Preparation of Hand Creams and Hand Lotions

applying hand lotion

How to apply Hand Lotion?

Why do Hands become Rough?

Everyday hands are exposed to water, soaps and detergents for several times. This results in the removal of lipids and other secretions from the skin.

  • Excessive contact of the skin with the detergents and water may damage cell wall of the skin.
  • Chapping of the skin may occur by loosing moisture in cold and dry weather conditions.
  • Chapping of skin may lead to cracking of the skin. This shows that moisture is required for maintaining the softness and flexibility of the skin.
  • Water alone is not sufficient for maintaining the moisture of dry skin because water evaporates rapidly leaving the skin dry without emolliency.
  • If hands are immersed in water for longer periods for preventing evaporation, there will be a danger of abnormal degree of hydration.
  • This may result in the swelling of stratum corneum of the skin resulting in the cell rupture.
  • An ideal emollient is added for making the water available to the stratum corneum and regulating the water take up.
  • Therefore the preparations for hands (creams and lotions) are centered around the emollients. The most commonly used emollients are lanolin and its derivatives, sterols, phospholipids, fattyacids, fattyesters and hydrocarbons.
Hand Cream

Hand Cream

Desirable qualities in a Hand Cream:

  • Hand cream should soften the hands.
  • Hand cream should be applied easily.
  • Hand cream should not leave a tachy film on the skin.
  • Hand cream should not interfere with the normal secretions (perspiration) of the skin.
  • Hand cream should have a pleasant smell.
  • Hand cream should have an appealing colour.
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Emollients, vanishing creambase, waxes, oils, humectants, perfume, colour are required generally for developing the formulations of hand creams. Humectants are added for preventing the excessive occlusion. In some hand creams dimethicone is added along with other barrier agents to protect the skin from irritants.

Hand Lotions:

Hand lotions differ from the hand creams in physical nature of having more solids in creams.

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Problems in the formulation of Hand lotions:

  • Hand lotions may exhibit the gelling tendency which makes it difficult to pour from the tube.
  • It may run out of the container as its viscosity will be low then the cream. It should also retain its viscosity during its shelf life.
  • Lotions which are made of stearate are more susceptible to gelatin and vulnerable to shear action.
  • Excessive mechanical agitation of lotions may lower its viscosity.
  • Excessive amounts of polyol fatty acid esters like glycerol monostearate or fatty alcohol like cetyl alcohol should not be used in the formulation of hand lotions for retarding gelation in lotions.
  • Alkyl sulphates should be incorporated in the formulations.
  • Change in viscosity due to shear action happens due to thixotropic properties of lotion.
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