It's fairly common knowledge that oil and water don't mix, which is why cosmetics manufacturers use surfactants to mix the two.
Surfactants are compounds that prevent natural particle separation by disrupting the interface of two liquids.
Chemical surfactants can pose a danger to the human body, while the organic versions carry a heavy price tag.
Now, a Korean research team has successfully developed a method of mixing oil and water at room temperature -- without surfactants.
"We can manufacture products that require surfactants without using them, allowing us to pioneer a new market."
Using a focused ultrasound device, the research team successfully dispersed oil particles in a water and oil solution.
They used Cetiol brand oil, regular olive oil and distilled water and the result was a nanoscale emulsion created without the use of surfactants.
The researchers say their method could be used to make body-friendly cosmetics, medicines and food.
And with the size of this year's global cosmetics market estimated at 280 billion U.S. dollars and the nanomedicine industry estimated at 24 billion, the number of possible applications is potentially unlimited.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.