Surfactants and Interfacial Phenomena in Cosmetics and Detergency

May 6, 2003 | Contact Author | By: P. Somasundaran and Lei Zhang, NSF Industrial Industry/University Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants; and Anjing Lou, Sun Chemicals Corp.
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  • Keywords/Abstract

Keywords: surfactants | surface tension | wetting | solubilization | emulsification

Abstract: An understanding of the behavior of surfactants and their interfacial phenomena in cosmetics processes will help formulators design better cosmetics.

Surfactants, one of the major ingredient of cosmetic products, are characterized by their tendency to concentrate at interfaces and to alter the free energy of the interfaces. Through interfacial processes such as wetting, emulsification, solubilization, dispersion and modification of interfacial viscosity and electrical charge, surfactants can mix various ingredients in cosmetics (oil phase, water phase, solids, pigments, dyes, perfumes, enzymes and other additives) into a stable and homogenous system.