Cosmetics raw material

Sodium carbomer

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Sodium carbomer is a gel former for use in cosmetics such as hair gel and nourishing skin gels.


Sodium carbomer together with water forms a transparent gel. You can simply add it to the water: it will form a gel. However, it is better to mix the sodium carbomer with a viscous liquid such as glycerine or Polysorbate 20 and only then mix it with water. This method prevents or limits clumping and you have a good gel faster. 0.8 Grams is about one levelled 2.5 ml measuring spoon 30101, but it is better to use a sufficiently accurate scale for measuring. You can use sodium carbomer to make hair gel. In that case, a dosage of about 0.8 grams per 100 ml of gel is a good starting point. For a facial gel or other nourishing gel, such as aftershave gel, a lower dose is recommended, about 0.3 grams per 100 ml of gel. When used as an emulsion stabilizer, an even lower dose is often used. Store it cool, dark in a well-closed packaging, especially in a dry place, so definitely not in the refrigerator.


Sodium carbomer is a white powder. It chemically consists of acrylic acid that is partly esterified with long-chain alcohols and then partly neutralized with a basic sodium salt. In the Hobbythek books of the 20th century it is called PNC400. In the older Hobbythek books PN73 is used to make hair gel. PN73 has been discontinued for many years, but can be replaced by sodium carbomer. Other sources are talking about gel former, gel binder or gelbildner: in all known cases this can be replaced 1:1 by sodium carbomer. In the industry, much use is still made of the somewhat old-fashioned carbomers that must be neutralized. Our sodium carbomer does not have to be neutralized; the gel forms itself after sprinkling it in water. However, increasing the pH can make the gel firmer and lowering it can make the gel a bit thinner. If the pH is too high or too low, the gel will completely collapse. A solution of 30% alcohol can be thickened without any problem with sodium carbomer, but with a high dose of alcohol the gel cannot form or is formed less well. Surfactants and salts can make sodium carbomer not or less effective, so it is often not usable in a shampoo or shower gel.


Chemically, sodium carbomer consists of acrylic acid that is partially esterified with long-chain alcohols and then partially neutralized with a basic sodium salt. It is therefore mainly based on petroleum and mineral substances. It is not classified as environmentally hazardous. That does not mean it does not harm the environment: sodium carbomer is a so called micro plastic (though nano plastic would be a better term here). It can take a very long time before the molecules it is made of are completely degraded, think in the region of 10 or 100 milion years. The eventual damage it will cause humans, animals and the remaining environment is therefore hard to estimate. The short term damage seems to be minimal.


The 10, 50 and 250 g packaging consists of white plastic (PP) jars with lid. The kg packaging is a white plastic (PP) bucket with lid.


Sodium carbomer is not classified as a hazardous substance. Nevertheless, we recommend to handle all raw materials with care: keep out of reach of children.


Article number: 16010 CAS number EU: 73298-57-4 INCI: SODIUM CARBOMER


10 g, 50 g, 250 g, 1 kg