Our society places a premium on beauty. The constant search for youthfulness and a perfect appearance as well as a desire to find and express our identity and individuality have led to an enormous consumption of make-up, eye shadows, mascara, lipsticks, powders and skin creams. The consumer base is getting younger all the time and includes more and more men.
But cosmetics to care for the skin and decorate the face are not products of modern invention. It has been part of our culture for thousands of years – although it was not always considered equally important through different eras. Although cosmetics have regained their importance since the Renaissance, they remained luxury items beyond the middle of the last century. It wasn't until the 1980’s that color cosmetics boomed, becoming increasingly affordable to the broader public during the years that followed.
One of the reasons for this was the additive boron nitride. Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) was first used in cosmetic formulations around 1940, but it could not be produced in the desired quality and quantity and was thus correspondingly expensive. This obstacle was overcome in the late 1990s, when the industry became capable of producing hexagonal boron nitride in large quantities and in the purity required for cosmetic applications, as well as in different powder qualities.
Superfine boron nitride powder is a prominent quality enhancer in cosmetic products. This inorganic filler is available in high-purity powder qualities that differ in particle size, particle-size distribution, specific surface area, particle morphology etc., making it possible to create special effects in different cosmetic formulations.
Useful properties of boron nitride powder in cosmetics:
- Translucent BN particles enhance color effects
- Opaque types of BN achieve a high degree of covering capacity
- Slightly skin-lightening effect
- Velvety feel on the skin
- Good dispersion
- Excellent adhesion to the skin
- Lasting effect
- Stabilizes emulsions
- High capacity for oil absorption – regulates moisture and offers protection against skin drying out
- High degree of thermal conductivity creates the sensation of a “cooling effect”
- Increases skin suppleness
- Visually reduces the appearance of wrinkles
- Improves rough skin
- High capacity for coverage
Hexagonal boron nitride is used in foundation, liquid make-up, eyeshadow, blush, kajal, lipsticks and lip liner, as well as in anti-aging products, sunscreens and a variety of other skincare products.
Hexagonal Boron Nitride (hBN) – Application from Metallurgy to Cosmetics, Martin Engler in Ceramic Forum International, 2007
From lipstick to superabrasive – the unlimited possibilities for application of ceramic materials using the example of boron nitride] Dr. Bernd Ruisinger & Ralf Damasch in ThinkCeramics - Seminar series Technical Ceramics, 2006