Alternative to Microplastic Exfoliating Agents for Personal Care Industry

 » The personal care industry has responded to consumer demand by producing an ever-increasing array of exfoliating skin products. Just as quickly, the industry is reacting to environmental concerns about polymer microbeads and other microplastics used as abrasive agents. Now W. R. Grace & Co. is offering an alternative with silica, a product it has been innovating in a variety of consumer applications for more than 50 years.

Beauty Products

Grace exfoliating silica gels do not bioaccumulate, are not biopersistent, and can be engineered to provide exceptional exfoliating properties, as well as other multi-functional benefits to personal care product formulations.

This is a highly pure and chemically synthesized form of a naturally occurring mineral commonly found in the earth’s crust. Grace specially engineered materials have been used for years in oral care, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food.

“Grace forms strong collaborative relationships with customers to tailor our products to meet their unique and specific needs,” said John Hall, Global Business Director Silica Gel at Grace Materials Technologies. “We have the benefit of experience and success in the personal care industry for helping our customers develop safe, effective, and cost-efficient solutions for some of the leading consumer brands in the marketplace.”

While personal care products are intended to be washed down the drain after use, microplastic beads float on the surface of water, and are difficult to remove from wastewater at typical treatment facilities. This concern has been raised by environmental groups and state legislatures, resulting in calls for product reformulation and alternatives. Grace silica gel products are viable alternatives that are removed as part of routine operations at typical wastewater treatment facilities.

Grace silica gels can provide superior particle integrity for efficient exfoliating. The product is an odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert synthetic micronized silica that is invisible in many liquids, suitable for clear gel formulations, and will not affect the color of powdered products.

Hall said, “As a company with manufacturing capabilities and applications labs around the world, Grace is able to meet the needs of any customer and help them expand their product line and business opportunities in a manner that matches the environmental sensitivities of global consumers.”

Grace Materials Technologies is the worldwide leader in specialty silica gel, which is used in consumer products as diverse as toothpaste, cosmetics, tires, beer, and pharmaceuticals. The business segment also develops and manufactures engineered materials, coatings, and sealants used in consumer, industrial, and packaging products, and fine chemicals for pharmaceutical and other applications. »

About Grace

« Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts; engineered and packaging materials; and specialty construction chemicals and building materials. The company’s three industry-leading business segments—Grace Catalysts Technologies, Grace Materials Technologies, and Grace Construction Products—provide innovative products, technologies, and services that improve the products and processes of customer partners in over 155 countries around the world. Grace’s 2014 net sales were $3.2 billion. « 


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