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What is "Hydroxyethylcellulose" and what is its utility?

What is "Hydroxyethylcellulose" and what is its utility?

In the creation of beauty care products, various ingredients can be used to enhance texture or extend shelf life. Hydroxyethylcellulose is one such ingredient, found in a variety of skincare products. But what exactly is it? What is its purpose? In which products is it used? Here are some important facts to know about Hydroxyethylcellulose.

Hydroxyethylcellulose: What is it?

Hydroxyethylcellulose, abbreviated as HEC, is the INCI name for Hydroxyethylcellulose. This ingredient is classified among semi-synthetic gelling agents. This non-ionic synthetic polymer is obtained through the action of ethylene oxide on cellulose. Hydroxyethylcellulose presents itself as a light, granular, odorless white powder. This ingredient is soluble in water, allowing for the creation of a clear, viscous solution. Hydroxyethylcellulose is particularly used in the formulation of cleaning solutions. It is also a common component in cosmetology. Hydroxyethylcellulose is present in various skin care products, shampoos, shower gels, shaving creams and gels, and makeup.

What is the usefulness of Hydroxyethylcellulose?

Hydroxyethylcellulose serves as a thickening and texturing agent. When mixed with water, it swells to retain the liquid. This property allows it to influence the viscosity of a skincare product. Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) also acts as an emulsion stabilizer. This ingredient promotes the emulsification process of two phases. Furthermore, Hydroxyethylcellulose is a film-forming agent. Thanks to this property, it forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin, nails, or hair, allowing the beneficial active ingredients to be maintained on the application area for an extended period. This stabilizing agent also helps to stabilize the composition of skincare products, thereby increasing their shelf life.

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