Cosmetic formulators are constantly challenged to develop products for daily use, and mascaras in particular are one of the most researched (and scrutinized) products a woman can purchase. Scientists must go to great lengths to ensure this miracle product delivers on the eyelash benefits it advertises. Further, formulating mascara is a niche expertise. On a scale of difficulty, it ranks high: it is messy, time-consuming and has the most dependent relationship with its package, compared with other cosmetics.
Formulators of other color products, such as hot pour or foundations, know all too well that mascara formulas fall into a category of their own, and have their own set of concerns. Achieving proper viscosity, appropriate drying time, pigment dispersion and wear capabilities are just a few. Maintaining stability and uniformity over time are especially important, too, since they affect the product’s dispensing properties. Mascaras also must be made to resist flaking or clumping upon drydown.
Therefore, thorough knowledge of each raw material will help the scientist balance the formula to obtain the desired results. Additionally, processing and filling experience will assist in making decisions in the lab—and all must be built around the brush and package. Taking one mascara formula and filling it in another’s package gives rise to an entirely different product. This article discusses these unique concerns in mascara formulation.