Need help!

edited April 2017 in Formulating
Im having a problem with a formulation once I add potassium sorbate to the formula it makes my serum look like it has egg whites in it! I don't know what this means, if the potassium sorbate is no good or if something is incompatible here. I'm about to give up on this ingredient all together lol.

35.55% distilled water 
30% witch hazel distillate alcohol free
10% aloe leaf juice
5% glycerin
0.6% hydroxyethylcellulose
10% hyaluronic acid serum/ Note: from a 2%hyaluronic acid & water serum preserved with​ 4% leucidal liquid
1.2% green coffee extract / 1x5 menstrum 75% grain alcohol
1.2% Cacao extract / 1x5 menstrum 75% grain alcohol
4% leucidal liquid
0.3% citric acid
0.15% potassium sorbate
2%essential oils

The essential oils (yes I'm aware that I'm not using an emulsifier), leucidal liquid, hyaluronic acid serum, are added at the cool down phase at room temperature. Everything looks fine at this point I then adjust the pH with the citric acid, still fine, then add the potassium sorbate then it goes up in smoke or should I say egg whites!

Can someone please tell me exactly what is going on, I would greatly appreciate it!



  • Could it possibly be sublime?
  • I will refrain from commenting on the formula as a whole but, if you find potaasium sorbate is causing problems why not just replace it with another preservative? By doing this you will save a lot of wholly pointless investigation work.

  • In my experience, I use the following combinations:
    1. Potasium sorbate not more than 0.1%
    2. Use mixed Potasium sorbate + phenolxyethanol + methyl paraben + DMDM
    3. I think you should replace Potasium sorbate  with DMDM ​​hydantoin
    4. I have a little surprise that you do not use emulsifiers . Can you give me some pictures after doing?

    Founder and CEO, R&D Lab
    Soapily Skincare Cosmetic Corp Inc
    Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

  • Thanks @johnb for replying! Yes I agree with you and am looking into amticide to use with leucidal liquid. I was just trying to use what I have on hand and was curious if anyone has ever encountered anything like that before. I've used it in the past in another formula and never had any problems until now which makes me think that it could of gone bad or its incompatible with one of the ingredients.
  • With all that Leucidal, all that acidity (pH about 3.0 thereabouts?), plus low water activity, why bother with any other preservative? Remember that K-sorbate has much lower water solubility the lower the pH, so your immediate problem is one of pH adjustment to stop the sorbate from precipitating.  But again, why bother? Leave it out.
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