Ointment, for damaged skins

Ointments are biphasic vehicles with occlusive properties, meaning they entrap water under the skin’s surface. This makes them particularly attractive for very dry skin. However, being insoluble in water and difficult to wash off, ointments are less favored by patients, since they can be perceived as being greasy or messy to apply.

A simple process

Although ointments contain high oil, their process is a classical emulsification process, with melting/heating of the excipients, addition of the API and emulsification followed by a cooling step. 

Challenging high oil, low water content formulations

Ointments, balms and anhydrous formulations are being defined as containing less than 20% water. However, they can contain glycerin, propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol as hydrophilic components. The difficulty in formulating high oil content formulations relies in finding suitable emulsifiers able to incorporate high oil content and thickeners to obtain the appropriate texture and stability. 

Compritol® 888 Pellets, Geleol™ Mono and Diglycerides NF and hydrogenated castor oil in a ratio 2:2:1 constitute a multi-component thickening system bringing consistency and stability to ointments. 

Labrafac™ Lipophile WL 1349 improves skin feel and enhances spreadability with a melting sensation.  

Sedefos™ 75 is the ideal emulsifier for high oil content ointments, while Gelot™ 64 is best use with challenging APIs.