Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Ranges of Expected Water Content of O/W “Lotions” Versus O/W “Creams”?

  • Ranges of Expected Water Content of O/W “Lotions” Versus O/W “Creams”?

    Posted by Spadirect on October 17, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    What are the general ranges of the proportion of water content (range of percentages by weight) you would expect to find in an O/W body “lotion” versus an O/W body “cream”?

    @Belassi helpfully informed me that the range of water content in an O/W body “lotion” is 96% - 60%.  What would the water content range be for an O/W body “cream”?

    More fundamentally, what scientifically defines the difference between an O/W “lotion” and an O/W “cream”?  Can I assume the terms “lotion” and “cream” are marketing terms (with the exception of W/O creams) in cases in which they are both oil-in-water emulsions? 

    belassi replied 5 years, 4 months ago 6 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • bill_toge

    October 17, 2018 at 11:58 pm
    the terms “cream”, “lotion” and “milk” describe how the viscosity of the product varies with shear rate, e.g. when it’s applied to the skin, or pumped; they are not scientifically rigorous, or well-defined
    generally speaking:
    * milks decrease to water thinness with any applied shear
    * lotions are more viscous with applied shear, but are still relatively thin
    * creams remain relatively thick with applied shear
    the viscosity/shear relationship of a given product depends on itsemulsification system, and any rheology modifiers and surface-active waxes (C16-18 alcohols and fatty acids) that are present; as relatively small changes in these parameters can produce large changes in the viscosity/shear function, it is not directly related to the water content
  • ngarayeva001

    October 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    The bottom line, you can have a very thick product with 90% of water or very thin product with 60% of water if change the amount of carbomer only.

  • jeremien

    October 18, 2018 at 10:04 am

    For viscosity tuning, recently the raw material manufacturers are coming back with liquid crystalline phase and highly concentrated emulsion
    concepts to innovate from the carbomer strategy. 

    I guess that for simple viscosity modification, carbomer is very easy, but if you look for adding other properties to your
    formulation (skin penetration, stability, feeling, etc.), it may be interesting
    to explore these options (LC phase, HIPE)

  • belassi

    October 18, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    One person who works for a major supplier described things in terms of heavy, medium, light. Thus a “light/heavy” cream would have a light skin feel and little drag, but take a long time to absorb. He said that different geographical markets have different tastes regarding this. 

  • beautynerd

    October 18, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    @belassi … curious, what did he say was Mexico’s preference?

  • ngarayeva001

    October 18, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    @Belassi, it’s a very interesting topic. Any short summary by markets?

  • belassi

    October 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    To my embarrassment I have forgotten what he said about my market. I have the impression it was ‘heavy-light’.

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