Cosmetotextiles: Beauty from Within

Textile cosmetology puts physical well-being at the heart of textile innovation: fabric is envisioned as a genuine beauty product or a remedy offering stimulating or soothing properties.
Whether they are acting as moisturizers or releasing a pleasant fragrance in the form of scarves or even perfume-diffusing belts, cosmetic textiles in the service of skincare are also called dermotextiles. Often composed with active ingredients boasting anti-drying and anti-wrinkle effects, such textiles can equally be used to treat certain skin ailments, functioning for example like a slimming or anti-cellulite cream would by impregnating the fabric with caffeine and green tea.
The development of new technology such as nanotechnology has given birth to new processes such as micro-encapsulation. The virtues of cosmetotextiles come from the specific substances injected into the core of the material or the fibers via micro capsulation. Through the life cycle of the products, friction and heat cause the microcapsules to break open, freeing small amounts of the ingredients with cosmetic properties near the desired body part.
Additional components, whether synthetic or natural, mixed with the fabric filaments, allow for a multitude of new functions for garments and accessories, opening the door to new applications at the threshold of clothing and cosmetology.
Sportswear, underwear and beachwear are the ideal domains for the development and application of cosmetotextiles. Sportswear in particular is often a site of research and experimentation and cosmetotextiles are rapidly finding their place in this area. Over the past several years, comfortable fabrics have been developed with materials that offer a protective barrier against body odor or that improve performance in competitive sport. There are similarly applications of plant-based ingredients that stimulate or soothe, often composed from essential oils that are energizing, anti-fatigue, or even improve circulation to facilitate muscle recovery.
The sensitive fiber Smartcel™ Sensitive, developed in Germany by the Smartfiber company, transforms sport textiles into skincare products. With a zinc-based cellulose fiber (an essential trace element), the material provides a unique softness. Likewiese, SeaCell™is a viscose enriched with trace elements derived from seaweed and can be micro-encapsulated in the center of a textile, offering cosmetological properties of softness and hygiene.
Thanks to textile aromatherapy, the sectors of underwear and beachwear, which never cease developing and diversifying, have recently added textile to their offering that provide relaxation and skincare. There are now revitalizing, anti-stress ginger micro-encapsulations as well as soothing ones derived from ylang-ylang. Micro-encapulated textiles made from aloe vera are often used as moisturizers or to promote healing, while others based in menthol contribute to the cooling of the skin after activity.
These principles adapt perfectly to underwear and notably to tights, whose innovative and fashionable hallmark product is slimming tights.
Several brands, such as Le Bourget and Dim, have innovated to offer a range of products that guarantee the moisturization of the skin as well as optimize the appearance and softness of legs.
Dim invented the Dimaline – a combination of micro-encapsulated active ingredients including almond, apricot and olive oils (rich in Vitamins A and E) – to ensure maximum hydration and softness, and Diam’s Minceur, a slimming tight that includes integrated micro-capsules of caffeine to stimulate fat cells.
Daxon and Lytess offer stockings enriched with loofah oil and liquid shea butter for a skin-firming effect, while a similar product developed by La Redoute opts for an alloy of ceramic crystals integrated into the structure of the thread to confer similar slimming properties. There exists in fact a wide range of slimming products developed from bioceramic technology that integrates mineral alloys into fibers via micro-encapsulation, acting on the metabolism to stimulate blood flow and producing a natural drainage.
Even if cosmetotextiles lack stability over time, losing their effectiveness over a period of washes (they can, however, be reactivated via reimpregnation with a spray), they are nevertheless becoming more and more durable, and their surprising properties continue to multiply.
The potential for innovation and development of these new technologies is crucial, now extending to the entire apparel sector: Royo, a supplier of denim fabric, has created a “well-being” line, with cosmetic properties that rejuvenate the skin.