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Posts Tagged ‘ribbon mixer’


Posted by andriantoangkadirjo85 on July 8, 2012

various types pressed powder cosmetics


This time I’d like to share my experience in copy pressed powder product such as powder cake, pressed-powder fondation, eye-shadow, blush-on, etc. It’s not too difficult as long as we know the basic of making pressed powder product. Because they share the same basic, so once we succed to make a good compac powder, we can develope the formula to pressed powder fondation, eye shadows or blush on.

Frankly, I was more confusing to the terms pressed powder and powder fondation than the proccess of making them. So, this is what I found to describe the difference between them :

Pressed powder refers to powder for oil-control and it’s also used for setting makeup. It has little pigmentation (usually translucent, but some have a little pigmentation to blend better with skin color) and are sort of the ‘cake’ version of loose powder (which is also used to control shine and to set makeup). So it is basically an alternative to blotting sheets and also a more travel-friendly form of loose powder (if loose powder spills it would cause a huge mess).

Powder foundation meanwhile refers to base makeup. This means it has more pigmentation and it’s for evening out skintone. They may look similar to pressed powders sometimes but you can tell it’s a foundation because of the higher pigmentation. There are several types of powder foundation like 2 way cake, mineral foundation etc. (not to confuse you but it is also ok to use powder foundation to set makeup but it’s not used for shine-control).

– When we apply powder foundation, you’re going to see a difference to your skintone – maybe less redness or minor blemishes get covered up. With pressed powder it sinks into your skin and gives a shine-free look without altering your skin blemishes too much.

– Cake foundation has heavier coverage than pressed powder. Usually pressed powder has the weakest coverage compare to cream, cake, and liquid foundation. You can use pressed powder to seal in your foundation (The cake fondation will feel more wet if we touch the product due the the more binders used in it).

– The powder foundation is the one we should use under concealer. Never use pressed powder under concealer… the concealer will show up! Pressed powder is used over liquid foundation and concealer to ‘set it’. If you need to use concealer I seriously think you should use a liquid foundation first, even the powder one may look obvious, then if you need a light covering of pressed powder.

– Do take note that for touching ups, it’s NOT advisable to use a 2 way cake to touch up as mentioned earlier it contains BOTH foundation and powder, so if u use it for touching up, it will make your make up cakey or too thick. It’s still advisable to use a pressed powder for touching up when outside.

1. Anatomy of Pressed Powder

Pressed powder products are another simple product to formulate. These powder systems are based on :

Talc (or mica or sericite if a talc-free formula is desired).

The main ingredients usually talc or mica, depending on how the product is to be positioned. The talc should be small particle size, smooth and pressable. The talc can either be opaque or transparent depending on the qualities desired in the powder.


Fillers have special functionality to enhance the properties of cosmetic formulations. They improve skin feel and use and wear characteristics while some fillers even perfect the appearance of skin. All functional fillers will make your formula feel more luxurious through improved formula texture.

For skin adhesion are metallic soaps such as zinc stearate, magnesium stearate or aluminium stearate. They are usually added at 5-6%.

For the essential slip, adhesion, color laydown and anti greasing properties of the powder we can use polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate or lauryl lysine.

For enhance the feel and application are nylon 12, non-crystalline silica, kaolin, alumina or micronized polyethylene. These ingredients regulate the oil absorbency on the skin for people with very oily skin. They will keep the product in place and provide for longer wear.

Binder for pressing.

After the base formula (talc/mica/sericite) and fillers have been established, a suitable binder system must be selected in order to be able to press the powder into metal pans. The binder system can consist of one or more oils or a combination of oils and waxy materials. These ingredients must be able to completely wet all the powder particles evenly and create a free flowing homogeneous product.

The liquid portion of the binder can be an ester or oil such as mineral oil or other vegetable oil. Examples of esters are isopropyl palmitate and caprylic/capric triglyceride.

The waxy material can be lanolin derivatives such as isopropyl lanolate or lanolin alcohol, fatty alcohol such as cetyl or stearyl alcohol or fatty acid such as stearic acid.

These materials also aid in the product’s adhesion to the skin. The total binder can be as high as 6% or more in the finished product depending on the types of binder ingredients chosen.

NB: It is crucial when using vegetable oil/natural oil as binder to add anti oxidant agent such as BHT (butylhydroxylated toluene) to avoid the oil odor which will ruin the product’s fragrance.

Colors and pearls.

This is one of the most important component of pressed powder formulation. The colorants used are of the inorganic variety such as ultramarines, oxides of iron, chromium , titanium, zinc and tin, and organic colorants.

The color and pearl levels can vary depending on the current fashion trends that exist during the year. For eyeshadow the dry color level can be as high as 20-30% or more plus the pearl.


Some preservatives must be added to the formula to protect the product once it is in the hands of customer. These preservatives are usually the oil dispersible types such as propyl paraben or phenoxyethanol as there is usually no water present in the product. They can be added to the binder or ground with the other dry ingredients. The product should never be over preserved. Over preservation may cause skin irritation.

2. Manufacturing procedure for pressed powder


The powders must be blended sufficiently using mixer that tumbles and blends the powders without breaking or sintering the particles.

mixer ‘ribbon-type’

homogenous mixture

Milling the dry mixture

The dry mixture should be grinding using micropulverizer, hammer mill, disc mill or P-K Blender so that the particle size is uniform and small enough for proper product delivery and wetting. The colors in the mixture must be grounded to their primary particle size for optimum color development. Homogenity test should be conduct : making a paper press of the powder and seeing if there are any pigment specks and color streaking to see if the pigments are ground properly.

Very fine screens should be used in the grinding process, usually with holes or openings at 0.1-0.2 inches. ( The pearls should never be ground through a fine screen. This would destroy the pearl particles and will lose the effect of the material ). Pearls should only be ground as a very last step through a large screen opening just to fluff up and make the product uniform and prepare it for pressing.

disc mill

grinding the mixture

Adding the Binders and Perfume Oil

In all cases the binders must completely coat all the powder particles as this will aid in the proper pressing of the product. When we add the oil by pouring, we  should pour it little by little ( need some patience here ).

After all the binder have been poured into the mixture, it is now time for the perfume oil. There are many ways to achieve uniform distribution of the fragrance in the powder. One of them is  we could make a fragrance/absorbent powder pre-mix in a waring blender, and then add that (hopefully free-flowing) pre-blend to your other ingredients in a gentler/less energetic mixer.


Pressing the powder

A suitable pan must be selected made of the correct metal. Tin plating sometimes interferes with the powder pressing characteristics. The type of press and pressure is also important as well as the diameter and depth of the pan for a particular type of powder.

A drop test will be an adequate test of a powder’s compression properties. It is also important for a powder not to pimple or dust and not pressed so hard as to make the product glaze in the pan. The proper binder will help eliminate any negative attributes.

the same amount of powder to be placed in each pan

the same amount of powder to be placed in each pan(2)

the same pressure applied to each pan

a suitable product : eyeshadow

Silk ribbon is used to give the pressed powder surface a nice visual effect and sometimes a company’s logo can be embossed into the surface of the powder.

andriantoangkadirjo85 bottom line

1. Yes, pressed powder is another simple product to formulate. Once you have able to create a good formulation you can make either one of this product : compac-eyeshadow-blush on-2way cake.

2. Once we understand the process of making compac, there is no problem whether making a small batch scale with lab. device or industrial scale.

3. The pressure to correctly press a powder is different from formula to formula, and sometimes from batch to batch, and also depends on the size/shape of the container you are pressing into, and the machine you’re pressing with, and the length of time (dwell) that you press the powder for – among other things. You can only determine the correct settings by trial and error (If it was easy to figure this stuff out, they wouldn’t need a cosmetic chemist to do it).


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