HPMC Thickener

HPMC Thickener

Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) is multifunctional and can be used as a lubricant, foam booster and stabilizer, thickener, emulsion stabilizer, and film-former in hair and skin care products.HPMC is particularly useful in surfactant systems because of its foam-enhancing properties, which help to form a bubbly structure, resulting in richer, longer-lasting foams.HPMC is highly tolerant to salts and alcohols. HPMC has a high tolerance to salt and alcohol.

HPMCs are highly efficient thickeners and film formers that enhance foam generation and foam stabilization in surfactant systems, thereby improving longer lasting foam quality. Due to its non-ionic nature, HPMC is compatible with the most commonly used surfactants, giving formulations optical clarity.

Dispersion Techniques

The preferred method is to first heat approximately 1/3 of the total formulation water to 167°F (75°C) or higher. Add HPMC to the vortex of stirred and heated water and mix until completely dispersed. Mix until completely dispersed; HMPC will not dissolve at this temperature. After complete dispersion, add the remaining water at room temperature or lower and continue mixing for 30 minutes after the total solution has cooled to 77°F. (25°C) or lower. Continue to formulate.

If heating is not possible, it is preferred to make a slurry of HPMC in a non-solventized medium (e.g., glycerin or PEG) and add the slurry to a vortex of vigorously stirred water. Direct addition of HPMC to cold water is not recommended, but if necessary, it must be added very slowly with vigorous agitation. Expect longer mixing times to be required for complete dissolution.

HPMC Thickener

HPMC Thickener

Features and Benefits

Naturally derived from sustainably sourced cellulose

Highly efficient thickening to enhance viscosity and provide a rich, luxurious texture

Improves foam production and foam stability for better, longer-lasting foam quality

Helps promote emulsion stability

Excellent surfactant compatibility for clear formulations


Hair care 

Shampoos, including sulfate-free and low surfactant formulations

Clear and emulsion-based conditioners

Styling gels

Skin care

Clear and opaque body washes, shower gels, cleansers

Liquid Hand Soaps

Hand sanitizers


Bath additives

Shaving creams and gels

HPMC thickeners are versatile polymers used as thickeners, binders and stabilizers in a variety of industries. It improves the viscosity, consistency and stability of formulations, making them easier to handle and use.

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Related Information

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