Innovation in biobased polymers for cosmetics: Nature in service of beauty

PolymerExpert has developed a 100% biobased rheology modifier for oils: the recently launched and already awarded gelling agent is a promising natural ingredient for innovative and ecologically responsible cosmetics.

Driven by its passion for innovation and commitment to developing natural cosmetic ingredients with sensorial appeal, PolymerExpert recently launched a 100% biobased oil rheology modifier derived from castor and rapeseed oils: EstoGel® Green. This innovative and versatile natural ingredient can be used to modify the rheology of a large range of oil systems (polar to apolar), suspend particles (pigments, glitters, mineral filters), stabilize emulsions, and improve the homogeneity of applied cosmetic products at concentrations as low as 1%.

Since its foundation in 2000, the French company PolymerExpert has become a major player in the design and manufacture of specialty polymers. A variety of smart polymer technologies have been developed by the company, from self-healing materials to shape memory and photochromic polymers for medical devices. EstoGel® Green, launched at the end of 2021, follows the successful launch of its precursors ExpertGel® and EstoGel® M. While ExpertGel® is a water-soluble thermo-gelling polymer that brings exceptional rheological properties to cosmetic formulations, EstoGel® M is an oil rheology modifier of more than 90% natural origin, born from an industrial/academic collaboration.

EstoGel® Green combines natural origins with high-level performance and is an attractive solution for cosmetic industries who seek to substitute historically synthetic raw materials in the development of natural technical products for color cosmetics, perfumery and skin, sun and hair care, for example. The EstoGel® Green technology is based on supramolecular chemistry and relies on the formation of inter-molecular interactions for a broad range of oils to produce transparent, reversible and shear-sensitive gels with high suspensive ability. EstoGel® Green is easy to spread, pump and spray (shear-thinning property), has a neutral sensorial touch on skin, is easy to disperse and allows the development of various galenics (anhydrous formulas, emulsions, sticks, etc.). It is in line with the current industry demand as a COSMOS-approved ingredient of 100% natural origin, according to ISO 16128 (ION =1), free of palm derivatives and INCI China compliant with a friendly INCI name (Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebacic Acid Copolymer). Furthermore, EstoGel® Green does not introduce microplastic fragments into the environment. It is an environmentally benign product not only due to its renewable origin but also due to its reduced environmental footprint at end-of-life. For its innovation and importance, the product has already won several awards in France by prestigious contests, such as Cosmétiquemag, Cosmet’Agora, Lipids & Cosmetics and Itainnov.

With consumers becoming more interested in natural products and with fossil fuels dwindling, the transition towards renewable alternative resources is now inevitable, and cosmetics are on the verge of a green revolution. Turning to nature as an alternative source of ingredients – as well as inspiration – can also be a strategic advantage: through millions of years of incessant work, nature has perfected its ingredients and processes, and new materials sourced from nature can offer improved biocompatibility, alternative physico-chemical properties, and a unique sensorial effect that serve the well-being of body and mind. However, the promise of 100% human-friendly cosmetics is not enough, it now is crucial to go beyond. PolymerExpert’s holistic commitment extends to offering a positive and restorative impact on the planet, via nature-friendly products, from the source of its ingredients to the degradability of the final product. While nature has always been at service of cosmetics, it is time for cosmetics to also be at service of nature. And EstoGel® Green is a key ally on the development of this new generation of responsible cosmetic products.


Some amazing formulations based on EstoGel® Green, such as a clear lipstick, a silky serum, a transparent sun stick or a creamy eyeshadow, can be found on the website