Traditional emulsifiers eliminated with new physical interaction that creates a dispersion not an emulsion

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Emulsion, Surfactant, Water

Leading Edge Innovations has launched MicroSperse technology, which is a patent-pending process developed using physical interactions instead of chemicals to combine oil and water in cosmetic formulations.

This innovation could be of significant interest to formulators becacuse the physical interaction eliminates the need for traditional chemical emulsifiers, which can sometimes disrupt the skin’s fragile barrier properties.

Intrinsically, this proprietary technology addresses the safety, environmental, regulatory, and performance concerns associated with the current method of making products via emulsification. 

Extraordinary high pressure eliminates the need for traditional surface active agents

This unconventional method is the application of an extraordinary high pressure/high shear process that does not require traditional surface active agents. This process makes the hydrophobic particles much smaller than a conventional emulsion system prepared with traditional processing techniques.

The MicroSperse method creates an “anti-emulsion” in that the interfacial tension between the oil and water is maximized as opposed to an emulsion where the interfacial tension between the phases is minimized and the emulsifiers have to be “balanced” to achieve stability. 

According to James Wilmott, Chief Scientific Officer at Leading Edge Innovations,“The current approaches to creating cosmetic creams and lotions were derived from the synthetic emulsifiers that were developed following World War II.  These emulsify agents created a lot of diversity and have been the backbone of the cosmetic, personal care and OTC drug categories.  However, we are finding that the use of these materials comes at a price.  Many of the agents that are required to make today’s products are under consumer group and regulatory scrutiny.”

More stable than traditional emulsions

Moreover, by Stokes law these anti-emulsions or dispersions are over 600 times more stable than the particle size of an emulsion and the particles are about 1/20th​ -1/50th​ the size of standard emulsion systems.  Further, there is a slightly negative electric potential that causes the particles to repulse one another essentially moving away from one another to fill the volume of the container. 

These dispersions frequently have properties that are very different than traditional emulsion based product due to the MicroSperse technology.  They tend to be thinner and have a much lighter feel, while also being compatible with a variety of delivery systems to create efficacious products that function well with greater ingredient stability, the maker claims.

This high pressure process is also said to improve quality and stability of formulations while increasing product efficacy and reducing irritation to the skin. The world-wide compliant MicroSperse technology allows the formulator to use less preservative and take a fraction of the time to prepare since they are cold processed to lower the carbon footprint during manufacturing.

The process is also said to have virtually no environmental impact since it uses compressed air to create the particles and its bi-product is air. 

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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