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Cellulose acetate technologyto replace banned PE beads


* Corresponding author
LESSONIA, Croas Ar Neizic,
29800 Saint-Thonan, France


To replace polyethylene (PE) beads with renewable and biodegradable scrubs, cosmetic formulators have to consider several characteristics of the different materials available on the market that appear to be similar to PE in terms of colour, abrasiveness, suspension capacities, cost effectiveness, stability in various products, worldwide regulatory approval, etc. The traditional exfoliating ingredients from plants and minerals have not given totally satisfactory results for replacing PE because their characteristics were not similar. The latest product created and based on cellulose acetate fills the gaps left by the other products.

This review explains the origin of the first bio-based polymer, cellulose acetate, created during the 19th century. This polymer is made from pure cellulose extracted from wood pulp by a reaction using acetic acid. Cellulose acetate is biodegradable and is a highly sustainable product with no impact on agricultural land. The use of cellulose acetate as an exfoliant was studied with the product known asCelluloscrubTM. This study concerns its capacity to replace PE and also its stability in the cosmetic products used for making scrubs.



Microplastics are used extensively in personal care products for exfoliation purposes. The microbeads used in personal care products are mainly made of polyethylene (PE), but can also be made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or nylon. In recent years, the potentially negative impact of microplastics on the environment has been explored and this has led to the decision by some cosmetic companies to remove microplastics from their formulations.

Cosmetics formulators have to take several characteristics into consideration when replacing synthetic polyethylene (PE) beads with natural and biodegradable scrubs;

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