In the article appearing in the ACS’s Chemical & Engineering News magazine, Marc S. Reisch points out active ingredient delivery systems are already incorporated into 10 to 20 percent of cosmetics on the market today, a number predicted to grow to 35 or 45 percent in five years.
He also reveals major chemical companies like BASF, Dow Chemical and Air Products & Chemicals are acquiring or partnering with makers of beauty and personal care ingredients to take advantage of the global market valued at $425 billion in 2011.
To meet that demand, Reisch says companies are looking for better ways to encapsulate these additives to stop them from breaking down in the bottle or to help deliver them to the skin and hair more effectively.
Research is going into creating technologies to preserve ingredients such as anti-inflammatory, dandruff prevention, and wrinkle reduction actives that can degrade in the bottle if not protected, others are intended to suspend ingredients such as sunscreens or to even deliver a cell-reparative payload just below the surface of the skin.
Air Products & Chemicals, who produce gases as well as adhesives and electronic chemicals, acquired Rovi Cosmetics, a Germany-based maker of encapsulating systems and active ingredients back in February and has since adapted an inulin sugar delivery system to make better sunscreen.
Reisch told CosmeticsDesign.com USA; "I had wondered why Air Products would be interested in such a company and discovered other cosmetic makers were busily at work developing better ways to preserve and deliver actives to skin and hair."
Meanwhile Evonik uses water droplets coated in silica to make ‘dry water’, so that when combined with a powder containing fragrances or vitamins and rubbed on skin or in hair, the water is released to form a cream that delivers the ingredients.
Microcapsules help to coat the skin with protective ingredients, while another capsule system carries vitamins C and E beneath the skin as a second line of defense.
In 2009, scientists at the University of California-Berkeley revealed they had created phototriggerable microcapsules found in carbon-free copy paper to benefit the cosmetics industry.
Developed to burst under the pressure of a pen, the research group were able to create capsules that triggered once they were exposed to light using coencapsulation of carbon nanotubes, based on an interfacial polymerization technique that forms a nylon external barrier to encase the capsule.
Then, the experts had said that the microencapsules could be developed with impermeable shell walls, enabling the coexistence of otherwise incompatible chemicals in a single container, flexible enough to be combined once the desired release is triggered.