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Evonik introduces new silicas to replace microbeads in cosmetics

Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) recently announced the launch of two new grades of precipitated silica designed to replace polyethylene and polypropylene microbeads used as exfoliants in cosmetics such as shower gels, facial care products, and body peeling scrubs.

According to Evonik, the two new grades, SIPERNAT® 2200 PC and SIPERNAT® 22 PC, are listed as nature-identical by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association (NATRUE), a globally active association for the promotion of natural skin care. This means the substance (in this case, silica or SiO2) occurs naturally, but is not usually available in the required purity. Cosmetic products have very high purity standards. Although synthetic amorphous silica is identical to naturally occurring silica (such as sand) in chemical terms, its purity is significantly higher than natural silica due to its production process.

The cosmetics industry is working to replace plastic microbeads as the abrasive in cosmetics, so silica looks to pick up new use in the applications. “All leading manufacturers of cosmetics and body care products are currently working to replace abrasive microplastics particles,” according to Andreas Fischer, the head of the Silica Business Line of the Evonik Resource Efficiency Segment.

Evonik offers two different variants for manufacturers of cosmetics: SIPERNAT® 2200 PC features cleansing particles with a size of approx. 320 µm, while the particle size in SIPERNAT® 22 PC is approx. 120 µm. Both products have a microsponge structure. In addition to providing a cleansing function, this unique structure allows the silica to absorb liquid active ingredients and scents and carry them for release at a desired point – such as the application of a skin care product.

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