An attractive prospect for cosmetic products
The new product is known as “bioactive glass.” For those who are unfamiliar with this term (and that means most of us at the present time), Claire Buckwar always has at hand a white plastic tub with a blue lid. She shakes white powder out of the container and spreads a little on the back of the hand. The first impression of the substance’s texture can be described as somewhere between baby powder and baking powder.
It is, of course, glass – ground to a fine dust with grain sizes five times smaller than sugar crystals. The amazing fact is that in this micronized form glass is very soft and smooth to the skin, pleasant and soothing. This first impression is not misleading, as intense research has now shown. The surprising bottom line, says Buckwar, is that “bioactive glass has a positive effect on human skin.”
This is the very effect that makes the white powder from Mainz so attractive for the cosmetics industry. With their strong focus on the care of the human skin, researchers in this industry see many potential applications for bioactive glass. The first products are already expected to reach the market in the near future, the first of them probably color cosmetics and deodorants. Trials have also produced an eye shadow based on glass powder.
Glass has many positive effects
A complex production process
Anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory
The use of bioactive glass in the healing of bones may be well known, but SCHOTT only became aware of the further potential for the powder in skin-care products in the past three years – after additional properties were discovered. “The glass powders have an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effect,” says Claire Buckwar. “When used as the basis for deodorants, the powder kills the bacteria that generate odor.”
The advantage over the ingredients currently used in deodorants, she says, is that “bioactive glass powder does not use chemical means to interfere with the metabolism of bacteria but relies on the pH mechanism and osmotic pressure.”
And this is the very aspect that gives the SCHOTT researchers the greatest cause for optimism. In times when more and more people are reacting sensitively to their day-to-day environment, product safety is of prime importance for consumers. And what material could offer greater safety than one that is among the oldest monuments to the inventiveness of humankind?