What is Sodium Carbomer?

cosmetic cream

Sodium carbomer is a blend of sodium (salt) and carbomer. Carbomer is a texture enhancer primarily used to create clear gel-like formulations. Sodium carbomer functions as a stabilizer and film-forming agent in skin care products. According to one supplier, sodium carbomer is advantageous because it does not require an alkaline catalyst to be added to its formulation to thicken it (many other carbomers are acidic, whereas sodium carbomer has a neutral pH).

The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has ruled carbomers are safe as used in cosmetics, where its typical usage level is 0.2–0.5%.

  • Emulsion stabilising : Promotes the emulsification process and improves the stability and shelf life of the emulsion
  • Film forming : Produces a continuous film on skin, hair or nails
  • Gel forming : Gives a liquid preparation the consistency of a gel
  • Viscosity controlling : Increases or decreases the viscosity of cosmetics

This ingredient is present in 0.33% of cosmetics.

Anti-aging day face cream (1.99%)

Body milk and cream (1.52%)

Face cream (1.2%)

Hand cream (0.81%)

Cream / gel mask (0.75%)


What does SODIUM CARBOMER do in a formulation?

  • Emulsion stabilising
  • Film forming
  • Gel forming
  • Viscosity controlling

A blend of sodium (salt) and the gelling agent carbomer

Used as a stabilizer and film-forming agent

Does not require an alkaline catalyst to thicken it, as some other carbomers do

Deemed safe as used in cosmetics

Use & Benefits:

  • Emulsifier: Sodium carbomer functions as an emulsifier in cosmetic and personal care products, giving stability to the product. The product with oil and water-based components gets separated into its components. The emulsifier stabilizes the product, prevents separation of the components, and enables even distribution of the product components when used.
cosmetic skin care
  • Viscosity controlling: Sodium carbomer controls the viscosity of the product in which it is used. It is used in the formulations of creams, lotions, gels, and other skin and hair care products.
  • Gel forming agent: When placed in water, sodium carbomer absorbs moisture and swells to many times its original volume. It thickens the product by its gel-forming property.

Overall, sodium carbomer has a wide range of applications in the cosmetic industry and is used to enhance the texture, stability, and performance of personal care products.