Formulating Dry (not liquid) Skincare Products?

edited December 2019 in Formulating
Hey Guys!  So I haven't been active on here in a while but I saw something recently that piqued my interest! I'm sure most of you guys are familiar with skincare brands selling l-ascorbic acid powder that is to be mixed with the consumer's moisturizer or serum or whatever... But recently, I saw an interesting variant of this trend; a k-beauty brand was selling their own & the formula wasn't just l-ascorbic acid.

Ingredients: [Lactose, Ascorbic Acid(17%), Allantoin, Trehalose, Ribose, Betaine, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Water, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract(0.1ppm), 1,2-Hexanediol]

So I began wondering, 1) what do you guys think of these extra ingredients? Do you think they are a worthwhile addition to the formula?, and 2) Could you ever see a similar thing being done with other active ingredients like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid or something? Is there a reason why compositions like this are usually limited to LAA?  

I think it's all very interesting, but as my username suggests, I am a n00b still, and would love to hear input from the more experienced posters on the forum.  


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    It's probably mostly cheap lactose and LAA in there...
    I like betaine, allantoin is nice too, and trehalose has some interesting features was well (although not necessarily in a skincare product). Panthenol is too sticky for my taste, ribose is an overly hyped sugar, hydrolysed collagen might be useful, and 1,2-hexanediol can be a handy preservation additive though I like pentanediol more (because it's based on renewable resources).
    Is your blend worth buying? Not for me, I prefer pure compounds over blends of unknown ratios. Selling pure stuff to boost your beloved cream up to another level ain't new and demand for such things is increasing. What counts most here is a good marketing strategy ;) .
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I do not believe post-mixing things into your skin care products will have any measurable improvement in the product.

    While it may be a popular trend, there's scant evidence that it has any real benefit.
  • @Perry How do you mean? You don’t think adding 17% LAA to a “serving size” of lotion/serum would be an effective means of applying LAA? 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    What I mean is that if you have a product (skin moisturizer) and you post-add ingredients like the ones you've described, you will not see any significant benefit over just using the product alone (without post adding anything).

    For example, here is an article that outlines the benefits of Vitamin C in dermatology.

    They say... "A variety of creams with Vit. C derivatives are available in the market. As a dermatologist, it is important to know that not all preparations are physiologically effective. Some are not delivered into the dermis in an adequate quantity, while others do not chemically convert to the biologically active form of Vit. C in the skin."

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    The reason you mostly see this approach with LAA is due to its instability in solution. 

    Mixing LAA powder into a serum immediately before use ensures you don't get degredation of the Vitamin C over time.  Yes, you can add other powder ingredients along with the Vitamin C provided they are readily soluble in water, unless you want the end user consumer to spend some time heating and/or mixing the product ... For instance, Hyaluronic Acid would not work, nor would Allantoin.

    The most interesting line in the article is that the combination of Tyrosine and Zinc increased the bioavailability of LAA by 20-fold.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
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