Topical and Transdermal Drug Delivery

Lubrizol offers a variety of solutions for safe contact with the skin. These include topical and transdermal applications.


Lubrizol is a leading supplier of excipients for medicated topical formulations. We support both over-the-counter and prescription, topical drug formulations. Key performance parameters for our polymers include rheology control, maintaining homogenous suspension, emulsion stabilization, dispersion, sensory properties, and dermal bioadhesion. Lubrizol is positioned to support formulators to help provide robust, stable and efficient topical gel, lotion cream, and ointment formulations. They are versatile and efficient in aqueous, hydroalcoholic and anhydrous systems.

Lubrizol’s mucoadhesive and bioadhesive polymers, such as

Carbopol® polymers, Pemulen™ polymeric emulsifiers, and Noveon® polycarbophils, have a long history of safe and effective use in topical drug formulations. At typical usage levels, they provide excellent thickening, suspending and emulsifying properties leading to formulations with optimal aesthetics and skin feel. Due to the very high molecular weight of the polymers, they do not penetrate the skin or affect the biological activity of the drug. The synthetic nature of the polymers is not a source of microbial growth in formulations. 


Lubrizol also offers a number of technologies appropriate for transdermal patches. We provide a variety of specialty thermoplastic polyurethanes such as Tecophilic™ TPUs for film backing in patches, and Carbopol polymers as API storage devices and rheology excipients in reservoir patch designs.

Our Carbopol polymers in transdermal applications offer rheology modification, stability, compatibility with many APIs, temperature resilience, viscoelasticity, microbe resistance and low irritancy properties.

With more than 50 years of experience working with specialty thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs), Lubrizol can customize properties of films, transport membranes and hydrogels for the transdermal industry. Our biocompatible, thermoplastic polyurethane technologies offer chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, breathability and processing ease. They can be tailored to offer specific levels of strength/elasticity, color/clarity, and flexibility/softening.

Product Lines

Carbopol® Polymers

Pemulen™ Polymeric Emulsifiers

Noveon® AA-1 Polycarbophil

Tecophilic™ TPUs

Topical IID/IIG Listed Ingredients


Pharmaceutical Excipients Guide

Dermal Treatments Brochure

Excipients for Liquid and Semisolid Dosage

Transdermal Delivery System Solutions