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Your Sunny guide to Skincare formulation textures

You only have to look up #texturetuesday on Instagram to see the obsession of skincare textures in the skincare community. For cosmetic formulators there is a constant battle between product efficacy & meeting the sensory needs for consumer likeability.

While the texture tends to play a big role in the likeability of the product, the texture is a result of the composition of filler ingredients made up of mainly the non-active part of the skincare product.

The downsides of impressive textures

In some cases, but not all, to achieve the impressiveness of a #texturetuesday worthy post on instagram, these products are bolstered and watered down with filler ingredients. These less active ingredients in skincare can also mean they are much more cost effective to produce.  This is the reason why you may notice a difference in feeling between some Clinical Skincare products found at Skin Clinics & Beauty Salons compared to skincare brands found in department stores & supermarkets.

Some popular filler ingredients are also known to be linked to health concerns such as

  • PEGs (emollients, thickeners, solvents, and as a penetration enhancer)
  • Ethanolamine compounds (emulsifiers to blend oil + water)

How can a formulator or brand achieve a likeable texture without compromising efficacy & brand ethics?

A great knowledge of emulsion technology is required by the cosmetic formulator.

Texture is characterized by the

  1. visual properties
  2. rheological properties
  3. how the skin feels during and after application

To obtain the correct feel and viscosity the formulator must find the correct combination of emulsifiers, consistency factors, emollients and other cosmetic ingredients.

Textures are cool, but what does your skin actually need?

Skincare reviews are filled with personal opinions of whether an individual likes the product or not but has anyone asked their skin? If your skin could answer, what would it say?

Just like your body being refuelled by highly nutritious food I believe your skin would respond the same way. Think of your skincare like food for the skin. I believe if your skin could answer you back it would say it wouldn’t be concerned with the texture but the ability to refuel what it is lacking in its system. Biologically I don’t think there would be much difference in what skin actually needs between all individuals.

Not all skincare products are made equally

  • Are the delivery systems & molecular weight sufficient for absorption at the correct level of the epidermal layers?
  • Are the ingredients & actives bio mimetic or skin identical allowing them to actually work synergistically with your skin?
  • Are the % of actives sufficient to benefit?
  • Are there ingredients that your skin might not like and somehow reject?

What are the key aspects of skin loving skincare?

As a facialist who has performed thousands of facials & orchestrated many homecare routines I have had the privilege to observe how skin responds both instantly & over the long term. Here are my findings on what I believe your skin needs

  • Uncomplicated formulations & routines.
  • Hydration / water is key to all skin types & concerns.
  • Functional dose of actives (A & C) for efficacy.
  • Cleaner formulae giving your skin & body less work to do by not having to eliminate or store unusable substances.
  • Protection from UVR, bluelight & environmental stressors.
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