Sodium Carbomer


Film-Forming Agent

No known benefits

Sodium Carbomer at a glance

  • A blend of sodium (salt) and the gelling agent carbomer
  • Used as a stabilizer and film-forming agent
  • Does not require an alkaline catalyst to thicken it, as some other carbomers do
  • Deemed safe as used in cosmetics

Sodium Carbomer description

Sodium carbomer is a blend of sodium (salt) and carbomer. Carbomer is a texture enhancer primarily used to create clear gel-like formulations. Sodium carbomer functions as a stabilizer and film-forming agent in skin care products. According to one supplier, sodium carbomer is advantageous because it does not require an alkaline catalyst to be added to its formulation to thicken it (many other carbomers are acidic, whereas sodium carbomer has a neutral pH). The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has ruled carbomers are safe as used in cosmetics, where its typical usage level is 0.2–0.5%.

Sodium Carbomer references

  • Frontiers in Pharmacology, February 2021, Volume 11
  • International Journal of Pharmaceutics, May 2004, Volume 276, Issues 1-2, pages 59-66
  • International Journal of Toxicology, January 1990

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

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.