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Home > Cosmetics Constituents > Polymers and Cosmetics
Polymers and Cosmetics
• Polymer Science Ideals..

Introduction
PolymersPolymers serve multifarious purposes in cosmetic formulations. They are used as film-formers in hair fixatives, mascara, nail enamels and transfer-resistant color cosmetics; as thickeners and rheology modifiers in emulsions, gels, hair colorants and hair relaxers; as emulsifiers in lotions, sunscreens and hair colors and as conditioners, moisturizers, emollients, dispersants and waterproofers. In this brief review, we will survey recent advances in some major areas. The focus in this review is intellectual property as it is revealed in recent patents and patent applications. Most of the preferred hair fixative polymers are incompatible with aqueous gels formulated on a base of the most prominent gelling agent, Carbomer. As a consequence, the "workhorse" fixative polymers for most commercial hairstyling gel products have been restricted to water-soluble fixatives such as PVP and water-soluble PVP/VA copolymers. These polymers are marginally effective in imparting and maintaining hairstyle, especially in conditions of high humidity. Moreover, the "feel" of styled hair is an important consumer attribute and, unfortunately, PVP and water-soluble grades of PVP/VA copolymers impart an undesirable tacky or sticky feel to the hair in these same environmental conditions. In this context, it is interesting that Samain et al of LOrιal have proposed the use of a reactive non-silicone polymer to produce tack on the hair that does not transfer to the hands.

Compound of PolymerPolymer Additives, a business unit within Sasol Wax, manufactures and supplies innovative and unique products based on Fischer-Tropsch hydrocarbons as well as paraffin and microcrystalline waxes to polymer producers and converters in the moulding, extrusion, compounding and thermoforming industries.

The Fischer-Tropsch products marketed into the polymer industry are crystalline linear, unsaturated hydrocarbons, or derivatives thereof, which are highly compatible with polyolefins and which can be used as external lubricants in polymers such as PVC.

The paraffin and microcrystalline waxes are low softening-temperature petroleum based waxes. The branched-chain Microcrystalline waxes are particularly effective in PVC systems.

Defining Polymers
Compounds formed by the joining of smaller, usually repeating, units linked by covalent bonds. These compounds often form large macromolecules (e.g., polypeptides, proteins, and plastics). [MeSH]. Polymers include the familiar plastic and rubber materials. Many of them are organic compounds that are chemically based on carbon, hydrogen, and other nonmetallic elements; they have very large molecular structures. These materials typically have low densities and may be extremely flexible.

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