Ingredient - Sustainability: Guar Gum

INCI: Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride


Raw material: Seeds of the guar plant

 

Guar gum is a naturally occurring, renewable resource that is environmentally friendly because it is a water-soluble polymer. (10)

Guar Gum: Guar gum is a natural polysaccharide extracted from guar beans. It is widely utilized in the industrial sector due to its non-toxicity, easy handling, fast biodegradation, and high chemical reactivity (3,4)

Guar Bagasse: Guar bagasse, a byproduct of guar gum production, is being researched for its potential use in producing renewable biofuels. This would help reduce our dependence on oil and natural gas. (5,6)

Cationic Guar Gum: Cationic guar gum is a variant of regular guar gum with additional properties. It’s derived from the same source - guar beans.  The difference lies in modifying the guar gum to make it cationic, which carries a positive charge. This modification gives cationic guar gum anti-static and conditioning properties. (7,8,9)

When used in hair care, cationic guar gum can attach itself to the anionic (negatively charged) hair shaft, bolstering hair, preventing moisture loss, and enhancing hydration. It forms a protective film on the surface of skin and hair that conditions and smooths, creating products with excellent skin feel. (7,8,9)

So, while regular guar gum is a renewable resource with gelling, stabilizing, and hydrating properties, cationic guar gum adds to these benefits with its conditioning and anti-static properties, making it particularly valuable in personal care products. (7,8)

Cationic guar is modified to improve its performance and functionality in cosmetic and skincare products. It is water-soluble and is commonly used in gels, shampoos, conditioners, creams, and lotions. It is particularly beneficial in hair care products, as it can protect hair from styling damage, reduce frizz and friction, and improve overall hair appearance. (1,2)

Cationic guar gum, or "Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride," is a synthetic ingredient derived from natural sources.

Cationic guar gum is produced by modifying guar gum through a process called quaternization. This process involves treating it with a quaternary ammonium compound to give it a positive charge. This positive charge gives cationic guar gum additional properties beneficial in hair and skin care products, including conditioning and anti-static properties. Compared to ingredients sourced from non-renewable sources like petroleum, cationic guar gum is more sustainable. (1,2)

To fully evaluate the environmental impact of cationic guar gum, it is vital to consider the entire lifecycle of the product. This includes the cultivation of the crops used to produce guar gum, the quaternization process to produce cationic guar gum, and the transportation and processing of the final product. Efforts can be made to minimize these impacts, such as using renewable energy sources and optimizing the efficiency of the production process.

 

Cited links:

1 - https://goodformulations.com/ingredients/cationic-guar-gum/

2 - https://www.ashland.com/industries/personal-and-home-care/hair-care/nhance-cationic-guar

3 - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/guar-gum

4 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guar_gum

5 - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10098-023-02472-9

6 - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353365749_A_Life_Cycle_Assessment_of_Guar_Agriculture

7 - https://lotioncrafter.com/products/guarcat

8 - https://www.humblebeeandme.com/project/guar-gum/

9 - https://www.windypointsoap.com/products/cationic-guar-gum

10 - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13202-020-01080-3