Dow Corning develops new PEG-free W/O emulsifier

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Dow Corning develops new PEG-free W/O emulsifier

Related tags: Titanium dioxide, Dow chemical company, Dow corning

Dow Corning claims that its new water-in-oil emulsifier provides expanded options for formulating stable PEG-free water-in-oil and water-in-silicone emulsions, for use in the cosmetics industry.

The development of Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone also offers new opportunities to make more cost-effective formulations due to its process flexibility since it allows using low or high shear mixing and cold process, says the supplier.

“Silicone glycerol emulsifier which is a high performing emulsifier, a high performing dispersant as well as a sensory enhancer, offers versatility for the development of highly innovative cosmetic products,”​ says Dow Corning.

“Therefore, formulators can explore new possibilities with silicone emulsifiers to respond to ongoing demand from consumers for products with innovative texture, feel and improved performance.”

Years in the making

Silicone-based water-in-silicone and water-in-oil emulsifiers have existed since the middle 1980s, and a broad range of these materials is now available, as they provide benefits such as wash-off resistance, improved barrier properties, emolliency, moisturization, and in some cases, they can influence the penetration of actives.

Silicone-based emulsifiers can impart the same benefits without most of the drawbacks associated with water-in-oil systems such as greasy feel, difficult and costly manufacturing, and less formulation flexibility when compared to oil-in-water systems.

The emulsifiers also provide broader options for the oil phase, expanded texture and sensory possibilities, which has led to many suppliers developing these products.

Growing interest in PEG-free

The growing interest in limiting the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) due to concern over the potential skin irritation drove Dow Corning to develop its silicone glycerol emulsifier which helps enhance the performance of colour cosmetics and sunscreens formulations.

In the new emulsifier, the PEG functionality was replaced by a diglycerol hydrophilic functionality combined with a dual hydrophobic portion: Alkyl and silicone Dendron. 

The multifunctional structure improves the compatibility with both organic and silicone oils. Especially, the diglycerol functionality contributes to the high pigment and powder dispersing performance.

Sensory profile

“Silicone glycerol emulsifier also improves the sensory profile of cosmetics formulations making them easier to apply and more comfortable to wear,”​ explains Dow Corning.

When used in sun care products, in testing, it reduces tackiness after absorption of the formulation on the skin compared to the same formulation made with other silicone emulsifiers.

“Thanks to its ability to disperse fine particles such as physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), silicone glycerol emulsifier decreases the whitening effect of sun care products,”​ the explanation continues.

So what are the possibilities for the new emulsifier according to its creator? Well, Dow Corning claims that it gives formulators flexibility for developing skin care products from lotions to balms, colour cosmetics such as fluid foundations, BB or CC creams, sun care sprays or creams and even clear antiperspirant and deodorants.

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