Methylcellulose (MC) and HydroxypropylMethylcellulose (HPMC) are polymers that are used in many personal care products. They are primarily used as polymeric surfactants, thickeners in liquid formulations, and as binders in solid and semi-solid products. However, the ability of cellulose products to perform these primary functions with reliability and efficiency is only part of the reason for their increasing popularity with formulators.
The reason is the host of important performance properties that these multi-functional ingredients deliver. In many cases, a cellulose product can replace two, three, or more ingredients, even though it is added in extremely low concentrations. Beyond offering thickening, binding and surface active properties, cellulose products act as film formers, suspension aids, lubricants, lather enhancers/stabilizers, emulsion stabilizers, gelling agents, and dispersants. It is the unique combination of properties that sets cellulose ethers apart from other water soluble polymers. The result is an ability to improve personal care product formulations. It also allows the creation of entirely new hair care, skin care, bath and cosmetic products because product performance can often be achieved with fewer ingredients, greater control, and greater economy.
Here are a few more of the many valuable functionalities of these products:
Celotech products are extremely efficient thickeners. And that viscosity can be achieved independent of primary surfactants or other ingredients.
The natural lubricity of Celotech products can improve product flow, aid in dispensing, and enhance sensory characteristics. For example, shaving gels may exhibit improved razor glide and skin toners acquire a softer, more luxuriant feel.
Celotech products offer a unique feature called interfacial thermal gelation that reflects the combined effects of their surface activity and thermally gelling properties. With this property, Celotech polymers can enhance lather in cleansing products of all types and produce denser and more stable foams.
In solid products like make-up, Celotech products function primarily as binders, but also add humectancy and film-forming properties to improve product shelf life and texture.
Solutions containing cellulose products can deliver uniform films without increasing product viscosity. Products containing Celotech cellulose ethers can be formulated to deliver light, non-greasy films, an attractive benefit in creams/lotions, suncare products, styling gels, and facial masks.
As emulsifiers, Cellulose polymers facilitate dispersion and blending of other ingredients, thereby improving consistency and stability of oil-in-water formulations.
In contrast with most other water-soluble polymers that exhibit little or no surface activity, Celotech polymers are moderately surface-active. This property allows useful formulation benefits such as emulsion stability, lather enchancement, dispersion, and lubricity.
Celotech products, in combination with xanthan, carbomer, or magnesium aluminum silicate may be used to provide suspension properties. Celotech products provide desirable body while yield point rheology results from use of one or more of the other additives.
Celotech polymers can aid dispersion by forming protective films around particles to prevent coalescence and agglomeration.