In 2010, Americans spent nearly $33.3 billion on cosmetic products. This represents a significant increase over prior years in an industry that pulls in BILLIONS more than other major product industries, for example foreign cars and televisions. (1) However, as a producer of cosmetic products, you are probably all-too-familiar with the difficulty of creating a high quality product; particularly in an oversaturated market, how can you make your product stand out? Much of that answer lies in the mixing process, specifically around the equipment you use. Below is a description and checklist of how homogenizers in particular can improve your cosmetic product quality.
Beauty and soft skin and fragrance aside, homogenizers are used for an array of purposes. They reduce particle size by forcing liquid through a narrow tube at high pressure; the resulting product can be used to create anything from tasty beverages to cancer treatments. Specific to cosmetic products, homogenizers can help to improve product quality by:
Diluting high active surfactants
Short for ‘surface active ingredients’, surfactants are commonly used in shampoos, detergents, bubble baths and other such cleaning products. Because they contain both a hydrophilic and lipophilic part, surfactants have the ability to reduce the surface tension in oil/water solutions. Whereas traditional surfactants are used at a concentration of 25-28%, high active surfactants are used at a concentration of up to 70%. Because high active surfactants and water have different viscosities, surfactants should be diluted before use; this will decrease processing time and ensure complete blending, the latter of which will contribute directly to a higher quality product.
Producing a stable emulsion
Most commonly found in creams and lotions, an emulsion is a dispersion comprised of two immiscible liquids (e.g. water and oil). The key to a stable emulsion lies in the emulsifier, a compound that stabilizes the two liquids into one continuous phase. Emulsifiers are comprised of a hydrophilic and lipophilic part, and act by wrapping their lipophilic portion around oil droplets to prevent them from coming together. To select an optimal emulsifier for your product, it is suggested that you use the Hydrophobic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) system, which uses a scale of 0-20 to rank water affinity. Low HLB values tend to be more lipophilic, while high HLB values are more hydrophobic. (2) Use the calculator here to determine your product’s HLB value.
Reducing particle size
Effective skin absorption is one of the biggest challenges in the lotion and beauty cream market. Individuals with dry skin, in particular, require a highly absorptive product and are willing to pay for quality. Studies have shown that by reducing the particle size of active ingredients, more surface area is available for skin access. As an added bonus, this process uses active ingredients more efficiently, which reduces product costs. (3)
BEEI: Homogenizers For High-Quality Cosmetic Products
On the quest for a cosmetic homogenizer, it is important to select a high-quality product. Start your search with BEE International, globally renowned for our laboratory homogenizers.
We deliver an array of key benefits, such as production of nano/micro emulsions and dispersions and lipids and suspensions; these can be used for applications such as pharmaceutical drugs and drug development, beverages, chemical compounds, and importantly, cosmetics.
Learn more about how BEEI can help improve your cosmetic product by visiting us here. If you're looking for more information on how homogenization can improve your cosmetic products through efficient and consistent particle size reduction, download our FREE eBook below: