The natural trends regarding socio-economic and lifestyle issues has stimulated in recent years a mounting quest for alternatives to synthetic or mineral ingredients which can be responsibly extracted, derived or manufactured from natural sources. This trend is not simply market or “marketing” driven but is based on research showing the superior compatibility, safety and performance of selected materials of natural origin such as fatty acids and derivatives, vegetable unsaponifiables and triglycerides, natural waxes, plant extracts, etc. when used in cosmetic application. Natural ingredients have demonstrated greater affinity with skin and hair than most synthetic counterparts and are capable of superior integration with their metabolism. They can therefore better contribute to conditioning, replenishing and protecting both skin and hair whilst respecting the natural conditions required for maintaining them in a healthy state.
Additionally most consumers are aware of the impact that the products they buy have on their personal wellbeing and on the environment. However, they are not willing to sacrifice product performance or convenience going forward.
The demand for vegetable based ingredients is nowhere else as pressing or as important as in the field of hair care formulations where the search for alternatives to well-known conditioning ingredients such as silicones, quaternised compounds and synthetic polymers is a major issue. Such alternatives should satisfy criteria of natural origin, sustainability and efficacy whilst avoiding recognized problems caused by the traditional conditioning agents mentioned above such as long-term build up, limited or no biodegradability and poor integration with the substrate.
Committed to researching effective and reliable alternatives to synthetic ingredients based on decades of experience in oleo chemicals and particularly in the development, manufacture and application of natural ingredients such as natural waxes, vegetable oils, natural butters, fatty acid esters and derivatives, Natura-Tec is currently producing several natural based alternatives to synthetic conditioning and protecting ingredients, one of which has particular interest in hair care products.
Silicone-free natural hair care
Natura-Tec Plantsil, an ester complex from olive origin, is a unique sensorial agent designed to be used as a vegetable based alternative to silicone. It mimics perfectly the feel of silicones thanks to its balanced formulation of natural derived ingredients. It is a highly stable, almost odourless transparent fluid oil. It imparts a light and soft touch and leaves a dry after feel on the skin and hair with an appealing elegant touch.
The sensorial profile of Natura-Tec Plantsil is very close to silicones. It provides a silky touch and smoothness to skin and hair without oily residue. Furthermore, thanks to its excellent penetration and fast spreading properties, it can mimic perfectly the volatile feel of cyclomethicone (refer Figure 1).
A cosmetic emollient of universal use, Natura-Tec Plantsil restores suppleness and elasticity to skin and hair. It is rapidly absorbed, leaving a soft sensation with a unique powdery finish. It imparts a long lasting silky feel giving a velvety touch in skin and hair care applications.
Most interestingly, in shampoo formulations it has been shown that Natura-Tec Plantsil behavior on hair is very similar to actual silicone. Lab evaluations confirm the compatibility with common surfactants and co-surfactants and it is recommended as an ideal conditioning agent to replace silicones in haircare products (refer Figure 2).
Extensive laboratory evaluation has shown the above material to be highly effective as natural based replacement for silicone in conditioning and hair care applications. This innovative ingredient allow cosmetic formulators to develop finished products based on vegetable derived ingredients which conform to modern trends without compromising important parameters such as efficacy and sensorial performance which have great impact on consumer perception.
Consequently hair care products today can be both green and efficient, satisfying all the criteria which are considered of major importance by informed, motivated and environmentally-savvy consumers which place emphasis on issues such as renewability, sustainability and eco-friendliness whilst still looking for quality, performance and cost-effectiveness in the personal care products they purchase.