Sensory signature of lignins, new generation of bio-based ingredients in cosmetics

Int J Biol Macromol. 2024 Mar;260(Pt 1):129399. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2024.129399. Epub 2024 Jan 14.


Lignins represent a high interest in cosmetics as promising multifunctional ingredients. Despite this, uncovering the sensory profile of lignin-based emulsions has remained an unexplored frontier. This study aims to bridge this gap by employing expert sensory evaluation and instrumental characterization to assess the sensory attributes of lignin-based emulsions. A comparative analysis with commercial tinted products and discrimination among lignin derivatives were integral components of the research. Results underscored the distinctive sensory properties of lignin emulsions, exhibiting significantly higher "Integrity of shape" (7.0 ± 0.1) compared to commercial products (4.8 ± 0.1). Additionally, lignin emulsions displayed longer play-time until skin absorption (4.3 ± 0.1), contrasting with the quicker absorption of commercial products (2.7 ± 0.4) and their shorter play-time. Depending on application requirements, lignin derivatives offer formulators a versatile sensory toolbox. Discrimination of lignin emulsions on certain texture properties was achieved using various instrumental tools. Despite the complex formulation of commercial products compared to lignin emulsions, similar texture properties were observed, showcasing lignins' potential to replace multiple ingredients in tinted cosmetics. Beyond their established antioxidant, anti-UV, anti-bacterial, and emulsifying properties, this study reveals additional advantageous sensory properties of lignins, positioning them as promising plant-based sensory ingredients in sustainable cosmetic applications.

Keywords: Lignin-based emulsions; Sensory performance; Sustainable ingredients.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium Phosphates*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Cosmetics*
  • Emulsions
  • Lignin*


  • Lignin
  • Cosmetics
  • Antioxidants
  • Emulsions
  • alpha-tricalcium phosphate
  • Calcium Phosphates