Use of Chitosan and its Derivatives in Cosmetics
A large number of new suggestions have been made for the use of chitosan and derivatives in cosmetics over the past few years. Chitosan, an amino containing polysaccharide mostly derived from the exoskeleton of crustaceans, has many useful characteristics such as biorenewability, biodegradability, biocompatibility, bioadhesivity and non-toxicity. These properties make it a great valuable natural polymer for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. Chitosan and its derivatives have found numerous uses in a variety of cosmetic and personal care preparations. In this paper, the applications of chitosan and chitosan derivatives in skin care, hair care and oral care products were exclusively reviewed.
Chitosan (Figure 1), one of the most abundant carbohydrates in nature, is an amino containing polysaccharide mostly derived from the exoskeleton of crustaceans. It is a partially deacetylated derivative of a natural polysaccharide–chitin. Chitosan has an amino and two hydroxyl reactive groups in the molecule. Chemical modification of these reactive groups resulted in many chitosan derivatives and the site of modification is directed by the desired application of the final chitosan derivatives. Moreover, chitosan and derivatives have many useful characteristics such as biorenewability, biodegradability, biocompatibility, bioadhesivity and nontoxicity which make them of valuable compounds for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications (1).