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Lipsticks: How They Have Changed and Where They Are Going

By: Rachel Mallon, Nunzio Ripamonti and Natasha Williams O’Hanlon, PhD
Posted: December 19, 2013, from the January 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

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What is in the future for wear and color effects in lipsticks? Trimethylsiloxysilicate (TMS) has great potential for enhancing wear, delivering a glossy effect and increasing adherence to the lips. TMS is a highly cross-linked silicone resin that functions as a film-former. Its net-like structure and adhesive properties means it holds pigments in place, displays water-resistance and improves wear.

Also on the global market, new molecules are evolving that modify the compatibility of lipstick with raw materials to provide more affinity with skin and improve the transfer-resistance. One such example is polyphenylsilsesquioxane—a hybrid between silicone elastomers and TMS resin.

Pigment encapsulation is another potential route for extending lipstick wear; however, not all capsules are suitable for hot-pour products. A high-functioning encapsulation system that could withstand heat would additionally allow a broader choice of actives to increase lipstick performance. Entrapment platforms using polyurethane as a base are commonly referred to as “encapsulation,” but true encapsulation, such as those that provide the means for flavor delivery, are technologies based on hydrolyzed corn starch and hydrated silica. There is perhaps potential in this arena to bring performance results from a pigment and flavor perspective.


While wear appears to be the core performance aspect of lipsticks, it is not the only consideration. The lines between skin care and color cosmetics are increasingly being blurred, and multifunctional and hybrid cosmetic concepts are in demand. There is increasing consumer demand to achieve the best results possible in the quickest, easiest way. This makes the role of a beauty industry product developer and formulator not only more challenging but also more intriguing as they seek the latest technologies that drive innovative products.


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Rachel Mallon, Nunzio Ripamonti and Natasha Williams O’Hanlon, PhD work for Oriflame Research and Development Ltd. in Bray, Ireland.