Offering radiant results for Color Cosmetic Products


Radiant skin continues to be a reflection of timeless beauty & glamour. The magical words in color cosmetics these days are ‘radiance’ and ‘glow’. Consumers are placing greater emphasis on their skin for a look that illuminates from within and emphasizes ones natural beauty.

Fashion houses like Ports 1961 and Hugo Boss are continuing to showcase radiant makeup looks. During the Fall 2016 shows, runways were adorned with illuminated cheeks and healthy glowing skin.

Effect pigments play a key role in the optical properties of skin’s surface and contribute to skin radiance. Radiant skin continues to be a trend at the forefront of color cosmetics. The formulas are so innovative and beauty leaders are trying to develop the next phase of industry technology for achieving a radiant, glowing complexion.

Enhancing skin radiance through the use of effect pigments*

The terms “radiance” and “brilliance,” as representing the benefits of functional ingredients on skin (i.e. creams, pigments) have not been well defined by the industry. Tapping into the radiance trend, BASF Research and Technology group recently conducted a study to better classify pigments and products using these terms. Further research was conducted on the quantifiable adjustments needed to create radiance, along with the necessary methods to study this. The goal of this study was to provide a clearer definition on the term radiance and how the use of certain effect pigments can play a role in a skin cream to synergistically provide a perceivable benefit to the consumer.

The radiance contribution from formulating several pearlescent effect pigments into a skin cream was modeled using gloss map histograms created from digital photographs of clinical panelists. Intended to screen experimental candidates and to help select the amount of pigment used in formula, CIELab color data from the various pearlescent effect pigments applied to simulated skin tone drawdown cards was collected. Optical microscopy was used to develop a simple coverage model to control for the differences in particle size and density of the effect pigments.

In the subsequent in-vivo study, panelists applied a weighed amount of cream containing various pearlescent effect pigments to the face and high-resolution digital photography images were collected on each panelist for image analysis. Gloss map histograms were developed through the software analysis of grayscale images, which were used to describe the gloss, whiteness, and/or radiance contribution of each pearlescent effect pigment.

The resulting gloss map histograms shared identifiable characteristics useful for statistical analysis and description. This methodology could serve as a novel way to investigate and describe the visual impact and benefit of formulating effect pigments in cosmetic creams intended for application on the skin.



In Vivo clinical study of test creams with effect pigments

Face creams were applied to panelist’s faces in a controlled clinical setting, followed by split- face image acquisition via Visia®-CR (Canfield Scientific, Inc.) Six test creams in total were tested; a placebo cream, and creams formulated with 2.5-5% of products A-E.


Through the use of scientific research and the evaluation of market trends, it’s clear that formulators can achieve radiance claims through a variety of effect pigments and technologies. Cosmetic Chemists will continue to explore new ways to meet this market trend as it continues to be relevant in the global fashion and beauty industries.

*Entire paper published in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Vol. 66, No. 3, 189- 206


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