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New Paradigms

By: Steve Herman
Posted: January 31, 2012, from the January 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Of course, the process is not limited to two phases—the system can handle multiple tanks and pumps—nor is the application of microchannels limited to standard emulsion systems. The most revolutionary benefit of the microchannel system may be the elimination of scale-up issues, a major concern with most formulations. The same device is used for lab work and production, and very large volumes can be pumped through with exactly the same end product that was produced from a few gallons of materials in the lab.

Cosmetic chemistry at the bench is a conservative operation.

Limitations in time, money, equipment and computer programs encourage “business as usual.” But for those adventurous enough to embrace the new paradigms of product development, the rewards will be great. Material mixtures never before considered (yielding formulations with superior performance and optimized delivery of actives) and manufactured with innovative processing equipment will guarantee the ultimate in beauty products.

Author’s note: In the time between writing this column and it going to press, Johann Wiechers tragically passed away. He carried his immense knowledge lightly and with great warmth and humanity, and he will be sorely missed both as a scientist and a person. This column is respectfully dedicated to his memory.


  1. S Herman, Chemical Reaction: Genomics-Advanced Tools to Combat Aging, GCI 178 6 50–51 (June 2010)
  2. S Herman, Chemical Reaction: Data, Data, Everywhere, GCI 178 4 68–70 (April 2010)
  4. JW Wiechers, Clinical Proof for Validity of the “Formulating for Efficacy” Concept: Enhanced Skin Delivery Results in Enhanced Skin Efficacy and Both Can Be Predicted,” IFSSC magazine, 1 2011
  5. M Grace and L Plonsker, Microchannel Processing: A Novel Approach to Making Emulsions, Cosmet Toiletries, 126 6 (June 2011)