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The Need for Microstructural Measurement Techniques in the Study of Cosmetic Product Properties

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

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Abstract

A cosmetic product is often a complex non-homogeneous mixture of physicochemical units including polymers, small molecules, surface-active species, and particles. In use, it is applied to an equally heterogeneous substrate, skin. Consequently, materials structure as well as composition and the nature of the surfaces are relevant to a clear understanding of any technologically important product property or process. No longer is it sufficient to answer the classical questions of analysis—what and how much?—for many applications; we must now ask the additional questions of where, how organized, and how is it manifest to the customer? Although analytical sciences have, for many years, been applied to the problem of characterizing what is in chemical systems, the need to understand spatial and interfacial interactions has received much less attention. The explosive growth, however, in electronics, computing, biology, mathematical methodologies, microscopy, and optics now present the cosmetic industry with a new set of tools that can be utilized to address this issue. It is the objective of this article to highlight some of these measurement advances and how they might have relevance in the cosmetics industry in the coming years.

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Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2007

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