A mixture of two or more liquids, in which one liquid is present as microscopic droplets distributed throughout the other liquid. An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (unmixable or unblendable) owing to liquid-liquid phase separation. Emulsions are part of a more general class of two-phase systems of matter called colloids. Although the terms colloid and emulsion are sometimes used interchangeably, emulsion should be used when both phases, dispersed and continuous, are liquids. In an emulsion, one liquid (the dispersed phase) is dispersed in the other (the continuous phase). Examples of emulsions include vinaigrettes, homogenized milk, liquid biomolecular condensates, and some cutting fluids for metal working. Two liquids can form different types of emulsions. As an example, oil and water can form, first, an oil-in-water emulsion, in which the oil is the dispersed phase, and water is the continuous phase. Second, they can form a water-in-oil emulsion, in which water is the dispersed phase and oil is the continuous phase. Multiple emulsions are also possible, including a "water-in-oil-in-water" emulsion and an "oil-in-water-in-oil" emulsion. Emulsions, being liquids, do not exhibit a static internal structure. The droplets dispersed in the continuous phase (sometimes referred to as the "dispersion medium") are usually assumed to be statistically distributed to produce roughly spherical droplets.

Subscribe to our e-mails

Receive the latest news in skin care routines and innovations delivered to your Inbox.


DefenAge's Solutions