Measuring and Pre-selecting Functional Filler Pigments

May 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: Miriam Becker, Christoph Schmidt, PhD, Veronika Hochstein and Xenia Petsitis, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
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Title: Measuring and Pre-selecting Functional Filler Pigments
soft focusx functional filler pigmentx high definitionx anti-agingx makeupx
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Keywords: soft focus | functional filler pigment | high definition | anti-aging | makeup

Abstract: Functional filler pigments play an important role in adjusting optical properties such as transparency and soft focus effects in cosmetics. However, their suitability for specific formulas is not apparent until time-consuming tests using many different fillers have been conducted. Therefore, a new method to predetermine the soft focus effects of functional filler pigments is described here.

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M Becker, C Schmidt, V Hochstein and X Petsitis, Measuring and Pre-selecting Functional Filler Pigments, Cosm & Toil 127(5) 390-396 (May 2012)

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Competition in the cosmetics market is fierce with companies striving to stand out from the crowd to turn “one-time” customers into dedicated, loyal followers of their brands. In this environment, cosmetic products must offer consumers more than great colors, appealing ads and an attractive appearance—they must create a positive product experience. To achieve these ambitious goals, formulas need to provide additional benefits including superior application properties and optical effects to offer consumers immediate satisfaction.

Functional filler pigments are used in an array of cosmetic products to adjust key sensorial and optical properties and affect the application behavior of color and care formulations including mascara, lipstick, lotions, creams, shower gels, hair gels, eye liner, foundations, soaps, pressed and loose powders, powder-to-cream products and nail lacquers. While color pigments, colorants, dyes and perfumes lend body and character to cosmetics, functional filler pigments fine-tune subtle properties such as viscosity, hardness, pay-off, volume, skin feel, transparency and soft focus effects—which are of decisive importance for the haptic properties of a cosmetic product and thus for consumer acceptance.

Since these functional ingredients do not, as a rule, determine the predominant characteristics of cosmetics like color or odor, they are usually odorless, white powders with pleasant skin feel and good spreading behavior in typical cosmetic media including water, oil, waxes or nail lacquer bases. Hence, a vast number of fillers are available, and almost all of them are white powders with a specific skin feel. Up to now, no reliable physical method has been available to characterize the optical properties of functional filler pigments. In addition, haptic tests by panelists are highly subjective.

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Table 1. Key performance indicators of four different functional filler pigments

Table 1. Key performance indicators of four different functional filler pigments

To create a measurable value for these properties as well as for the soft focus effect, two key performance indicators were identified. Termed Lw and Lg, these indicators are extracted from the measurements described, as shown here.

Figure 1. Experimental assembly of the soft focus measurements

Figure 1. Experimental assembly of the soft focus measurements

While the illumination angle is fixed at 45 degrees relative to the plane of the draw-down card, measurements are taken at various angles across the half sphere, above the measured point on the card.

Figure 2. Reflection pattern of a pure nitrocellulose lacquer on black background

Figure 2. Reflection pattern of a pure nitrocellulose lacquer on black background

Pure nitrocellulose lacquer has high brightness in the specular direction due to the smooth surface of the lacquer. This brightness drops instantly when leaving the specular viewing conditions as the lacquer is very transparent and the dark draw-down card dominates all viewing directions of the specular angle.

Figure 3. Goniometric brightness curve of the mica-only filler sample

Figure 3. Goniometric brightness curve of the mica-only filler sample

Shown here is the goniometric brightness curve over a draw-down card coated with nitrocellulose lacquer loaded with a functional filler pigment that consists of mica obtained from the dynamic drying technologya.

Figure 4. Reflection pattern of titanium dioxide, mica, silica and alumina filler pigment

Figure 4. Reflection pattern of titanium dioxide, mica, silica and alumina filler pigment

Another functional filler pigment consisting of titanium dioxide, mica, silica and aluminab has stronger scattering power than the mica, therefore the L* values are much higher under all angles while there is still a distinct brightness in the specular direction.

Figure 5. Reflection pattern of mica and titanium dioxide filler

Figure 5. Reflection pattern of mica and titanium dioxide filler

The reflection pattern of an alternative functional filler pigment consisting of mica and titanium dioxidec has even stronger scattering power than the aforementioned filler pigmentb; therefore, increased L* values are observed under all angles with this mica and titanium dioxide filler pigment.

Figure 6. Graphic image of the whiteness

Figure 6. Graphic image of the whiteness

Graphic image of the whiteness, Lw, and definitions of both the Lw and Lg values as well as the SFF of the mica and titanium dioxide fillerc

Figure 7. Soft focus performance of sodium potassium aluminum silicate, titanium dioxide and silica pigment

Figure 7. Soft focus performance of sodium potassium aluminum silicate, titanium dioxide and silica pigment

Soft focus key performance indicators of filler pigment consisting of sodium potassium aluminum silicate, titanium dioxide and silicad; LDP White = moderate transparency combined with a high SFF

Footnotes [Petsitis 127(5)]

a RonaFlair Mica M (INCI: Mica),
b RonaFlair Softshade (INCI: Titanium Dioxide (and) Mica (and) Silica (and) Alumina),
c RonaFlair Extender W (INCI: Mica (and) Titanium Dioxide), and
d RonaFlair LDP White (INCI: Sodium Potassium Aluminum Silicate (and) Titanium Dioxide (and) Silica) are products of Merck KGaA/EMD Millipore Corp.

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