Emollients

Emollients are substances used to give the skin softer and smoother surface properties and to make emulsions softer.

Main characteristics of Emollients

  • ability to optimize product spreading and thus improve how the product feels upon application to the skin
  • capacity to adjust viscosity for a more fluid emulsion.
     

Oil-soluble emollients

  • Oil-soluble emollients can be broken down into the following very basic categories:
    • highly refatting and producing a powerful feeling of richness and protection (example: jojoba oil).
    • less refatting but still producing a powerful feeling of richness and protection (example: caprylic/capric triglycerides)
    • dry and not producing a sensation of an overlying lipid layer (example: ethylhexyl isononanoate)
    • producing virtually no sensation of having applied a lipid (example: isopropyl myristate).
  • As most emollient properties are additive, the sensation produced on the skin can be adjusted by combining various lipids and emollients
     

Water-soluble emollients

Water-soluble emollients have only cosmetic functions in common with lipophilic (oilsoluble) emollients, as they are likewise products that make the skin’s surface softer and smoother. Soft, smooth skin results, in this case, from hydration effects; in other words, the ability of the skin to bind to water is enhanced, thereby improving dry skin, which otherwise appears raw and brittle.

 

Oil-soluble emollients



Water-soluble emollients



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