Home LaboratoriesCosmetic Cosmetotextiles, an approach to their functionalities and the business opportunities they represent

Cosmetotextiles, an approach to their functionalities and the business opportunities they represent


When we are asked to define a cosmetic, we would probably answer with things such as creams, gels, soap, or shampoo. Others may speak of hygiene products and include oral hygiene, but cosmetics are defined officially by EC regulation 1223/2009: “Any product intended to be placed in contact with the superficial parts of the human body (epidermis, hair and capillary system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or teeth and oral mucous membranes, for the sole or principal purpose of cleaning, perfuming, modifying their appearance, protecting, keeping them in good condition or to correct body odours”.

There is a range of products considered cosmetic although the consumer may not be aware of this. Indeed, a product may be cosmetic or not at the same time and this is due to its main purpose.

A cosmetotextile is a cosmetic that needs a textile medium as a method of transport, such as hygienic wipes. It is any textile article containing a substance or preparation that is released over time on different surface parts of the human body, especially the skin, and which provides special functionalities such as cleaning, perfuming, changing the appearance, protecting, maintaining in good condition, or correcting body odours.

What are the advantages of cosmetotextiles?

Among the functions of cosmetotextiles regulated under EC 1223/2009 are functions such as slimming, moisturising, energising, fragrance, refreshing, relaxing, vitalising, UV protection and firming effect.

As cosmetotextiles are covered by cosmetics legislation, it is also possible to carry out toxicological and sensitisation tests on healthy volunteers in order to predict whether an irritant response will occur, the same as for cosmetics. These predictive or efficacy tests are designed to verify claimed functionalities and use the open test, patch test and use test.

The trials are conducted so that allergic sensitisation can be demonstrated in volunteers with suspected allergic contact dermatitis. They can be performed on cosmetotextiles to indicate that it has been dermatologically tested, that the product is non-irritant or that it has good skin compatibility and show that it has been dermatologically tested. Tests are also available for sensitive skin for children and toddlers.

AITEX is making a strategic proposal in R&D in the cosmetics sector

The textile and cosmetics sectors are growing closer due to a common need for different functionalities in everyday textiles, so as not to depend solely on cosmetics when it comes to skincare or the benefits of a particular asset. An example would be a bra impregnated with moisturising active ingredients, to avoid the need to moisturize the breasts from time to time with traditional cosmetics, or the case of textiles for childcare with impregnated fragrances that provide aromatherapy for relaxation.

Successful cases have been developed at AITEX, such as self-tanning socks, textiles with aromatherapy and garments that release encapsulated active ingredients. Thanks to the know-how gained over the years, the Institute is fully capable of helping and guiding companies in developing different cosmetotextiles and to carry out tests, trials, and certification necessary before the product can be marketed.

In April, AITEX took part in the In-Cosmetics Global Fair with its own stand R-23 in the Spanish pavilion run by the Beauty Cluster. More than 1,800 suppliers of ingredients, laboratory equipment, perfume manufacturers and suppliers of testing and regulatory solutions attended, making it the world’s leading cosmetics event. The stand received more than 100 visitors who were interested in our laboratory and R&D services, providing a welcome boost to the Institute’s cosmetics department.

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