Synthetic Latex:
Professional Grade Sponges

DOWNLOAD PDF | Oct 15, 2008

SBR – Synthetic latex was developed to replace natural latex in a variety of products partially due to the growing shortage of natural latex and natural rubber, which comes from Hevea Brasiliensis Tree.

SBR began replacing NR (natural latex) for cosmetic purposes in the late 80’s where media exploded the potential allergenic properties among hospital works when using latex gloves daily. Although the concern was real among chronic users of latex gloves, the effects of other natural products was never identified as a concern… This is proven by the continued and mass use of such leading latex based products as prophylactics, latex mattresses & pillows, bandages and chewing gum to name a few.

SBR is a synthetic latex raw material, which is mixed, foamed and baked, in a similar fashion as “bread”. As the material is baked, it rises under very specialized conditions to control porosity, smoothness, structure and its very distinctive rubbery feel. SBR is recognizable by its creamy colour, which is intentionally maintained as it alone conveys the mark of originality & quality.

This smooth rubbery material has been the Professionals choice for decades as cosmetic applicators. Its ability to hold, release and smooth without wasting or drawing moisture from expensive make-up has been its most praised feature.

Another product of the same family is “NBR” which is identical to SBR in all features with the added bonus of being oil resistant. This feature is rarely required today given most make-ups today are water based. NBR is close to double the cost of SBR and remains available to those who request it.

Another aspect of SBR is “weight” which has no effect on the performance of the product. weight refers to the of SBR added to the mixture before processing. The more SBR, the denser the product and the more costly the material. Regardless of the amount of SBR used to produce the synthetic latex, the end result is identical in appearance, size and performance characteristics. Heavier weight SBR is essential for any product requiring beveling only. As cosmetic sponges are a disposable item the market has rapidly moved to the lighter weight material largely as an environmental initiative.

To clear the record, we have undertaken to explore the world of allergic reactions to the protein in natural latex and its potential application to the cosmetic sponge industry and have found there are NO known or reported reactions. We have researched this extensively, been in contact with one of the world’s leading natural latex testing facilities, Guthrie Foundation for Education & Research Inc. and several of the world’s largest SBR, NBR AND NATURAL latex producers. This along with the reality that natural latex as shown above is used worldwide among the majority of the population, should give us clarification that usingn natural latex for cosmetic application is no more likely to elicit an allergic reaction than using any of the other products listed above.

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