Gleams & Notions

Try These Novel Emulsifiers

By Harvey M. Fishman, Consultant | September 3, 2008

Kemira Specialty, Inc., Northvale, NJ, has created Kemira NanoGel, an ingredient that produces a nanoemulsion at room temperature using only a blade propeller or even a spatula. When it is added at three times the amount of any oil or oil-soluble ingredient present, it forms a spontaneous emulsion with water at ambient temperatures. Viscosity must be adjusted with a thickening agent such as carbomer or xanthan gum. Kemira claims that its NanoGel optimizes film formation on skin, minimizes trans-epidermal water loss, and affords skin protection and penetration.
It can be loaded with active ingredients such as sunscreens or co-enzyme Q10. The INCI name for NanoGel UV, which contains sunscreen actives, is Caprylic/ capric triglyceride, lauryl glucoside, glycerin, octocrylene, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, behenyl alcohol (and) glyceryl stearate (and) glyceryl stearate citrate, (and) sodium dicocoylethylenediamine PEG 15 sulfate (and) sodium lauroyl lactylate. The following formula illustrates its use.

SPF 15 Sunspray

Ingredients:    %Wt

Phase A
NanoGel UV    10.00
Phase A1
Bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2    1.50
Petrolatum    1.50
Phase B
Water    35.00
Phase C
Microcristalline cellulose       1.26
    (and) cellulose gum
Water    q.s. to 100
Phase D
Titanium dioxide (and)     5.00
    glycerin (and) alumina
Water      1.00
Butylene glycol      6.00
Preservative      q.s. to 100


Mix A and A1 with blade stirrer, then add B with mixing. Add C. Disperse TiO2 in D liquids without shear, then add to batch with gentle stirring. Add preservative.
Another emulsifying agent that is used as a thickener for surfactant systems is the Dermothix line from Alzo International, Sayreville, NJ. The materials, based on urethanes, can be used for replacements for alkanolamides in shampoo formulations. Dermothix-75  (INCI name: Disteareth-75 IPDI) is dispersible in water, but in combination with surfactants, it forms clear, viscous solutions. It is also available in liquid form. Dermothix 75 Liquid is a nonionic surfactant composed of 50% actives, a nonionic and water. The INCI name is Disteareth-75 IPDI (and) PEG-7 caprylate/caprate (and) aqua. IPDI stands for isophorone diisocyanate. In addition to shampoos, Dermothix 75 may be used as a clarifier for sodium stearate soaps. In clear antiperspirant sticks it adds body and prevents whitening.
Dermothix 100 (INCI: Disteareth-100 IPDI) is an oil-in-water emulsifier that is stable in high or low pH formulas and performs well with high internal oil phase formulations. It produces more durable formulations than traditional emulsifiers. It is recommended for use at 3 to 4% as this formula illustrates.

Hand Cream

Ingredients:    %Wt

Phase A
Water    60.2
Pentylene glycol      3.0
D-Panthenol      0.3
Alantoin      0.5
Phase B
Cetyl alcohol      1.0
Stearyl alcohol      1.0
Dermothix-100    4.0
Mango butter      2.0
Glyceryl dilaurate    2.0
Glyceryl monobehenate      2.0
Glyceryl dibehenate      2.0
Phase C
Cyclomethicone (and)     15.0
    dimethiconol IPDI
Isohexyl caprate      5.0
Fragrance      1.0
Methylisothiazolinone (and)     1.0
    idodopropnyl butylcarbamate


With constant stirring, heat A in batch tank to 70°C.  In separate vessel, heat B to 70°C. When clear, add to A. Mix C in a vessel until homogeneous, then add to batch and homogenize for 10 minutes. Begin cooling. Add last ingredients at 45°C.

About the Author
Harvey Fishman has a consulting firm at 34 Chicasaw Drive, Oakland, NJ 07436,, specializing in cosmetic formulations and new product ideas, offering tested finished products. He has more than 30 years of experience and has been director of research at Bonat, Nestlé LeMur and Turner Hall. He welcomes descriptive literature from suppliers and bench chemists and others in the field.