Hydrogenated Polyisobutene: An Ideal Emollient for Skin and Hair Care Products
Hydrogenated polyisobutene (INCI name: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene) is a synthetic emollient derived from polyisobutene. It has gained widespread use in skin care and hair care formulations due to its superior moisturizing and skin conditioning properties. In this article, we will discuss in detail what hydrogenated polyisobutene is, its functional characteristics and why it is considered an ideal emollient for use in cosmetic products.
Chemical Structure and Properties
Polyisobutene is a synthetic hydrocarbon polymer derived from isobutene monomer units. It has a linear molecular structure with pendant methyl groups. Hydrogenation of polyisobutene results in hydrogenated polyisobutene, where most of the double bonds in the polyisobutene backbone are saturated by hydrogenation.
This hydrogenation process increases the molecular weight and decreases unsaturation of the polymer. Hydrogenated polyisobutene has a waxy, white solid consistency at room temperature due to its high molecular weight between 1000-10000 Da. It has excellent oil solubilizing properties due to the presence of alkyl side chains and low polarity. It is non-irritating, non-comedogenic and dermatologically safe for use.
One of the main functions of hydrogenated polyisobutene is to moisturize the skin and hair. It works by occluding the skin surface and preventing trans-epidermal water loss. The emollient forms an invisible protective film on the skin that locks in moisture. It can hold up to 500 times its own weight in water within the skin helping to maintain skin hydration.
The occlusive nature and high molecular weight of hydrogenated polyisobutene allows it to effectively moisturize without leaving an oily or greasy residue. It penetrates deep into skin and efficiently transports water to the lower epidermal layers. This results in long-lasting moisturization of both upper layers and deeper layers of skin. Product formulations containing hydrogenated polyisobutene are often rated high on moisturization tests performed on human volunteers.
Skin Softening and Conditioning Properties
In addition to its moisturizing abilities, hydrogenated polyisobutene is also highly effective at conditioning and softening skin and hair. When applied topically, it melts at skin temperature and forms an invisible film to lubricate the keratinized layers of the epidermis.
This lubricating effect reduces flakiness and improves suppleness, elasticity and texture of skin. It helps repair minor cracks and fissures on skin surface. The emollient properties of hydrogenated polyisobutene make it a popular choice for conditioning dry, flaky scalp and improving manageability of frizzy, dry hair. It promotes silkiness and shine while preventing tangling and fly-aways.
Wide Cosmetic Applications
Due to its skin-friendly characteristics, hydrogenated polyisobutene is widely incorporated across various cosmetic formulations for skin, hair and body. Some of its common applications include:
– Moisturizers: It is a primary moisturizing ingredient in face creams, body lotions and hand creams where long-lasting hydration is needed.
– Sunscreens: It conditions skin under UV protection of sunscreens and helps ease whitecast issues associated with some mineral sunscreen formulations.
– Makeup: Found in foundations, tinted moisturizers and other color cosmetics to impart a smooth, creamy texture.
– Shaving Products: Soothes razor burnt skin and conditions after shaving in creams, gels and balms.
– Hair Care: Conditions and nourishes dry scalp and hair in shampoos, conditioners, serums and hair masks.
– Baby Care: Formulates many sensitive baby skin products like lotions, diaper rash ointments and bath oils.
– Lip Care: Provides moisture and suppleness to lips in lip balms and lip glosses.
With such a wide spectrum of uses, hydrogenated polyisobutene has become a go-to cosmetic emollient for formulating high performance skin, hair and baby care products. Its non-irritating profile allows for safe use across all age groups and skin types.
In summary, hydrogenated polyisobutene displays excellent moisturizing, skin-conditioning and film-forming properties due its unique molecular structure and properties. These characteristics make it a superb ingredient for delivering long lasting hydration and improved texture to skin and hair.
Its versatility across product categories also adds to its popularity as a cosmetic active. Formulators continue to rely on hydrogenated polyisobutene to create conditioning, moisturizing formulations for skin, hair, baby and body care products with superior sensory and performance attributes. With consumers demanding multi-functional yet gentle personal care products, hydrogenated polyisobutene will retain its importance as a leading emollient ingredient in the cosmetic industry.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it