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    Waxes are used as structuring agents in lipsticks. There are a variety of waxes combined in a single lipstick to provide good stability, pleasant texture and good pay-off. Due to a significant growth for natural, green and sustainable products, there is a constant search for alternatives to animal-derived and petroleum-derived ingredients. In this study, a green, non-animalderived wax, namely long-chain ketones (referred to as alkenones), sourced from marine microalgae was formulated into lipsticks and evaluated as a structuring agent. Alkenones were used as a substitute for microcrystalline wax, ozokerite and candelilla wax, typical structuring agents. In total, 384 lipsticks were formulated: L1 (control, no alkenones), L2 (alkenones as a substitute for ozokerite), L3 (alkenones as a substitute for microcrystalline wax) and L4 (alkenones as a substitute for candelilla wax). Products were tested for hardness (bending force), stiffness, firmness (needle penetration), pay-off (using a texture analyser and a consumer panel), friction, melting point and stability for 12 weeks at 25 and 45°C. Alkenones influenced each characteristic evaluated. In general, lipsticks with alkenones (L2-L4) became softer and easier to bend compared to the control (L1). In terms of firmness, lipsticks were similar to the control, except for L4, which was significantly (P < 0.05) firmer. The effect on pay-off was not consistent. L2 and L3 had higher pay-off to skin and fabric than L1. In addition, L4 had the lowest amount transferred, but it still had the highest colour intensity on skin. Alkenones influenced friction (glide) positively; the average friction decreased for L2-L4. The lowest friction (i.e. best glide) was shown in L4. Melting point of the lipsticks was lower when alkenones were present. Overall, L4, containing 7% of 4 alkenones in combination with microcrystalline wax, ozokerite and carnauba wax, was found to have the most desirable attributes, including ease of bending, high level of firmness, low pay-off in terms of amount, high colour intensity on skin and low friction (i.e. better glide). Consumers preferred L4 the most overall. Results of this study indicate that alkenones offer a sustainable, non-animal and non-petroleum-derived choice as a structuring agent for lipsticks. © 2019 The Authors. International Journal of Cosmetic Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Cosmetic Scientists and Société Française de Cosmétologie.


    An Huynh, Briana Maktabi, Christopher M Reddy, Gregory W O'Neil, Mark Chandler, Gabriella Baki. Evaluation of alkenones, a renewably sourced, plant-derived wax as a structuring agent for lipsticks. International journal of cosmetic science. 2020 Apr;42(2):146-155

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    PMID: 31880361

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