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Comparatively Speaking: Cushion vs. Playtime vs. Hardness
By: Anthony J. O'Lenick Jr., Siltech LLC
Posted: June 21, 2011
Aesthetics is an important part of formulating personal care products. Aesthetics desired by the consumer vary depending upon the application. In products such as lipsticks, consumers look for hard solids, whereas in applications like serums, a soft liquid with talc-like feel is desired.
The aesthetics of a formulation largely depend upon hardness, playtime and cushion, and it is the responsibility of the formulator to tailor these attributes for the end product.
The terms cushion and playtime are commonly used to describe the feel of ingredients and formulations on the skin. If one places a compound or formulation on the index finger and rubs it on the forearm, both cushion and playtime can be evaluated.
Cushion refers to the amount of compound that persists between the finger and forearm. The greater the distance between the finger and the forearm, the greater the cushion. Honey has a great cushion because one can feel a large amount of material between their finger and forearm, whereas water has little to no cushion because there is little distance between finger and forearm.
Playtime refers to the length of time cushion persists. If the cushion is felt for a long period of time, the playtime is long. If the cushion collapses rapidly, the playtime is said to be short.