out of every product, and innovative companies continue to expand and deliver on this promise! And, it’s becoming more and more important for formulators to be aware of, and formulate with, multi-functional materials.

The use of multi-functional materials not only addresses increasing consumer demands, it also enables significant cost savings to companies as it means:

  • Less materials on the floor, larger economies of scale through larger purchases of less materials (as 1 material can then do ‘more’ in each formulation)
  • Easier formulating methods, and 
  • Significant labor savings through less dispensing and quicker processing

Multi-functional materials are those which offer more than one role! 

Multi-functional materials are split into one of two types:

  • Multi-Functional ‘Functionals’ – Functional materials with multi-functional capabilities; or 
  • Multi-Functional ‘Actives’ – Active materials with multiple activities and/or functionalities to support the formulation efficacy. 

Multi-Functional Functionals

One of the most common multi-functional benefits from a functional ingredient is to get premium sensory feel. The functional materials need to be present in the product anyway to create it – so why not use those which achieve the sensory expectations of consumers or enhance the products claims and performance?

For example, look for multi-functional ‘functional’ ingredients such as:

  • Those which can be used to create and/or stabilize an emulsion while also adding to the sensory experience of the product. There are multiple emulsifiers and gums now available to help perform these functions; speak with your supplier for their latest suggestions on functionals with sensory benefits for more information

What are Multi-functional ‘Functional’ Ingredients?

  • Materials that enable the creation of a wide range of products – enabling manufacturers to carry less variation of stock on the floor whilst still enabling the creation of a wide scope of products.

    From sprays to gels to cream, whether they are water-based or oil-based, being able to use 1 material to create as many of these product forms as possible makes formulating and manufacturing much easier. I’ve been particularly impressed with Sucragel (Alchemy Ingredients) which enables this kind of versatility, and is also available in an organic version AND boosts skin hydration for up to 8 hours! Now that’s multi-functionality!

  • Polymeric emulsifiers that not only stabilize high content of oil without the need for secondary emulsifiers or polymers, but also provide desirable sensory.

    A couple of my favorites are the SEPIPLUS™ and SIMULGEL™ ranges (Seppic) and Novemer™ products (Lubrizol) to make formulating simple even under cold process. Another is Avalure™ Flex-6 polymer (Lubrizol) which is ideal for sunscreen formulas as it not only stabilizes high oil content, it also boosts SPF, enhances pigment dispersion, provides film formation and water resistance and enhances the skin feel of these normally difficult to create products PLUS its cold processable!

  • Emulsion stabilizers that have additional conditioning benefits to the skin, sustained release of active ingredients and exceptional skin feel. Two of my favorites to do this include Biophilic™ H and Biophilic™ S (Lucas Meyer Cosmetics)

  • Emulsifiers with anti-oxidant and/or anti-aging benefits – a new and emerging category of materials, one of my favorites is Ceralution® H (Sasol)

  • Hydrolite® 5 green (Symrise) - The next generation of sustainable pentylene glycol with over 5 key features boosting product efficiency - A bioavailability enhancer, moisturizing agent, stability aid for oil-in-water emulsions, solubilizer and product protector. It works synergistically with many preservatives, boosting their efficacy and thus helping to reduce their dose.

Few more examples include:

  • E-LEEN® Green A (Minasolve) - A non-ionic multi-functional blend that enables completely self-preserved cosmetic products, while at the same time moisturizing and conditioning the skin. It is a synergistic combination of nature-based Pentylene Glycol and nature-based Phenylpropanol and represents a cost-effective solution to obtain completely self-preserving cosmetic products.

  • Oilkemia™ 5S Polymer (Lubrizol) - A multifunctional cosmetic ingredient which acts as a pigment dispersant, rheology modifier, suspending agent and thickener. It is an oil soluble ingredient designed to impart thickening with clarity and suspension in a broad spectrum of oils and oil mixtures. It allows the development of a wide variety of textures from thin non-dripping systems to lotions or thick creams, and even solid stick.

  • DUB ESTOLINE® (Stearinerie Dubois) - A multifunctional polymer ester which will give to your formulations extreme comfort and ultimate protection: skin protection (pollution, water lost), Hair protection (coating, anti-frizz…), formulation protection (waterproof, binder, dispersing agent).

Multi-Functional Actives

Multi-functional actives are those ingredients with multiple skin and/or hair benefits to really boost product claims beyond a single use. Here are just some of the many exciting multi-functional actives available:

  • Beauté by Roquette® (Roquette) - A full range of multifunctional ingredients and high performing, plant-based concepts for personal care, providing amazing sensorial experience and claim-substantiated benefits. The range focuses on anti-aging and sun protection properties, as well as improved sensorial benefits combining for instance hydration, softness with a unique dry and velvet skin feel.

Beauté by Roquette® - A full range of multifunctional ingredients by Roquette

  • Elixiance™ biofunctional (Ashland) – Rich in antioxidants and active flavonols, this multi-functional active provides pollution-shielding effects, purifying benefits for oil control and pore refining, and anti-ageing benefits for less visible wrinkles and younger looking skin. 

  • LaraCare® A200 (Lonza) - A true multi-functional active, this material provides multiple skin-tastic benefits: reduces TEWL, reduces fine lines and wrinkles by up to 19% within 8 weeks; reduces emulsion particle size for greater stability, boosts SPF rating between 5-60%, increases the efficacy of skin exfoliants and is substantive to hair, being especially useful for heat protection products. 

  • Beracare BBA (Beraca) - This Certified Organic material is one of several organic actives now being launched – this enables the creation of ‘Certified Organic’ end products that couldn’t be created before; because the actives just didn’t exist! This amazing material provides hair conditioning benefits comparable to cationic conditioning agents. It can also be used on the skin to whiten and even skin tone, increase hyaluronic acid content, improve firmness and promote deep hydration.

  • Phyto(flu)ene (IBR) - Giving consumers an immediately visible redness reduction/whitening effect, this material also provides long lasting anti-inflammatory effects, is rich in antioxidants, provides UV absorbance and lightens the skin tone with regular use.

  • Maritech® Bright (Marinova) - Another Certified Organic material to enable creation of highly active Certified Organic products, this material has clinically proven efficacy as a skin whitener and anti-age spot product. It also has advanced antioxidant benefits and anti-aging results to reduce wrinkle depth.

  • Solashield (Solabia Biotecnologica) - A broad spectrum answer to the rising pollution and UV issues consumers face, this material provides protection from pollution and heavy metals, is UV boosting, antioxidant and provides instant smoothing and wrinkle filling benefits. 

Creating That Multi-functional Winning Formula!

Get more out of your materials and reap the formulation and efficacy benefits by combining multi-functional functionals with multi-functional actives for products that not only deliver on their promises, but can promise more and cost less! Try out these options by contacting your supplier today, and create the innovative multi-functional products of tomorrow.

Happy formulating!

Designing Multi-functional Cosmetics with the Right Selection of Polymers

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