Prizmalite solid glass microspheres offer cosmetic formulators tools to create new “looks” and to solve old problems that talc or other ingredients cannot.

Light interacts with objects and is “observed” by the eye primarily as specular or diffuse reflection. The type of reflection depends on the “surface” from which the light is being reflected—basically, the underlying particulate matter of the reflecting substance.

Most materials are composed of particles of irregular or uneven forms [crystalline structures]. These uneven “surfaces” reflect light as diffuse reflection where the reflected light bounces off randomly and in all directions. Glass has a smooth [non crystalline] “surface” so it lacks the mechanism of many uneven surfaces to diffuse light in random directions and can only reflect light specularly: the reflected light bounces back in a consistent direction and angle.

Virtually all materials exhibit both types of light reflection at the same time. Prizmalite glass microspheres, however, offer a uniquely efficient combination of specular and diffuse reflections that provides new approaches to disguising skin imperfections. Some of the light hitting a glass microsphere bounces back directly off the smooth glass surface. Because of the transparency of the glass sphere, however, much of the light is transmitted through the sphere and is reflected off the underlying uneven skin surface.

The combination of the two types of reflection “fools” the eye and the resulting “fuzzy” focus distorts and disguises any underlying wrinkles, discoloration or uneven pigmentation. No other sphere offers this combination: ceramic spheres are not transparent and cannot reflect light the same way and hollow glass spheres are not as transparent so less light is transmitted.

Prizmalite microspheres offer a number of other advantages for cosmetic or personal care applications:

  • Prizmalite’s P2011SL are the smallest, commercially available solid glass microspheres, with an average diameter in the range of 3 to 6 microns. The smaller the diameter of a sphere, the greater its surface area relative to its size so formulations that incorporate Prizmalite’s P2011SL or P2015SL [with an average diameter of 8 to 12 microns] can achieve a much greater impact from a small volume of material.
  • The roundness of Prizmalite microspheres means that unlike flakes, they can easily flow into cracks and crevices on the skin, giving a smoother, more even appearance to foundations or powders.
  • Prizmalite spheres are efficient anti-mottling agents and very effective in dispersing dyes and flake ingredients within a formulation.
  • When coated with Prizmalite’s proprietary silane-based coatings, Prizmalite microspheres impart a silky, very smooth tactile sensation that rivals that of fine talc but without talc’s dulling, matte appearance.
  • Prizmalite microspheres have also been found to significantly reduce the “glazing” that results when face powders or eye shadows react to facial oils and become “caked” or hardened.