When it comes to skincare products, the main focus always seems to be ingredients, with natural ingredients at the forefront of the matter. While ingredients maintain importance, as shown in the previous blog post, formulation is a crucial aspect of skincare.
However, there is more than that when it comes to topical products. How are all the ingredients formulated together can be really important too. Formulation technology is the science of how to formulate different ingredients into a product. For topical products, formulation not only affects how it feels when applied on skin, it directly affects the consistency, the functions of the product as well as its physical (possible chemical) stability. Have you ever seen products labeled "Shake me before use"? It typically means after sometime, product will start to separate, the oil phase sits on top of the aqueous phase. Therefore the content of the product is no longer uniform. So you may say the product is not physically stable.
Aside from its appearance and how it feels, a poorly formulated product may not function as well. Take a moisturizer as an example. A well formulated moisturizer will help to replenish water to skin without feeling greasy or clotting the pores that may lead to comedones - this is particularly important when it comes to facial moisturizer. A well functional moisturizer is also crucially important for anyone with eczema, dry, or cracked skin. When the skin barrier is compromised, our skin does not retain water as well as that of the normal skin. An ideal moisturizer helps to resolve this problem, it may even help to improve skin barrier functions and skin texture.
How long a moisturizer keeps skin hydrated can also be directly linked to how it is formulated. A long lasting moisturizer is much more desirable not only because it saves money (one application vs. multiple applications through out the day), it is more practical and saves time and hassle!
How to figure out whether a moisturizer is really moisturizing or not? Try a sample first. Apply small amount of the moisturizer at bed time, if your skin still feels soft and moistened, without the greasiness the next day, perhaps even after 24hrs, then continue to use the sample for a few more days just make sure it does not cause comedones or irritation. If it doesn't, then you've found a great moisturizer that really hydrates your skin!