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Patent Pick: Milder Yet Surfactant-ier?

October 12, 2016 | Contact Author | By: Rachel Grabenhofer
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Keywords: Unilever | surfactant | benefit | skin | hair | emollient | mildness

Abstract: Something doesn't add up here. How can Unilever researchers create milder products using higher amounts of surfactant? Read about it in this patent.

As formulators in the industry know, compositions providing both akin care and cleansing benefits exist. In order to achieve this balance, high levels (> 30% w/w) of emollient oils typically are used. Accordingly, there is a need for mild surfactant systems that effectively deposit skin benefit ingredients without using high levels of them.

That's where Unilever inventors come in. According to their patent, the researchers have surprisingly discovered that the overall level of surfactant can be increased, relative to different systems, while also increasing mildness.

Personal cleanser with mild surfactant systems
European Patent EP2552390 
Publication date: Oct. 12, 2016
Assignee: Unilever

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As formulators in the industry know, compositions providing both skin care and cleansing benefits exist. In order to achieve this balance, high levels (> 30% w/w) of emollient oils typically are used. Accordingly, there is a need for mild surfactant systems that effectively deposit skin benefit ingredients without using high levels of them.

That's where Unilever inventors come in. According to their patent, the researchers have surprisingly discovered that the overall level of surfactant can be increased, relative to different systems, while also increasing mildness.

Personal cleanser with mild surfactant systems
European Patent EP2552390
Publication date: Oct. 12, 2016
Assignee: Unilever

A noted, this invention relates to novel, super mild surfactant compositions for use in personal care cleansers such as body washes and shampoos.In particular, they comprise defined alkanoyl compounds, defined fatty acyl isethionate surfactant and an optional skin or hair benefit ingredient. This combination provides mildness comparable or superior to those using high amounts emollient oils.

The inventors explain how using these surfactant systems with skin or hair benefit agents, particularly in the form of flocs upon dilution, makes it possible to achieve significant mildness, as defined in standard patch testing while using benefit ingredients, e.g., petrolatum or silicone, at levels of 30% or less. Clinical benefits were found to equal or surpass products including 40% or more petrolatum.