Systems for a
Marketers and suppliers patent skin care polymers that are better for consumers
and reduce the carbon footprint of products.
Robert Y. Lochhead, Vipul Padman and Lauren LaBeaud • The University of Southern Mississippi
PATENT SEARCHES during the past several months have re- vealed a trend toward polymeric delivery systems for consumer goods that lead to less waste going to landfills and lower carbon footprints. There has also been a thrust
toward using polymers to provide perceptually safer products
to the consumer by this industry, which already has an excellent record of consumer safety. This article is devoted to these
The consumer goods sector is driving hard toward providing the products and logistics for a sustainable planet. For
example, Kurt Bock, chairman, BASF, stated,“For us, sustainability means aligning economic success with environmental and social responsibility and BASF has openly presented
its carbon footprint since 2008.”1 In 2010 Procter & Gamble
launched a long-term sustainability vision that included the
goals of“having zero consumer or manufacturing waste going to landfills” and “designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources.”2
Unilever has launched a sustainable living plan with the
stated goal, “By 2020, we will halve the environmental footprint of our products, help more than one billion people take
action to improve their health and well-being, and source
100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably.”
SC Johnson pronounced“our sustainability efforts target
five key areas. From greener products, to conserving resources, to helping communities, these are the areas where we
believe we can make the greatest impact;” meanwhile, Estée
Lauder’s Aveda was founded on a drive to ecologically sustainable products.
One initiative in this direction is to reduce the volume and
the water content of products or precursors in order to reduce
the carbon number associated with distribution of the prod-
uct. Emulsions are a preferred mode of delivery for many skin
products and the reduction of water content of emulsion would fit
right into a sustainability objective. Cognis researchers have dis-
closed one such emulsion concentrate.
4 They combine the water
insoluble components (including oils) with nonionic emulsifiers,
co-emulsifiers, polyols and water. The stability of the emulsions
is optimized by Shinoda’s technique of preparing the emulsion
above the phase inversion temperature and then cooling below
this temperature to prepare the final emulsion with exceptionally
small droplet sizes. In one mode these emulsions are applied to
nonwoven substrates to make wipes for application to skin.
Figure 1: SEM of melt-fibrillated surfactant-containing fibers. Reproduced from
US Patent Application 200120021026.