JRS Highlights Solid and Water-free Formulating

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With current interest in formulating sustainable, ethical personal care products, J. Rettenmaier & Söhne GMBH (JRS) highlighted its Vivapur and Vivastar brand ingredient offerings, among others, for solid and water-free formulating forms; including concentrates, powders and granules, tablets and bars.

According to the company, while there are many challenges to water-free formulating, there are also many benefits, depending on the product format: lower carbon footprint, sustainability, lower transport and energy costs, packaging considerations, preservative-free claims, the novelty factor and the improved stability of actives and colors.

See archived: Formula Focus; Hair Conditioner Bar


Concentrates are liquid and typically use reduced water or none, in some cases. They often comprise the oil phase of o/w emulsions, are high-active wash products, and, of course, can be adjusted to reduce dose volume with the addition of water.

In relation, the company highlights its Vivapur CS Tex Easy (INCI: Microcrystalline Cellulose (and) Cellulose Gum (and) Xanthan Gum), which allows for quick thickening upon the addition of water, while its Vivastar CS Instant Powder (INCI: Sodium Carboxymethyl Starch) swells and gives a novel skin feel, again, with the addition of water. JRS also has a wide range of scrub ingredients based on Cellulose and MCC; the latter is available in colored and white, and in various sizes.

See archived: Formulating on Trend; Shampoo Bar 

Powders and Granules

In terms of powdered and granule forms, these concepts are typically provided in sachets, bottles and non-plastic packaging, where the user "just adds water" to activate them. Such products are often wash products and cleansers, or can be peel-off face masks. They are free flowing and require quick activation and dissolution with instant thickening.

JRS underscores its pharma granulation expertise in this area, and several ingredient offerings. Vivapur CS 70 and 130 FM (INCI Microcrystalline Cellulose) are flow agents; also, Vivastar CS Instant Powder and Vivastar CS 302/352 (INCIs: Sodium Carboxymethyl Starch) provide instant thickening and gelling upon addition to water without clumping. Lastly, Vivastar CS 052 Alginate (INCI: Algin), with thickening, film-forming and moisturizing properties, is proposed for peel-off masks.


Tablets and capsules are easily handled by the consumer, although according to JRS, the packaging is more complex and often single use. Here, shampoos, washes and cream formats are possible; and especially micellar waters. The company notes the dose size must be considered, however; as well as quick dissolution upon addition to water, wicking and disintegrating excipients, and binders and lubricants.

Here again, the company presents its Vivastar CS Instant Powder for fast dissolution upon addition of water. Also, Vivastar CS 302/352 support instant gels and serums, while Vivapur MCC (INCI: Microcrystalline Cellulose) grades, derived from wood pulp, act as binders and fillers for excipients for tablets.

See archived: Formulating Forum; Creating Waterless and Water-efficient Cosmetics


Perhaps the greatest market sensation as of late, the bar is being crafted as shampoos, moisturizers and more. According to the company, one challenge these products face is the limited number of surfactants available in dry form. Also, bar integrity can be a problem, as well as the skin feel during and after use. Bar production, whether, extruded, hot poured or stamped, also can present issues.

For this product form, JRS again suggests its Vivapur MCC Binders, which can improve bar integrity. In addition, the company's alginates can provide pleasant slip and feel properties, while Vivapur Sensorial Powder grades (INCI: Not Provided) offer upcycled solutions for moisturizing bars. Scrub ingredients for bars also are available in colored and white, and in various sizes.

Looking Ahead

JRS projects next-gen innovations in solid personal care will be sheets and films, along with their packaging. In addition, masks present further opportunities for new development, as well as just-add water powders for micellar waters and cleansers.

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