Polyacrylamide is a polymer formed from acrylamide subunits. It can be synthesized as a simple linear-chain structure or cross-linked, typically using N,N‍ ‘-methylenebisacrylamide.

Primarily used as a binder, film former and thickener. Polyacrylamide is an ingredient in a variety of cosmetic and beauty products, including skin cleansers, moisturizers, lotions and creams, self tanning products, makeup, and hair care and nail care products. It dries to form a thin coating on the skin, hair, or nails; in hair care products, it helps hair hold its style by inhibiting the hair’s ability to absorb moisture; in makeup, it holds together the ingredients of a compressed tablet or cake; in sunscreen products, it aids in retaining sunscreen on the skin after immersion in water. Small Polyacrylamide beads may also be used in skin cleansing products as an abrasive