Micro-capsules: unravelling the mystery inside


Belinda Carli
Institute of Personal Care Science (IPCS), Australia


Micro-capsules are increasingly used in personal care formulations for visual and other benefits. With a growing number of variants now available for formulators to choose from, how can you pick the right material for your application needs, and just what is the difference between the many types now available anyway?

This article will look at the benefits of using micro-capsules, the types that are available, why they differ, important formulating and processing notes, what to look for when selecting micro-capsules and showcase a few of the many varieties now available

Benefits of using micro-capsules

Different micro-capsules can be used for different effects within products. Their uses are wide and varied, such as:

  • Visual effects:

- dynamic visual effects through the packaging from using coloured micro-capsules;

- impression of delivery of an internal substance – whether this be an active ingredient, fragrance or colour to the end-product, the impression can have significant impact on the consumer; 


  • Protection: 

- using micro-capsules to protect an internal active core can be a great way of incorporating usually unstable or incompatible materials into a base product and ensuring you achieve a good bio-availability throughout its shelf life;

  • Exfoliation/cleansing:

- micro-capsules can give the visual impression of exfoliation while other ingredients in the formula provide chemical exfoliation;

  • improve skin feel:

- encapsulating UV filters, colourants or other texturally challenged materials is a great way to improve their skin feel and dispersion in ...