Sappi develops new, skin-friendly hand-sanitiser ingredient

15th July 2020 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer

Dissolving pulp and paper-based solutions company Sappi has launched a skin- and planet-friendly hand hygiene ingredient – Valida – which is based on cellulose and is intended to be used by hygiene product manufacturers in products like hand sanitisers.

Sappi developed the ingredient in cognisance of the impact that the daily use of hygiene products can have on people’s skin, as well as on the environment.

Sappi notes that, traditionally hand sanitisers are clear and transparent gels which contain at least 60% alcohol. According to Sappi, achieving the desired viscosity of sanitising gel can be challenging, and there are only a few thickeners (such as acrylates) that are suitable.

Sappi Biotech biomaterials VP Matt Spence explains that Valida is a highly fibrillated cellulose manufactured by Sappi. It is 100% natural, derived from woodfibre and is biodegradable and sustainable. “Valida can successfully perform as an opacifier and thickener in sanitising gels, providing a natural alternative for acrylate-based polymers, while providing some unique additional benefits.”

These benefits include replacing microplastics with a natural ingredient, moisturising the skin, imparting a superior skin feel and having a unique texture. In addition, Valida has passed cosmetics ingredient safety studies covering skin irritation, sensitisation, blockage and penetration.

Valida is produced by mechanically processing wood-derived fibres to their smallest components, resulting in a dramatically increased surface area and enhanced mechanical, optical, chemical and physical properties.

When suspended in water, Valida cellulose fibrils form an insoluble three-dimensional network based on hydrogen bonding and mechanical entanglement. This network is the foundation of Valida’s rheology and stabilising functionality.