The company said it took about six years to finally achieve a water-soluble polymer that was rich in texture yet non-sticky and comfortable on the skin.
The new ingredient was presented at the 84th The Society of Cosmetic Chemists of Japan (SCCJ) Research Discussion held in Osaka, Japan this month.
Designing for comfort
A polymer is a general term for a chain-like or network-like compound in which a large number of molecules called monomers are linked and expresses various functions depending on its chemical physical structures.
In cosmetics, it can serve as a thickening agent to fine-tune the feel, uniformly disperse emulsified particles. It is also used in powders and coatings in products such as hair styling gels.
According to Shiseido, polymers in general with larger molecules give a thicker, richer texture.
The company explained that the conventional polymerisation method causes molecules of various lengths to be mixed together in the polymer – this would result in a slimy, sticker texture.
It identified that the presence of supermacromolecules was the culprit. “The presence of supermacromolecules in macromolecules is due to the fact that the speed cannot be controlled by common polymerisation methods,” said Shiseido.
By using a polymerisation control agent, it was able to control the polymerisation rate and control the size of the polymers.
“By using a special polymerisation method, it was possible to align the length of the polymer moderately and create a polymer that combines richness with comfort,” the firm explained.
It elaborated: “As a result, we succeeded in developing a new water-soluble polymer that contains almost no supermacromolecules despite its large molecular weight. It feels rich during application and conforms to the skin to create a non-greasy, comfortable feel after application.”
According to the company, it was currently researching and developing cosmetics that give users a comfortable skin-feel.
Using the new ingredient, Shiseido created polymer blend base for lipstick and foundation formulations which were quantitatively confirmed to be comfortable by the University of Tsukaba’s Department of Kansei, Behavioral, and Brain Sciences.
The study by the university department also found that use of the products were able to “increase the comfort of the brain”
Shiseido concluded that it would apply the findings of the study to the development of new products and services.