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Cosmetics & Personal Care

A main research area of the Food Chemistry research group

The high demands placed on product quality and sensory analysis also apply to the near-food product category of cosmetics.

Making sensible use of valuable ingredients and byproducts for cosmetic products

We support project partners in preparing and analysing high-quality, valuable ingredients and by-products of food production in such a way that innovative product applications for the areas of both beauty and nutrition are possible. In the context of sustainable value creation, we ascertain the extent to which by-products (alternative proteins, valuable ingredients from natural substances such as okara – a by-product of soy production, or polyphenols from the cocoa bean) can be used as examples of sensorially optimised applications.

Development of cosmetic products

In our laboratory, we develop cosmetic product prototypes on a laboratory scale of 1 to 3 kg. We examine their physical and chemical stability with the help of rheological parameters, microscopic imaging and active substance-related analysis. 

Making emotions in cosmetics measurable through sensorial methods and biometric assessments

Thanks to our many years of expertise in cosmetic sensory analysis, we have developed sensorially optimised product formulations for both leave-on (for example, creams and sustainable, e.g water-free solids and rinse-off (e.g. shower gels) products. We are able to capture the sensory and physical product properties with the help of modern rheology and frictiometry technology. We can use these to establish predictable correlations of sensory properties.

Expert panel cosmetics

In collaboration with the Research Group on Food Perception, we create sensory product profiles with our objectively trained expert panel Cosmetics. Depending on the question, these are supplemented with assessments from consumer product testing (acceptance and preference tests). This allows us to poll the needs and preferences directly from the target group and link them with the sensory properties of a product (preference mapping). If consumer surveys are supplemented with biometric measurements (capturing and evaluating body reactions), this opens up a new dimension of emotional research. Being able to measure emotional links and triggers greatly facilitates product pricing strategy. 

Energy-optimised product development

A guideline in cosmetics

In collaboration with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU, Prof. Dr. Ludger Fischer), we support companies in the cosmetics industry in the implementation of energy-optimised formulations in development, scale-up and production with our expertise in formulation technology, rheological and sensorialanalysis. The results and insights gained from our work flow into a guide for the cosmetics industry. A 10° degree temperature reduction in production means up to 30% savings in resources besides time savings. The project is supported by EnergieSchweiz.

Further selected projects

How far can we predict sensorial feelings by instrumental modelling? deals with the following question: To what extent can properties of a product sensed by members of a sensory expert panel be predicted by physically measured measurement results? In IFSCC Magazine.1(21), pp. 13-18. Huber, Petra; Bongartz, AnnetteCezanne, Marie-LouiseJulius, Nina, 2018.

Study of polyphenol penetration from organic-aqueous cocoa extracts: antioxidant activity

Development of a validated questionnaire for the assessment of sleep quality based on a cosmetics line 

Selected publications (Peer-Reviewed)

Sensory measurement : evaluation and testing of cosmetic products Huber, Petra (2017) in Cosmetic science and technology : theoretical principles and applications. Amsterdam:Elsevier.S. 617-633 Yamashita, Yuji; Maibach, Howard; Lochhead, Robert; Sakamoto, Kazutami; Hrsg,.

Sensory-driven substitution of acrylate polymers with natural alternatives Reichmuth, Nadine; Pedan, Vasilia; Ott, Roman; Huber, Petra (2019) in: 25th IFSCC Conference : The beauty space where science reigns, Milan, 30 September - 2 October 2019