Water-free formulations for Topical Applications

21. June 2022

Topical uses of our specialty products are a pivotal component of our daily aspiration at IOI Oleo GmbH. The business units Pharma and Personal care have common history and share products and expertise to help customers developing high quality, sensorially appealing formulations.

The majority of API candidates under clinical development are poorly water-soluble, and they can be sensitive to hydrolysis or adverse reactions triggered by impurities. Water-free formulating may be an idea that derives from technical needs, but it offers a multitude of possibilities. For example, depending on product presentation, a water-free system may not require preservation or other stabilizers.

Petrol-based formulations have been and will remain a staple in the toolbox of topical formulation development. However, an occlusive nature, formulation aesthetics or skin feeling may not be beneficial to the targeted mode of action and patient compliance in chronic application regimes.

By combining tried and trusted vegetable-based excipients from IOI Oleo, you can create water-free formulations with a familiar petrolatum appearance, an appealing sensory profile and non-pharmacological benefits for certain skin conditions. IOI Oleo’s range of emollients, solubilizers, emulsifiers, viscosity regulators and film formers enables a variety of textures, viscosities, skin feelings and melting characteristics.

For individual advice and further details, please contact us at any time

In order to be able to offer you product combinations with a perfect fit, we have commissioned a series of short-term in-vivo studies. Our well-known SOFTISAN® 378 was mixed with a selection of complementary emollients from our range and tested for the ability to produce water-free formulation concepts.

The results of the studies are convincing:

  • Formulations based on SOFTISAN® 378 increased skin moisturization in a range of 40-60% according to Corneometer measurement.

  • The scoring for skin softness of treated areas significantly increased from 1.7 to 2.8-3.5 on a clinical Scoring was done by a dermatological expert.

  • The formulations did not show a significant influence of transepidermal water loss and therefore will not contribute to skin occlusion or increase the risk of maceration.

  • More than 69% of study participants answered positively during the self-assessment of the formulations with regards to “skin hydration”, “skin softness” and “skin feeling nourished”.

The Witten site has been engaged in the manufacture of semi-solid formulations and ingredients for more than 100 years. Our excipients are successfully used by market leaders and innovators for the development and manufacture of sensorially appealing topical formulations, while leveraging the regulatory setup if IOI Oleo´s GMP-certified production.

Contact us and learn all about formulating water-free concepts with our naturally-based product portfolio.

Please share this information!

Robert Radsziwill

Robert is the Business Development Manager for Functional Excipients in the Pharma Division of IOI Oleo GmbH. Prior to this role he held technical and commercial roles focusing raw materials used in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry for 13 years. In each position he leveraged his diploma degree in Business Chemistry earned at Westfälische Wilhelms-University to drive interdisciplinary projects and work as interface between commercial and technical decision makers. Understanding technical, commercial and regulatory drivers from ideation to successful project-completion is key for him. In his free time he enjoys guitar heavy music as well as cooking for and with family and friends.