Effective Gelling Agents for Cosmetics: 5 Top Picks

Effective Gelling Agents for Cosmetics

In the United States, the cosmetic industry is a $40-billion-dollar-a-year market. If you’re creating cosmetics for sale, you know that while sometimes profitable, it’s not an easy process.

Your cosmetic products must comply with FDA regulations while satisfying consumer demands for appealing products that are safe and effective.

How do you take your cosmetic formulations to the next level? The right gelling agents make a big difference in how your cosmetics look and feel.

Are you wondering what type of gelling agents works the best? Keep reading for our top five picks!

  1. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a widely used and popular natural gum used for gelling cosmetics. Its popularity corresponds to its affordability and compatibility with other ingredients. It’s also versatile and widely available.

This gelling agent resists heat and shearing making gels that are quite stable. The gel is hazy but the solution is pH neutral.

Do you ship products to hot humid locations? This is a good gelling agent for your cosmetics.

  1. Carbomer 940

Carbomer 940 powder is another good gelling agent. It’s a white, water-soluble powder. It’s a powerful gelling thickener that also acts as an emulsion stabilizer.

Are you making creams, lotions, or clear gels? This is a good choice.

This gelling agent also works well for hydroalcoholic gels, especially if you’re looking for a crystal-clear gel product. It’s also efficient for processing because of its self-wetting, low-dusting properties.

  1. Acacia Gum 

Acacia gum derives from the sap of the acacia tree. It’s an anionic polysaccharide and is a naturally occurring gum.

This gelling agent is both hot- and cold-water-soluble resulting in a clear solution of neutral to acidic pH.  For thickening, concentrations must be 40% or higher but it loses viscosity at high temperatures. This product works best for incorporating essential oils into water without increasing the thickness.

  1. Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC)

This natural polymer is nonionic and derives from plant cellulose. This is a water-soluble polymer that forms a pH-neutral gel at 1%. The gel is colorless and clear.

HEC is also cold- and hot-water-soluble, and it’s especially compatible with sodium alginate as well as many other gums.

  1. Konjac

Are you looking for an effective humectant for your cosmetics? Did you know that konjac expands up to 100 times its own volume in water? This makes it an extraordinary humectant.

It’s also high in lipids, fatty acids, and proteins. It has copper, magnesium, and zinc which are natural minerals. Additionally, it’s rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.

Different Types of Cosmetic Gelling Agents

There are many different types of cosmetic gelling agents. Pick the agent that’s most compatible with your cosmetic’s other ingredients while offering the right look and feel. From synthetic gelling agents to natural agents, these are only a few of the many gelling agents available today.

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