Help with my Gel

Hi all . This is my first time on this blog, so if i am doing something wrong please advise. I am trying to make a Organic Aloe gel, but i am struggling to get a perfect gel.  I tried Xanthan gum, which gives me a perfect spreading gel, but looks "snotty", the recipe below is what i used next but now the gel is perfect but it has a peeling effect when you put it on your face.  I adjusted the Ph with A bicarb solution?? could it be this, or what can i do to not have that peeling effect. This also happens when i used Solagum Ax. Any suggetions?? Ingredients Agua(Di water) Aloe ferox Leaf Extract Glycerine Damacena Flower oil Cosphaderm KG 2.8 Eriocephalus Punctulatus water   Cosphagard Precare 4.5 Thanks - clear


  • @O12 post the formula with %. It’s impossible to tell what’s wrong with your product without details.
  • Sorry this is what I have.
    Aqua Di water   62.7%
    Aloe Ferox leaf extract 20%
    Glycerin   5%
    Cosphagard Precare 4.5%
    Damacena Flower oil 4%
    Cosphaderm KG 2.8%
    Eriocephalus Punctulatus water 1%

    This gel is lovely but as I said has a peeling effect. Why and what can i do to fix this?
    I need to adjust the pH but being a new at this I really dont know how, I have received samples of caustic soda pearls, caustic soda flakes and potassium hydroxide flakes, Was told that I can add this to an Organic product. Which would be the better product, and on a ratio of 1:1 does this mean 1 ml of caustic soda to 1 ml of water, and that every 1 drop of this solution would up the pH with 1% 
    Thank you
  • @O12, what you posted are not INCI names. I googled it, INCI names for Cosphagard Precare are: Aqua, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Benzoate, INCI name for Cosphaderm KG is Amorphophallus Konjac Root Extract.

    So, you have 5% of Glycerine that is extremely high and makes your formula sticky, some humectants and extracts that all are water phase and 4% of oil (I hope it's not Rosa Damascena Essential oil used at a concentration of 4%?) without a proper emulsifier. It is not surprising that it's peeling. Leave it for some time and it will separate in the bottle. You need an emulsifier if you mix water and oil. Regading the pH, what is it at the moment and what are you reying to get?
  • @O12 a few questions for clarification; what do you mean when you say "peeling effect" is it an exfoliating (actual skin starting to peel) or the product creating a film that peels of the skin?
    The Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract you have, what brand is it?
    Is the aloe supplied as a powder and if yes what level of up-concentration is it?

    I presume you are talking about the product peeling off the skin, this is probably because a very high concentration of aloe, which doesn't act particularly well as a film-former. A lot of aloe extracts are supplied at high strengths (200x is a common one). so using 20% of such a powder will give some level of thickening due to sugar concentration, but it won't sit nicely on the skin.

    I would check the concentration of the aloe extract - adjust the recipe so it's equivalent to no more than 5x strength (I personally feel it gets sticky after that level), then try again with the Solagum AX at 1.5-2.5%

    And out of curiosity, why Aloe Ferrox Mill. and not Aloe Barbadensis Mill. ?
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  • ngarayeva001  Thank you for your assistance so far, really appreciate it.
    Let me try again...

    Aqua Di water                                                                     62.7%
    Aloe ferox leaf extract                                                          20%
    Glycerine  ( to what %  would you suggest I lower this)           5%
    Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alchol,Phenylpropanol or perfume    4.5%
    Rose damacena flower oil in water  ( this is a  hydrosol)         4%                                                                                        
    Amorphophallus Konjac Root Extract                                       2.8%
    Enriocephalus Punctulatus water    (hydrosol)                            1%

    The pH  of this is around 4 and I need to get closer to 7.
    Can adjust this with Caustic soda of Potassium Hydroxide Fakes or pearls, but my suppliers of these ingredient suggested I use these at 1:1 ratio, then just add drop at a time till I get my correct pH.

    Sibech -
    The product creates a film on the skin that starts peeling. Our company Organic Aloe is one of the leading suppliers of Aloe ferox raw ingredients in South Africa, . In fact we started the fist Aloe Factory in South Africa  in about 1984. I uses our Pectin/gelly ( 50:1 strengh/concentration?) for this folmulation - this ingredient is 100% Organically Certified. 
    I have used  Solagum AX : Acacia Senegal Gum  2.5 &%  with  Xanthan Gum 0.5%
    gave a runny & stringy Effect.
    Then tried Solagum Tara :  Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum 2.5% -0.5% but get that peeling effect
     In my normal gel( not Organic) I use Carbopol Ultrez 21 amazing gel would like something similar.

    Just of Interest Aloe ferox Mill also known as the Cape Aloe .
    Aloe Barbadensis Mill  known as Aloe Vera

  • @O12 another Mzani formulator   :D
  • @O12, I understand now what is happening. I am pretty sure that your pH is so low because of Aloe extract. Aloe Vera water causes a drop in pH, so probably this one does the same. You are using too much of the extract, consider reducing to 5% (I would not actually use more than 1% because it doesn't do much anyway). Regarding glycerine, I would say stay at 4% or lower. Glycerine makes it sticky. If you want to add more humectants consider propanediol (I would say butylene glycol, but that would not fit your "natural" story). A mix of 4% of propanediol and 2% of glycerine should feel nice for such formula. Your preservative is way too high. Check the supplier recommendations but usually, preservative blends should be within 1%. Where is your gelling agent in this formula? What you listed should be thin like water. If you want to be "natural" and cost is not a question add from 0.2% to 0.4% of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. It will form a nice gel. Or you can add xantham, but I personally don't like the texture it gives to a product (I think it makes a serum look a ranch sauce).
  • HMW Hyaluronic acid is the best natural gel maker. It is a humectant and forms crystal clear gels with a texture similar to Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (carbopol). The only problem is that it is very expensive.
  • Thank you ,  My gelling agent is the - Amorphophallus konjac root extract - but was told to lower this to 1%.   will see if I can get a local supplier for HMW Hyaluronic acid. 
  • @O12, please make sure it is High Molecular Weight, because low/super low/ultra low (there are many variations) re good humectants but would not form a gel.
  • @012 try using a Hydroxyethylcellulose (Natrosol HHBR) at 1%-1.2% to create a natural gel. Premix Natrosol in 3-5% Propanediol and add to hot water, then mix until gel forms. 
    If you want natural/organic product, phenoxyethanol is not an option! You can try using Potassium sorbate/sodium benzoate mix (Euxyl K712)m but pH should be below 6. 
    To raise pH I suggest Sodium Hydroxide 15-20% solution. It's safer then KOH.
  • Thanks Sven, as a Mzani Formulator I definitely need all the advise and information i can get.. To be honest I had to go google this word. :)  

    ngarayeva001  You ask about the preservative being to high  please look at the attachment. Just a bit worried that this preservative at this % will affect the thickness of my gel 

    BCBull i will also try and source Natrosol HHBR , My first formulation I used Euxyl PE 9010 at 1% worked very well, but makes my gel 99% Organic.

  • @012 I'm not talking about Euxyl PE9010, but Euxyl K712! It is a natural preservative. You can also try Lonza's Geogard ECT.
  • Sorry will try to source these, please see below   question by supplier.

    the normal Natrosol HHR – Tylose H 100 000 YP2.

    I see it is a HHBR grade – are they able to send through the spec so I can make sure on which exact grade from Tylose please?

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited September 2018
    @BCBull First, "natural" is not a defined term in the US and as such to say something is "natural" without an added standard is bunk.

    Next K712 may be"nature identical" but it is not plant-derived. Even though we can propose a plant-derived connection, these compounds are synthesized in the lab.

    Now, are they worse since they were synthesized even though they are "nature identical?" Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • ngarayeva001  I have sourced A Sodium Hyaluronate and requested a sample, would love try this in my gel. But at a cost of $1.300 you were right it is to expensive.

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited September 2018
    Yes, it is a great ingredient (it's "natural" occuring in skin, one of the best humectants etc) but too expensive to use it as a gel maker. Again there are a lot of cheaper options, depending on what are you looking for. By the way, have you considered "syntetic" gel makers? They offer better performance than "natural" gums. I have an experence with a couple of them and can give you the list of my favorite and explain the difference.
  • @ngarayeva001 please will you share with us the synthetic gel makers you prefer. Like @O12 I am also constrained with a Rand/Dollar exchange rate that makes everything 15 times more expensive.
  • @sven
    1) INCI: Acrylates C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer. Very commonly used one. Pleasant application. I would recommend makingcosmetics, because it's very high quality and self wetting. They call it Gel Maker Powder. It needs to be neutralised. 
    2) INCI: Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6. Tolerates high concentration of electrolytes and extremely low pH (the supplier says 2 but it forms a gel even in a pH closer to 1, as per my experience). Less pleasant application than the 1st one. No neutralisation, but needs to be left overnight to hydrate. Doesn't like high speed mixing (it's not actually required). Sold under brand name Gel Maker pH by makingcosmetics or, Sepimax Zen by Seppic.
    3) INCI: Sodium Carbomer. Preneutralised carbomer. No neutralisation is needed, provides better control of visosity as you can add it to the ready product.
    And of course you can just buy a regular carbomer that needs neutralisation. I would recommend to look up by INCI to find the cheapest option in your region.

  • Please note, those are thickeners (for lotions and surfactant systems) and gel makers for an aqueous solutions, not emulsifiers. There is also a different class of gel forming polymers that act as emulsifiers and can be used for O/W systems but those are more more expensive.
  • Use freeze fried aloe vera powder which is a concentrationo 200:1. It means 1 gm of aloe powder is equal to 200 gm of aloe gel. Dissolve as required of powder in water, generally 1or 2gm of powder in 1000ml of water. It forms gel like substance but unstable and become watery after 10-15 days. Use carbomer as gelling agent nd neutralize it in pH range 6-6.5. Proceed making 1-2% carbomer gel in 1 litre of water following adding 1 gm of aloe powder in 100ml water. Use potassium sorbate/ sodium benzoate as preservative. 
  • As per my experience aloe messes up with the viscosity. It contains electrolytes (aka salts) and compromises efficacy of some rheology modifiers. So, I wouldn't recommend adding aloe, especially in such concentration. If you want to add it for claims, you can add some tiny amount (0.1% or even less). It doesn't add much to the performance anyway.
  • I completely disagree. I have no problem with controlling viscosity even with aloe concentrations of 100%. (By using 10x concentrate). And as a moisturiser it is simply great.
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  • @Belassi what gel maker do you use? I tried it with carbomer. Took me too much of TEA to neutralize it. It also thinned up my formula with Sepinov EMT. I used .1% of that 200x aloe powder.
  • Gel maker? I think we're on different wavelengths. I am talking about emulsions.
    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.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited September 2018
    All this is why there are so many grades of Carbomer. They have some that are specifically more electrolyte resistant.

    I have been able to thicken True strength (1X) Aloe with the right grade of Carbomer and the proper neutralizer. Knockout of the park.

    As for the efficacy of Aloe, there are all sorts of opinions, many from anecdotal data as well as a few cited studies I have read. This may sound bad, but regardless of what it does, my clients ask for it and it poses no real issues in the Formulation or Procurement. I have no issue with it in a gel or an emulsion. Honestly, if it works is debatable, but it is all marketing.

    Is this wrong? No, since every day in the lab, averaging 2 prototypes a day, I use a handful of raw materials I think possess real effect and the rest is bunk. Nature of the Market. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • I Think Aloe extract (liq.) has  pH of 5 (aprx). So sodium carbomer can do better Gel.
    Our supplier give us Aloe in gel form made with Xanthum Gum.
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited September 2018

    @Belassi I see. I prefer polymers to conventional thickeners for emulsions, and electrolytes compromise the texture. I am sure that someone with more experience can overcome this issue easily. I do have a couple of electrolyte resistant polymers but those are not my favourite.

    @Microformulation , may I ask what type of Carbomer and neutralizer did you use? I used Carbomer 940 and it took me too much of TEA (slightly more than 1%) to neutralise it with the presence of aloe powder (0.1% of 200x). I am not too persuaded that aloe offers any significant benefits, but I want to practice to work with formulas containing electrolytes.

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited September 2018 Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Thank you!
  • Hi Ngarayeva001  I have a non Organic  Aloe ferox gel which we sell over 600kg  a year, in this gel i do use the the Carbomer INCI Acrylates C 10-30 Alkyl Acrylate crospolymer at 2% and my TEA at abour2.6% . This makes a amazing gel. 
    Why I use Aloe ferox petcin it is 100% Certified Organic via Eco Cert, I have gone to look at their requirements for Organic and Mark correct me if i am wrong but it states that  to claim Organic your  end product must have 95% organic ingredients and the other 5% Natural or Synthetic So can use the Carbomer but will adjust the pH with caustic soda flakes.(5ml to 100ml mix with water)

    BCBull I am also trying to souce the ingredients you suggested, but cannot believe the amout of time it takes to source these ingredients locally.
    Any case will keep you updated 
    Thank you  
  • @O12, I might be missing something but Acrylates C 10-30 Alkyl Acrylate crospolymer gets very thick even at 0.3% (this is my experience with the product bought from two suppliers). I have never used more than 0.2%. 

    TEA is a very strong pH elevator. I assume it would raise pH to not skin friendly level at 2.6%. Also, if I am not wrong, TEA is restricted to 1% for leave on products on certain markets.
  • Ngarayeva001 As usual you are right TEA at 1.3% and the Carbomer is at 1%., also EDTA at 0.1%. 
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