An emulsifier is a surfactant used to mix two immiscible substances, namely water and oil. If water and oil exist in an identical liquid without the emulsifier, they will usually segregate into two different layers. With the addition of an emulsifier, the two substances are able to merge together well to form a stable emulsion texture. Some examples of emulsifiers include polysorbate 80, soy lecithin, monoglycerides, and sodium stearoyl lactylate, etc.
The Typical Types of Emulsifiers
1. Emulsifiers are divided into two types based on their HLB values.
One is the water-in-oil type, which is a lipophilic emulsifier that encapsulates water droplets in oil. W/O emulsifiers are employed to create a fatty feel like night creams and sunscreens. The other type of emulsifier is the oil-in-water type, which is a hydrophilic emulsifier that entraps oil into water droplets.
2. On the basis of the characteristics of the hydrophilic group, emulsifiers can be categorized into three groups.
The first is an anionic emulsifier. Anionic emulsifiers ionize in water to form anionic hydrophilic groups, such as fatty acid soaps and phosphates. Anionic emulsifiers should be used under alkaline or neutral conditions, rather than under acidic conditions. It can also be combined with other anionic or non-ionic emulsifiers.
The second is a cationic emulsifier. Cationic emulsifiers are positively charged and ionize in water to form cationic hydrophilic groups. Cationic emulsifiers are to be used in an acidic environment and should not be coupled with anionic emulsifiers.
Last is the non-ionic emulsifier. Nonionic emulsifiers do not ionize in water. Its hydrophilic groups are various polar groups, such as polyoxyethylene ether and ethylene oxide. Non-ionic emulsifiers are one of the most popular types of emulsifiers in cosmetics because they are less irritating to the skin. Examples of nonionic emulsifiers in cosmetics contain stearic acid and glyceryl stearate, cetyl stearyl alcohol, etc.
Common Emulsifier in Cosmetics
Polysorbate 80 e433 is a viscous, water-soluble yellow liquid that is a skincare ingredient. It is utilized in a wide range of cosmetic and personal care products as a surfactant, solubilizer, emulsifier, and stabilizer. Polysorbate 80 contributes to the production of smooth, easy-to-spread personal care products. As an excellent surfactant, e433 emulsifier plays an instrumental role in cleansers and body washes. This is because they are helpful in the removal of dirt and oil that accumulate on the skin.
As an outstanding emulsifier, polysorbate 80 e433 enables water and oil to mix better together without separating, thus forming a stable emulsion system. Meanwhile, e433 emulsifier can also be implemented in cosmetics as a solubilizer. The presence of polysorbate 80 in skin care products contributes to better solubilization of the essential oils into the raw material formulation, giving the product better consistency, stability, and protection against static electricity. Polysorbate 80 e433 further promotes the capability of rinsing off scrubs and makeup removers, minimizing the amount of residue they cause.
2. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
Sodium Stearoyl Lactate is a derivative of stearic acid and lactyl lactate. It is one of the most commonly used ionic emulsifiers. Emulsifier e481 is an ionic emulsifier that is frequently deployed as an emulsifier, cleanser, and conditioner in skin and hair care products. Emulsifier 481 has superior emulsifying ability which enables it to give cosmetics a smooth, creamy texture. The high concentration of sodium stearoyl lactylate functions as a surfactant, which makes it easier to wash off grease and dirt away from the skin. For this reason, emulsifier e481 is also a popular ingredient in cleansers and shampoos. It stimulates the production of rich lather for better hair and skin cleansing. Furthermore, SSL emulsifier creates a pleasant touch and a favorable experience in cleansing systems and cosmetic lotions. Relevant authorities have certified that sodium lauryl lactylate is safe for use in cosmetics.
3. Glyceryl Stearate and Cetearyl Alcohol
Another commonly used nonionic emulsifier is Glyceryl Stearate, which is a derivative of glycerol and stearic acid from fatty acids. It has remarkable emulsifying and stabilizing properties allowing it to be frequently found in personal care products. Cetearyl Alcohol is a mixture of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol which belongs to a nonionic emulsifier. Adding it to cosmetics will give them a creamy texture.
Emulsifiers in cosmetics are highly significant as they are essential for creating stable and homogeneous formulas. The emulsifiers are broadly applicable in personal care products and cosmetics such as lotions, creams, scrubs, and shampoos. The emulsifier manufacturer chemsino sells a wide range of emulsifier types for you to choose from. If you are curious about emulsifiers, please feel free to consult emulsifier price.