Have you heard the saying “Oil and water don’t mix”? This is a proverb said of things with such different natures that they cannot be combined. It is however not totally true since oil and water can be mixed into an emulsion. In many different industries such as cosmetics, pharma, paints, coatings, household products and many more, professionals mix different oils and water to create the desired performance of a product. They overcome the hurdle of “mixing” oil and water by using emulsifiers, surfactants and stabilizers. So how can MFC contribute?
One of the advantages of cellulosic materials (including nanocellulose and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC)) compared to synthetic materials, is their environmentally friendly profile as well as their biodegradability. This profile is impacted by the number of chemical reactions the product will undergo during the manufacturing process. It would therefore be favorable to obtain desired chemical properties via physical adsorption instead of chemical reactions.
In this blog post, you will find examples on possible effects of surface adsorbed surfactants on cellulosic materials.
In many end products, and specifically in cosmetics, the first thing that attracts the consumer is the packaging format. This implies that the packaging should look good and luxurious as a sign of product performance.There are many possible technical solutions for packaging of cosmetic products: jars, spray bottles, pumpable dispensers. Have you wondered why some come in jars and others in spray bottles?
Have you run into problems with incompatibilities between the surfactant you would like to use and other ingredients in your formulation? This is a common problem since surfactants are quite versatile in charge and chemical structure as well as in functionalities. This could for example lead to undesired interactions with oppositely charged ingredients.
In this blog post I will try to explain why this would not be an issue when you are planning to introduce microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) in your surfactant based system. You will also find a few recommendations on do’s and don’ts when mixing MFC and surfactants.
A unique character of MFC is that it normally comes as a water suspension and at very low concentrations, in some cases as low as 2% of active matter in water. This is a positive feature in the sense that non-dry MFC is readily activated and easy to introduce into various formulations.
Everyday life is full of formulations containing solid particles, pigments, beads or fillers. Depending on the application, the formulations may have a varying amount of solids. Common challenges with high solid content formulations are the settling of heavy particles or the floating of lighter ones. Therefore, it is important to ensure the stability of the solids suspended in a formulation. Especially those with high particle loading such as a coating formulation with matting agents, UV filters and other solids.
Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) has many properties wanted in cosmetic products: good skin feel, desired rheological properties and improved stability of formulations. Moreover, it is a natural raw material, an increasing trend in cosmetics. MFC is made of natural cellulose sources and can be prepared by different processes. Both the source and the process determine the composition of the MFC and possible impurities that the MFC could have. It is, therefore, essential to have good control of both the composition of the material (see also our blog post about the raw materials of MFC) and of the process to prepare it. This is especially true when it is to be used in certain applications. Cosmetic products are an example of applications where the purity of MFC is essential since it affects us, our society and our environment all at once.
Over the last several years consumers have become more and more aware of the environmental impact of cosmetic products. Indeed cosmetic products end up down the drain and in the water system after a shower. The trend today is, therefore, to use natural raw materials to replace synthetic ingredients and reduce the environmental impact.
The challenge for formulators is to find a natural material that performs very well in the different types of cosmetic products. Microfibrillar Cellulose, MFC, an environmentally friendly, sustainable and effective additive, represents a good opportunity to fulfil this requirement. But why is MFC relevant for cosmetics, and where can MFC improve the natural profile of cosmetics and personal care products?