Thickening agents / consistency regulators


Thickening agents (consistency regulators or binders) are as a rule added to aqueous solutions. The aim is to increase the viscosity by withdrawing (binding) free water. From a concentration, which is characteristic for every thickening agent, onwards, this effect is supplemented by network effects which lead to a mostly disproportionately high increase in viscosity. Most of the thickening agents are linear or branched macromolecules, often polysaccharides (e.g. pectins oor guar) or proteins. Other well-known thickeners are e.g. cellulose ethers, polyvinyl alcohol and silicates. In addition to cosmetics, thickeners are widely used, e.g. in foods, paints, plasters and cement mortar.

Examples for ingredients / INCI

Understanding your cosmetics

How are cosmetics kept safe in Europe?

Strict laws make sure that cosmetics and personal care products sold in the European Union are safe for people to use. Companies, national and European regulatory authorities share the responsibility of keeping cosmetic products safe.

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What should I know about endocrine disruptors?

Some ingredients used in cosmetic products have been claimed to be ‘endocrine disruptors’ because they have the potential to mimic some of the properties of our hormones. Just because something has the potential to mimic a hormone does not mean it will disrupt our endocrine system. Many substances, including natural ones, mimic hormones but very few, and these are mostly potent medicines, have ever been shown to cause disruption of the endocrine system. The rigorous product safety assessments by qualified, scientific experts that companies are legally obliged to carry out cover all potential risks, including potential endocrine disruption.

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Are cosmetics tested on animals? No!

In the European Union, testing cosmetics on animals has been fully banned since 2013. Over the last 30 years, long before a ban was in place, the cosmetics and personal care industry has invested in research and development to pioneer alternatives to animal testing tools to assess the safety of cosmetics ingredients and products.

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What about allergens in cosmetics?

Many substances, natural or man-made, have the potential to cause an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances that are harmless to most people. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Cosmetics and personal care products may contain ingredients that can be allergenic for some people. This does not mean that the product is not safe for others to use.

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INCI Database

Cosmetics matter to people and play an important role in our everyday life. On average European consumers use over seven different cosmetics daily. You too? It’s only natural that you want to know more about the ingredients in those products.

In the digital world we live in, there’s a deluge of information on cosmetics. However, it can be difficult to know which sources are reliable. The Cosmetics Europe Cosmile Ingredient Database offers reliable, verified and scientifically supported information on almost 30,000 ingredients used in cosmetics.

This database will help you understand why certain ingredients are in your cosmetics products; which properties they have and much more. The database is currently available in twelve languages with more to come.

Search The Database