Ferulic acid solvation troubles

DoreenDoreen Member

When using ferulic acid, I make a slurry with glycerin and water and dissolve it at a very high temperature (>80 C).
After it dissolves, if it cools down a bit, it immediately starts to 'reappear' again, all flaky.
Should I add propylene glycol for example, and where in the process?

phase 1:
0,5% ferulic acid
4% glycerin
50% of total % demi water
Dissolve at >80C.

phase 2:
5% niacinamide
3% panthenol
2% N-acetyl-glucosamine
in the rest of the water. Add to phase 1 = phase 3.

phase 3:
Add 1% hyaluronic acid (high molecular weight) to the mixture.Mix and let hydrate for a few hours.

phase 4:
Add 0,5 tocopherol to 3% polysorbate 80.
Add to phase 3.
Add 0,7% Cosgard (benzyl alcohol and dehydroacetic acid)

Where in this process should I add something like propylene glycol to avoid this problem, or is there another way (without the use of alcohol).
I had hoped it would remain dissolved in the glycerin, but I didn't think this one through enough.
* Another question: doesn't the high temperature affect the ferulic acid in a bad way? I know tocopherol is sensitive to heat and panthenol racemizes above 70C, but what about the other ingredients?

Thanks again.


  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Throw some Sodium Lactate into your Phase 1 ... perhaps 3% or so.  That usually helps Ferulic Acid stay in solution.
    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 www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • you can add ferulic acid as premix with propanediol and add to phase one
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    @MarkBroussard, @DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ

    I'll try the sodium lactate first, since I don't have propanediol right now. 
    Thanks for helping me out! :-)

    Strange... I have two charges of ferulic acid, one has a pleasant smell and is slightly orange, the other is colourless and odorless. Have you ever had a difference like that between charges of ferulic acid?
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    You may find that ferulic acid is soluble in a niacinamide solution. Try altering your process to include the two ingredients together to dissolve in a small amount of water before adding anything else.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    @Doreen81 the colour and odour will vary depending on how pure it is, and how much it's oxidised over time
    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
  • Doreen81 Should have raw material specs for color and odor to avoid using prematurely oxidized FA.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    @Bill_Toge, @DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ,
    Just googled on the specifics. Lotioncrafter states it should be: "white or light brownish yellow crystalline powder with a mild pleasant odor"
    Could it be the more colour and scent, the higher the purity?

    @johnb ,
    Thanks, I will try this! Do I still need to dissolve these at a high temperature then? I don't know if niacinamide is stable at temperatures above 80 C.
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    Regarding the ferulic/niacinamide notion - this is only a thought, I don't know for certain it will work and I have mislaid my ferulic acid sample to check it out. I do know that certain other materials, related to ferulic acid, form water soluble complexes with niacinamide.
  • The more color and off odor scent means oxidation.
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