Skin Care Formulation | Water-in-Oil vs Oil-in-Water

How formulating a quality skincare product impacts your skin. A different skin care formula is used to achieve each different goal and effect in our products. Our Research and Development Manager, Fabrizio Spada is an expert in formulating skin care and talks about water-in-oil vs oil-in-water skin care formulae.

What is the difference between water-in-oil and oil-in-water formulas?

The main difference between water-in-oil and oil-in-water formulas is really the skin feel, the oil in water gives the product a lighter feel on the skin when the product is applied and that’s more desirable for day creams or daily applications. A water-in-oil cream is formulated for a richer skin feel and that is usually preferred for a night cream which is intended to provide that extra care and extra nourishment for the skin overnight.

What are the benefits to skin of water-in-oil creams?

The water-in-oil cream provides the skin with a richer skin feel, but at the same time it also increases the moisturising effect of the product. So if there is a particular combination of ingredients or active ingredients that already promote skin hydration, the water-in-oil cream is a preferred vehicle, because it will provide a better delivery of the actives and at the same time the vehicle itself will also promote better skin hydration. A perfect example of a water-in-oil formulation is our QV Face Night Cream, because it provides nourishment and moisturisation to the skin overnight and this is exactly what the user expects from a night cream.

What are the benefits to skin of oil-in-water creams?

The benefits of the oil-in-water are really its cosmetic acceptability and compliance by the consumer. Because a lighter skin feel, in particular if we are thinking about products such as sunscreens, really helps the consumer accept the fact that some products need to be applied more frequently. So a lighter feel, an easily spreading over the skin formula, will really help the consumer comply with the requirements of sometimes applying the product every two hours or multiple times over the day. For example the SunSense Ultra SPF 50+ sunscreen has recently been re-formulated from a water-in-oil to an oil-in-water formula, just to provide that extra cosmetic benefit to the formula. The protection is still very high, but the lighter feel now allows the consumer to just enjoy using the product more and apply it better and more consistently to really provide that high sun protection that has been formulated into the product.

Water-in-oil formulated products

QV Face Nurturing Night Cream 50g

Elucent Anti-Ageing Night Moisturiser

Elucent Whitening Night Moisturiser 50g

Oil-in-Water formulated products

SunSense Ultra SPF50+
Skin Care Formulation | Water-in-Oil vs Oil-in-Water

Fabrizio is the Research and Development Manager at Ego Pharmaceuticals. He has been member of many successful formulation teams in Australia, Europe and the USA. When not in the lab, you might find Fab, as he’s commonly referred to, performing at amateur theatre or the local karaoke.

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