Formulating Lip Gloss

Lip gloss formulation intersect two multidimensional methods: coloration cosmetics, which embody pigments, pearls, waxes and high-shine oil; and lip balm, with soothing, restoring and emollient elements. As such, lip glosses face most of the identical challenges as these methods. All are used on the identical web site, and so require the simple and exact utility of a comparatively thick layer of product. In relation, they have to counteract capillary forces across the lips that drive the product into wrinkles. Moreover, they have to take the potential for ingestion into consideration, and supply a optimistic person expertise by imparting a very good odor and nice style. Many of those features will be mixed into one aim: lips which can be pleasantly enhanced.

Sensorially, most lip glosses require excessive shine and luster results, particular rheological properties throughout utility, long-term use, and excessive plasticity and elasticity. They have to additionally not be cheesy. Bodily, lip glosses normally are semi-fluid, honey-thick merchandise. For ease of utility, they’re crammed in small bottles and utilized utilizing both small brush or flock applicators, or a ball roll-on. In instances the place their viscosity at room temperature is excessive sufficient, they are often forged right into a metallic or plastic container and utilized utilizing a small spatula, sponge applicator or the fingertips. Within the current article, these main features of formulating lip glosses are mentioned, and examples are given.

System Traits

Of all of the bodily parameters of a lip gloss formulation, a very powerful is its thixotropic habits. The product must be relevant to the lips with easy actions, and circulation simply underneath the stress of the applicator or when lips are pressed collectively; keep in mind that lips have a mean temperature of 36-37°C. The layer utilized must be thick sufficient to visually equalize the floor of the lips, leveling wrinkles and roughness to cover and never improve them. For these causes, the formulation viscosity measured at a low shear charge must be very excessive, to keep away from any undesirable product circulation from the lips to the encircling pores and skin. In different phrases, a thick, thixotropic fluid must be obtained.

Log in or Subscribe for FREE to learn the complete story.

One should additionally take note of that lips transfer, and are touched and stretched repeatedly throughout the day. Consequently, the utilized movie must be elastic sufficient to observe all lip actions with none stiffness or stickiness. Additional, the utilized movie ought to go away a single clean line throughout utility, with no further fluid elements showing as strips alongside both facet of the utilized hint. The comparatively excessive viscosity at a low shear charge additionally is critical to keep up the steadiness of the pearls and pigments suspended within the fluid. Lip glosses usually include low ranges of pigment, if in any respect, for the reason that focus is on gloss fairly than coloration depth. Nonetheless, when pigments and pearls are current, they need to not settle; settling is normally not an issue for merchandise crammed in metallic gaskets or glass pots since these are virtually strong at room temperature.

Current research1 have calculated that a mean 15-µm layer of lip balm stays on the lips for about 2.5 hr. Throughout this era, water doesn’t evaporate from the pores and skin and the product works as a sealant, rising the moisture content material in lips. Lips would not have a sexy layer however as a substitute are made from a pseudo-mucosa construction, so water evaporation is normally very excessive—primarily when the encircling air is chilly and dry. Nonetheless, when the protecting layer disappears, water is once more misplaced, and rapidly. This explains the necessity to reapply lip protectants.

An instance lip gloss is proven in System 1.2 Right here, an plentiful quantity of cumbersome, lustrous and viscous ester is employed, which is thinned barely by the steady oil isostearyl alcohol. Like different branched chain compounds, this oil has a excessive refractive index. The viscous ester and oil mixture is supported by the waxy triglyceride, whereas luster is supplied by the mix of two pearls. Low quantities of lake pigments present some pink coloration, which is illuminated by the pearls, and stabilizing antioxidants full the formulation. Taste supplies style for sensory acceptance. The equilibrium between the fluid oil, thick oil and wax determines the ultimate circulation traits.

Pigments and Pearls

Pigments, coated or uncoated, can be utilized in variable quantities in lip glosses. They typically are employed at low ranges to keep up the clear or semitransparent look of a gloss, particularly if being utilized over lipstick. In some instances, stains might also be added to the gloss for lasting coloration efficiency, whereas coloration could also be utterly omitted in others to impart solely luster to the lips.

Many sorts of mineral and artificial pearls are utilized in lip glosses. The distinction between them is delicate. Mineral pearls use the mineral mica, whereas artificial pearls use synthetically ready silicates with the identical platelet construction as mica. The one pure pearl is guanine, which isn’t utilized in lip gloss. Being clear, the formulation will be enhanced by artificial pearls, which impart brilliance; glitters are hardly ever used as a result of they’re simply swallowed. As well as, totally different pearl sizes allow frost-like, pearlescent, icy and/or pearlescent results.

As with most make-up, pigments are pre-milled right into a fluid polar oil—within the case of lip gloss, isostearyl alcohol—whereas the waxes and oils are blended by sluggish mixing and heated to 70°C till full dissolution. Dispersed pigments and pearls are successively added and blended. The formulation is then filtered with a metallic sieve to eradicate any overseas supplies, analyzed and crammed into the ultimate bottles. The one problem on this in any other case easy course of is the necessity for good and reproducible side-milling of the pigments. This operation requires an satisfactory wet-milling system and is crucial for color-matching copy in numerous batches.

Tackifiers and Thickeners

As a result of desired properties, most lip glosses are anhydrous; and since lips would not have sweat glands, occlusion isn’t an issue. As described beforehand, lip gloss formulation basically are based mostly on a number of viscous oils having a really excessive refraction index. To acquire the required circulation traits, together with brake circulation, i.e., stopping circulation to eradicate spreading after utility ends, these oils have to be correctly thickened. One class of elements to help on this space is tackifiers, which might additionally present excessive luster to the lips. Nonetheless, if the ensuing circulation after their addition isn’t satisfactory, extra oil thickeners will be added.

Moreover the talked about properties, oil thickeners impart transfer-resistance, pores and skin adhesion, a thick and non-shear thinning utility layer and resilience to formulation, together with quantity to the lips. They’re chosen on the premise of their gloss, transparency, circulation habits, polarity, residual really feel and, in fact, value. Their efficiency relies on the character of the oil mix and components, the quantity used and the temperature throughout utility or storage situations.

As compared with the number of elements that thicken aqueous phases, the quantity to thicken oil phases is meager. These which can be out there embody organically modified smectic clays; smoked silica with a particular 200 m2/g floor space; β-cyclodextrin derivatives, e.g., palmitate; lengthy chain fatty alcohols; and waxes. Notice that metallic soaps akin to magnesium stearate should not used as a result of they have a tendency to lower the gloss impact. Polyethylene polymers or copolymers akin to ethylene/propylene/styrene copolymera and butylene/ethylene styrene copolymer (and) isopropyl palmitatea additionally can be utilized. Swollen silicone gums having a 60-1,000 x 103 MW are helpful in silicone-inspired formulae, as they supply low floor pressure, excessive spreading and fuel permeability, and emollient results, along with luster. Polyglycerin-10 behenate/eicosadioate is one other environment friendly thickener, and rosin derivatives akin to methyl hydrogenated rosinate are glorious tack suppliers—though in some instances, they aren’t well-tolerated by the pores and skin.

Figuring out the use ranges for thickeners requires balancing the low viscosity required for manufacturing at medium-high temperatures, with the viscosity of the chilly formulation within the last bottle; additionally, the viscosity at room temperature, for applicable circulation throughout utility onto the lips, with the viscosity of the layer on the lips at temperatures ~36°C, as famous. For this complicated of causes, formulae often embody two sorts of thickeners/tackifiers to adequately cowl this vary of temperatures. For example (see System 2),3 waxes are good thickeners at room temperature whereas their results fade at excessive temperatures. Including smoked silica helps to guard the viscosity at increased temperatures. Typically, such blends are environment friendly. Using wax modified with added emulsifying energy additionally improves the adhesion of the movie to the lips, because it improves wetting by the formulation. It is a good place to begin for trial-and-error in altering the oil mix, discovering the precise wax, including different appropriate thickener methods, or introducing soothing lively elements.

One other instance, proven in System 3,4 reiterates the significance of branched chain hydrocarbons for high-gloss methods. Totally different molecular weights of the poly-isobutenes present optimized circulation efficiency. The mineral oil could possibly be substituted with branched chain, shiny and hulking esters akin to pentylene glycol neopentanoate, tri-isodecyl trimellitate and octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, though these are dearer. Unique oils akin to macadamia seed additionally may improve the emollient really feel and enhance lip safety.

Actives and Different Components

Past the fundamentals, different ingredient varieties typically are added to lip glosses. UV filters, for one, are included as a result of transparency of glosses, which usually affords poor solar safety. System 4 supplies a very good instance of this utility.5 In conventional formulae, antibacterial brokers additionally have been added; though oils should not vulnerable to contamination by micro organism. Additionally, preservatives don’t shield towards spores, and swallowing preservatives is unsafe and will result in allergy symptoms. Subsequently, avoiding using preservatives is really helpful in anhydrous methods. In distinction, a very good antioxidant system is strictly needed, as oils dissolve discrete quantities of oxygen, the plastic partitions of containers have a discrete permeability to oxygen, and flavors are oxygen-sensitive. Particularly when utilizing unsaturated oils, antioxidants are obligatory. Different desired advantages in lip gloss embody moisturization and lip-plumping. This latter impact will be bodily carried out by the movie on the lips, though further moisture organizers akin to ceramides or poly-unsaturated lipids will be added. For ingredient labeling’s sake, the so-called “non-additives” are essential, and gluten-free is a rising idea; though ingestion isn’t a difficulty with different product varieties, so making this declare seems unwarranted. Moreover, within the case of lip merchandise, there’s a actual risk of ingestion, and use of gluten derivatives is probably dangerous for coeliac people.6

Perfumes and Taste

Within the case of lip gloss, perfumes must be known as taste since their results on the sense of odor are additionally perceived within the mouth. Fruity notes, e.g., strawberry, in addition to mint usually are most popular. The cooling sensation given by mint specifically induces an elevated blood circulation to the lips, including a plumping impact. Notice that since glosses are usually produced at excessive temperatures, the perfumes used must be particularly designed for this utility. Additionally, their addition ought to happen after cooling to 50°C.

Purposeful Components

Purposeful components added to lip gloss usually embody tocopherol and tocotrienols, aloe vera extract and polyunsaturated vegetal oils akin to these proven in System 5. This formulation contains protecting elements and a non-oily emollient that types an environment friendly, lasting movie.

Two fashionable examples7 embody developments in gloss utilizing esters (see System 6) and oils (see System 7). Within the first instance, propoxylated castor oil takes the place of conventional castor oil. This shiny ldl cholesterol ester provides excessive gloss, along with the branched chain esters. Viscosity is supplied by the modified silica gel. Pigments are milled within the polar oil by a roll mill and heated at 90°C, then silica dimethyl silylate is added. Lastly, earlier than cooling, taste is added. It’s evident on this formulation that the purpose was to extend the obvious dimension of the lips by the inclusion of an lively peptide.

On this second instance,8 the oils must be heated to ~90°C till homogeneity. The pearl pigments are then blended in, and the product is discharged after cooling. This formulation demonstrates the significance of cumbersome, sensible esters and their clever mixing to attain the precise steadiness in a product. Lastly, one should not neglect that an applicator-mediated product requires an appropriate applicator. A brand new sponge applicator that’s activated by turning the container9 is among the more moderen launches on this progressive discipline.


  1. with/1813/28296 (Accessed Dec 22, 2014)
  2. Lip Gloss formulation, modified from Croda Inc, Cos &Toil 101 (4)115 (1986)
  3. Lip Gloss formulation, Uniqema, Cosm &Toil 108 (6)75 (1993)
  4. Modified from Private Care Journal 3 (Nov 2004)
  5. Lip Gloss with Sunscreen formulation, modified from Mearl, Cosm &Toil 105(12) 132 (1990)
  6. material/view/print/979940 (Accessed Dec 12, 2014)
  7. Modified from Cosm &Toil 126(5) 384 (2011)
  8. Modified from SCS Formulate Program and Exhibition Catalog 62 (2011)
  9. Miracle Pores and skin Transformer Lips Rewind, (Dec 12, 2014)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top