Source substitution formulating


SurfaTech Corporation, Lawrenceville, Ga, USA


Perhaps the most impactful change in the cosmetic and personal care market over the last forty years is the demand placed upon formulators to provide timely, market responsive, regulatory compliant and cost effective products. The time frames in which these parameters must be delivered continues to decrease. These factors have forced successful formulators to adapt in the processes used to get products developed.
Starting as new product line from scratch has become almost unheard of undertaking. Instead we have suggested using platforms for speeding up the process, making specific type of changes to demonstrate consumer driven performance enhancements.
This article will concentrate on a newer approach we have dubbed Source Substitution Formulation and it is different from and complementary to the Minimally Disruptive and Functional Formulation approaches we have recommended. Source Substitution Formulation is a process that is used primarily to substitute a more sustainable reactant for a less sustainable reactant. This could be replacing a petroleum based fatty alcohol with a naturally derived fatty alcohol or substituting a natural based ethylene oxide for petroleum ethylene oxide.

Tips For Formulators - Sustainability
Undertaking projects that improve the sustainability of both raw materials and formulations is becoming increasingly important. The approach one uses to evaluate the effect of changes to the formulation platform continue to be developed. The formulator is challenged to evaluate these platform modifications and select the most efficient one.


We have already successfully introduced two approaches to formulations that can be used to improve sustainability of cosmetic formulation. They are:
Minimally Disruptive Formulating and Functional Formulating.


(A) Minimally Disruptive Formulating
The concept of minimally disruptive formulation was introduced in 2015 (1-4). This approach depends upon the formulator’s skill to create products that impart consumer-perceivable differences to meet a market need. Since esthetics are a key attribute of personal care products, the ability to alter their sensorial characteristics and provide a different consumer perception—with minimal changes to the formulation—is a very cost-effective ...