Beauty You Can Feel

Beauty You Can Feel

With today’s consumers, it’s all about the experience! And formulators took good note of it. An engaging sensorial experience will involve as many senses as possible, and when it comes to cosmetics, most of the time these senses are touch, sight and smell. For example, think of the extra attention that so many companies are paying to their packaging, as it is often through the container that consumers first experience a brand.

The sense of touch is extremely important for most beauty consumers as it is involved from the pick-up of the cream until well after the product was completely absorbed, leaving a hopefully unique after-feel. In a recent study in the UK, Mintel found that

For men, things are different, and almost half of them link moisturizing with fast absorption.

Texture can also convey a sense of efficacy but also luxury, differentiation and many more messages that can be exploited to expand on a brand’s unique story. To rise to the challenge, formulators have many tools available to obtain desired feel when they formulate a new product. The most notable follow:


These ingredients are usually added for their smoothing and softening properties and encompass a broad range of molecules that can be lipophilic, hydrophilic or silicon based. Their impact on the texture varies depending on factors such as their molecular weight, polarity, chemical composition, etc. Sensient’s Natpure® Feel M-Eco is an example of a natural emollient that combines the conditioning and moisturizing benefits of esters while providing a silicone-like lightness upon application.


Emulsifiers are molecules, or mixes of molecules, that will stabilize an emulsion by structuring its different phases (aqueous phase, oil phase, silicone phase, etc). In cosmetic applications, most emulsifiers work by modifying the viscosity of the phases and reducing the interfacial tensions between them. As they modify the structure of the emulsion, emulsifiers also have an impact on the application’s sensorial properties by modifying the thickness or the softness of the formulation.

Gelling Agents:

Gelling agents, also called thickeners or stabilizers, are ingredients that dissolve in one phase to form a weakly cohesive structure, thusmodifying a product’s rheology. Going beyond the simple adjustment of viscosity, modern thickeners can actually deeply transform a texture to create unexpected experiences for consumers. For instance Covacryl® AC, sodium polyacrylate gelling agent, can create stringy serums which have been very popular in South Korean beauty stores lately.Covacryl® MV60, on the other hand, provides moderate gelling benefits while contributing to a soft after-feel.


Micro-spherical powders are often used as feel enhancers in makeup and sometimes skin care applications. The sensorial performances of these fillers are driven by the shape, size and chemical nature of the beads. Covabead Velvet 10 is made of unique polymethylmethacrylate mono-dispersed beads that provide a superior ball-bearing effect compared to traditional PMMA beads and creates an instant soft focus visual effect on skin.

Recognizing the growing challenges for formulators to create innovative textures, Sensient® keeps increasing its offering of texturing ingredients to create unique, pleasant and surprising beauty products.

Contact us today to discuss your formulation needs.

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