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Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)

* A plastic filler used in cosmetics

Although Poly(methyl methacrylate), or PMMA, is widely known as a plastic component used in products such as plexiglass and other transparent glass substitutes, it is appearing as an ingredient in a number of cosmetics and aestheticians' offices as a filler for wrinkles and fine lines. According to Wikipedia, Poly(methyl methacrylate) is chemically "is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate" (an organic methyl ester). It's naturally compatible with human tissue, and was a frequent component of contact lenses in the past; it's also been used for dentures and bone replacement, when combined with bovine collagen. When used in cosmetic surgery, Poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres are suspended in biological fluid and injected under the skin to reduce wrinkles or scars permanently. More recently, small particles are purified and used as a filler for foundation, or as a lubrication enhancer for powder and liquid foundation (Sekisui Plastics, Inc.). It "can be added to make it easier to apply cosmetics smoothly, cover up wrinkles, and change their texture. Porous particles are usable as absorber, and elastic particles providing a soft feel are also available."

* A plastic filler used in cosmetics

Functions: Although Poly(methyl methacrylate), or PMMA, is widely known as a plastic component used in products such as plexiglass and other transparent glass substitutes, it is appearing as an ingredient in a number of cosmetics and aestheticians' offices as a filler for wrinkles and fine lines. According to Wikipedia, Poly(methyl methacrylate) is chemically "is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate" (an organic methyl ester). It's naturally compatible with human tissue, and was a frequent component of contact lenses in the past; it's also been used for dentures and bone replacement, when combined with bovine collagen. When used in cosmetic surgery, Poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres are suspended in biological fluid and injected under the skin to reduce wrinkles or scars permanently. More recently, small particles are purified and used as a filler for foundation, or as a lubrication enhancer for powder and liquid foundation (Sekisui Plastics, Inc.). It "can be added to make it easier to apply cosmetics smoothly, cover up wrinkles, and change their texture. Porous particles are usable as absorber, and elastic particles providing a soft feel are also available."

Safety Measures/Side Effects: Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is considered safe, and is rated as a low hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database. It does list concerns that it can be a carcinogen, cause allergic reactions, immunotoxicity, and organ system toxicity. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said it was not likely to be a human carcinogen. It should not be mistaken for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), a known carcinogen. A study quoted by the National Research Center for Women and Families did note that Poly(methyl methacrylate) can cause foreign body granulomas. The FDA, in a study about the use of it in artificial nails, found that "The polymers themselves are typically quite safe, but traces of the reactive monomers could result in an adverse reaction, such as redness, swelling, and pain in the nail bed, among people who have become sensitive (allergic) to methacrylates."

Recommended Products w/ Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA):

Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer, L’oreal Colour Riche Lipstick
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