What is an emulsion?
An emulsion, regardless of the sector for which it is produced, is a heterogeneous mixture between two liquids that do not combine with each other.
In our daily lives, we live with many examples of emulsions in different fields such as food, hygiene, cosmetics and metallurgy, among others.
Most of the emulsions we know are made up of water and oils.
Emulsions in cosmetics
In the cosmetics industry, emulsions are used to create products for different purposes, such as moisturizing, nourishing and other skin care.
We can find emulsions in the form of liquid soaps, masks, lotions, creams and make-up.
Types of emulsions
Emulsions used in cosmetics are composed of a water-soluble phase, a fat-soluble phase and the emulsifier, which is the component that facilitates mixing.
- For the water-soluble phase, humectants, ph-regulating thickeners, vegetable extracts, preservatives, colorants, etc. are usually used.
- In the liposolule phase, there are fatty acids, waxes, preservatives, colorants, vegetable oils and biological extracts.
According to the nature of the emulsion, they can be classified as:
- Simple emulsions (O/W): are those consisting of a lipophilic dispersed phase (fat or oil) and the continuous phase is hydrophilic. This type of emulsions are the most common in cosmetics.
- Inverse emulsions (W/O): here the opposite is the case, the dispersed phase is hydrophilic and the continuous phase is lipophilic. In cosmetics, these emulsions are used to make thicker and more viscous products.
- Multiple emulsions: these are more complex mixtures in which the dispersed phase contains an inverse emulsion and the continuous phase is an aqueous liquid.