Acrylates Copolymer


Texture enhancer

Acrylates Copolymer at a glance

  • Commonly used as a film-forming agent in skin care formulations, leaving a soft after feel
  • Can improve water-resistance
  • May also add thickening properties
  • Track record of safety backed by the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Expert Panel

Acrylates Copolymer description

Acrylates copolymer is commonly used in skin care formulations as a film-forming agent, which literally means it forms a pliable covering on skin when dried, contributing to a soft after feel. In this capacity, it can impart water-resistance to formulations, including sunscreens. It may also add thickening properties, depending on the formula and amount of acrylates copolymer used. This ingredient is also used in other types of beauty products including hair care, nail care, and makeup where it can take on various other functions including: adhesive, artificial nail builder, binding agent, hair fixative, and suspending agent. One comparative study looked at whether acrylates copolymer could be beneficial in body washes to reduce skin itchiness. Their results concluded that the inclusion of acrylates copolymer was successful; their theory being that the film-forming properties help reduce friction between skin and clothing, which in turn decreases skin irritation. In its physical form, suppliers of acrylates copolymer describe it as white beads or as a white powder. In 2019, the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Expert Panel reaffirmed acrylates copolymer as “safe for use in cosmetics when formulated to avoid irritation.” Their report looked at products containing a supremely wide range, as low as 0.00025 up to 98.6%.

Acrylates Copolymer references

  •, Accessed October 2021, ePublication
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, January 2019, pages 1-42
  • Swiss Society of Chemists, September 2015, ePublication

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not Rated