As cosmetics and soap makers face pressure to remove plastic microbeads from their products, Evonik Industries touts its new silica-based microbeads as replacements.
Evonik Industries of Essen, Germany, says it is launching two products to replace microplastics based on polyethylene and polypropylene beads in cosmetic skin-cleansing products. The products in the Sipernat lineup have a microsponge structure that acts as a cleanser, and which can absorb liquid ingredients and scents.
Sipernat 2200 PC features cleansing particles with an average size of about 320 micrometers. Sipernat 22 PC has particle size of about 120 micrometers.
Evonik states silica is found naturally but regular forms of the mineral are not as pure as the new microbeads based on synthetic amorphous silica. The company also says it can make them in industrial quantities so they are available economically worldwide.
“All leading manufacturers of cosmetics and body care products are currently working to replace abrasive microplastics particles,” according to Andreas Fischer, who heads Evonik's silica business line. Presence of microplastic beads in waterways has fueled concerns about marine pollution.
Evonik says leading cosmetic companies in 2013 began using prototypes of the new silica products in shower gels, facial care and body peeling products. Natural skin care agency International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association lists the new silicas as nature-identical.
Evonik now makes the Sipernat PC grades in Europe and plans to make them in North America and Asia. It aims for uniform quality and strict microbiological controls for the products.
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