What is Cellulose?

Cellulose is a carbohydrate found in plant cell walls. More specifically, cellulose is an organic compound, meaning it’s a polymer made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. For our skin, cellulose has moisturizing properties and is helpful in lots of different types of skincare formulas.

What Does Cellulose Do?

Cellulose is used in skincare for a number of reasons, including as an emulsifier to stabilize certain formulas. Cellulose is also used in exfoliating skincare formulas as an alternative to harsh physical exfoliators as it’s so gentle on the skin. Because cellulose is neither oil or water-soluble and completely natural, it makes a great gentle exfoliator.

How Does Cellulose Work in Scrubs and Gels?

The soft cellulose compounds in your formula clump together as you rub the formula into your skin, gently removing dead skin that is ready to come off. Although it may look like you’re literally rubbing dead skin off your face, in reality, it is mostly the formula balling together. However, as the cellulose combines with dead skin and dirt, if you have any makeup residue on your skin, you will see the formula change color slightly.

Our Fave Cellulose Skincare Products:

WISHFUL Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, $39

WISHFUL Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub

This gentle but powerful scrub is infused with brightening pineapple and papaya enzymes, detoxifying BHAs and AHAs, and cellulose to carefully buff away dead skin cells without scratching the skin surface. This scrub immediately smooths and softens the skin and over time helps to improve the appearance of dark spots and pores, while brightening, re-texturizing and smoothing the skin.

111Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask, $135

cellulose mask

This plumping cellulose fiber mask has fibers 500 times finer than regular tissue masks, ensuring that bio-cellulose can instantly lock moisture into the skin and allow three key ingredients to penetrate deeper to stimulate collagen production and immediately brighten and firm the skin.