From fixatives to film formers to emollient esters, Eastman innovative solutions help cosmetic formulators to create new products with tangible consumer benefits. Visit this technical center to learn the latest trends and gain easy access to Eastman product solutions, application guides and starting point formulations for skin and sun care, eye and face color cosmetics, hair care, and nail care.

Discover Eastman Solutions and Benefits for Personal Care & Cosmetics Formulations

Introduction to Eastman

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Eastman strives to enhance the quality of life in a material way. For more than 100 years, the company has excelled in the production of specialty materials used as key ingredients in everyday items. Eastman’s continuous technological advancements help its customers stay at the forefront of innovation. In addition to serving dozens of other industries, the company is an experienced and trusted supplier of speciality ingredients to the personal care and cosmetics industry. Eastman offers a wide variety of products to help boost the performance of skin care, sun care, color cosmetics, and hair styling products.

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In the personal care and cosmetics industry, formulators constantly need innovative solutions to produce products that perform better and make their customers look better. Eastman’s experts are continually developing new ingredients and techniques to help formulators improve product performance and deliver the most desired consumer benefits. Eastman works closely with personal care and cosmetics companies to accelerate the process of delivering the latest innovations from its labs to consumers. Companies working with Eastman benefit from a world-class technology platform to help them produce differentiated products and assume a leading position in their own markets. Eastman has a deep-rooted commitment to safety and sustainability, which delivers associated benefits to its customers.

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Eastman products for personal care and cosmetics

Achieving the right balance of high-quality ingredients is essential for development of products that meet or exceed consumer expectations. Eastman offers a wide variety of ingredients to help its customers boost performance of their products. The company produces a wide range of specialty materials for the personal care and cosmetics industry, including high-quality ingredients for:

Skin care

Eastman offers a variety of ingredients to improve skin care formulations ranging from antiaging treatments to moisturizing creams. It produces functional film formers that provide increased stability and solubility to provide better skin compatibility, excellent film formation, and increased water resistance. It also offers antioxidants to stabilize formulations, hydroquinone, and unique retinoid antiaging ingredients that are sustainably manufactured.

Sun care

Eastman supplies the sun care segment of the personal care industry with a water-dispersible film former, which greatly improves water resistance in a variety of sunscreen lotions and sprays.

Hair care

Eastman offers a variety of hair care ingredients that enhance key performance attributes of hair care products. These ingredients can reduce drying time, enhance gloss and body, increase hold and curl retention, and add manageability, and tunable firmness. Eastman ingredients for hair care products are suitable for use in hair sprays, styling creams, and gels.

Color cosmetics

Eastman offers a variety of ingredients to improve drying time, gloss, and hardness in nail polishes and lacquers. Eastman polymers are invaluable ingredients in the formulation of color cosmetics where water, smudge, and transfer resistance are critical. Their excellent film forming properties provide improved resistance essential in applications such as foundation and mascara.

Major product groups

Eastman’s products for the personal care and cosmetics industry can be classified into the following groups:

Functional skin care ingredients

Eastman offers a variety of ingredients to improve skin care formulations ranging from sunscreens to moisturizing creams and antiaging creams. Its novel ester Eastman GEM™ technology enables active ingredients for skin care with high selectivity, using mild reaction conditions. The technology is customizable for a wide range of applications through careful selection of a functional alcohol and acid. Eastman’s functional skin care ingredients show superior performance, increased stability, and high solubility and are mild on skin.

Emollient esters

Emollient esters form semi-occlusive films for moisturizing benefits, help maintain skin's softness and plasticity, reduce the itching sensation in dry skin, and improve skin appearance.

Adhesion promoters

Adhesion promoters increase the adhesive strength between the coating and the substrate to enhance the durability of the product. Eastman offers Eastman Sustane™ SAIB and Eastman SAIB sucrose-based adhesion promoters that are suitable for improving adhesion on fingernails, skin, and hair. SAIB is offered in a variety of low-viscosity blends for personal care and cosmetics applications.


Antioxidants are free radical scavengers that interrupt oxidation reactions. They prevent oxygen radicals from damaging the integrity and function of various oils, particularly unsaturated oils. Antioxidants inhibit rancidity in creams and lotions and prevent the degradation of fragrances. They are widely used in fragrances, skin care products, tanning lotions, hairstyling products, color cosmetics, antiperspirants, and deodorants. Eastman Tenox™ BHT and TBHQ are kosher, food grade antioxidants that are suitable for use in a wide range of personal care and cosmetics products.

Film formers

Film-forming agents leave a pliable, continuous, and cohesive covering over skin or hair. Addition of a film former improves adhesion and endurance in color cosmetics and hairstyling products. Eastman’s advanced film formers improve smudge and transfer resistance in color cosmetics, water resistance in sunscreens, and tunable firmness in hairstyling products. Eastman’s range also includes cellulose ester film formers, which are widely used by the nail care industry. Films formed by cellulose esters show fast solvent release, are nonyellowing, and have excellent clarity and stability. Eastman AQ™ polymers are water-dispersible polymers used in hairstyling, sun care, and color cosmetics for their film-forming properties.

Fragrance fixatives

A fragrance fixative extends the life of a perfume by reducing the volatility of its components. A good fixative should be almost colorless and odorless, have an affinity for the more volatile fragrance components, be stable to heat and UV light, and be chemically inert to the fragrance. Diffusion of fragrance components over time from the fixative and the solubility of fragrance components in the fixative are also important in the choice of a suitable fixative. Eastman Sustane™ SAIB is suitable for use as a fragrance fixative that helps the aroma of perfumes last longer. It is used in the compounding of fragrance concentrates and the formulation of finished fragrances.


Consumers expect their manicures to look good for an extended period—from five to seven days. Eastman plasticizers are used to increase the flexibility of films in the nail care industry. An overplasticized film will dry too slowly and become dull from marring. If the plasticizer evaporates too quickly, the film can become brittle. Eastman SAIB-90 and SAIB-90EA are light-colored, stable liquids soluble in most alcohols and are suitable for use as plasticizers in the nail care industry.


Preservatives are added to extend the usable life of cosmetics and personal care products. They offer protection from microorganisms that can cause product spoilage. Eastman offers benzoic acid and Eastman Probenz™ SG sodium benzoate as preservatives. Both ingredients are suitable for use in skin care, hairstyling, color cosmetics, and deodorant formulations.


Eastman ester solvents include high-purity methyl acetate. Methyl acetate is fast evaporating and exempt from regulation as a VOC under U.S. federal law. It can be used to lower the VOCs in hair sprays, nail care products, and non-acetone nail polish removers.

Specialty amines

Eastman specialty amines are intermediates used primarily in the development and manufacture of amphoteric and cationic surfactants.


Eastman offers a range of rosin and hydrocarbon resins as adhesion promoters and film formers. Rosin derivatives with high natural content that can vary in color, hardness, oxidative resistance, solubility, and compatibility are available to provide valuable properties, including adhesion improvement and rheology adjustment. These resins are used in nonaqueous formulations.

GEM technology

Eastman GEM™ technology is an EPA award-winning biocatalytic process that enables the precise manufacture of target ingredients using mild processing conditions to eliminate the use of high temperatures, strong acids, and unwanted by-products. The process consumes less energy than conventional processes, setting a new standard of sustainable manufacturing for skin care, sunscreen, and color cosmetics ingredients.

Eastman technical support and collaboration with formulators

Eastman is committed to the introduction and support of new technologies and fresh ideas for formulators of personal care products and cosmetics. Its global team of experts continually assists formulators in improving product performance and shortening the product development cycle. Eastman’s customers can leverage the benefits of the its innovative ingredients to take the lead in their own markets. Eastman's experienced technical service team works closely with formulators to assist them in incorporating high-quality Eastman ingredients into their formulations. The technical team helps formulators by:
  • Recommending products based on formulation and end-use requirements
  • Leveraging their insight to help formulators achieve performance goals
  • Offering starting point formulations for new products
  • Recommending application equipment and procedures for testing and production
Get in touch with Eastman today to learn more about its products or to discuss possible solutions to your formulation issues.


Case Studies from Eastman solutions for the personal care and cosmetics industry

Stable and non-irritating retinoid antiaging skin care with Eastman GEM™ retinyl sunflowerate

Four-page case study details why Eastman GEM™ retinyl sunflowerate offers an attractive alternative to retinol and retinyl palmitate for use in antiaging formulations. Even at low concentration, it is highly effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.


Improve water resistance in color cosmetics and sunscreens

At Eastman, you’ll find water-dispersible, film-forming polymers to perfect your water resistance and long-wear products. Eastman advancements in film formation provide improved smudge, transfer, and water resistance in color cosmetics and sunscreens, and Eastman formulations are tunable.

AQ polymers for cosmetics and personal care applications are linear, amorphous polyesters that disperse in water without the assistance of organic solvents, surfactants, or amines. Formulations containing AQ polymers reach a dry-to-touch state after a relatively short dry time.



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