Solid Formulations

Vantage solutions for solid personal care applications

What are solid formulations and what makes them desirable?

Bar soaps, eyebrow wax bars, sunscreens, waterless shampoos and conditioners, foundation sticks, and more – whatever the application, solid cosmetics are trending across beauty segments.

But what is driving this trend? Solid formulations appeal to consumers due to:
  • Convenience; on-the-go application
  • Interest in eco-friendly, reduced packaging
  • Low-water or waterless formats, with reduced preservative usage
  • More concentrated, more effective products
  • Inspired by the skincare “slugging” trend, solid formulations can include occlusive ingredients which help protect the skin barrier
With environmental shifts across the world, consumers are looking to brands and formulators more and more to deliver personal care products that are innovative and environmentally conscious.

Common ingredient incorporations in solid formulations

Solid formulations can be quite dynamic with their ingredients, especially as their bases can be either lipophilic (lipid-loving) or hydrophilic (water-loving). For formulators, depending on the function of the product, a wide variety of ingredients can be used to enhance the application, appearance, skin benefits, smell, and even the structural integrity. For trendy formats like shampoo and conditioner bars, which are hydrophilic, they require water to activate, and they are formulated with either surfactants or oils, butters, or humectants to create a lather or an emulsion. For lipsticks, bars, and balms, which are typically lipophilic, different combinations of lipid-based ingredients like oils, butters, or waxes can create a beautiful solid texture with a silky application that glides on the skin. This format can be used for a wide variety of product types including lip products, sunscreen sticks, stick foundations, conditioning bars, and more.

What challenges surround solid formulations?

Depending on the format chosen for each product, formulators can encounter individual challenges with each formulation. Some products may experience issues in formulation or in storage, especially with extremely high temperatures. Products that incorporate both liquid and solid ingredients can have issues with recrystallization. Solid products that utilize oils and waxes that are not entirely compatible with one another may 'sweat’ over time and effect stability. Because of these challenges, it is imperative to incorporate as many solid-compatible ingredients into the formulation as possible.

For consumers, one challenge with solid formulations lies in the texture and feel component. Depending on the type of ingredients used, solid formulations can often feel dry, or overly waxy, creating serious drag on the skin, or a thick, greasy film, which creates an unpleasant application experience for the user. Another area of concern lies in differentiation. Some consumers like to have a variety of options to treat a variety of concerns. Due to the nature of the format, not all actives are easy to incorporate into solid formats. Some actives may be water-soluble, and thus will not disperse as easily into solids considering the lack of water in the formulation. Therefore, you tend to see a lot of the same solid formulations on the market, which may not be dynamic enough for some consumers.

Vantage Solutions for Solid Formulations

Regardless of the challenges with solid formulations, our customers can leverage our expertise with naturally derived esters to achieve highly sensorial solid formulations with high levels of natural ingredients. For example, Liponate™ Jojoba esters, or Liponate™ CCC MB are perfect examples of vegan, biodegradable, COSMOS certified solutions that contribute to the successful replacement of synthetic compounds, like silicones and animal derived ingredients, such as beeswax in solid formulations. Whatever the application, Vantage is sure to have a solution!

Improved structure integrity for vegan formulations

For a firm, yet ultra-smooth texture, Jojoba Esters-70 provides structural integrity to the stick but does not feel as waxy as typical hard natural waxes. It delivers glide as well as strength and flexibility to the structure of stick formulations without being brittle, allowing for a higher loading of pigments or emollients. Additionally, Jojoba Esters-70 can be used in stick formulations as an alternative to beeswax. Beeswax slides easily on skin but leads to poor and heterogenous pay-off and coverage. Jojoba Esters-70 provides a more controlled glide, with excellent homogenous pay-off which results in a comfortable film.​

Improved pay-off and glide

Lipovol™ GTB is an emollient wax of vegetable origin that provides pleasant sensory, comfort through a substantive film to the skin. This non-ionic, waxy triglyceride demonstrates great compatibility with anionic, nonionic and cationic systems. It can also effectively improve color payoff and application in lipsticks or other color cosmetic based sticks. Lipovol™ GTB enhances structure and glide during application by supporting the overall stability of the formulation, and effectively improving the texture of other waxes and overall plasticity in the system.

Water burst effect

MLB is a powerful water-in-oil emulsifier system specifically designed to incorporate water-soluble or aqueous ingredients in solid formulations. MLB utilizes advanced clay technology in a pre-dispersed format that not only makes it easy to incorporate, but also delivers an innovative water-releasing effect that cools and moisturizes as the water evaporates on the skin. It also improves the overall stability of solid formulations, while contributing to the elegant and smooth glide upon application.

Luxurious, creamy lather

Metaupon™ OMT Solid MB is a concentrated surfactant that works well in solid formulations like shampoo bars, cleansers, bath bombs, and bath powders for foam enhancement benefits and to provide a soft skin feel.

Sensitive skin friendly emollient

Liponate™ Jojoba 20 provides a soft after-feel and contributes to restoring skin lipids, increasing their hydration and reducing after-shave irritation. Additionally, it works great as a natural hair protectant, due to hair lipid-mimetic jojoba esters which coat the hair shaft with a highly protective layer to protect against heat damage and add hair shine.

Natural silicone-like glide

Liponate™ CCC MB is a fast-spreading emollient ester that provides dry, velvety and smooth skin feel close to the sensory feel of silicones, particularly low viscosity dimethicone. Compatible with organic and mineral sun filters in suncare formulations, provides high spreadability with an extra matte finish in color cosmetic formulations, long term skin moisturization for skincare formulations, and more manageable, shinier, softer hair in haircare formulations. For solid formats requiring silicone-free ingredients, Liponate™ CCC MB is a natural silicone alternative that creates a fast-absorbing, comforting glide that leaves a soft, non-greasy feel to the skin.

Skin redness reduction

Solid formulations can be perceived as less hydrating due to the lack of water incorporated in formulation. Ingredients that target skin barrier repair contribute towards balancing skin hydration levels. For an active ingredient that renews the skin barrier and protects sensitive skin, BioSignal Lipid10 MB is skin mimetic and is easily incorporated into waterless formulations.
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