Consumers are constantly adapting their behaviour in today’s dynamically changing world in order to solve environmental challenges. This also holds true for effect pigments, as these are substrate-based insoluble colourants or pigments. Substrates may be natural and/or synthetic mica but can also stem from synthetic substrates, such as glass, alumina and other materials. Natural mica-based products enjoy a special position in the raw materials arena, as they constitute the only natural substrate available for making effect pigments.
Our R&D teams are constantly looking for new effects based on natural mica and have achieved significant progress.
Natural mica-based pigments can provide distinctively different effects as our company’s product lines Prestige and Sumicos clearly show, see fig. 1. Sumicos Silver Standard 43133 (left) and Prestige Silver 35153 (right)
While pigments from the Sumicos line exhibit more transparent and lustrous effects, the products of the line Prestige are characterised by their opacity, their glossiness and their soft skin feel. In addition, these products provide an improved, tighter heavy metal specification than standard natural mica products.
Two new product lines
Recently, our lab teams have started to develop two new product lines. Both are based on natural mica. The fractions used for the Glow range between 20 and 90 µm and for the Glam range between 20 and 150 µm
These pigments were coated with a special pre-preparation to optimise the plain mica surface and have a narrower particle size distribution. As a result, these pigments show a far better reflectance in comparison to pigments of the same size based on a synthetic substrate, see fig. 2. Improved reflectance of Prestige Aqua Glow in comparison to a glassflake-based pigment of the same size.
This effect provides formulators with a new tool. They are now able to make colour cosmetic formulations more attractive with the help of the highly reflective new pigment ranges with a smaller particle size. The pigments are designed for use in nail polish, eye shadows and lip products. In addition, these cost-effective natural mica-based pigments are suitable for highlighting personal care formulations at the point of sale by incorporating them in low concentration – 0.1–0.5% – into a clear matrix.
A touch of naturalness
Among effect pigments and other pigments, natural mica pigments enjoy a great acceptance among consumers, as they are generated from a natural substrate. They are therefore able to contribute to company-internal naturalness indices or to the naturalness of a consumer product according to DIN ISO 16128. These claims are easy to understand and also very attractive for consumer products.
What is in the pipeline?
Five products are currently available: Prestige Gold Glow (masstone colour), Violet Glow, Blue Glow and Aqua Glow together with Prestige Green Glam, all of these are very attractive interference colours. Our R&D team is working to complement both lines step by step with additional colours to enable the formulator to address the entire colour range with these very special interference pigments.
by Dr Matthias Lergenmüller, Vice President Cosmetics, Sudarshan Chemicals Ltd,