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The science of emulsion formulation has, in recent years (15 years is still considered recent to me!), taken great leaps forward as we have begun to increase our understanding of the mechanisms, on the micro level, that are responsible for producing stable emulsions.
We must remember, of course, that all emulsions we cosmetic chemists create (forgetting about spontaneously forming microemulsions) are thermodynamically unstable and will, some day, exhibit signs of emulsion instability. Hopefully, that day will be after the emulsion is sold and used by the consumer.
This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in Cosmetics & Toiletries, but you can purchase the full-text version.