Horizontal Plow Mixer in the Cosmetics Industry

Makeup and cosmetics have been with humanity as far back as Ancient Egypt and Samaria. Even the statue of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti displays eyeliner on it. As humans continually fixate on appearances, the cosmetics industry has grown into a colossal sector valued at 340 billion dollars. It is projected to grow into a half-a-trillion-dollar industry by 2030. 

The reasons for the continuation of growth are multifaceted. They vary from aging populations in first-world democracies to new markets in the developing world being fashion-conscious. This growing marketplace has made companies concerned about improving their overall efficiencies to keep up with this ever-increasing demand. As a result, process engineers in this industry are always looking at improving efficiencies to keep up with the exponential growth this industry continues to experience.

Although makeup has existed since ancient times, one of the most common pieces of portable makeup did not arrive until the early 1900s, and that piece is the simple compact. Today it is one of the most common items used in cosmetics. The compact is a small container holding a face powder, mirror, and powder puff. The face powders vary depending on the look and area of the face people want to use for their makeup. Still, in the end, the makeup is primarily a blend of dry powder used to accentuate people’s natural beauty. 

Powder Blending for Cosmetics

Before the advent of the plow mixer in the cosmetics industry, makeup manufacturers shifted to complete one industrial batch of the powders used in compacts. Inefficiencies included multiple cleanups of the industrial mixer and increasing the overall labor cost. It is for this reason in the 90s; some cosmetic corporations investigated the usage of alternative technologies to complete these complex dry blending operations. For this reason, plow mixing technology was examined as an alternate technology due to the successes spice blending operations were seeing with this technology. Shown in one situation that plow mixing technology could achieve better uniformity than an 8-hour tumble blender in a mere 25-minute mix time. It also removed the need to do multiple unit cleanings, reducing the labor costs associated with this mix. As a result, the customer observed a nearly 2000 percent improvement in cycle time at the mixing stage. For this reason, plow mixers with their high horsepower motors for powder blending have become popular among makeup manufacturers worldwide.

Dry powder blending remains the most common use of this technology in the makeup industry. However, due to the adaptability of these industrial mixers, it is not the only area of this market that can benefit from the usage of plow mixers. Horizontal mixers are already used to make some base polymers in lipstick manufacturing. Also, heat jackets are included on some plough mixers, and they are used to melt waxes and blend other ingredients to produce lipstick. Horizontal plow mixers can also help blend highly thixotropic creams used in moistures and the dispersion of colorants and pigments into makeup.

Processall’s industrial mixing equipment gives manufacturers a leg up on the competition. Below are some benefits of moving toward plow mixing technologies for cosmetics manufacturers.

  • Creation of a mechanically fluidized bed which reduces the mixing time of the materials
  • Dry powder blending applications have seen reductions of upwards of 2,000 percent in mixing times over other mixing applications
  • The vessel jacket allows different media (hot oil, steam, or tempered water) to be used depending on the thermal sensitivity of the product
  • Versatility because of its ability to mix powders, disperse pigment into liquid systems, and do hot melt blending all within one unit depending upon needs
  • Reductions in drying times up to four times faster than other technologies on the market
  • Mill breaks up clumps and can be used for defining particle size
  • Thermal jackets to allow for optimal temperature controls
  • High-speed mix which can handle materials as fine as dried oats without damaging the material
  • Easy to scale up and predict mix times after lab testing
  • Able to be made a U1 Pressure vessel
  • It can be customized to include choppers
  • Vessels can be further outfitted to increase versatility:
    • Mechanical seals – will allow the vessel to be pressurized as well as reach a low vacuum (28 Hg)
    • Liquid lances – allows media to be sprayed onto the substrate


  • Ability to perform multiple unit operations in one unit resulting in:
    • Faster throughputs
    • Reduced energy consumption
    • Smaller footprint on the production floor
    • Less material handling and staffing

Current and Potential uses of Plow Mixers in Cosmetics

  • Foundation powders blending
  • Melting and blending of wax into lipsticks
  • Dispersing pigments into makeup
  • The blending of the highly thixotropic materials used in moisture
  • And many more

Processall maintains a fully equipped testing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is designed to provide customers with the data they need to develop their process, evaluate equipment, scale up, and identify the necessary equipment to maintain desired production volumes. We invite all potential customers to bring their products to our test center and get a “hands-on” experience with our technology and capabilities.

We also maintain a rental fleet that customers can utilize for further testing at their facility to minimize their startup costs for a new process.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with all your material processing questions; our experienced industry professionals will help you find the right mixing solutions for your particular application.