Optical microscopy and centrifugation were used to observe the structural changes during evaporation of a commercial skin lotion of unknown composition. The degree of evaporation was determined from the changed weight of a microscope slide with the emulsion on a defined area and thickness, the evaporation loss versus time being measured by a balance under an infrared lamp. The results revealed not only which parts of the emulsion were most prone to evaporation without chemical analysis, but also gave surprising information as to which kind of structures would appear after extensive evaporation. The importance of these changes for the action of a skin lotion is briefly discussed.

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