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Some Non-equilibrium Phenomena In The Malic Acid/water/Polysorbate 81 System.

A. Al Bawab, S. Friberg, M. Bergamaschi, O. Santos
Published 2007 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Topical formulations undergo radical structural changes after application and the action on the skin is not directly related to the original structure of the formulation. This fact has been well established in the scientific literature. However, and more essential, is the fact that these changes in the formulation structure are not equilibrium ones. Especially so, with the hydroxy acids, which are widely used in cosmetic and dermatological treatment of skin. The article reports the first investigation into the non-equilibrium conditions in a hydroxy acid system. Different phases in the title system, which were not in mutual equilibrium, were brought in contact while avoiding convection. The transfer of substance between them was estimated from the changes in volume of each phase. The results showed, unexpectedly, that the systems were far from equilibrium even after prolonged times in contact. The kinetics of the changes varied to significant degree, from extremely slow, when solid phases were involved to fast for liquid phases. In one case was observed a separated layer, which was not found in the phase diagram under equilibrium conditions.
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