Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Carbomer is a high molecular weight polymer compound used commonly in the cosmetic industry. These compounds can absorb large amounts of water, increasing in volume up to 1,000 times to form gels and thick solutions that are stable and resistant to spoilage. When not in solution, they carbomers exist as a white powder. Best known for its use in the cosmetic industry, it also has practical applications in medicine and hygiene. Different numbers of carbomers denote their different molecular size. Carbomers are considered to be generally regarded as safe by the FDA, although high concentrations may lead to eye and skin irritation. Carbomers are commonly found in toothpaste and gels, shampoo, skin lotions, and some lubricant eye drops.