Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: What Is It, Skin Benefits, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: December 3, 2023
Table of Contents

Have you ever found yourself standing in the cosmetics aisle, scrutinizing the tiny print of an ingredient list on your favorite skincare product, feeling utterly perplexed? The list often reads like a complex chemical directory, leaving us to wonder what these substances are and what they do for our skin.

One such ingredient that might catch your eye is Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer. The name itself is quite a mouthful, sounding more like a formula you’d encounter in a science lab than something you’d find in your daily moisturizer. This long, scientific-sounding name can make it seem intimidating and out of place in a product meant for skin care.

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer. We’ll explore what it is, its role in cosmetics, and the reasons behind its widespread use in the beauty industry!

What is Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer?

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a versatile ingredient commonly found in a variety of cosmetic products. It may also be known under different names, such as Carbomer, Acrylic Acid Polymer, or Propenoate Polymer.

This ingredient is synthesized through a process of polymerization, which involves bonding monomers of acrylates (a type of acid) with alkyl acrylate crosspolymers. The result is a stable, highly absorbent compound. Its primary purpose in cosmetics is to enhance the texture and stability of products. It acts as an emulsion stabilizer, film-former, and viscosity controller, ensuring that the product maintains its consistency and effectiveness over time.

The concentration of Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer in cosmetic formulations typically varies but is usually found in small quantities, around the 0.1-4% range; this is sufficient to achieve the desired stabilizing and thickening effects without compromising the product’s feel and performance.

Who Can Use Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer?

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is suitable for a wide range of skin types. Its non-irritating nature makes it a good fit for both sensitive and normal skin. The ingredient’s versatility allows it to be included in products formulated for oily, dry, or combination skin, benefiting each in different ways.

This ingredient is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It is synthetically produced, meaning it does not contain animal-derived components or by-products. This synthetic origin makes it an ethical choice for those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, as it aligns with the principles of avoiding animal exploitation and harm.

Regarding its use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is generally considered safe. However, as with any cosmetic ingredient, it is always advisable for expecting or nursing mothers to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating new products into their skincare routine. This is to ensure that there are no specific health concerns or individual sensitivities that might necessitate avoiding this ingredient.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer Skin Benefits

The benefits of Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer in skincare, particularly based on its film-forming function, are numerous. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Enhanced Skin Texture and Smoothness: As a film-forming agent, this polymer creates a thin, continuous layer on the skin’s surface. This layer not only smooths out the skin texture but also imparts a soft, velvety feel to it. The film helps to fill in fine lines and minor imperfections, giving the skin a more even and refined appearance.
  • Moisture Retention: The film formed by this ingredient acts as a barrier on the skin, which helps to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL). By locking moisture in the skin, it keeps the skin hydrated for a longer period. This is particularly beneficial for dry skin types that require extra moisture retention.
  • Enhanced Product Performance: In makeup and sunscreen products, the film-forming ability of Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer helps to improve the product’s adherence to the skin. This means that makeup stays put for longer periods, and sunscreens provide more effective and lasting protection.
  • Improved Texture of Cosmetic Products: When used in cosmetic formulations, this polymer contributes to a more pleasant and luxurious texture. It helps in creating creamier, more spreadable products that glide on the skin effortlessly, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Protection Against Environmental Aggressors: The film formed by this ingredient also offers a degree of protection against environmental stressors like pollution and dust. By creating a barrier on the skin’s surface, it helps to shield the skin from these potential irritants.

It’s important to note that while Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer offers these skin benefits, they are not permanent. The positive effects on the skin, such as improved texture and moisture retention, are sustained only with regular use of the product containing this ingredient.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer’s Non-active Cosmetic Uses

In the context of cosmetics, “non-active” refers to ingredients that do not directly impact the skin’s biology or address specific skin concerns like aging, acne, or pigmentation. Instead, non-active ingredients play a supportive role in the formulation, enhancing the product’s texture, stability, and usability. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer serves several non-active functions based on its properties of emulsion stabilizing and viscosity controlling:

  • Stability in Product Formulation: As an emulsion stabilizer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer helps in maintaining the consistency and uniformity of emulsions. Emulsions are mixtures of oil and water, which are inherently unstable and tend to separate over time. By stabilizing these emulsions, this polymer ensures that the product remains homogenous, preventing the separation of ingredients, which is crucial for maintaining the efficacy and texture of the product.
  • Enhanced Product Longevity: This stabilization also contributes to a longer shelf life of the product. Stable emulsions are less prone to spoilage and degradation, meaning the product maintains its intended effects and safety for use over an extended period.
  • Consistency and Spreadability: As a viscosity controlling agent, this polymer plays a key role in determining the thickness and flow of cosmetic products. By adjusting the viscosity, it allows for formulations that are easy to apply and spread evenly over the skin. This is particularly important for products like lotions, creams, and sunscreens, where uniform application is key to effectiveness.
  • Customizable Textures: The ability to control viscosity means that manufacturers can create a wide range of textures, from light, fluid lotions to thick, rich creams, all using the same base ingredient. This versatility is essential in tailoring products to different preferences and application needs.

These non-active uses of Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer demonstrate its essential role in enhancing the physical properties and overall user experience of cosmetic products, beyond its direct effects on the skin.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer Potential Side Effects

While Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics, it’s important to recognize that side effects and reactions can vary from person to person. This variability largely depends on individual factors such as skin type, sensitivities, and allergies. Different skin types and conditions can respond differently to the same ingredient, making it crucial to understand your skin’s specific needs and reactions.

Potential side effects associated with Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer include:

  • Skin Irritation: In rare cases, some people might experience redness, itching, or a burning sensation upon application.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although uncommon, allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, or severe itching can occur, especially in individuals with a known allergy to acrylates.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, it’s advisable to discontinue use immediately and consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional. They can provide guidance and help determine whether the reaction is due to this specific ingredient or another factor.

It’s important to note that adverse reactions to Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer are rare. In general, this ingredient is deemed safe and effective for use in cosmetic products by regulatory authorities.

To minimize the risk of adverse reactions, it’s essential to conduct a patch test before using any new cosmetic product. Our patch testing guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to safely test products. Patch testing helps identify any potential sensitivity or allergic reaction to an ingredient in a controlled manner, ensuring safer and more informed use of skincare and cosmetic products.

Comedogenic Rating

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is generally given a comedogenic rating of 0/5.

This means it is considered non-comedogenic and is not likely to clog pores or contribute to acne formation; the molecular structure of this polymer is such that it does not block pores or lead to comedones (blackheads or whiteheads). Therefore, it is suitable for use by individuals prone to acne or breakouts.


Success in skincare is often a journey of experimentation and trial and error. Finding the right ingredients that work for your skin is crucial, and once identified, consistency in their use is key to achieving and maintaining desired results.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a multifaceted ingredient, offering both non-active and active benefits. Non-active effects include stabilizing emulsions and controlling viscosity, while its active benefits provide immediate advantages like improved skin texture and moisture retention. Its versatility and efficacy make it a commendable ingredient in the realm of skincare.

In terms of popularity, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a relatively common ingredient in cosmetic formulations. It’s often compared to other polymers and thickeners like carbomer and xanthan gum, which serve similar functions in stabilizing and enhancing product textures. However, its unique properties of being non-comedogenic and suitable for a variety of skin types set it apart.

The time it takes to see results from this ingredient can vary, as it primarily functions to improve the texture and application of cosmetic products. Immediate effects like smoother application and consistent product texture can be noticed immediately, but other benefits, particularly those related to skin health, may take longer to become evident.

For those concerned about introducing Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer into their skincare regimen, it’s reassuring to know that it is generally well-tolerated and safe for most skin types. Its non-comedogenic nature and low risk of causing irritation or allergic reactions make it a reliable choice in a wide range of cosmetic products.

Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
How did you find this article?
Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Get all our top headlines in beauty.
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send good feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send bad feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.