Excipients for Drug Formulation

Solutions for Creams & Emulsions

BASF offers a broad selection of oils, emulsifiers, viscosity enhancers and solvents to equip the formulator to be able to produce a wide range of lotions, creams and gel emulsions.

Creams and emulsions are the most diverse and widely used dosage forms for topical dermatological applications. They are two-phase systems typically containing hydrophilic ingredient in an aqueous phase and lipophilic ingredients in an oil phase. In order for topical emulsions to function effectively they require certain functional excipients.

BASF offers an unparalleled portfolio of excipients for topical formulations enabling you to create the ideal skin delivery solution for your cream or emulsion. We are committed to maintaining the highest level of quality. At the same time, we have focused on improving the mildness of formulations. And by extensively analyzing, refining and enhancing the sensorial effects of each ingredient class, we can help you to create products that increase patient compliance. Our range of solubilizers and penetration enhancers support effective delivery of the target API – the number-one priority when designing any dermatological product


  • Extensive expertise and understanding of topical products
  • Increased patient compliance through characterized sensorial effects
  • High quality products for maximum mildness
  • Innovative breakthroughs such as improved delivery systems
  • Meets the highest regulatory and quality requirements

Oils or Emollients

Lipophilic fluids that can (a) solubilize lipophilic APIs, (b) form films on the skin that provide a barrier to water loss, (c) provide pleasing sensorial cues during and after product application.

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Amphiphilic molecules that catalyze and stabilize the homogeneous blending and dispersing of one phase into another (e.g. oil into water). These are most commonly anionic or non-ionic in nature.

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Viscosity enhancers

Typically waxes or polymers that build colloidal structures, networks or microstructures that increase the viscosity of emulsions thereby improving cream emulsion stability and also allowing the user to effectively transfer the product from the primary package to the location of application.

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Both lipophilic and hydrophilic fluids may be used to enhance the solubilization of APIs, prevent crystallization or stabilize crystal habits and polymorphs in topical semi-solid formulations.

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Penetration enhancers

The delivery of APIs through the stratum corneum and into the skin can be accelerated by a variety of different materials. The choice of the right material is determined by the physico-chemical characteristics of the API (e.g. melting point, molecular weight, polarity, iconicity, etc.).

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Portfolio Overview

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Cremes Download Center

Discover our wide portfolio of excipients for cream and emulsion formulation

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