Nanofibrillated Cellulose: A Bioingredient For Skincare


Personal Care - Cosmetics & Hair
Materials - Nano Materials
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The skincare industry is seeing an upward exponential shift in consumer preferences for natural and sustainable products with stricter regulations on materials and components bans which has been shown to result in long-term harm to the well-being of users. The current skincare chemicals and materials in the market possess various health challenges such as skin irritation and allergy where skincare and cosmetic companies are increasingly sourcing for sustainable, renewable, and safe bio-based materials. This technology presents a scalable solution to produce a bioingredient, nanofibrillated cellulose to replace petroleum-based materials in skincare. 

Cellulose is an abundant material in nature, this technology develops a process to extract nanofibrillated cellulose for various applications. Nanofibrillated cellulose is a renewable biopolymer with high flexibility in structure which enables it to exhibit increased mechanical strength, optical, thermal and fluidic properties compared to cellulose. The nanostructure and rich hydroxyl groups allows for modifications in hybridization to fabricate materials ranging from films, membranes, soft gels and creams at reduced size and porosity. 

The product has been validated to have excellent water retention, is highly biocompatible and can be applied as a thickening agent, emulsifiers, humectants, texture, and viscosity modifiers. Functional and cytotoxicity tests are completed to ensure the safety of the material. The technology owner is seeking to work with OEMs of skincare and cosmetic products to advance their business where sample testing are available. 


The cellulose are fabricated into nano-sized to deliver the excellent properties such as: 

  • Water retention: Nano structure of fibrils are rich with hydroxyl group to bond and interact with active compound.
  • Gel and film forming: Nano structure of fibrils can overlap to form nanolayer film on the target area.
  • High biocompatibility: Tested on human cell model.
  • Surfactant: Emulsifier, texture and viscosity modifier.
  • Carrier for actives: To replace chemical compounds in skincare and cosmetics. Improved the release of actives more than 10x. 


The potential applications of the ingredient in skincare and cosmetic products include: 

  • Exfoliating Scrub: Gently removes dead skin cells and impurities.
  • Mask sheet: Increase moisture, store, and release active ingredients while adhering to the skin and forming a protective film.
  • Creams and lotions: Helps to improve texture, smoothness, increase moisture, dispersion, retention, and release of active ingredients.
  • Nail polish: Helps adhere to the surface and create a film layer.

Nanofibrillated cellulose can also be used in the field of healthcare for wound dressings, drug delivery, medical diagnostics, smart sensors and electronic skin. 

Market Trends & Opportunities

The global skincare sector was valued at $131.5 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to generate a CAGR of 4% over 2022–2027, to reach $160.2 billion in 2027. In volume terms, the sector is forecasted to grow from 17.3 billion units in 2022 to 18.6 billion units in 2027, at a CAGR of 1.4%. Thailand's skincare market generated a revenue of $466.80 million in 2022, making it a significant sector of economic growth. 

Unique Value Proposition

  • Sustainability: To offer a sustainable solution to petroleum-based materials commonly used in skincare products. This addresses the growing demand for environmentally friendly and renewable ingredients. In Thailand, cellulose is produced from biomass which is abundant and are common upcycling materials.
  • Consumer Health: It is designed with a focus on consumer health, as it does not pose the health challenges (such as skin irritation and allergies) as some of the current skincare chemicals and materials on the market.
  • Versatile Application: The material has a wide range of applications in skincare and cosmetics, serving as a thickening agent, emulsifier, humectant, texture and viscosity modifier. This versatility makes it valuable for various product formulations.
  • Biocompatibility: It boasts excellent biocompatibility, ensuring that it is well-suited for use on the skin, which is crucial for skincare and cosmetic products.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Given the increasing regulatory scrutiny on skincare product ingredients, this material is FDA-approved and GRAS certified for safe and compliant ingredients.
  • Scalable: Less expensive than petroleum-based materials, excellent biodegradability and mechanical strength while being resistant to high heat and chemical.
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