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The Firp laboratory was invited by the journal “Cosmetics” of the Swiss editorial house 

MPDI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) to write a review article, recently accepted, whose title is: “How to Use the Normalized Hydrophilic-Lipophilic-Deviation (HLDN) Concept for the Formulation of Equilibrated and Emulsified Surfactant-Oil-WaterSystems for Cosmetics and Pharmaceutical Products”. The authors of the review are professors Jean Louis Salager, Raquel Antón, Johnny Bullón, Ana Forgiarini and Ronald Márquez.


Abstract: The effects of surfactant molecules involved in macro-, mini-, nano-, and microemulsions used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are related to their amphiphilic interactions with oil and water phases. Basic ideas on their behavior when they are put together in a system have resulted in the energy balance concept labeled the hydrophilic-lipophilic deviation (HLD) from optimum formulation. This semiempirical equation integrates in a simple linear relationship the effects of six to eight variables including surfactant head and tail, sometimes a cosurfactant, oil-phase nature, aqueous-phase salinity, temperature, and pressure. This is undoubtedly much more efficient than the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) which has been used since 1950. The new HLD is quite important because it allows researchers to model and somehow predict the phase behavior, the interfacial tension between oil and water phases, their solubilization in single-phase microemulsion, as well as the corresponding properties for various kinds of macroemulsions. However, the HLD correlation, which has been developed and used in petroleum applications, is sometimes difficult to apply accurately in real cases involving ionic–nonionic surfactant mixtures and natural polar oils, as it is the case in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. This review shows the confusion resulting from the multiple definitions of HLD and of the surfactant parameter, and proposes a “normalized” Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Deviation (HLDN) equation with a surfactant contribution parameter (SCP), to handle more exactly the effects of formulation variables on the phase behavior and the micro/macroemulsion properties.