Concealer: How to give a liquid concealer more staying power?

ZinkZink Member
edited May 2015 in Formulating
I've gotten some feedback that my concealer formulation doesn't have enough staying power, so wondering what my options are to improve upon that aspect.

My current formula is roughly:
40% Vegetable oils
20% Zinc + Titanium Dioxide
10% Butters
10% Creasperse (a thick castor seed oil, iron oxide pre blend)
6% Wax
6% Propylene glycol
Remaining % Misc

I'm thinking of increasing the amount of Creasperse, although that's a costly route to take, other than that, perhaps adding more powders or even clays could help it stay?


  • I assume by "staying power" you mean "wear" or "long wear"?

    There are a myriad of options to achieve this. Polyethylene, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, just to name a few.
  • ZinkZink Member
    long wear, conceals for a long time, ideally available off the shelf and compatible with an oil based formula. I'm sure some options are better than others for this kind of product?

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Not sure what you mean by "available off the shelf". All of those options are oil soluble. Polyethylene has some extreme heat requirements.
  • ZinkZink Member
    Available in say less than 1 kg quantities.

    Any of those options you think would work better or are you suggesting I try them all?
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    To increase coverage, increase your ZnO and TiO2.

    To increase wear resistance and staying power, you have to improve the adhesion and strength of the film that you put on skin. 

    The easiest way to do this is to add some of the Ganex or other oil-based film formers on the market.

    The second, harder way to do this is to use a volatile ingredient instead of some or all of your vegetable oils. By using a volatile, you get good initial spreadability and skin feel. After the volatile evaporates, it leaves behind a film that (if you've formulated right) has good adhesion to the skin and good wear resistance. (Most of the time, water evaporates too slowly to work well in this kind of product)

    Some of the effect of using a volatile ingredient can be mimicked by using a non-volatile oil that is strongly absorbed into the skin. This produces the same results on the product film - it usually doesn't matter to performance if a volatile evaporates outward or an oil is absorbed inwards.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Basically what @Bobzchemist said. Ganex is the VP/Eicosene Copolymer I mentioned.

    I have used all 3 of those with good results on getting long wear. If you want to take Bobs advice on the volatile point, I would go with D5 or Isododecane to replace a chunk of your oils. You can get trimethylsiloxysilicate in both of those diluents.

    Not sure about minimum buys on these though.
  • ZinkZink Member
    edited May 2015
    Thanks to you both!

    @Bobzchemist ;I've requested a sample and pricing info of Ganex, do you know any other popular alternatives? I'm using a high % of squalane which is strongly absorbed, yet that alone doesn't seem adequate to provide long lasting coverage.

    @laskedbetter I can try Isododecane and see if that improves things. Also could Cyclo-Dimethicone work as an alternative to D5 (as it's available at makingcosmetics)? 
    BTW Shin-Etsu has a Trimethylsiloxysilicate (and) Isododecane blend for sale.
  • That is not really a replacement but you could still certainly use it. I wouldn't go crazy with it though because of the dimethicone. 

    Isododecane is "drier" so I would go that route. 

    If you can get your hands on the X-21-5595, I would give that a shot. Ganex is a good option too. Like I said before, there are lot's of ways to skin this particular cat.
  • ZinkZink Member
    Thanks, I also  asked for tips, and they said:

    "40% vegetable oils is a very large percentage for a concealer (also in terms of greasiness). I'd recommend to lower the amount and replace a large part of the vegetable oils with hydrocarbons such as isododecane, isoeicosane or, a natural variation, squalane or squlane light.
    At the same time I would try to increase the percentage of waxes a bit as these help to increase coverage duration."

    Thoughts on combining squalane and isodedecane?
  • At this point you're talking more about sensory characteristics and less about formula performance attributes. Squalane won't do anything to help your wear issue. Typically if a customer or marketing team tells me they like the formula, save for one performance characteristic, I only make adjustments to address that issue and try to leave the sensory attributes the same (why make improvements that they didn't ask for?).
  • ZinkZink Member
    Maybe misinformation from makingcosmetics then, I've ordered a sample of Ganex and Isododecane to see where those will get me. How about a larger % wax?
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Which Ganex?
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • ZinkZink Member
    Ganex V220, only one I could find on ulprospector
  • Doesn't sound like misinformation, just a suggestion. I agree that 40% vegetable oil is likely going to produce a rather greasy concealer...but maybe that's what your customer/marketing team is looking for. Or maybe in your formula it isn't that greasy. My point was that their squalane suggestion was to address a pecularity in your formula that suggested it might be greasy, not to address the wear issue you are having.

    Also, that's the right Ganex. Let us know how it works out for you.
  • ZinkZink Member
    edited May 2015
    Going to try to replace 10% of the oils with isododecane and see if that helps with staying power, the Ganex sample will arrive later (min order 40lb  @ $25 - 37/lb).
  • ZinkZink Member
    Tried a >10% isododecane version and also replaced propylene glycol with alcohol as a salicylic acid solubilizer. This lead to the formula being a lot drier on the skin, and it seems like staying power has improved - awaiting further testing of that.

    Since this is a mostly "natural" product, not using a silicone or propylene glycol can pay for itself marketing wise.

    Overall happy with the result, thanks!
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student

    If Ganex V-220 works, Ganex WP-660 will usually work better:

    also, try looking at some of the fast-absorbing esters:
    Diisopropyl adipate
    PEG-4 Diheptanoate (Liponate 2-DH)
    PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Ethylhexanoate (Crodamol SFX) 
    Isodecyl Neopentanoate (Ceraphyl SLK) 
    Isononyl Isononanoate (and) Isononyl 3,5,5-Trimethyl Ester (Wickenol 151)

    Actually, Alzo has several other nice ones:

    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • ZinkZink Member
    Thanks @Bobzchemist

    Hopefully my current tweaked formula will suffice, but could look into the above if not :)
  • I talked to Ashland, looking at the formula they recommended V216F and Z220F over WP-660. Do you have experience with the latter?

    What benefit do those esters have over plain oil isododecane?

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