Synthetic and bio-derived surfactants versus microbial biosurfactants in the cosmetic industry: an overview
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2017
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/5/2371
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2210.08 Emulsiones ; 3303 Ingeniería y Tecnología Químicas ; 3303.11 Química Industrial
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
This article includes an updated review of the classification, uses and side effects of surfactants for their application in the cosmetic, personal care and pharmaceutical industries. Based on their origin and composition, surfactants can be divided into three different categories: (i) synthetic surfactants; (ii) bio-based surfactants; and (iii) microbial biosurfactants. The first group is the most widespread and cost-effective. It is composed of surfactants, which are synthetically produced, using non-renewable sources, with a final structure that is different from the natural components of living cells. The second category comprises surfactants of intermediate biocompatibility, usually produced by chemical synthesis but integrating fats, sugars or amino acids obtained from renewable sources into their structure. Finally, the third group of surfactants, designated as microbial biosurfactants, are considered the most biocompatible and eco-friendly, as they are produced by living cells, mostly bacteria and yeasts, without the intermediation of organic synthesis. Based on the information included in this review it would be interesting for cosmetic, personal care and pharmaceutical industries to consider microbial biosurfactants as a group apart from surfactants, needing specific regulations, as they are less toxic and more biocompatible than chemical surfactants having formulations that are more biocompatible and greener.
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