Gazing into the sensory kaleidoscope with Evonik

A map detailing the sensorial benefits of various emulsifiers from Evonik

Evonik’s personal care business line has developed a new interactive tool for formulating skin care products with specific sensory properties. The company’s sensory kaleidoscope sets out to bring visibility to the skin feel concept.

The skin feel of a cosmetics formulation is one of the main factors influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions and their loyalty to care products. Using the format of a sensory map, this new tool reflects the effect of formulations with different emulsifiers on skin feel. Based on a broad product portfolio, experience in application technology, expertise in sensory evaluation, and statistical analysis, the sensory kaleidoscope enables the development of formulations with the desired skin feel to turn current sensory trends directly into new products.

The sensory panel

The development of this tool was accomplished through a descriptive in-house panel, which analysed the sensory properties of various formulations with a range of emulsifiers. The trained panelists evaluated over 130 formulations for their skin feel, when applying the emulsions and five minutes after absorption.

The following sensory parameters were evaluated:

Visualisation of complex data

The use of statistical methods and the resulting concentration on two factors made it possible to display a broad set of data in a simple, two-dimensional coordinate system. The sensory kaleidoscope demonstrates the wide range of sensory effects that can be achieved with state-of-the-art emulsifiers. Customers can select desired sensory areas and analyse them from different perspectives.

Focus on emulsifiers

A colour coded key of the various emulsifiers from Evonik which corresponds with the sensory mapThe initial focus of the tool is on globally applicable oil-in-water (O/W) and water-in-oil (W/O) emulsifiers. The following three examples of O/W emulsifiers from Evonik influence the skin feel of a cosmetics formulation in unique ways. For instance, using the organo-modified silicone emulsifier Abil Care XL 80 leads to the enhanced silkiness of a formulation, especially after absorption. The cationic emulsifier Varisoft TA 100 provides a dry, powdery and caring after feel. With the sugar-based emulsifier Tego Care CG 90 formulating very low-viscous O/W emulsions is made possible, resulting in an ultra-light skin feel. The polyglyceryl-based natural emulsifier Isolan GPS is an example for a W/O emulsifier that influences the skin feel of cosmetics allowing formulators to develop lotions with a low oil phase, giving the user a light and pleasantly dry skin feel.

A direct route for development

The types of applications used for the development of the tool range from light sprays to rich creams. The sensory kaleidoscope displays different options for expanding the sensory spectrum by changing certain formulation components. It visualises how they affect skin feel in various ways, one example being a change in the oil phase or the viscosity. Therefore, the tool facilitates the development of new products with specific sensory properties by making the process more direct, interactive, and easier.


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