Interfacial and colloidal properties of cosmetic emulsions containing fatty alcohol and fatty alcohol polyglycol ethers

Conference paper
Part of the Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science book series (PROGCOLLOID, volume 73)


“New Trends in Colliod Science” contains the proceedings of the foundation meeting of the European Colloid and Interface Society (ECIS), October 1–3, 1986. Representatives from the major European groups working in this field contributed to the conference. The volume contains an up-to-date account of present developments in Colloid Science. The contributions cover a wide scope of subjects, and provide encouragement that structures and transport processes in dense colloidal systems can be understood on basic principles. The main subjects are include:
  • phase diagrams of new surfactant systems

  • microemulsions and their applications

  • vesicles and bilayers

  • transport properties of colloidal systems.


The phase behavior of multicomponent systems, especially of emulsions containing cetostearyl alcohol and fatty alcohol polyglycol ethers has been investigated. At the phase inversion from o/w to w/o emulsions, one-phase regions containing lamellar liquid crystals have been observed. In appropriate ratios of the amphiphiles, extremely low interfacial tensions (≈10−3 mN/m) are obtained, which lead to very easy emulsification and narrow particle size distribution. Thermoanalysis (DSC) and microscopy of binary, ternary and quaternary mixtures demonstrate the existence of hydrated crystals or gels at room temperature. Anisotropie phases could be identified around oil droplets of more coarse emulsions. Emulsions prepared at low temperatures possess structural viscosity. Increasing the temperature leads to newtonian behavior. At medium emulsifier concentrations fluid and stable emulsions are obtained. There is a strong dependence of the properties of the emulsions on the polarity of the oil phase. It can be concluded that the ability to form fine droplets, the viscosity and the long term stability of cosmetic emulsions do not depend on the properties of the fatty alcohol alone but on the mixed phases formed by the emulsifier and the alcohol.

Key words

Emulsion microemulsion cetostearyl alcohol phase behavoir 


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratories of Henkel KGaADüsseldorfGermany

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