Emollients with Activity for Sun Care Applications

Certain plant oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important to the skin, but often unstable in skin care formulations where they oxidize. These oils also contain tocopherols and phytosterols that have antioxidative and anti-infl ammatory activities in the skin. This article presents a proprietary process that yields a stable plant oil liquid emollient with protective effects for use in sun care products.

A Stabilized Canola Oil Plant oils are excellent emollients with good skin compatibility and nice skin feel if formulated properly in both emulsions and anhydrous systems. Many liquid plant oils, such as sunfl ower seed oil, soybean oil and canola oil, are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids that are of great importance for the well-being of the skin. A defi ciency of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (also termed essential fatty acids) leads to dry skin, itching and possibly scaling, especially if the defi ciency in essential fatty acids is accompanied by a lack of vitamin E. The drawback of polyunsaturated ingredients is their high sensitivity against oxidation; many of the plant oils have limited shelf life when used in skin care formulations.

However, the liquid plant oils also are good sources for tocopherols (vitamin E) and phytosterols, components that have high bioactivity and functionality in skin care. By careful processing, the natural levels of these minor lipids can be maintained during the purifi cation process and even increased to make emollients with better stability and skin functionality.

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