Thickener for Liquid Deodorant - Cosmetic Science Talk

Thickener for Liquid Deodorant

I’m making a natural liquid roll-on deodorant. Because the consistency of the solution is like water, it leaks from the roll-on bottle. What thickener can I add that is a natural ingredient, non-sticky, and doesn’t leave any residue?

I already tried glycerin.  I added almost 20% and still the liquid isn't thick enough, yet the deodorant feels greasy.

I read in Crystal Rock Roll-on's ingredients that it contains cellulose.  However, I can't find ingredients for sale that's just called "cellulose".

How about Hydroxyethylcellulose?  Is this the same as cellulose?  Can I still call it "all-natural" if I add this ingredient?  

And what about Xanthan Gum? Can I still call it "all-natural" if I use this?  Does it make the deodorant sticky or have white residue?

With your recommendation, please kindly also suggest quantity for 50ml solution.

Thank you!

Comments

  • A bit of background about me.  I'm new to this industry.  I stumbled upon this deodorant formula doing some DIY at home. I've been using it for 2 years and it works great for me and also friends and family who've tried it.  I'm in the process of sourcing all the materials, label design, testing, etc. when I realized that roll-on bottles are not meant for thin liquids.  It never occurred to me because I've always been testing it in essential oil roller bottles.  

    One more thing is that one of the key benefits of my formula is that it feels like nothing after you put it on.  That's why I'm trying hard to look for a thickener that won't change that.  

    I'd greatly appreciate the help from this community!
  • @rebeccaso:

    You can try hydroxyethylcellulose.  My recommendation would be Xanthan Gum ( Xanthan Clear ... you can purchase smallish quantities from LotionCrafter.com ).  For larger quantities, it's Keltrol CG-T from CP Kelco ... MOQ is 25 kg.  It hydrates very quickly and yields a crystal clear solution.  Use at about 0.3% to 0.5% for a roll-on type application should give you enough viscosity so it does not leak, but will not considerably alter your skin sensorial.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • @MarkBroussard Thank you very much for the recommendations!  Are both hyroxyethylcellulose and Xanthan Gum considered natural?  That's what my deodorant currently is.

    And if I don't care whether the solution is clear or not, would you change your recommendation for the best feel on the skin and also ease of mixing?

    Thanks again!
  • @rebeccaso:

    Yes, both would be considered natural.  No, I would stick with the Xanthan Clear, it is by far the easiest Xanthan I have ever worked with.  I am not particularly fond of using HEC, I don't find it be a particularly effective thickener.  A couple of other options you might consider would be locust bean or guar.  Xanthan will be your least expensive, most readily available option.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • @MarkBroussard Xanthan Clear it is!  I've already placed a order through LotionCrafter.  I'll keep you guys updated on my progress!

    By the way, @MarkBroussard, I sent you a direct message.  Wondering if you saw it?

    Thanks a million!
  • An update: I added Xanthan Gum clear.  The deodorant is thicker so it doesn't leak as easily from the bottle but the solution is getting a bit too sticky to my liking.  So I'm going to gradually reduce the amount of Xanthan.

    Another issue is it is a very long and slow process to mix in the Xanthan and I still get lumps no matter how I constantly stir the solution.  I've heard that I can mix the Xanthan into the oil first.  But the only oil I use is essential oil and in very small quantity.  Any suggestion?  @MarkBroussard ?

    Thanks again!
  • You can stir the Xanthan Gum in glycerin first, before you add it to the solution.

    You can try MHEC- Methyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, That's what I'm using in other roll-on formulation.

    The commercial name is- Tylose.

    Chief Chemist/ R&D Manager at SASA Cosmetics
  • Thank you for the suggestion. However, I don't have glycerin in my formula and my label is already finalized. 
  • edited June 4
    If your label is finalized, isn't it a bit late to be still working on the formulation?

    A tip about dispersing gums. As well as mixing with a non-solvent (glycerin was suggested here) you could also try premixing/dispersing with any solid components that you have in your formulation.

    Reverting to your initial post, it could be that "cellulose" refers to microcrystalline cellulose which is used in a number of pharmaceuticals as a dispersing agent
  • @rebeccaso:

    Yes, pre-disperse the Xanthan Clear in Glycerin ... For this application, start with 0.4% Xanthan and 2% Glycerin.  Just add the glycerin to the xanthan and mix ... it will form a slurry.  While your water phase is stirring, slowly drizzle the Xanthan/Glycerin slurry into the stirring water phase.  Let it stir for about 15 minutes to hydrate.

    Adjust the amount of Xanthan up or down until you get the combination of thickness and skin sensorial you find most appropriate.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

Sign In or Register to comment.