Study of sensory properties of emollients used in cosmetics and their correlation with physicochemical properties

J Cosmet Sci. May-Jun 2005;56(3):175-82.


Eight liquid emollients (mineral oil, sunflower oil, squalane, decyl oleate, isopropyl myristate, octyldodecanol, dimethicone, and cyclomethicone) were characterized by instrumental and sensory methods and evaluated to determine the relationship between sensory and instrumental measures. Sensory analysis was carried out by a panel of 14 assessors, who evaluated the following attributes: difficulty of spreading, gloss, residue, stickiness, slipperiness, softness, and oiliness. The physicochemical properties measured were spreadability (at one-half minute and at one minute), viscosity, and superficial tension. Data collected were statistically analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA), principal component analysis (PCA), and linear partial least squares regression analysis (PLS). In consideration of their physicochemical characteristics, the studied emollients were sorted into three groups, in which the silicones distinctly separate from the rest. Sensory characteristics enabled the discrimination of four groups of emollients where, besides the two silicones, isopropyl myristate was also differentiated. PLS revealed that emollient sensory attributes could be well predicted by instrumental measurements.

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetics*
  • Emollients / chemistry*
  • Emollients / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Sensation*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*
  • Surface Tension
  • Viscosity


  • Cosmetics
  • Emollients