What is carbomer? Carbomer is the common name for an ingredient called polyacrylic acid (PAA). Carbomer is a group of synthetic acrylic high molecular weight polymers that can be used as thickeners in cosmetics and skin care products. They are mainly added to gel-like formulas such as facial moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, anti-aging formulas, cleansers and scrubs to help control the thickness, fluidity and consistency of the product.
Carbomer polymers can be present in a variety of product types, including skin, hair, nails, and cosmetics, at concentrations up to 50%. You may notice a number related to the carbomer name on the ingredients, which is the carbomer code. The carbomer codes (ie 910, 934, 940, 941, and 934P) indicate the molecular weight and specific composition of the polymer.
Carbomer polymers can have varying pH values and must be neutralized to make them function as thickeners. Formulas containing carbomer polymers sometimes list these neutralizers. Examples include triethanolamine (TEA), sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and tetrasodium EDTA, to name a few. At other times, the company will purchase pre-neutralized carbomers, which may or may not list neutralizers.
Why use Carbomer?
To understand the functions of carbomers, it is important to first understand how they work. When carbomer is placed in an aqueous solution of neutral pH, many side chains will lose protons and gain a negative charge. Due to this reaction, carbomer is able to absorb and retain water, and swell to many times its original volume. This is why carbomer is considered a texture enhancer and is used to increase the thickness of products (especially gel formulations).
In addition, Carbomer has the ability to disperse or suspend insoluble solids in liquids. Therefore, carbomer is used to prevent the separation of emulsions into oil and liquid components, as well as to control the consistency of cosmetics and other skin care products. By adding carbomer to shampoo, conditioner, cream and lotion, the formula will appear richer, smoother and creamy.
By changing the amount of carbomer in the product, formulators can use hard hair sprays, hard hair sprays that can keep the body flowing but still flow easily, or rich creams that can keep the shape to make anything. A large amount of carbomer in the gel may cause the makeup to roll or pilling on the skin, but this phenomenon depends on other formulation steps to minimize this effect.
Desheng Biochemical specializes in the production of carbomer's raw materials, which are white fluffy powders, which can be used to prepare various daily chemicals according to actual uses. At the same time, the company has a research and development team of 2 doctoral students and 6 master students to help the downstream enterprises' customized needs.
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