The announcement comes just a few weeks ahead of the big in-cosmetics event in Paris, which usually proves the biggest platform for new ingredients launches worldwide, and Ashland hopes that the new launch hits on several of the key trends that formulators are currently facing, including changes to laws governing microbeads in scrubs.
The development team at Ashland has created the new ingredient as an acrylate-based technology, which it says brings unique hydrophobic properties, combined with both aesthetic and sensorial qualities.
Enhanced clarity, thickening and particle suspension
This means that the ingredients also carries claims for enhanced clarity, thickening and suspension of particles and beads that are often used in the formulation of cleansing products.
Since plastic microbeads are due to be outlawed in the US by 2018, the race is on to find eco-friendly alternatives, and this is also giving way to new requirements for surfactants to help blend those new ingredients.
Ashland says that the target products for the ingredient will include body and hand washes, as well as facial cleansers, while also meeting the need for multiple rheology modifiers in high salt-containing and high surfactant-containing systems that are common in these product types.
No concession for high salt-containing systems
“Exceptional clarity, efficient thickening and stable suspension of particles and beads are essential requirements in rinse-off systems,” said Sarah Thiewes, global new products leader, consumer specialties, Ashland.
“In high-surfactant and salt-containing systems or systems containing cationic ingredients, formulators often made concessions on efficiency to obtain aesthetically appealing personal care products. Now with one ingredient, SurfaThix N polymer, it’s possible to maintain clarity and viscosity while maximizing manufacturing efficiencies through continuous processing.”
The company adds that side-by-side comparisons have repeatedly shown an improvement in viscosity and clarity over benchmarked technology, while simultaneously demonstrating significant formulation stability.
Trials underline efficacy for microbead formulations
Specific to microbead-containing formulations, the comparisons showed that the polymer provides suspension performance similar to conventional benchmark ingredients.
The benefits to formulation efficiency are also backed up by a single-step neutralization process for neutral pH formulations, which the company says helps to minimize batch times and enables continuous manufacturing processes.