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Posts Tagged ‘carbomer’


Posted by andriantoangkadirjo85 on June 14, 2012


How are you guys? How’s your life going on? Hope it’s all fine. In this tough time, only the beware guys will survive. I’m really sorry not posting lately since the past six months. But today, I’m back! Thanks also for all the comments saying that you found something from this blog. I’m really grateful guys..

This time I’d like to post something about exfoliator/peeling gel. This one draws my attention.. unlike chemical peels which use strong acid, this peeling is very gentle on the skin and only removes the unwanted dead skin and it does not dry or thin the skin and cause it to be vulnerable to sunlight.

This is the product :

the innovative exfoliator/peeling gel

the clear gel

white beads form to remove dead skin cells

1. Creating innovative cosmetic products

To create innovative cosmetic products, we need to know about and find niche markets. A cosmetic niche market is no different than a niche market in some other field. Essentially, a niche market is a sub set of a larger market. In practical terms, it is a smaller group of people with some specific characteristic that sets them apart.

Now that we know niche markets are smaller segments of consumer groups, this is important.  Ex.  Creating innovative new products will have to make products different and specific like solve wrinkles, acne, hair loss, hair growth, etc. Like the above product, it is sort of exfoliator, but include no conventional scrubs, micro-dermabrasions, AHA, peel, etc. The formulation is just perfect – it is non-abrasive, doesn’t tingle skin like glycolic acid does, effective but gentle, and it provides a sense of achievement when we can feel the dead skin coming off. The skin appears much more clear, translucent, smooth and soft without stripping its natural oil after each application…. some say 1 bottle is sold every 20 seconds, awesome right?

2. List of Ingredients

So, after browsing/searching a while, I came across this formula..

R/                                                  %


Water ……………………….. ad 100

Cetrimonium Chloride ………10.5

Propyl Glycol ……………………7

Alcohol …………………………… 1

Perfume ………………………….. qs

PEG40 HCO ……………………… 0.2

Preservative …………………….. qs

At first, I still don’t get it and wonder :

– where’s the scrub?

– what the centrimonium do in this formula? since we know this is conditioning agent for hair.

I have to make these clear first, before I step forward. Actually, after rubbing the gel on the skin there will be chemical reaction between cetrimonium chloride and carbomer, thickener, which will form white beads/residues ( If you reduce one of the ingredients, you will find out the residues will lesser or if you change the thickener, using cellulose group, there won’t be any white beads formed ). This reaction occurs instanly and the white beads/residues will act as peeling agent which remove the upper dead skin layers ( the claim said that 0.01 mm of old skin can be removed ). The removal process is very soft, gentle and provides a sense of achievement when we can feel the dead skin coming off. After washing, the skin feel moist, soften, translucent and bright.

This is really great innovation product. No wonder this product is very success in the market place.

3. Gathering raw materials

a. Carbomer

Yes, carbomer is one of the most revolutionary raw material. It is a swellable polymer that can create clear gels and elegant skin care products with a light feeling and good application properties. That made it easier to formulate stable skin care creams. It is difficult to create clear gels with good aesthetics without these polymers. That’s why carbomers also called as ‘formulator’s best friend’.

Carbomer is typically reserved to describe high molecular weight polymers of acrylic acid that are lightlyl cross-linked with allyl ethers of  polyalcohols eg. tetraallyl pentaerythritol (TAPE) and hexaallyl sucrose.

polyacrylic acid (PAA)

general structure of carbomer

The National Formulary (NF) lists traditional carbomers individually according to their specific chemistry and properties, eg. solution viscosity, using numbers associated with the trade names, eg. Carbomer 934 ( 30,500- 39,400 cP ), Carbomer 940 ( 40,000-60,000 cP ) etc. For modern carbomers synthetized using benzene-free processes, the NF has adopted the terms carbomer homopolymer ( polymer of acrylic acid cross-linked with allyl ethers of polyalcohols), carbomer copolymer ( copolymer of acrylic acid and a long chain alkyl methacrylate cross-linked with allyl ethers of polyalcohols ) and carbomer interpolymer ( carbomer homopolymer or carbomer copolymer that contains a block copolymer of polyethylene glycol and a long chain alkyl acid esters ) to describe the various species of carbomers.

In contrast, the INCI Dictionary reserves the term carbomer for crosslinked copolymers of acrylic acid and it names crosslinked copolymer of acrylic acid with other comonomers as acrylate crosspolymers, eg. acrylates/C10-C30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer. Well, I hope we’re not’s all just terminology.

Now, we’ll talk about properties of carbomers :

1. Appearance : fluffy, white, hygroscopic powders with a slight acetic acid odor.

2. Variety differing principally by : the type of process solvent used (ie. benzene vs non benzene), the type and level of crosslinker employed and the addition of optional additives to improve wetting and dispersibility.

3. Nontoxic and exhibit little or no irritation potential to skin and eyes at concentrations employed in cosmetics and personal care products.

4. Impurities : residual polymerization solvents, unreacted monomers (eg. acrylic acid), acetic acid, proprionic acid, trace heavy metals, etc.

5. Dispersibility : readily dispersible in water and in mixture of  polar organic solvents with water such as 70% w/w ethanol-water solution.

6. pH : 2,5-3,5. ( Prior neutralization with a basic pH adjuster, eg. NaOH, TEA, these dispersions DO NOT possess significant viscosity and can be hazy. Upon neutralization of the carboxylic acid groups, the carbomer becomes ionized and swells to several hundred times its original volume due to electrostatic repulsions between the negatively charged carboxylate groups and osmotic swelling due to the captive counterions. The resulting microgel dispersions, sometimes referred to as mucilages, are clear fluids that display high viscosities and also exhibit high yield value.. the resistance of a fluid to initial flow when a stress is applied. ).

b. Centrimonium chloride

This ingredient belong to surfactant group. I’ve post about surfactant. If you like to read about it, click here.

4. Creating and revising prototype

After having complete understanding, I tried to make small scale in the frugal laboratory using simple tools like mortar/stamper, electric heater, glassware, etc. This just the steps :

1. Weighing the ingredients.


2. Mixing the water and humectant.

mixing water+humectant

3. Dispersing the carbomer until clear gel is formed.

dispersing carbomer..

4. Pouring the centrimonium chloride into the clear gel.

adding centrimonium chloride..

5. Adding emollient.

checking the gel..

5. Testing the prototypes

The first type of testing I want to do is to use the product on myself. Since I have experience with the target product I will know how close I am to matching it. No test will be more revealing as to whether I’ve copied the product than when I test in on myself. And then I’ll make note of any differences I experience.

the prototype..

apply the gel to my skin..

white beads produced after rubbing..

andriantoangkadirjo85 bottom line

1. This product came from Japan and Japanese women are famous for their love of cosmetics.  So whenever a beauty product has been voted number 1 in Japan, it is the best selling pitch for others too.

2. To create innovative cosmetic products, we  need to know about and find niche markets.

So that’s all, if you find something please leave your comments below.

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