Clays and emulsion pH

edited April 2018 in Color and makeup
Hello guys,

I've been working on a clay pomade and I am planning to ditch guar gum as my water gelling agent because it is too sticky. I want to replace it with sodium carbomer. I read that sodium carbomer is not effective at a pH lower than 5,5. I am using only kaolin and Illite(green) clay, will these clays lower the pH of the product? And if so, can I increase the pH using bentonite?

I am looking forward for your replies.


  • You can use carbomers designed for low pH. The aqua or the smart lines from Lubrizol will work at that pH.
  • bentonite is alkaline, so possibly could be used.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • I find it really hard to believe that clays can influence pH levels without dissolving. But I give it a try with and without bentonite and see how I like the finish.
  • ultraduy  You are correct they cannot unless dissolved.Why don't you use Veegum and/or xanthan gum?
  • The gums were too sticky for me and made the application horrible. So I switched to carbomer. So we can say that kaolin and bentonite do not have influence on the pH of the emulsion, because they are water insoluble?
  • @ultraduy they can't be dissolved in water per se, but they are miscible with water; depending on where it comes from, bentonite is neutral to alkaline when mixed with water
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
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