October 7, 2022


product formulation&recipe consultation, ingredient testing, how-to videos, instructions and other info that empowers you to create your own hair care and skincare products!

Penstia Powder

3 min read
penstia powder - curlytea.com

Penstia Powder
INCI: Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer
Usage rate: 3-5%
Shelf life: 18-24 months stored properly

Skin: Exceptional slip for smooth application
Hair: ???

Penstia Powder is a silky polymer said to add “exceptional slip” to creams and lotions. It’s a white powder that’s easy to add to your DIY mixes. It also helps improve the penetration of active ingredients into the skin.

This powder can be added into water or oil phase to reduce any tackiness and drag in your final product. Supposedly, the particles “roll rather than drag” across the surface of the skin or hair. Not only can it be used to add creaminess and slip, but it can also improve the effect of esters and silicones (if you use them) in products.

Penstia powder is said to allow for “high oil loading”, which means you can have a high oil phase. But I don’t see where they define what “high” means. “High” to me is 40%. But “high” to the manufacturer may mean 15% or 20%. (I’ll keep searching for the info.)

3% Penstia Powder actually absorbs sebum when used in cleansing products meant to help remove makeup. Speaking of makeup, it can also be used to make powder-only makeup formulations as well as foundations, eye shadow, lipstick, and face powders.

From what I can gather, Penstia powder is added as the last step in the process after an emulsion has formed. If you’re using gums (xanthan, guar) or polymers (carbomers) in your emulsion, add Penstia powder AFTER gums and other polymers have already been incorporated.

During formulation, you have to use a stick blender or some other high shear mixer when adding Penstia powder to ensure incorporation of the ingredient. I don’t see any specifications about having to heat this ingredient, which usually means it can be used in cold-process/room-temperature emulsions (emulsions you don’t have to heat).

Penstia in Haircare? Hum…

“Hair Care” is listed on lotioncrafter.com’s website as an application for this ingredient. However, I haven’t been able to find any specific information about the benefits of Penstia powder in haircare.

I’m also searching for shampoos, conditioners or leave-ins that use penstia powder (Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer) as an ingredient.

The ingredient’s absence in hair products may or may not be important.  The lack of the ingredient found in many popular shampoos or conditioners may mean the price is not cost-effective for most businesses to use.  It also could mean it’s not meant for hair application. I haven’t been able to figure it out just yet.

If you’ve seen this ingredient in any of your fave haircare products, please let us know in the comments section.


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