Just mix it: Pola Chemicals develops new emulsifier to tap into rising DIY beauty trend

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Pola Chemicals develops new emulsifier that it claims will make it easier for consumers to enjoy DIY cosmetics. [GettyImages]
Pola Chemicals develops new emulsifier that it claims will make it easier for consumers to enjoy DIY cosmetics. [GettyImages]

Related tags DIY Japan Research and development

Japanese firm Pola Chemicals Industries has developed M-Polymer, a new emulsifier that it claims will make it easier for consumers to enjoy do-it-yourself (DIY) cosmetic products.

M-polymer was developed to allow anyone to make their own cosmetics at home, without the need for special equipment, heat or worry of separation in the formula.

According to the Pola Orbis Holdings subsidiary, it developed the M-Polymer to cater to the accelerating popularity of the DIY beauty trend.

The firm has observed the DIY trend in other sectors like fashion, which demonstrates the consumers’ desire to express themselves.

Dr Megumi Kaji, deputy senior research scientist at Pola Chemicals told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm attributes this trend to the increasing importance placed on self-care.

“In the near future, we believe that demand for personalised DIY beauty cosmetics will increase,” ​said Kaji.

However, between technical know-how and the need for dedicated equipment, the complicated process has hindered the progress of this trend.

Additionally, Kaji highlighted that current technology was limited and hindered the ability to customise the products.

As such, the firm developed an M-polymer, an emulsifier that will allow anyone to participate in DIY beauty without the need for any specialised knowledge.

This research was first presented at the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) conference held in October.

The emulsifier for everyman

Kaji explained that the emulsifier is a polymer with a ‘pendant-like’​ shape with hydrophilic parts and hydrophobic parts attached to the main chain.

“It’s adsorbed onto oil droplets by hypercoagulation – particles of different sizes are easily adsorbed – and emulsifies various types of oils at room temperature simply by mixing. This eliminates the need for emulsification expertise or special machines for emulsification.”

The unique properties of the M-polymer mean it does not require the use of professional equipment or heating and the user will just need to mix it to create a product.

This also makes it easier for various kinds of oil to be emulsified smoothly, allowing the consumer to make a wide variety of cosmetics formulations on their own.

“It helps to make all emulsion formulations such as milky lotions, emulsions, creams, cleansing creams, cream foundations and sunscreens,”​ said Kaji.

The researchers tested the emulsifier on 21 subjects that have never made cosmetics before and they all succeeded in making milky lotions and creams with M-polymer.

According to the researchers, the subjects reported that they were very satisfied with the “degree of freedom and customisation”​ of the process.

Furthermore, the ability to develop various products and textures added to the fun element.

The company believes this “ground-breaking” ​technology has created a new way to enjoy cosmetics and will pave the way for the DIY beauty trend moving forward.

Kaji added that the company is considering the utilisation of the technology for a DIY beauty business.

“We would like to deliver this to users all over the world who want to enjoy handmade and customised beauty products.”

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