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Patent Pick: Giving Mascara Mishaps the Slip

Contact Author Rachel Grabenhofer
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Mascaras typically rely on wax to provide body and volume to lashes. However, according to L'Oréal inventors, the tackiness of wax leads to clumping, uneven application, lash dryness, smudging, flaking and removal difficulty. Its tacky texture also limits the ability to layer mascara (buildability) and smooth it out (playtime).

On the flip side, when wax is eliminated from mascaras, they lose desirable properties and tend to be runny. And the addition of oils to traditional wax-containing mascaras, whether anhydrous or water-containing, can negatively impact the wear of the formula, causing smudging.

Thus, there remains a need for improved water-containing mascaras that are long-wearing, easy to remove, and flake- and smudge-resistant. This was the focus of a new patent application.

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Compositions containing film-forming particle dispersions and high levels of plant oil
U.S. Patent Application 20170189322
Publication date: July 6, 2017 
Assignee: L'Oréal

This invention relates to a formula comprising a dispersion of film-forming particles in the aqueous phase and high levels of plant oil. Said composition has good cosmetic properties such as long wear, easy removal, and low flaking and/or smudging properties.

Specifically, the formula comprises at least one polar and one non-polar plant oil. The composition is also free of wax and further comprises at least one non-wax structuring agent.

Here, polar refers to an oil containing at least one fatty acid ester of glycerol having at least one hydroxyl group (OH); a suitable example is castor oil. Said oil is generally present in the formula at levels between 0.1% and 20%.

Non-polar refers to a plant oil containing at least one fatty acid ester of glycerol that does not have at least one OH group; a suitable example is camellia or argan oil. Preferably, the non-polar plant oil is present at levels generally ranging from ~0.075% to ~15%. 

According to the inventors, it is believed that adding high levels of polar plant oil such as castor oil enables more total oil to be added to the composition without adversely affecting the cosmetic properties. This is due to the presence of a C12 hydroxyl group in the castor oil.

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