The effectiveness of a cosmetic is a parameter that consumers can only accurately assess with repeated applications of the product, whereby texture is essentially an immediate feature that is being evaluated when judging the degree of appreciation of a product.
The tactile characteristics of a cosmetic, also known by the term “texture”, are chosen as part of the purchase decision of a product and are therefore prioritised by cosmetic companies to achieve the desired application effect. One might say that, together with the perception of a product’s possible fragrance, applicability and smoothness are the key factors driving the purchase of a cosmetic.
What is texture and why it is important
It is vital, nonetheless, that the purchase of a cosmetic with a certain texture which is also suitable for the consumer’s type of skin and usage pattern. When purchasing day creams, consumers prefer products with light textures and can be easily absorbed, since they are often applied to skin that will be covered later with make-up; in the selection of night-time products, consumers look for more full-bodied and nourishing textures, with little or no fragrance.
Texture of a cream: the parameters to be evaluated
Obviously, the choice of texture is strongly conditioned by the type of skin, as mixed skin and oily or acne-prone skin need a light texture and non-occlusive for the skin, while dehydrated skin, alipic and mature skin benefit more from full-bodied textures due to the greater presence of moisturising and nourishing butters and oils.
Men and women have varying needs dictated by different physiological characteristics: man’s skin has a higher content of sebaceous glands than women’s and is therefore more lubricated. This leads to a desire for cosmetics with a light and, above all, not very oil-based texture, this type of product is most appreciated in everyday use by the male population.
But how do cosmetic companies respond to these different needs? From a technical-formulative point of view, the choice is wide, thanks to the possibility of using diverse types of texturizing and various ways of conveying the ingredients, playing also on the viscosity of the preparations and the proportions between the variant texturizing ingredients, which depending on the used concentration can give rise to completely different products.
Types and applications in cosmetics
Whereas in the past, silicone and silicone derivatives were almost exclusively used to modulate the sensory effects of a cosmetic, nowadays, partly also due to a lack of consumer appreciation, inorganic texturisers such as silica and talc, naturally derived such as starch and its derivatives or 100% biodegradable esters such as Ethyl oleate and Ethyl olivate are widely used. The choice of a texturizing depends also on the final desired effect: For example, Ethyl olivate and silica both have a dry touch and are used in oil-in-water formulations while starch derivatives are widely used in water-in-oil emulsions for their capacity to reduce the greasiness of the cosmetic formulation.
Nowadays we talk about sensory experiences to guide the potential consumer towards the purchase of cosmetics that best meets his or her expectations. In this perspective, not only is the sensation of cosmetics on the skin evaluated immediately, but also the lay-ability and glide of the product, the effect that remains on the skin (the so-called “after feel”) is also taken into account which obviously represents a fundamental parameter in customer’s loyalty to the purchase of cosmetics.
This can range from gelatinous-looking cosmetics that stimulate fun and good humour to make-up remover oils that give a creamy effect on the skin after application…Choosing a cosmetic product is increasingly resembling a tasting experience, involving and stimulating deep senses and perceptions.