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A unique and versatile sensory modifier for skin care application


*Corresponding author
Dow Spring House Technical Centre – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, 727 Norristown Road- Spring House, PA 19477, USA


An elevated sensorial experience in a personal care product can relieve life stress while simultaneously driving consumer loyalty to a brand. The use of the current best-in-class sensory enhancer, silicone elastomer gel, is typically limited to high-end products due to formulation cost acceptance. Knowing that excellent sensorial experience is also desired in mid-tier and mass market skin care products, a cost-effective, non-silicone approach with similar high-end sensorial benefits was invented to fulfil this market need. This new polyolefin gel (PO gel) has been confirmed by human panel studies to possess excellent sensory performance versus silicone oils or silicone elastomers. In addition, PO gel has also been carefully evaluated for additional beneficial performance factors such as moisture retention, soft focus and its latitude of compatibility with commonly used cosmetic ingredients.


Sensory feel is a critical property in leave-on skin care products and is a popular way to increase brand differentiation by offering an elevated sensorial experience to consumers and an ultimate sensation of well-being. Among many commercial sensory modifiers, silicone elastomer blends are regarded as having superior sensorial skin feel. These are often described as “smooth”, “silky” and “powdery”. In particular, its semi-solid gel property makes silicone elastomer useful for a variety of applications in skin care, sun care, colour cosmetic and hair care. Unfortunately, the high material and production costs of silicone elastomer gels frequently limit their application to only high-end products. Consequently, there is an unmet need for cost effective alternatives that display sensory acceptance comparable to silicone elastomers.
To identify alternatives to silicone elastomer gels, Dow has explored a variety of polymer gels based on polyolefins. The impact of, melting point (Tm), molecular weight, and degree of crystallinity on sensory performance have been studied and the relationship between polyolefin physical properti ...