Hydroxypropyl Cellulose

Hydroxypropyl Cellulose

Learn all about hydroxypropylcellulose, including how it's made, and why Puracy uses hydroxypropylcellulose in our products.
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  • Pronunciation: \ ˈhī-(ˌ)drō\ ˈprō-pəl\ ˈsel-yə-ˌlōs
  • Type: Synthetic

What Is Hydroxypropyl Cellulose?

Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a white, odorless, tasteless powder that is a propylene glycol ether of cellulose; it is a synthetic, plant-based ingredient.[1,2]

What Does Hydroxypropyl Cellulose Do in Our products?

Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a thickener, suspending agent, film former, stabilizer, emulsifier, emollient, binders or water-retention agents. The ingredient is good a helping films form, has heat-sealing properties and is useful as an emulsifier and thickener in oil-in-water emulsions.[3,4] It is in a variety of products, such as makeup, soap, detergent, fragrances, hair conditioners and shampoo, cuticle softeners, oral hygiene products, deodorant and other products.[5]

Why Puracy Uses Hydroxypropyl Cellulose

Hydroxypropyl cellulose helps stabilize mixtures, as well as makes them thicker and keeps them blended.[7,8] The Cosmetic Ingredient Review has found that hydroxypropyl cellulose is safe as a cosmetic ingredient in practices of use and concentration in the safety assessment.[9,10] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its cosmetics products.[11]

How Hydroxypropyl Cellulose Is Made

Hydroxypropyl cellulose is derived from reacting three free hydroxyl groups in the 2-, 3-, and 6- positions of the anhydroglucose unit of the cellulose molecule. The number of hydroxyl groups reacting, as well as the nature of the substituent group, largely determines certain of the product’s physical properties such as solubility. The molecular weight of the starting cellulose affects the viscosity of the final product.[6]



[1] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[2] Environmental Working Group
[3] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[4] Cosmeticsinfo.org
[5] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[6] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[7] Environmental Working Group
[8] Cosmeticsinfo.org
[9] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[10] Environmental Working Group
[11] Whole Foods Market