From Mayonnaise to Shampoo: Emulsion Examples Explored

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Wanna know what are the top 6 examples of emulsion in everyday life? If yes, then you are at the right place at the very right time. Emulsions are all around us, even if we don’t always notice them. An emulsion is a mixture of two immiscible (unmixable) substances, typically a liquid dispersed in another liquid in the form of tiny droplets.

In fact, emulsions play a significant role in various aspects of our daily lives, from food and cosmetics to industrial processes. In this article, we’ll explore 10 emulsion examples that you encounter in your everyday life. Therefore, without wasting any more time, let’s dive right in…!!!

From Mayonnaise to Shampoo: Emulsion Examples Explored

  • Mayonnaise
  • Emulsion Paint
  • Emulsified Asphalt
  • Butter
  • Shampoo
  • Salad Dressing


Mayonnaise is indeed an example of an emulsion. In the case of mayonnaise, it is primarily composed of oil and water, which naturally do not mix together. To create mayonnaise, these two immiscible components are blended together with the help of an emulsifying agent along with acid (usually vinegar or lemon juice) and seasoning.

In fact, the emulsifying agents in mayonnaise, such as egg yolks, help stabilize the mixture by surrounding the oil droplets and preventing them from coalescing and separating from the water-based components.

This results in a creamy, stable, and homogeneous mixture that we know as mayonnaise. Emulsions like mayonnaise are commonly used in various culinary applications and in the food industry to create stable mixtures of ingredients that would otherwise separate.

Emulsion Paint

Paint typically consists of three main components: pigment particles, a binder or resin, and a solvent. The pigment particles provide color, and the binder or resin gives the paint its adhesive and cohesive properties. And, the solvent controls the consistency and viscosity of the paint. In water-based paints, an emulsion of oil or resin in water is formed.

The resin or binder, which is typically an oil-based substance, is broken down into tiny droplets within the water. An emulsifying agent stabilizes this emulsion, preventing the oil droplets from coalescing and separating from the water. This emulsifying agent can be a surfactant or other chemical that promotes emulsion stability.

The pigment particles are dispersed within this emulsion, and when the paint is applied to a surface, the water in the emulsion evaporates, leaving behind a solid layer of paint with the pigments evenly distributed. The binder then hardens, adhering the pigments to the surface. This results in a durable and colored coating.

Emulsified Asphalt

Emulsified asphalt consists of two main components – asphalt cement (which is a hydrophobic, oil-like material) and an emulsifying agent (usually a surfactant). The emulsifying agent is added to the asphalt to make it compatible with water. During the emulsification process, the emulsifying agent surrounds tiny droplets of asphalt within a water-based solution.

The emulsifying agent has a hydrophilic (water-attracting) end and a hydrophobic (water-repelling) end. The hydrophilic end interacts with water, while the hydrophobic end interacts with the asphalt. As a result, the emulsifying agent stabilizes the emulsion by preventing the asphalt droplets from coalescing and separating from the water.

This results in a stable mixture of asphalt and water. Later, this emulsified asphalt is applied to road surfaces by spraying it onto the road. As soon as the water evaporates, the asphalt particles coalesce and bond together, forming a durable and waterproof layer.


Butter is typically made by churning cream, which is a mixture of water, milk proteins, and milk fat. During the churning process, the fat globules in the cream are agitated and disrupted. This agitation causes the fat globules to coalesce and come together, trapping small droplets of water and milk proteins within the fat.

As the fat globules join together, they encapsulate the water and milk proteins. The fat globules act as a continuous phase (the oil phase). While, on the other hand, the trapped water droplets and milk proteins act as the dispersed phase (the water phase). As the churning continues, the fat globules eventually solidify into small, semi-solid fat globules surrounded by water.

This emulsification of water in fat is what gives butter its characteristic texture and consistency. It makes butter spreadable and suitable for use in a variety of culinary applications. Hence, contributing to the creamy, smooth, and spreadable quality of the product.


Shampoos are typically an oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion. It consists of several key components, including water, various surfactants, conditioning agents, fragrances, and other additives. Such that, oils or hydrophobic substances are mixed with water. Later, surfactants are added to make the mixture stable.

Surfactants basically emulsify the oils by dispersing them in tiny droplets within the water. So when we apply shampoo to the hair, the emulsified oils remove dirt and oil. On the other hand, conditioning agents in the shampoo can leave the hair soft and manageable.

To sum up, one can say that shampoo is an emulsion where the oil phase, which includes cleansing and conditioning agents, is emulsified within the water phase. This emulsion allows the shampoo to effectively clean your hair and scalp and provide other benefits, such as conditioning and fragrance, all in a single product.

Salad Dressing

Salad dressing is one of the most common examples of emulsions in the culinary world. They typically consist of oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and various seasonings. In fact, it is an oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion, which means that small droplets of oil are dispersed within a continuous phase of water.

It can come in various flavors and styles, with different types of oils and vinegar, seasonings, and emulsifiers. The emulsion created in salad dressing is essential for achieving the desired texture and flavor, ensuring that the oil and water-based ingredients blend together to coat the salad evenly.

Some Other Examples of Emulsion in Real Life

Apart from the above-mentioned ones, I am also mentioning a few here.

  • Milk
  • Firefighting
  • Emulsifying Wax
  • Icecream
  • Emulsified Medications, etc.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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