Sodium Polyacrylate


Film-Forming Agent

Sodium Polyacrylate at a glance

  • Used as a film-forming agent, stabilizer, thickener, and absorbent in cosmetics
  • Can absorb 100-1000 times its mass in water
  • Also used as a food additive
  • Is a white granular powder in its raw form

Sodium Polyacrylate description

Sodium polyacrylate is a versatile, synthetic polymer used as a film-forming agent, emulsion stabilizer, absorbent, thickening agent, and emollient. In its raw form it is a granular white powder. Sodium polyacrylate belongs to a class of polymers called super absorbent polymers (or SAPs). It’s considered as such because of its ability to absorb 100–1000 times its mass in water. The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has ruled sodium polymethacrylate safe as used in cosmetics. Amounts between 0.3–1.4% are typically all it takes to achieve this ingredient’s many formulary traits. In addition to its use as an absorbent in skin products, it is used in commercial applications, such as a gelling agent for disposable diapers and sanitary napkins. It is also a food additive to help thicken certain foods and preserve them for longer periods of time.

Sodium Polyacrylate references

  • International Food Research Journal, February 2021, pages 44 - 55
  • Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, March 2018, pages 1,611-1,614
  • Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, November 2014, pages 18,346-18,351
  • Journal of Applied Polymer Science, November 2001, pages 1,515-1,520
  • United States Patent, April 2000, 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

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