Starch as a multi-functional additive in cosmetics

Corn, rice and tapioca starch are utilised in skincare and color cosmetics as a simple and natural method to improve application properties.

Over the past few years the trend for natural cosmetics has taken a leading position in the development of new products, with ever an increasing number of more consumers looking for alternatives to existing products on the market. Creating an effective and natural product whilst still preserving the comfort of its usage is a hurdle challenging today’s cutting edge technologies. For example, consumers appreciate a high content of natural oils but not necessarily wish to experience the heavy occlusive layer remaining after application.

Sensing, feeling, silky finishing
Today, not only smell or active ingredients play a decisive role in the consumers purchase decision while making another decision to buy the given product. Texture is a key sensory aspect as well as the sense of spreadability and how the skin reacts after the
product’s application. These criteria’s are also growing in importance in tanning cosmetics. Not long ago the only criteria to meet was the relative SPF, those types of products were simply designed to protect. Today’s consumer demands easier, more pleasant application without a whiting effect, sticky or heavy layer. Today’s tanning products need to be more resistant to the adhesion of sand to the skin after application.

Agrana’s product offering includes starches specifically targeting the unique needs of cosmetics, affording the producer a wide degree of interesting possibilities in formulation. Not only easy to use, the products answer the need to address the consumer’s point of view on a natural way to improve sensory properties. Agrana’s offering comprises of both natural modified starch as well as organics.

beauty of science - starches

Introduction of natural starches into emulsion systems is possible in two stages of the production process. It can be initially added to aqueous phase and heated resulting in the effect of system thickening. As well the starch may be added after emulsification to obtain the improvement of sensory properties (below 40°C).

Modified starches (Corn Po4 PHB, Rice PO4 Natural)
These unique starches are resistant to the effect of high temperature and will not thicken. These starches used at the aqueous phase at the beginning of process, during heating will adsorb the oily phase within themselves, like a sponge, but without swelling. This oily phase is then left down on skin after application over a period of time. These starches will also provide the sensory benefits of the native and lipophilic, of reduced greasiness, reduction of heavy formulations, removing the “tackiness” in formula. Modified starches constitute a strong alternative to silicones elastomers, nylon sensory modification in a natural and friendly way.

Agrana’s starches can be applied in wide range of skincare products, face, hand, foot creams, body lotions and butters are just some examples. They make an excellent addition to products geared to children and babies, to tanning cosmetics in which the content of UV filters can affect the feeling of being sticky and in men’s cosmetics where the preference is for light and non-greasy consistency.

The improvement of sensory properties are not the only benefits to be obtained from starches’ incorporation in these formulations. Starches also offer an opportunity for the improvement of the emulsion stability – Pickering formulas,
offering micro emulsion formulation ability.

Color cosmetics
Starches in color cosmetics offer a very wide range of application. They constitute an alternative to talc. A key point with the recent lawsuits in the USA against J&J and the implications of talc on health. J&J have launched a new option of their historic talc based talcum powder using corn starch (Agrana offer organic, native and irradiated options). The market is now moving
away and looking at option in colour too – pressed and loose powders. It provides a finer, less white base to formulations. The lipophilic options work wonders in the anhydrous formulas, offering all the sensory benefits mentioned above.

Dry shampoo
The portfolio of Agrana products comprises the premier solution for the formulation of dry shampoos. D.S.A. 7 is a rice starch combined with a conditioner – Cetriomonium Chloride, which will refresh or regenerates the hair while absorbing excess sebum and adding styling benefits. This product is available in standard white color as well as in other color versions of black, brown, and blonde.

Cleansing products
Starches are also effective at effecting foam profiles improving the characteristics of the “bubble size”, resulting in a creamer denser foam, whilst leaving a silky skin feel afterwards. Additionally a natural alternative to opacifiers where they provide a milky look formulation. As a matter of fact starches constitute multi-functional addition to the wide range of cosmetic products:

  • creams, lotions, body balm
  • anhydrous products
  • antiperspirants
  • color cosmetics
  • cleansing products
  • dry shampoos
  • powders

Starches in cosmetics, key takeaways

Improvement of sensory properties

  • Greasiness, and tacky formulation
  • reduction
  • Lightening of heavy occlusive formulas
  • Smooth, powdery and silky feeling
  • Spreading improvement “ball bearing
  • effect”
  • Longevity in moisturisation with PO4
  • collection
  • Alternative to Talc

Agrana Key Benefits

  • Guaranteed GMO free
  • REACH exempt
  • Natural safe product
  • Halal / Vegan / Kosher
  • Substantial Heritage

Article published in the June 2017 edition of The Science of Beauty magazine, Vol. 6, No. 6. See the original article here.