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Emollients in personal care: our songs to create your formulation playlists


Zschimmer & Schwarz Italiana S.p.A.


Several different emollients were investigated to understand the correlation between their structure and their sensory properties. Furthermore, the emollients were also compared with synthetic mineral oils in order to have a complete overview of emollients. In this study, we will show you how to choose the proper emollients in order to achieve the desired sophisticated sensory effect in your skin care or make-up product. Let yourself be inspired by emollients and follow your own rhythm and creativity when designing your own formulation playlist.


Looking at the ingredients used in most cosmetic products, you will always find some kind of emollient in the formulation process. Thanks to their properties and their global approval, emollients are one of the favourite ingredients of cosmetic formulators.


Emollients have the “cosmetic mission” to provide a velvety, smooth and soft feel to the final product. “Emollient” is in fact derived from the Latin term “mollis”, which means soft. “Emolliency”, which refers to the spreadability and lubricity the formulators aim to achieve in a product, has the same origin. Emollients also majorly influence physicochemical properties such as the consistency and spreadability of the emulsions in which they are included.


Considering their effect on the skin, emollients can be regarded as a replacement for natural lipids: they contribute to the water retention of the stratum corneum, leaving a film on the skin that can last for hours (1).


Lipophilic emollients are one of the most commonly used ingredients in cosmetic emulsions; in the past were naturally represented by oil ...

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