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In-Cosmetics 2007: Wacker Showcases New Hairstyling Polymers and Cyclodextrins


WACKER is showcasing a novel hybrid polymer for hairstyling products at in-cosmetics in Paris from April 17 to 19, 2007. This copolymer makes it possible for the first time to produce water-based hairsprays that not only provide a firm hold, but also give hair a natural feel. WACKER is also spotlighting novel cyclodextrin complexes for cosmetic products. These complexes can help protect sensitive substances, such as linoleic acid, more effectively against oxidation and odors.
Hairsprays ensure that a hairstyle keeps its form for as long as possible. However, consumers have come to expect a lot more from their hairspray. Studies show the pleasant feel of hair has become just as important as a strong hold. And WACKER’s newly developed hybrid polymer Wacker-Belsil® P 101 makes a big difference here. It lends hair a firm hold – without impairing the soft feel.
The new product mainly consists of two building blocks: inorganic silicone on the one hand and organic vinyl acetate on the other. Lab studies and panel testing show that Wacker-Belsil® P 101 combines the positive properties of silicones with those of organic polymers that have proven effective in hairstyling products.
The hybrid polymer outstandingly fulfills key requirements for hairspray fixing agents. Classified as having no known health risks when used as intended, Wacker-Belsil® P 101 is not hygroscopic, i.e. it does not draw any water from moist air. Unlike conventional organic hairstyling polymers, the hybrid is ideal for formulating hairsprays with a high water content while avoiding any sticky film. Thus, the product can be used to make aerosol and pump sprays.
Formulations with Wacker-Belsil® P 101 produce a fine spray that provides optimum distribution on the hair. Despite the high water content, such formulations dry faster than hairsprays based on organic polymers. Test formulations of Wacker-Belsil® P 101 were applied to hair fibers. These fibers retained their elasticity even after repeated mechanical fatigue testing. Curls readily keep their shape for a long time even when air humidity is high. The hairstyle therefore stays in shape even in very moist air.
In panel tests, all the participants rated the new hairstyling polymer positively and thought it well-balanced. The results show that the hybrid polymer ensures a firm hold, greatly enhances combability and gives hair the excellent, pleasant and silky soft hand typical of silicone products. A further benefit for customers is that WACKER has over 50 years of expertise in both silicone and vinyl acetate production. Such vertical integration ensures that the novel hybrid polymer has a consistently high level of quality.
Innovative Cyclodextrin Complexes
WACKER FINE CHEMICALS, the WACKER Group’s biotech and fine chemicals division, is using this year’s in-cosmetics platform to showcase an innovative α-cyclodextrin/linoleic acid complex for skin-care products.
Linoleic acid is very susceptible to oxidation. On contact with air and light, it rapidly develops a highly rancid odor. Consequently, this fatty acid’s skin-care and restorative properties had hardly been used in cosmetic formulations – until now. Complexing the linoleic acid with cyclodextrins stabilizes the active ingredient trapped in the cavity and prevents odors by protect¬ing it against oxidation.
Another advantage of the cyclodextrin inclusion compounds lies in their more convenient consistency: whereas linoleic acid in its original form is usually hard to formulate as an oil, complexing produces an odorless powder. Solid linoleic acid is much easier to handle and process. This opens up the possibility for the first time of using linoleic acid in many different cosmetic formulations and personal-care products.
Marketed under the CAVAMAX® brand, our cyclodextrin complexes (with linoleic acid, retinol or tocopherol) are natural lipophilic antioxidants that prevent signs of premature aging and can restore skin tissue damaged by UV radiation. Key applications include anti-wrinkle creams, cosmetic formulations such as creams, gels and lotions, as well as sunscreens and cosmetic tanning products. Alongside its naturally occurring cyclodextrin complexes, WACKER FINE CHEMICALS makes CAVASOL® brand cyclodextrin derivatives.
Vegetarian-Grade Cysteine
Vegetarian-grade cysteine is another in-cosmetics highlight from WACKER FINE CHEMICALS. Amino acid cysteine is traditionally extracted from human or animal sources such as hair, feathers and pig bristles. WACKER replaces this method with biotechnology and produces vegetarian-grade cysteine without animal content.
With this, the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food sectors have a completely new source of this vital raw material. Cysteine is an interesting alternative to the pungent thioglycolic acid commonly used in European hair salons for permanent waves. It breaks down the disulfide bonds in keratin, thus preparing the hair ideally for perms. Cysteine is also found in cosmetic products, where it scavenges and renders harmless the free radicals that cause cell damage.
Visit WACKER at in-cosmetics, April 17 to 19, 2007, Hall 4, Booth F90


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