Niacinamide and Low Ph - is the science settled?

I want to formulate using Niacinamide with a ph of 4.8-5. I have done a lot of searching online and reading old posts on this forum and it seems like it’s not going to be a problem at those levels. However there does seem to be some difference of opinion on the matter so I just want to check with every one here and get your thoughts on it.
 
Ok or no?

Comments

  • zeteinzetein Member
    Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, an famous exfoliating solution with acidic pH like any other peel, contains niacinamide since 1970s, long before the claims for niacinamide became a thing in skincare products.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    What is the exact question?

    What are the different opinions that you are wondering are correct or not?

    Are you wondering if the performance of niacinamide is optimized at a certain pH?  I don't think that has ever been tested.

    In my opinion, the effectiveness of niacinamide is so subtle that it's unlikely anyone would be able to tell a difference no matter what pH it was delivered to the skin at.
  • suswang8suswang8 Member
    Stating the obvious:  I'm sure one factor is the % you are using.  I think you cannot compare potential downsides of lower pH when niacinamide is at 1% vs at 5%.  Also, I'm sure the other ingredients one uses play a role in whether it will remain stable. Finally, I thought the indication was pH of 5 or greater, and you already seem to be at or near 5.  I've never heard of a supplier saying the pH had to be higher than that -- only that the "ideal" pH was 6 or 7.

    @Perry
    Some suppliers indicate that a pH of 5 is required in order to avoid hydrolysis.
  • Sorry for not clarifying the question. The suppliers I am looking at call for a ph of “about 6” in order to avoid the niacinamide turning into nicotinic acid, an irritant. I am using it at 4% and I am wondering if a ph of 5 is too low or or not. From the other replies it’s looking like it will be fine. 
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    It is fine to use at lower pH. Don't worry
  • SquinnySquinny Member
    There is a paper called “Rate Studies on the Hydrolysis of Niacinamide” and they used hydrochloric acid to perform the experiment in the acid region.  The study found that a 10% Niacinamide solution heated to around 89 degrees C and then taken to a pH of below 4.5 with a STRONG acid did start to hydrolyse and form Niacin and that this conversion was a first order reaction which it says basically means it went from Niacinamide to Niacin without turning into anything else first.  The study found that between pH 4.5-6 very little of this shifting occurred and in fact at pH 4.5 – 6 the half-life of the solution was found to be 1000 days which probably means that the average cosmetic formulator has little to worry about. So would be good if this is true.
    I have formulated with Niacinamide at around pH 5 with no issues and also now add in my cool-down stage when doing emulsions as other info I have found out from a Cosmetic Chemist here in Australia said it should be added at temps below 70 degrees C. It would be good to hear what other real Chemist have to say :smile:

  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited May 7
    Bingo on the above... pH and niacinamide is the perfect example of mommy blogger lore....repeated and Repeated and REPEATED....SO MUSH SO, that some of the repackers (which are sometimes started by mommy bloggers) will repeat the lore.  They are 100% cut and paste on their descriptions.  NO RESEARCH! 

    So a long time ago...a mommy blogger read the above described paper....was not able to understand it....wrote an incorrect blog...that one bloggers misunderstanding of basic information has become the Bible for the bloggers...  cut and paste, Cut AND Paste, CUT AND PASTE....Is that not the saddest thing you have read all week?

    I formulate at 3 different pH's (based on product type), 4.4 and 4.8 and 5.2.  All products use niacinamide.
  • Great! 
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Bingo on the above... pH and niacinamide is the perfect example of mommy blogger lore....repeated and Repeated and REPEATED....SO MUSH SO, that some of the repackers (which are sometimes started by mommy bloggers) will repeat the lore.  They are 100% cut and paste on their descriptions.  NO RESEARCH! 

    So a long time ago...a mommy blogger read the above described paper....was not able to understand it....wrote an incorrect blog...that one bloggers misunderstanding of basic information has become the Bible for the bloggers...  cut and paste, Cut AND Paste, CUT AND PASTE....Is that not the saddest thing you have read all week?

    I formulate at 3 different pH's (based on product type), 4.4 and 4.8 and 5.2.  All products use niacinamide.
    Hahaha
  • @GeorgeBenson
    I trust the manufacturers when it comes to pH range, they test the stability of ingredients and any changes that may occur over time.
    As for niacinamide, they provide a pH range, the highest minimum pH I've encountered is 5, usually it was pH 4.5, and someone allowed even pH 3. Anyway, they're all close to the pH value you plan to use.
  • @GeorgeBenson
    I trust the manufacturers when it comes to pH range, 
    Please understand the differentiation of mfg....and seller.

    NEVER trust the seller!!! :) 
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Niacinamide is really stable ingredient. It tolerates lower pH - best to use between pH 3.5 - 7.5. (It has been mentioned couple of times on this forum).

    To get its acid form, you would require quite high pressure and temperature (and low pH). Which won't happen during your product manufacture. 
  • @Graillotion
    By the seller you mean the distributor? No, I meant technical people working directly in the manufacturer's company. Sometimes when I'm not sure what pH I can use, they often send me additional documents, even with photos, to show any changes that may occur over time, or the results of stability tests at elevated temperature, so that's why I'm pretty sure that they are really testing the pH range of their ingredients.
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited May 11
    @Graillotion
    By the seller you mean the distributor? No, I meant technical people working directly in the manufacturer's company. Sometimes when I'm not sure what pH I can use, they often send me additional documents, even with photos, to show any changes that may occur over time, or the results of stability tests at elevated temperature, so that's why I'm pretty sure that they are really testing the pH range of their ingredients.
    By seller...I mean...re-packer.  I am familiar with where George is getting ingredients from....so he needed that information.  What he is reading....is don't use Niacinamide below a pH of 6 (mommy blogger lore disseminated by the re-packer).  Something he needs to totally ignore.  
  • Indeed, Lotioncrafter and MakingCosmetics both say to keep it around 6. I’m glad to know I am free to formulate my ph down low where I want it. Someone should probably notify them of this error....I would tell them but not sure they’d take my word for it 😄
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    Indeed, Lotioncrafter and MakingCosmetics both say to keep it around 6. I’m glad to know I am free to formulate my ph down low where I want it. Someone should probably notify them of this error....I would tell them but not sure they’d take my word for it 😄
    Doesn't one of them (or both) issue their own SDS?
    Are they capable of doing so?
Sign In or Register to comment.