Thursday, October 29, 2020Cosmetic trends

Solid cosmetics: manufacturing processes and challenges for the formulator

Cosmétique solide : les procédés de fabrication et les défis du formulateur

Cosmetic products in solid form are more than a fashion, they are a market reality. As a reminder, in four years, the market for solid cosmetics has increased by almost 50 % in the world. The Labosphere laboratory has explored the development of solid foaming galenics according to several processes. Estelle Dehier’s insight into their technical challenges.

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At the top of the list of solid cosmetics, all categories combined, are hygiene products: facial cleansers and shampoos.

Manufacturing processes

To date, there are four manufacturing processes for these types of products.

1. Saponification (cold or hot)

This chemical process, which uses the saponification reaction between an ester of fatty acids (oils, butters) and a base (soda, potash), produces a “soap” that cleans and degreases the skin.
• Hot saponification, coupled with an excess of base, accelerates this reaction, allowing the soap to be obtained more quickly. This process has been used for a very long time.
• Cold saponification (or at room temperature) requires several weeks. The reaction takes place in base reduction in order to preserve a maximum of glycerol in the soap obtained. This more recent process complies with a quality charter (drawn up in 2011 by the Soap Institute) setting out manufacturing criteria.

2. Extrusion

This process can require up to six steps to obtain the desired product. The ingredients are placed in a melting pot to be heated. They then pass through rolling mills and are melted down to obtain a “boudin” which is cut and pressed.

3. Compression

The ingredients are melted and …

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