How to check Carbomer presence in Finish Product

Can we check the carbomer presence in the finish product ?

Is there any specific test to identify the presence of carbomer in finish product ?


  • a quick and easy test would be add enough acid to the product so the pH drops below 4; if the product has carbomer in it, it will become very thin

    a more rigorous test would involve HPLC-MS (to separate the cream into its component parts, and identify any polymers), followed by IR and NMR (to characterise the component parts)
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Very easy to do:use HCL and bring Ph down to 2-3--emulsion should split and you will get viscosity loss as per @Bill Toge above,If this gives you a problem, you can also add salt which is mechanism of carbomer  release of actives on skin.
  • My product is Cream and in that i had used emulsifiers, in any cream we add acid it will drop the pH and loose the viscosity.

    How i can ensure that it is because of Carbomer or because of emulsion break which contains emulsifiers
  • As @Bill_Toge properly points out, the only definitive way to answer this is through analytical chemistry processes. You can infer the presence through altering the pH or adding electrolytes, but there are other emulsion materials which could react in the same manner. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Your only alternative is to visually confirm the addition of carbomer, either by video or a by a trusted observer.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
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