Improving lactic acid moisturizer

georgiliolevgeorgiliolev Member
edited December 2016 in Formulating
Hello, I've been making quite a good and likeable anti-aging formula , containing lactic acid and retinyl palmitate. I would like advice on how to improve the formula and also make it cheaper if possible.

Clients want a thick, not too-oily cream, packed in a jar

Water phase 70%
lactic acid - 6%
glycerin - 2%
propylene glycol - 3%
allantoin - 0.5%
acacia gum - 5%
salicylic acid - 0.2% ( only as preservative)
Aqua - qs

Oil phase 28% (  maybe it should be lower %? )

Tego Care 450 emulsifier - 3% ( INCI: Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose distearate)
Stearic acid - 4%
Cetyl Palmitate - 6%
Shea butter - 3%
Sunflower oil - 12%

Cold phase - Retinyl palmitate 2%, fragrance

Keep in mind that in my country I could barely obtain any ingredient, there are almost no cosmetic supply companies and I have to use lab suppliers


  • georgiliolevgeorgiliolev Member
    edited December 2016
    Also, among the mentioned ingredients, which is best to increase for more thickness?
    I think I have enough solid fats , however viscosity is still low, i'm really wondering what is causing that
  • You could try partially neutralising the lactic acid so that you have a mixture of lactic acid and one of its salts (sodium, potassium, ammonium).

    To increase viscosity you could try replacing all or part of the cetyl palmitate and/or stearic acid with cetyl, cetearyl or stearyl alcohol.

    The quantity of acacia seems rather high - what is its function in the mix?

    I would not rely on 0.2% salicylic acid as an effective preservative.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    I would recommend dropping your total oils/emollients (Cetyl Palmitate, Shea Butter & Sunflower Oil) to 15 or 16% ... So, you might try dropping each of those proportionately to 4%, 3%, 8%.

    Yes, 5% Acacia Gum doesn't make much sense and is probably also part of your problem.  You'll only need 0.2% to 0.3% as an emulsion stabilizer.

    Ditto on replacing the Stearic Acid with Cetyl Alcohol to thicken it up.

    With that much Lactic Acid ... I assume your pH is around 3.5 ... you won't need much, but as mentioned above, Salicylic Acid alone is not a broad spectrum preservative.

    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
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