The skin industry has many tricks to get the best of many products. One of them is the use of carbomers. Although it is not a new compound, its extensive use in this industry is relatively new. Luckily, you don't have to fear its use when you find it in cosmetic labels. Here is what it is and what you can expect from it.
The scientific background of Carbomer
Carbomers are a succession of polymers that come from acrylic acid and monomers. In other words, it is a long chain of molecules that get together to create a compound that is widely used in the cosmetic industry. The process to manufacture Carbomer requires polymerization of acrylic acid in a free of water and oxygen environment. Then, it is necessary to add an inert solvent along with a catalyst.
Aspect and consistency
Carbomer looks like a powder with fluffy consistency and white color. It is also possible to find it as a gel.
How does it work?
When it is added to cosmetic products, the carbomer acts as an emulsifier. Simply put, it allows substances that don't easily stay together to do it. Hence, you can get your shampoos, lotions, creams, nail polishes, and many others with proper consistency and
the properties of all its elements. You will see that oily and watery components can stay together and create unique compounds.
Benefits of adding Carbomer to skin care products
- Can expand the products: By expanding its volume in water, Carbomer can make any product increase its volume.
- Acts like thickening agents: The carbomer determines the flow and texture of the products.
- Allow different products to stick together: It helps to suspend solids into liquids. Also, it allows liquid and oil parts to remain together in a solution.
How safe is Carbomer in skin care products?
Since carbomer is obtained from acrylic acid, there were some initial doubts about its safety and convenience. This acid is used in raw presentation for industrial purposes. It is important to mention that it is not acrylic acid but a derivative. And later studies proved it is a safe compound even in big quantities.
Multiple studies have been carried out to confirm that it is safe to apply it in leave-on products, formulas to use around the eyes, products with risk of ingestion like lipsticks, sprays that can reach the respiratory extract, and face powders, among others. In fact, Carbomer is also part of the ingredients of oral presentations in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, it doesn't have an effect on diseases like cancer, disorders of the immune system, or reproductivity processes.
Should you use Carbomer?
Chances are that you are already putting some carbomer on your skin. It is frequently added to so many products that it is a little difficult to avoid it. You will hardly notice its presence unless you check the label of the products. It is a neutral and allergy-free compound that goes well with almost anything and any substance.