Viscosity, Dispersion and More in Mascara

Oct 1, 2013 | Contact Author | By: Peter Tsolis,The Estée Lauder Companies; and Angle D. Camacho, Bayport Laboratories
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Title: Viscosity, Dispersion and More in Mascara
mascarax anhydrousx emulsionx carbon blackx iron oxidesx waxesx drying timex viscosityx
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Keywords: mascara | anhydrous | emulsion | carbon black | iron oxides | waxes | drying time | viscosity

Abstract: Cosmetic formulators are constantly challenged to develop products for daily use, and mascaras in particular are one of the most researched (and scrutinized) products a woman can purchase. Scientists must go to great lengths to ensure this miracle product delivers on the eyelash benefits it advertises.

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P Tsolis and A Camacho, Viscosity, Dispersion and More in Mascara, Cosm & Toil 128(10) 716 (2013)

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Cosmetic formulators are constantly challenged to develop products for daily use, and mascaras in particular are one of the most researched (and scrutinized) products a woman can purchase. Scientists must go to great lengths to ensure this miracle product delivers on the eyelash benefits it advertises. Further, formulating mascara is a niche expertise. On a scale of difficulty, it ranks high: it is messy, time-consuming and has the most dependent relationship with its package, compared with other cosmetics.

Formulators of other color products, such as hot pour or foundations, know all too well that mascara formulas fall into a category of their own, and have their own set of concerns. Achieving proper viscosity, appropriate drying time, pigment dispersion and wear capabilities are just a few. Maintaining stability and uniformity over time are especially important, too, since they affect the product’s dispensing properties. Mascaras also must be made to resist flaking or clumping upon drydown.

Therefore, thorough knowledge of each raw material will help the scientist balance the formula to obtain the desired results. Additionally, processing and filling experience will assist in making decisions in the lab—and all must be built around the brush and package. Taking one mascara formula and filling it in another’s package gives rise to an entirely different product. This article discusses these unique concerns in mascara formulation.

Mascara Use

Mascara benefits include making the eye lashes thicker, longer and darker, along with adding curve to lash tips. It is one of the oldest- known forms of color cosmetics; a simplified form of lead sulfite, malachite and charcoal soot was used in both ancient Egypt and Greece. In the mid 1900s, mascara evolved as a pressed product that was applied via a brush.

Mascara really broke into the mainstream with the revolution of applicators, such as the wired rod and brush. Applicators are still being modified to provide the most luxurious, long-wearing mascara to the consumer. As noted, formulators must therefore be certain that the product performs to its potential in conjunction with its brush and package.

Product Forms

Mascara products generally fall into one of two categories: anhydrous or emulsion. Both contain the same basic components of pigments, oils, waxes and preservatives. Anhydrous formulations are used in waterproof systems, and have good long-wearing capabilities. Due to their hydrophobic components, however, such products are more difficult for the consumer to remove, and solvent-based cleansers are often necessary. This also is true for cleaning laboratory and production equipment.

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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.

Biography: Angle D. Camacho

Angle D. Camacho graduated from the University of Matanzas in 1993 as a chemical engineer. He has been member of the SCC since 1999, and has more than 15 years of experience in the cosmetics industry. Angle established Bayport Laboratories in 2010. This Houston-based facility specializes in researching, developing and manufacturing color cosmetics and skin and hair care products.

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