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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2009 Aug;31(4):255-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00493.x. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Natural surfactants used in cosmetics: glycolipids.

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School of Cosmetic Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiangrai, Thailand.


Cosmetic surfactant performs detergency, wetting, emulsifying, solubilizing, dispersing and foaming effects. Adverse reactions of chemical synthesis surfactant have an effect on environment and humans, particularly severe in long term. Biodegradability, low toxicity and ecological acceptability which are the benefits of naturally derived surfactant that promises cosmetic safety are, therefore, highly on demand. Biosurfactant producible from microorganisms exhibiting potential surface properties suitable for cosmetic applications especially incorporate with their biological activities. Sophorolipids, rhamnolipids and mannosylerythritol lipids are the most widely used glycolipids biosurfactant in cosmetics. Literatures and patents relevant to these three glycolipids reviewed were emphasizing on the cosmetic applications including personal care products presenting the cosmetic efficiency, efficacy and economy benefits of glycolipids biosurfactant.

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