HEC, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose

This HEC powder is what is known as a ‘cellulose polymer.’ Cellulose comes from the walls of plant cells, which consists of vegetable fibers.

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HEC, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose powder is what is known as a ‘cellulose polymer.’ Cellulose comes from the walls of plant cells, which consists of vegetable fibers.  For something to be a polymer, this merely means, “A substance that has a molecular structure built up chiefly or completely from a large number of similar units bonded together.” Like a lot of cosmetic additives, the INCI name of this product sounds scarier than reality. If you run this product thru the Skin Deep website for toxicity ratings, you will find that it holds a mighty ZERO on all levels. And that works for us at Organic Creations!

Customers have found HEC helpful for gelling and thickening water-soluble recipes.  Simply add this to the water phase of your recipe and allow it to hydrate for 20 minutes.  Your finished product will be somewhere in the ballpark of a clear to a semi-transparent gel. It works great for shampoos and body washes, and other formulations that needs a bit of body.  In a snap, that thin liquid soap is thick!

A few key tips on working with HEC, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose powder:

It must be added to the water phase of the recipe. Agitate well with a stick blender if you have one. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes (continue to stir off and on) to create a gel.  Then slowly work into your other additives. This powder loves a low pH. If you plan to use an adjuster like citric acid, we suggest doing that before adding the HEC — it will setup faster at a lower pH. Try using room temperature water, if possible. The warmer the water, the faster HEC sets up.  Avoid hot water, as it tends to create “jelly-lumps.”  After the base has gelled, it is fine to heat it, if you need to.

INCI: Hydroxyethylcellulose


Have you ever thought about starting your own business or doing a side hustle for a little extra income? If so, you might want to consider repacking our handmade bases under your own business name. They can be sold as-is, or lightly customized by a formulator to create a unique product just for your business. To view our handmade bases, check out this link.

Organic Creations Inc. is a small, family-run company who thoroughly enjoys what we do: helping people discover the fun of making their own natural beauty care products for either personal or professional use. Got a question for us? We would love to hear from you! Give us a call, email or use our chat system to contact customer service.

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