Hydroxyethylcellulose is a modified fiber component of plants that is used in cosmetics as a thickening agent and to bind other ingredients together. It is a nonionic polymer derived from natural cellulose, a hydroxyethyl ether where one or more hydrogen atoms of free three hydroxy groups of glucose (monomer) are replaced with a hydroxyethyl group. It is a cellulose polyester, a granular powder, soluble in water and ethanol.
Cellulose hydroxyethyl ether is used as a thickening agent, rheology modifier, emulsion stabilizer, and gelator in water/alcohol systems delivering transparent gelification of alcohol-based lotions. Thanks to good solubility and low adherence, Hydroxyethylcellulose does not coat the skin with a dry film on the skin's surface and does not leave an artificial desquamation effect.
Suitable for many applications, this potent thickener works well in a wide pH range, compatible with almost all surfactants, salts (electrolytes), and other active ingredients while delivering clear and transparent formulations and outstanding gloss.
Hydroxyethylcellulose attracts water molecules and exhibits good moisture retention, preventing the drying out of a final product and improving the moisturizing properties of the formulation. In addition, it enables stable colloids and suspension formation and disperses pigments and mineral powders with a wide range of consistencies. Chemically intent, safe, and biodegradable ingredient derived from renewable raw materials, it is perfect for water-based personal care formulations with an excellent sensory profile and helpful properties. It is suitable for skin, hair, and eye care applications.