Title:
Antibacterial cosmetic brush
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is an antibacterial cosmetic brush, in which an antibacterial material is applied to animal hair so as to prevent bacteria, including E. coli or Pneumococcus, from propagating on the cosmetic brush. According to the disclosed invention, it is possible to prevent bacteria from propagating on a cosmetic brush for applying a cosmetic product directly to the skin, thus promoting skin care, and prevent bacterial infections.



Inventors:
Lim, Bong-teak (Gyeonggi-do, KR)
Application Number:
11/879441
Publication Date:
01/24/2008
Filing Date:
07/17/2007
Assignee:
SELIM Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/320
International Classes:
A46D1/00
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Primary Examiner:
CHUI, MEI PING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A brush for applying a powder or liquid cosmetic product to the skin, the brush comprising: a handle made of a plastic material; bristles attached to one end of the handle and made of goat or horse hair, the bristles comprising an antibacterial material applied thereto; and a metal tube for fixing the bristles to the handle; wherein the antibacterial material is a polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) polymer having the following formula:

2. The antibacterial cosmetic brush of claim 1, wherein the bristles comprising the antibacterial material applied thereto are made by dipping bristles in an aqueous solution of polyhexamethylene biguanide for 5-15 minutes, followed by drying in a dryer at 30-50° C. for 1-3 hours.

3. The antibacterial cosmetic brush of claim 1, wherein the aqueous solution contains 0.5-2 wt % of polyhexamethylene biguanide dissolved therein.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an antibacterial cosmetic brush, and more particularly to an antibacterial cosmetic brush, in which an antibacterial material is applied to animal hair so as to prevent bacteria, including E. coli or Pneumococcus, from propagating on the cosmetic brush.

2. Background of the Related Art

FIG. 1 is a photograph showing the configuration of a cosmetic brush. As shown in FIG. 1, a cosmetic brush 100 is a tool for applying powder or liquid cosmetics to the skin and has a structure in which bristles 106 made of animal hair are attached to the end of a handle 102 made of a plastic or wood material.

The bristles 106 are fixed to the end of the handle 102 through, for example, a metal tube 104.

In the use of such a cosmetic brush 100, the handle 102 is held with one hand, the bristles 106 are immersed in a cosmetic container such that they are covered with a cosmetic product contained in the container. Then, the cosmetic product on the bristles is applied to a cheek or an eye.

Because the bristles 106 of the cosmetic brush 100 are brought into direct contact with the skin, they need to be made of a material, which is soft and, at the same time, can be readily covered with cosmetics. Generally, the bristles are made of animal hair such as goat or horse hair.

The bristles 106 made of animal hair are soft, and thus have an advantage in that, when they are used to apply cosmetics to a cheek or an eye, the cosmetics spread readily on the cheek or the eye.

However, when the bristles 106 are used for a long period of time, there is a possibility that E. coli or other bacteria may propagate on the bristles, because the nutrient components of cosmetics remain on the bristles. When bacteria propagate on the cosmetic brush 100, they can cause inflammation on the skin and also can infiltrate wound sites to cause secondary infections. For this reason, the cosmetic brush 100 needs to be kept clean.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made in order to solve the above-described problems occurring in the prior art, and it is an object of the present invention to provide an antibacterial cosmetic brush, which comprises bristles treated with polyhexamethylene biguanide so as to inhibit the growth and propagation of bacteria, such as E. coli, Pneumococcus and Salmonella, on the bristles.

To achieve the above object, the present invention provides a brush for applying a powder or liquid cosmetic product to the skin, the brush comprising: a handle made of a plastic material; bristles attached to one end of the handle and made of animal hair; and a metal tube for fixing the bristles to the handle, wherein an antibacterial material is applied to the bristles.

In the cosmetic brush of the present invention, the bristles are preferably made of goat hair or horse hair.

The antibacterial material is preferably a polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) polymer having the following formula:

The bristles treated with the antibacterial material is preferably made by dipping bristles in an aqueous solution of polyhexamethylene biguanide for 5-15 minutes, followed by drying in a dryer at 30-50° C. for about 1-3 hours.

The aqueous solution contains 0.5-2 wt % of polyhexamethylene biguanide dissolved therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a photograph showing the configuration of a cosmetic brush;

FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing a process for treating a cosmetic brush with an antibacterial material; and

FIGS. 3a and 3b are photographs showing the comparison of antibacterial activity between a cosmetic brush not treated with an antibacterial material and a cosmetic brush treated with an antibacterial material.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

An antibacterial material is applied to the cosmetic brush according to the present invention. In an embodiment of the present invention, polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) is used as the antibacterial material.

Polyhexamethylene biguanide is a material, which has been used as a disinfecting or cleaning agent in, for example, contact lens disinfecting solutions, wound healing agents or insecticides. It is present in the form of a polymer and is represented by the following formula:

Polyhexamethylene biguanide is used in the form of an aqueous solution or a water-soluble salt and is present in the form of a polymer comprising about 3-80 biguanide units.

In the above formula, “n” is generally 12, and the polyhexamethylene biguanide has preferably an average molecular weight of 1100-3300.

An organic acid that forms a salt with polyhexamethylene biguanide may contain a phosphone, phosphor, sulfone or sulfate group, but preferably contains a carboxyl group.

It is known that polyhexamethylene biguanide is present in the form of an aqueous solution or a salt and, at the same time, has an excellent bactericidal effect against E. coli, Pneumococcus, Salmonella and the like.

In addition, the structure and preparation of polyhexamethylene biguanide are described in a number of prior publications, including U.S. Pat. No. 4,758,595, and thus the detailed description thereof will be omitted herein.

Meanwhile, FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing a process of treating a cosmetic brush with an antibacterial material. A method of applying polyhexamethylene biguanide to the cosmetic brush 100 will now be described with reference to FIG. 2.

For the antibacterial treatment of the cosmetic brush 100, an aqueous solution containing polyhexamethylene biguanide dissolved therein is prepared (S102).

The aqueous solution preferably contains 0.5-2 wt % of polyhexamethylene biguanide dissolved therein, but the content of polyhexamethylene biguanide in the aqueous solution can be increased to increase antibacterial activity.

In the aqueous solution thus prepared, the bristles 106 made of animal hair are dipped for a given time (S104). The dipping time of the bristles 106 is preferably 5-15 minutes.

After the dipping step, the bristles 106 are taken out of the aqueous solution (S106).

Then, the bristles 106 are dried in a dryer at 30-50° C. for, preferably 1-3 hours (S108).

While the bristles 106 are dipped in the aqueous polyhexamethylene biguanide solution, the antibacterial material permeates the surface or inside of animal hair. Also, the permeated antibacterial material is firmly attached to the animal hair during drying in the dryer, such that it can maintain bactericidal activity for a considerable period of time.

The bristles 106 treated with polyhexamethylene biguanide are cut to a given length according to the intended use thereof (S110).

Then, the bristles 106 are attached to the handle 102 through the metal tube 104 (S112). During the attachment of the bristles 106, a portion of the metal tube 104, which is inserted with the bristles 106, is slightly pressed such that the bristles 106 do not come out from the metal tube.

After the attachment of the bristles 106, the cosmetic brush is wrapped in vinyl for marketing.

Meanwhile, FIGS. 3a and 3b are photographs showing test results for the antibacterial activity of the antibacterial brush. Specifically, FIG. 3a shows test results for the propagation of bacteria in a brush not treated with the antibacterial material, and FIG. 3b shows test results for the propagation of bacteria in the brush treated with the antibacterial material.

The test results were obtained by measuring antibacterial activity in accordance with ASTM E 2149-01 in the FITI Testing and Research Institute, Korea, on Jun. 12, 2006. A bacterial strain used in the test was Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, and the number of initial bacteria was 2.2×105 cells/ml. Also, a buffer solution used in the test was Sorensen's phosphate buffer, and the bristles 106 were made of goat hair.

In the test results, in the case of the brush not treated with the antibacterial material, the number of bacteria after 1 hour was decreased to 2.0×105 cells/ml, which is not substantially different from the initial bacterial number. However, in the case of the brush treated with the antibacterial material, the number of bacteria was decreased to 4.4×10 cells/ml, which corresponds to a decrease of 99.9% compared to the initial bacterial number.

Thus, it can be seen that the cosmetic brush comprising the bristles treated with polyhexamethylene biguanide has a high antibacterial activity such that more than 99% of bacteria such as E. coli can be removed.

As described above, according to the present invention, it is possible to prevent bacteria from propagating on a cosmetic brush for applying a cosmetic product directly to the skin, thus promoting skin care, and prevent bacterial infections.

Although the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.