Color cosmetics probably generate more emotional reaction than most other personal care products because the focus is on enhancing one’s look. Rheology plays an important role in the formulation of these products by ensuring pigment suspension stability (uniformity), look and application feel. Color cosmetics span a range of products to include nail lacquers, foundation & consealers, lip stick, mascara and press powders. Clay is used in all of these applications.
Because most color cosmetics involve an anhydrous continuous phase, the clay must be surface treated to allow for dispersion in non-water systems. This is accomplished by ion exchange with a surfactant that has an organic component miscible in the target anhydrous phase. Rather than limit the formulator to a single clay that might not be optimal for all oil phases (ranging from polar esters used in nail lacquer to non-polar oils like silicone), we at SCP have developed several clay products to ensure efficiency in use. Polar oils and solvent (such as acetates used in nail lacquers) require an organoclay with a polar or aromatic surfactant for best compatibility and therefore efficiency. The non-polar oils & solvents (silicones and isododecane) require an aliphatic surfactant tail to provide the best compatibility and efficiency.
As with clay dispersion in water, organoclay dispersion in anhydrous systems requires high shear mixing but also the inclusion of a so called “polar activator”. The equipment to impart the necessary shear on the bench or manufacturing location is not always available to the formulator. As a convenience and to ensure optimal dispersion of the clay, we offer a range of clay based gel concentrates. In this case, the clay is already dispersed and ready for use in a cold or low shear process. A broad range of oil options are available, as well as the ability to create customer specific products to include a blend of oils.
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