Cosmetics & Personal Care

All-natural calcium carbonate particles for formulating personal care products

By Lalit Sharma, Innovation Manager, Food and Tanja Budde, Head of Innovation & Technical Marketing, Personal Care, Omya International AG

This article explains how advanced, all-natural calcium carbonate particles offer multiple benefits for physical and sensorial pro

This article explains how advanced, all-natural calcium carbonate particles offer multiple benefits for physical and sensorial properties of powdered personal care products and increase their appeal for the user.

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Omya_Tanja Budde_Head of Innovation & Technical Marketing.jpgWhen it comes to personal care products such as baby and body powder, consumers have a certain expectation with regards to their physical and sensorial properties. These include softness and pleasant skin feel, along with good absorption and a high stability and release of fragrance. Other key requirements include effective lubrication and coverage, along with heat stability.

High-purity calcium carbonate ticks all of those boxes – and more. This is the reason why Swiss-based global speciality ingredients supplier Omya, with expertise in calcium carbonate spanning more than 130 years, has used its in-depth knowledge to develop a safe, mineral-based functionalized calcium carbonate (FCC) solution specifically for powder applications.
Multiple benefits
Key to this innovation is a calcium carbonate functionalized by hydroxyapatite – a combination that delivers a smooth, soft-to-the-touch body product that has been proven safe for even the most sensitive of skins. The particles, consisting of an ultra-pure material, have an external lamellar surface structure, while the core consists of a network of interconnected pores. This results in a high internal porosity, thus promising multiple benefitsfor the final product. These minerals also comply with the most stringent regulatory and quality standards, and offer high chemical purity and controlled low microbiology. Furthermore, they are sustainably produced under clean and controlled manufacturing conditions, which means a reduced carbon footprint and minimum waste.
Proven qualities
To confirm the performance of its FCC solution, Omya conducted several comparative studies to analyze and compare the powder’s sensory properties against standard market references. The first trial was conducted on 20 healthy adult subjects with sensitive skin. Skin irritation was measured by a qualified dermatologist who scored the participants on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no occurrence of edema and erythema, and 10 demonstrating full-scale irritation.Trial results clearly proved that the functional particles did not induce any irritation on sensitive skin, with the conclusion that they are safe for use on all skin types without fear of irritation.[Figure 1]

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Figure 1 







Additionally, the products underwent a sensorial descriptive analysis following ISO 13299 by a panel of eight assessors. The sessions were performed in a room dedicated to sensory analysis and compliant with UNI ISO 8589 standard. Sensorial attributes such as colour, cushion effect, spreadability and smoothness were observed by trained panellists[Figure 2]. In summary, the data showed that the new mineral innovation has a sensorial profile equal to those of standard market references.

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Figure 2

Superior moisture absorption and fragrance release
Also tested was the water absorption capacity of the calcium carbonate ingredient, as well as its ability to release fragrance. Both the market reference and the Omya solution were exposed to various grades of relative humidity (RH), with subsequent measurement of the increase or decrease in mass. An increase in weight obviously demonstrates the capacity of materials to hold moisture.
The results [Figure 3] revealed that the company’s new ingredient concept almost doubled the capacity to absorb moisture. Compared to conventional powder solutions, improved efficiency is demonstrated in absorbing and holding body fluids like urine, sweat and sebum, therefore keeping body areas dry and acting more effectively.

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With regards to the release of fragrance, scent was loaded onto the powders – both the reference sample and the Omya solution –which were kept at room temperature in airtight jars. The release of fragrance was checked at a temperature similar to that of the skin (37°C) on the same day, and again after 30 days of storage [Figure 4. The ]results revealed that the loaded particles had a superior fragrance release capacity compared to market references. Furthermore, even after 30 days, the solution had no degradation of fragrance compared to the market reference.

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Figure 4


Breakthrough in body powder
In conclusion, the Omya innovation was considered comparable to the reference sample in terms of colour, spreadability, whitening effect and smoothness, but with enhanced water absorption and fragrance release – both vital attributes in body powder products. Clearly, these result mean there are major opportunities for new product development with all-natural Omya particles as a natural alternative in the baby care and body powder segment, and beyond.
“Our sustainably sourced ingredient solution is a breakthrough in body powder innovation,” says Tanja Budde, Head of Innovation and Technical Marketing, Consumer Goods at Omya International AG. “We know how important natural products are to consumers, particularly when it comes to skin care and other cosmetics. Our calcium carbonate-derived body powder ingredient will therefore be a key driver in this category. That’s because it is an entirely natural, ultra-pure, mineral-based ingredient which has been proven safe for use on even the most sensitive of skins.”