Improving solubility of Vit C face serum

Unknown Member
edited December 2016 in Formulating
Hi! I am currently trying to formulate a face serum with ascorbic acid, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera.

Firstly, as the serum will be packed in powder form, I was wondering if B-cyclodextrin could be used to increase the solubility rate? Or is there any better option? I am already at 0.1% hyaluronic acid (Just checking, this is an effective concentration, right? I am using the normal MW form as I do not have the LMW form) but slight clumping still occurs due to the gelling.

If B-cyclodextrin can be used, what concentration should I use?

Secondly, I have read some undesirable articles on the interactions between ascorbic acid and niacinamide (Vit B3) but conclusions have been not clear. If I were to add a 2% niacinamide to my formulation, would it be advised?

Thank you! smile 


  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2016
    You would want to avoid Niacinamide (maximum stability at pH >6) and Ascorbic acid (most effective a pH 3.5 or less). The pH's obviously don't work well together and at the lower pH, there is a potential for the Formation of Niacin which can be irritating and cause flushing. In addition at low pH's l-ascorbic acid and niacinamide can cause yellowing of your Formulation.

    Cyclodextrin can be used in stabilizing and incorporating intermediate size molecules but it is more complex than just "adding" some cyclodextrin. It is generally reserved for Pharma applications (Cavamax W7).

    MOST IMPORTANTLY, I doubt if you are using ascorbic acid without a great deal of stabilization in a more stable form that your product is stable at all. Research this forum as this topic has been discussed at length.

    You definitely need to do some research before proceeding due to these issues. You are missing some basic concepts. 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. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Hi Microformulation! Thanks for replying. I have read that cyclodextrin is used in cosmeceuticals as well to improve stability, delivery and solubility of active ingredients such as ascorbic acid. However you are right, it probably isn't as straightforward as simply adding the powder to the mix which was what I had been doing.

    My formulation is in a powder form, to be reconstituted in water and used instantaneously by the user. So I am thinking a stability period of a couple of hours is more than sufficient.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    Hyaluronic Acid Powder is not soluble in water per se ... rather it needs time to hydrate, so there really isn't anything you can do to increase the solubility.

    Rather, what you will need to do is instruct your customers to mix the powder in water and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before use.

    SLMW Hyaluronic Acid powder will hydrate more quickly than a higher molecular weight HA and it does not gel.  Plus, it penetrates the dermis, whereas higher mw HA will form a film layer.

    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
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