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Multi-Emulsion in cosmetics

Multi-Emulsion multiple emulsions

Multiple emulsions (W/O/W and O/W/O) are considered to be an ideal cosmetic system that can simultaneously contain multiple active ingredients, is gentle to the skin, and is a dispersion system that is both functional and cosmetic.

The unique “three-phase, two-membrane” structure of multiple emulsions makes it possible to simultaneously encapsulate active ingredients of different natures and efficacies, while at the same time isolating, protecting, slowing down the release of, and masking the odor and color of the encapsulated ingredients, etc. However, due to the inherent complexity of multiple emulsions, they have not been widely used.

What are multiple emulsions

Multi-Emulsion
Multi-Emulsion

Multiple emulsion, also known as composite emulsion, referred to as compound emulsion, is an emulsion dispersed in another continuous phase formed by the formation of multi-layer emulsion, generally are highly dispersed, particle size of the multi-phase system, there are a variety of types, to the water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W), water-in-oil-in-water-in-water (O/W/O) the 2 most common types.

W/O/W type: W/O emulsion is dispersed in another continuous water phase formed by the system. Due to the special structure of multiple emulsions, after the addition of active ingredients in the aqueous phase, the active ingredients need to pass through two interfaces to be released, which can slow down the release of the active ingredients and prolong the action time of the active ingredients.

O/W/O type: O/W emulsion is dispersed in another continuous oil phase formed by the system. As a system in which both the outer and inner phases are oils and fats, the system can be divided into three immiscible regions (oil phase/water phase/oil phase) due to the existence of O/W and W/O double interfacial membranes, thus realizing the encapsulation and slow release of oil-soluble active ingredients.

Preparation of multiple emulsions

The main methods for the preparation of multiple emulsions are one-step emulsification, two-step emulsification, membrane emulsification, and microfluidic control preparation, etc. The following is a sharing of the two-step production method:

W/O/W emulsion: The first step is to prepare W/O emulsion with lipophilic emulsifier, and then add this emulsion dropwise to the aqueous phase containing hydrophilic emulsifier to produce W/O/W multiple emulsion.

O/W/O emulsion: the inner oil phase, water phase and outer oil phase were heated respectively; the inner oil phase was added while stirring the water phase, and the initial emulsion was ultrasonicated to form an O/W emulsion; then, the O/W emulsion was added to the outer oil phase and mixed and cooled to room temperature, and the O/W/O multi-structured emulsion was prepared.

Multiple Emulsion Influencing Factors

Amount of emulsifier

Emulsifier is an important factor to maintain the stability of emulsion, especially for multiple emulsions; some studies show that too low or too high W/O emulsifier content is not conducive to the formation of multiple structures in the system; the higher the content of O/W emulsifier, the easier it is to form stable multiple emulsions. The stability of multi-structured emulsions is directly related to the amount of emulsifier used, and the effects of the amount of internal and external phase emulsifiers on the structure and stability of multi-structured emulsions vary slightly depending on the system.

Additives

Electrolytes (such as sodium chloride, glucose, acetic acid, etc.) are introduced into the aqueous phase of multiple emulsions, which can regulate the osmotic pressure between the inner and outer aqueous phases so as to reach equilibrium. The imbalance between the osmotic pressure of the inner and outer aqueous phases will cause contraction or swelling of the droplets, which is one of the main reasons for the instability of W/O/W emulsions.

Preparation process

During the preparation of multiple emulsions by the two-step emulsification method, the emulsification intensity, homogenization time, and emulsification temperature of each stage may affect the formation of multiple emulsions and their stability to a certain extent;

Different stirring speeds may affect the size and structure of the prepared particles, and the droplet size is also an important factor affecting the stability of the multiple structure emulsion; the temperature has a greater impact on the formation of multiple structures, mainly including the emulsification temperature during the preparation process and the storage temperature of the system at a later stage.

Application of multiple emulsions in cosmetics

Improvement of skin feeling experience

Chemical sunscreens with high SPF values are greasy and do not feel good in summer. Water-in-oil systems have poor skin feel and sunscreen penetration problems, while oil-in-water systems are difficult to waterproof. The use of multiple emulsions in the development of sunscreens not only reduces the irritation of sunscreens on the skin, but also avoids the unpleasant skin feel associated with traditional water-in-oil systems.

Multiple Protection and Slow Release of Active Ingredients

After multiple emulsions encapsulate the actives, the actives in the inner phase need to pass through two membranes to be released, so multiple emulsions have a good protection and slow release effect on the actives.

Product Examples

Blank *Small Black Umbrella

AQUA2AQUA multi-emulsion technology is used to create a super light skin feel that is non-staining and non-stuffy on the face, and sodium hyaluronate and soothing ingredients are used to create a “watery skin feel without the burden”.

*Disclaimer: The content contained in this article comes from the Internet, WeChat public numbers and other public channels, and we maintain a neutral attitude toward the views expressed in the article. This article is for reference and exchange only. The copyright of the reproduced manuscript belongs to the original author and the institution, and if there is any infringementPlease contact Jetson Chemical for deletion

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