Importance of Surface Treatments for Formulators

December 2016

Untreated pigments demonstrate inherent physical properties that dictate their behavior in cosmetic formulations and drive the overall performance of cosmetic products. Most pigments demonstrate hydrophilic surface properties due to the presence of polar groups and absorbed moisture. They are also insoluble powders with a strong tendency to aggregate, which means the use of specific grinding and milling equipment is often required to achieve the optimal dispersion of color ingredients. But even for formulators equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, handling pigments in a way that will satisfy all the conditions to obtain a stable, well-performing makeup formulation remains a challenge, and overlooking compatibility issues of a pigment can lead to many unwanted consequences, like:

In future articles, I will describe these different issues in length and how they can be specifically addressed by selecting the right surface treatment for your pigments.

Sensient has developed a range of surface treatments that can completely change your customers’ experiences with your products. Those treatments provide hydrophilic, hydrophobic or both hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties. Our treatments can be synthetic or from natural origins and have been designed to help formulators optimize their formulations in terms of stability, sensory, long-wear, shade fidelity and ease of processing.


Because your selection of a pigment’s surface treatment will make or break your formulation, Sensient provides in-depth technical support and tools to help you pick the right treatment for your project. Ask for our experts’ help right now.