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Use of fibers in cosmetic products

SpecialChem / Apr 3, 2006

Natural fibers are often used in washable products like shower gels or facial or body scrubs.

To exfoliate the skin, some formulations contain loofah fibers. Loofah is an exotic cucumber which provides soft fibers after hard drying. For example, the shower gel, "Arome Spa Tonic Shower Gel" commercialised by Decleor contains these fibers. Natural fibers can also be sisal fibers such as those "grown in Taiwan without pesticides or chemicals" used in a facial scrub belonging to the "Euphoric Moment Gift Set" range, sold at AVEDA outlets. "Grapefruit with Aloe Natural Facial Scrub" commercialised by Green Beaver in Canada contains bamboo micro-fibers. Synthetic web fibers are now proposed for the cosmetic industry. Web fibers are cut using different methods, depending on the suppliers' know-how: they are obtained by laser cut or specific guillotine shears. Fibers for cosmetics are usually made on nylon (nylon -6 or -66), rayon, polyester and other polyamide fibers. Their particle sizes range from around 20? to 1mm for the most commonly used.

In skin care products, synthetic fibers are sometimes used to produce special new texture effects, as a firming agent or to exfoliate the skin. For example, "Toning Bust Serum" commercialised by Estée Lauder Body Performance also contains "web fibers that contract on application, which is said to dramatically improve the appearance of the skin in the bust area" (nylon-6).

Another example containing "Metavoltage Cream Exfoliating Cream" made by the company ZOTOS (Brand name Za): the product is said to contain refining fibers, probably made of cellulose.

Web fibers are now commonly used in mascara compositions. They are employed to lengthen or increase the volume of eye lashes, and also to provide long wear properties, often in double-ended products. However, the inclusion of fibers in such cosmetic formulations can result in various difficulties. Specific formulation knowledge is required to obtain a uniform dispersion in the bulk or to avoid flaking or detachment of fibers from the eyelashes.

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