May 18, 2012
Growing demand for “enhanced cosmetics” is fostering research on micro-capsules and other technology to package those ingredients in creams, lotions and other products to take advantage of a global market valued at $425 billion in 2011.
To meet that demand, chemical companies are looking for better ways to encapsulate these additives — which can reduce inflammation, repair hair or prevent wrinkles — to stop them from breaking down in the bottle or help deliver them to the skin and hair more effectively.
Active ingredient delivery systems are already incorporated into 10 to 20 percent of cosmetics on the market today, a number predicted to grow to 35 or 45 percent in five years.
Cosmetics makers are adopting novel delivery systems for skin using a variety of micelles, vesicles, surfactants, and polymers, but they don’t often reveal those details to the public. Exceptions include:
- Air Products & Chemicals has adapted an insulin sugar delivery system to make better sunscreen.
- Microcapsules help coat the skin with protective ingredients, while another capsule system carries vitamins C and E beneath the skin as a second line of defense.
- Rovi’s Dermoprotectyl, a skin care ingredient, that combines two systems for delivering actives has two systems. One, based on inulin sugar nanoscale vesicles, places sunscreen ingredients on the surface of the skin. A second system, using lipid protective spheres, deposits vitamins E and C just below the surface of the skin for a second line of defense against sun-induced damage.
- A product from Evonik Industries uses water droplets coated in silica to make a “dry water.” When combined with a powder containing fragrances or vitamins and rubbed on skin or in hair, the water is released to form a cream that delivers the ingredients.
Ref.: Marc S. Reisch, Enhancing Cosmetics, Chemical & Engineering News, 2012 (open access)