Trying to formulate an anhydrous (Ecocert) serum to suspend l-ascorbic acid

Hi, I'm new here, but I've been so impressed with this forum's high-quality posts, I just had to jump in. Especially since I'm trying to formulate without silicones.

Here's the deal; I've been successful creating a non-separating, anhydrous, silicone based serum to suspend 20% l-ascorbic acid (and additional actives). This silicone based serum is light, with a nice dry finish. 

But - with all the bad press about silicones - I am trying to formulate my anhydrous serum from vegetable derived (or Ecocert) ingredients. 

Can anyone help me come up with a basic silicone-free serum formula that will suspend 20% l-ascorbic acid, not separate, and leave a dry (non-oily) finish?



  • Keeping in mind, vitamin C (with some exceptions) is water soluble. 

    What is the formula you have tried? and other than silicones, why are you unsatisfied with it? 
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    The combination of requirements: stable particle suspension, serum-type viscosity, anhydrous, silicone-free, dry (non-oily) finish, and only vegetable-derived ingredients is almost impossible to achieve. If I were given this project, I would estimate that it would take 18 - 24 months, and would have about a 30 - 40% chance of success.

    You might want to think about reducing your requirements considerably.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Supposedly Centerchem's Petalatum can stabilize Vitamin C. I haven't experimented with this myself (yet), so I can't tell you it's effectiveness or whether it has an acceptable skin feel.

    Chances are, you'll have to make a "fancy" micro- or nanoencapsulation system, which will get pricey.

    Whatever the case, be prepared for tons of testing and lots of spending if you still want to try this out.

  • The anhydrous formula (base) that has been working for me is made up of Lotioncrefter's EL-40 (I have been unsuccessful getting the folks at Lotioncrafter to post (or email) the MSDS for EL-40, so I don't know exactly what's in it -- but I get the feeling it is one of Dow Corning's silicone elastomer blends (perhaps 9041) or Velvesil). Other base ingredients include microsilica spheres, heptyl undecylenate (a nice ecocert emollient), and Glyceryl Caprylate/Glyceryl Undecylenate (preservative).

    Looking over these ingredients, the two I am really unhappy with (because they are silicone (not vegetable) sourced) are EL-40 and the microsilica spheres. So, I guess my real question is; does anybody know of currently available ecocert products that mimic the EL-40 and microsilica spheres in my formula? Or -- since I would like to keep my formula anhydrous, some other combination of ingredients to stand in for EL-40 or microsilica spheres?

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