Formula Troubleshooting—Anhydrous Product Instability

Oct 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: Peter Tsolis, The Estée Lauder Companies; and Richard Riggs, Next Step Laboratories
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Title: Formula Troubleshooting—Anhydrous Product Instability
anhydrousx lipstickx foundationx crystallizationx steric hindrancex disruptionx
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Although a basic lipstick may look like an easy product to formulate, there are as many pitfalls and details that will affect the final product as there are with emulsions. This is not only true for lipsticks, but also for any anhydrous products that require a variety of materials to coincide and achieve homogeneity. Developing these products requires understanding the physical characteristics of the ingredients as well as the mechanical process required to manufacture the product. Two essential material characteristics to consider are the ingredient’s melting point and its solubility behavior.

Many anhydrous products are mixtures of oils, esters, fatty alcohols, waxes, preservatives, fragrances and various pigments.1 Combining these materials is a complex undertaking, and varying the concentration even slightly changes the dynamics and aesthetics of the final product; in the worst cases, it causes instability. Some examples of this can be seen when formulating lipsticks, solid foundations, lip balms and other hot pour products where melting and pouring into molds or packaging develops the structure. Formulators must therefore pay close attention to several stability parameters, notably sweating, bleeding, separation, streaking and softening.2 All of these issues cannot be addressed, therefore this column will concentrate on crystallization, whose disruption can often lead to some of these instabilities.

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Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Test

The DSC test measures the difference in heat flow between a reference sample and test sample. As the test sample is heated and cooled, it will undergo phase transitions. The DSC test uses a temperature program that increases and decreases temperature linearly as a function of time. By conducting this test, the amount of heat absorbed or released during such transitions can be measured. DSC is used to measure material and product properties such as melting point, crystallization events and glass transition temperatures (Tg).

Biography: Peter Tsolis, The Estée Lauder Companies

Peter Tsolis

Peter Tsolis has held various positions within The Estée Lauder Companies R&D for the past 14 years, ranging from innovation to business and brand development. He is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and has presented on skin care formulation, delivery systems and new technology. His research interests include innovative technology, optimizing formulas and marketing.

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