What is Syneresis and how it can affect your formulations!


Protecting your cosmetics formula against syneresis is critical to delivering a high quality and consistent product. Syneresis can cause the product to separate and form pools, which will affect the appearance, stability, and texture of the formulation. In this blog post, we will discuss what causes syneresis and how you can prevent it from happening in your products.

So, what is syneresis?

Syneresis is a phenomenon that can occur in cosmetics when an ingredient (usually an oil) is dispersed in water and the two phases start to separate. Syneresis can cause cosmetic products to become less effective and can also lead to the formation of undesirable textures or clumping. Syneresis is often caused by the use of incorrect proportions of ingredients or incompatible, but it can also be affected by temperature changes or the addition of certain ingredients. Syneresis can be prevented by using the correct ratio of ingredients, by storing products in a cool, dry place, and by avoiding the use of ingredients that are known to cause syneresis.

Syneresis can have several negative effects on cosmetics. For example, it can cause products to become less effective. In some cases, syneresis can even render a product unusable. In addition, syneresis can cause cosmetic products to become physically distorted or deformed.

Syneresis can be a problem for both consumers and manufacturers of cosmetics. For consumers, it can be frustrating to purchase a product that doesn’t work as well as it did when it was first used. For manufacturers, syneresis can lead to waste and lost profits.

How to avoid syneresis.

There are several ways to prevent or reduce the effects of syneresis in cosmetics. One way is to use ingredients that are less likely to cause the problem. Another way is to package the products in such a way that separation is less likely to occur. Finally, manufacturers can develop new formulations that are less prone to syneresis.

With proper precautions, cosmetics can be made more resistant to syneresis and other forms of product deterioration. By understanding the causes of syneresis and taking steps to prevent it, manufacturers can ensure that their products remain effective and appealing to consumers.

As cosmetic chemists, we need to take several steps to prevent syneresis from occurring. For example:

  • Using ingredients that help to bind the liquid and solid phases together,
  • Adjusting the formulation of products may also help to make them more resistant to syneresis,
  • Package products in airtight containers to protect them from exposure to the elements,
  • Ensuring all ingredients are compatible to the formulation and method.

Despite these precautionary measures, syneresis can still occur. When it does, as cosmetic chemists we have a few options:

  1. Reformulate our products or
  2. Refunds or replace the product for affected consumers.

This is where stability testing is extremely helpful, especially if the syneresis is caused due to temperature change.

Syneresis does not just happen with emulsions but our balms and anhydrous products too. As there is no water in these products, the syneresis is normally caused when mixing large amounts of polar and non-polar lipids.

Have you ever formulated a balm then a few days later, little droplets have risen to the top? This may not be due to moisture, but the separation of polar and nonpolar oils. To avoid this, you will need to choose either to use polar lipids together or nonpolar. If this is due to moisture, then bacteria and mould can grow.

The cosmetic industry is not as simple as it seems, there are many reasons for a product to fail and it is our job to ensure the products we sell are of high quality and have great performance.

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