A carbomer is basically a homopolymer of acrylic acid. It is most commonly used in the cosmetic industry and also has a variety of hygienic uses. Carbomers are used in products such as gels, toothpastes, shampoos, disposable diapers and denture cleansers. In addition, they are used in a number of topical lotions and creams, which are designed to serve as treatment for a variety of skin conditions and keep the skin hydrated. Certain eye drops use them as an ingredient as well.
The texture and consistency of cosmetic products are of great importance and a carbomer is an exceptional thickening agent that is hypo-allergenic and does not support the growth of bacteria. In addition, it provides the skin with an especially pleasant feeling. When used in products like gels and solutions, it feels luxurious and rich to the touch. When used as an emulsion stabilizer, it prevents separation of creams and oils and keeps them suspended in water.