Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Effect of Viscosity to Active Ingredients Efficiency

  • Effect of Viscosity to Active Ingredients Efficiency

    Posted by ilovesoda on July 7, 2024 at 3:08 am

    Hi everyone,

    I have one question on my mind. Is there any article/data which gives some insight about the viscosity effect on active ingredients?

    Let me explain better: So let’s think two serum formulations both of them have some active ingredients in them. One is low viscosity (like 300-400cps) and other one is really thick like (let’s say 30.000cps). In normal cases if you put them on the top of the sheet of paper the low viscosity one will go under the sheet very easily and the high viscosity one can’t wet the surface.

    So my actual question is; because it won’t let the active ingredient go into the skin do very high-viscosity products make products less efficient? If we think like retinol will it oxidize till go into the skin? Or maybe never even reach to first layer epidermis?

    I look forward to hearing your opinion.

    • This discussion was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  ilovesoda.
    ilovesoda replied 4 days, 19 hours ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Perry44

    July 8, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for the question. In truth, there probably really isn’t any article/data that show the reality of how viscosity affects active ingredient performance. This is because it is already extremely difficult to show any performance benefit from an active ingredient. If a company has optimized the formula to maximize active ingredient effect, they wouldn’t publish that.

    In your example, the answer is that it depends on the active and what it is supposed to do. If the active is a sunscreen then the thicker one will likely be better for keeping it on the surface of skin. However, you can make a thin one work too by including the appropriate film forming polymers.

    The effectiveness for penetration will also depend on the nature of the thickening ingredient. If the formula is thick because of an oil based thickener, that could help increase penetration for oil based actives.

    The bottom line is that active ingredients in cosmetics have such a difficult to measure effect that the thickness of the formula will have little to no measurable impact of the effectiveness of the active ingredient.

    • ilovesoda

      July 13, 2024 at 12:44 am

      Hi Perry,

      Thank you so much for your detailed answer. It was very insightful!

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