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Formulating with Polymeric Emulsifiers for Sensory Benefits

Belinda Carli & Belinda Carli – Sep 27, 2016

Polymeric EmulsifiersThe sensory properties offered by a cosmetics product may vary from user to user. The most commonly used expressions to describe skin feel include “silky”, “smooth”, “soft”, “moisturizing”, “hydrating”, “velvety”, “light feel” and so on.

But sensory properties of a cosmetic product majorly depend on:

  • Consumer perception
  • Body part on which it is used
  • Time of the year / season

Polymeric Emulsifiers in Cosmetics

Polymer emulsifiers comprise a class of chemical compounds featuring easy-to-use, multifunctional, synthetic or natural origin polymers, which have got emulsifying and thickness properties. Common examples include:

  • Acrylate/C10-30 alkylacrylate cross-polymer
  • Carbomer
  • Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC)

These type of emulsifiers result in exceptional stability to oil-in-water emulsions at very low usage level (0.1%). Polymeric emulsifiers can be used with oil or water phase and provide exceptional sensory properties to cosmetics formulation.

Formulating with Polymer Emulsifier and Sensory Properties

To design a cosmetics formulation, one of the important factors is to know the feel given by each ingredient. For example, the alkyl groups of oils and surfactants have a direct impact. The properties of the alkyl groups are the key factors in designing the feel of cosmetics, and it is therefore, important to understand the chemical and physical properties.

To know more about polymeric emulsifiers and sensory properties, watch this video by Belinda Carli, the Director of the Institute of Personal Care Science. Here, she shares quick tips to formulate with natural and synthetic polymer emulsifiers available in market. She also provides practical guidance to enhance skin feel of a cosmetic formulation containing these polymeric emulsifiers.


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