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Review

Synthetic and Bio-Derived Surfactants Versus Microbial Biosurfactants in the Cosmetic Industry: An Overview

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Chemical Engineering Department, School of Industrial Engineering—Cintecx, Campus As Lagoas-Marcosende, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
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Chemical Engineering Department, Barcelona East School of Engineering (EEBE)—Barcelona Research Center for Multiscale Science and Engineering, Campus Diagonal-Besòs, Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), 08930 Barcelona, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paola Giardina
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052371
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 18 February 2021 / Accepted: 22 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
This article includes an updated review of the classification, uses and side effects of surfactants for their application in the cosmetic, personal care and pharmaceutical industries. Based on their origin and composition, surfactants can be divided into three different categories: (i) synthetic surfactants; (ii) bio-based surfactants; and (iii) microbial biosurfactants. The first group is the most widespread and cost-effective. It is composed of surfactants, which are synthetically produced, using non-renewable sources, with a final structure that is different from the natural components of living cells. The second category comprises surfactants of intermediate biocompatibility, usually produced by chemical synthesis but integrating fats, sugars or amino acids obtained from renewable sources into their structure. Finally, the third group of surfactants, designated as microbial biosurfactants, are considered the most biocompatible and eco-friendly, as they are produced by living cells, mostly bacteria and yeasts, without the intermediation of organic synthesis. Based on the information included in this review it would be interesting for cosmetic, personal care and pharmaceutical industries to consider microbial biosurfactants as a group apart from surfactants, needing specific regulations, as they are less toxic and more biocompatible than chemical surfactants having formulations that are more biocompatible and greener. View Full-Text
Keywords: petroleum-based surfactants; bio-based surfactants; microbial surfactants; cosmetics; industrial application petroleum-based surfactants; bio-based surfactants; microbial surfactants; cosmetics; industrial application
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moldes, A.B.; Rodríguez-López, L.; Rincón-Fontán, M.; López-Prieto, A.; Vecino, X.; Cruz, J.M. Synthetic and Bio-Derived Surfactants Versus Microbial Biosurfactants in the Cosmetic Industry: An Overview. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 2371. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052371

AMA Style

Moldes AB, Rodríguez-López L, Rincón-Fontán M, López-Prieto A, Vecino X, Cruz JM. Synthetic and Bio-Derived Surfactants Versus Microbial Biosurfactants in the Cosmetic Industry: An Overview. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(5):2371. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052371

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moldes, Ana B., Lorena Rodríguez-López, Myriam Rincón-Fontán, Alejandro López-Prieto, Xanel Vecino, and José M. Cruz. 2021. "Synthetic and Bio-Derived Surfactants Versus Microbial Biosurfactants in the Cosmetic Industry: An Overview" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 5: 2371. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052371

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