Please Assist with my Formula

Lindsey1009Lindsey1009 Member
edited January 11 in Formulating
Hi guys,

I was hoping someone can tell me what I did incorrectly. I am trying to make a AHA fruit acid face serum. I added these ingredients all in a beaker and used low shear to gel. For some reason, it stayed liquid and did not gel. I have made different gels using Septinov EMT before and had no issues. It seems to be the Fruit Acid Mix I bought from Formulator Sample Shop. However, it says on many websites that this gelling agent tolerates all AHAs or fruit acid mixes. The one I purchased is soluble in water. Can anyone tell me where I might have gone wrong?

Distilled water 67.500
oil blend 4.000
allantoin 0.500
Aloe Water 10.000
gelling agent: sepinov emt 10 1.000
Glycerin extracts 3.000
Fruit acid mix (AHA) 2.000
liquid Germall plus  0.500
Hyaluronic 1% acid (HMW) serum (premade) 10.000
hibiscus ext 0.500
spirulina ext 1.000
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Comments

  • What is the pH? I suspect that it's lower than Sepinov can tolerate, as I don't see pH adjusters in your formula. Make sure your pH is above 3 because lower can cause a lot of irritation for people with sensitive skin, and probably replace Sepinov EMT 10 to Sepimax Zen. It's better with acids. Also made by Seppic and sold by lotioncrafter. You can also find it under name GelMaker PH from makingcosmetics.
  • What is the pH? I suspect that it's lower than Sepinov can tolerate, as I don't see pH adjusters in your formula. Make sure your pH is above 3 because lower can cause a lot of irritation for people with sensitive skin, and probably replace Sepinov EMT 10 to Sepimax Zen. It's better with acids. Also made by Seppic and sold by lotioncrafter. You can also find it under name GelMaker PH from makingcosmetics.

    Thanks for the tips. I really appreciate it.

    I read that this type of fruit acid behaves differently than other AHAs like Lactic and Glycolic acid. It said I don't need to adjust the pH. But I agree, that's odd and doesn't make sense.

    But on a side note-- shouldn't other AHAs have a lower PH for efficacy reasons? I read that the pH for glycolic acid for example, should be a little above 3. Although it may cause a few minutes of slight stinging, it allows the acids to be absorbed much better. The higher pH allows for little to no absorption at all. The other day I tested this out and make a Glycolic face mask with a PH of around 3 and one around 5.5. The one with the lower PH gave a slight stinging sensation for about 3 minutes and then it went away. Do you think it is work the slight discomfort for something that actually works?

  • AHAs need to be low pH to have any visible effect. But don’t be surprised if that fruit acid complex creates pH significantly lower than 3. Another possibility is that one of your extracts has salts. Try a knockout experiment  
  • Hibiscus is quite acidic as well. I've had a hydroglycolic Hibiscus extract that had a pH of 2.5.

    I think the Sepinov EMT 10 is overwhelmed by the acids (thus electrolytes) in your formula. 
  • Lindsey1009Lindsey1009 Member
    edited January 13
    AHAs need to be low pH to have any visible effect. But don’t be surprised if that fruit acid complex creates pH significantly lower than 3. Another possibility is that one of your extracts has salts. Try a knockout experiment
    I remade this exact formula with water in place of extracts and even replaced the aloe with water. I made the serum and it gelled perfectly. I decided to add the fruit acids last and the gel immediately fell out and turned back to water consistency. It is 100% the fruit acids that don't work with the septinov emt. I just don't understand why? Everywhere online it says that it should work. I even changed the ph and still the same result. I tried making the same formula with HMWHA and gelled just fine. I suppose I could make it with HLA, I am just trying to understand why the gelling agent doesn't work. It is bothering me lol
  • Lindsey1009Lindsey1009 Member
    edited January 14
    Doreen said:
    Hibiscus is quite acidic as well. I've had a hydroglycolic Hibiscus extract that had a pH of 2.5.

    I think the Sepinov EMT 10 is overwhelmed by the acids (thus electrolytes) in your formula. 
    Yeah, I guess I just cant use fruit acids with Septinov emt for some reason?
  • If Sepinov turns into a liquid it means whatever ingredient you add (AHA in this case) contains electrolytes (salt, acid or base as per link provided by Doreen). Hyaluronic Acid is a great gelling agent for difficult to gel ingredients, although pricy. As per my experience with Sepinov, it usually tolerates acids (depends on what, how much), so the pH is either extremely low or there is something else in that blend.
  • Wait a second! It's a ready blend that you bought from a DIY store. It must be buffered for safety reasons. Acids can cause serious damage. They locked pH using acid's conjugate salt. Probably sodium citrate. It's a strong electrolyte. That's why Sepinov can't deal with it.
  • Try using Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) as your gelling agent.  Use at between .2% to .5%.  Prehydrate it using about 10-20% of the total amount of your water at 60C and then add it back into the mix right before you blend.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    edited January 15
    Wait a second! It's a ready blend that you bought from a DIY store. It must be buffered for safety reasons. Acids can cause serious damage. They locked pH using acid's conjugate salt. Probably sodium citrate. It's a strong electrolyte. That's why Sepinov can't deal with it.
    I've never heard of this. DIY stores here sell several kinds of (organic) acids, pure and dilluted.
    If it was for those safety reasons they couldn't sell alkali like sodium or potassium hydroxide either, which most of them do here.
    Or do you mean fruit blends specifically?

    Doreen said:
    Hibiscus is quite acidic as well. I've had a hydroglycolic Hibiscus extract that had a pH of 2.5.

    I think the Sepinov EMT 10 is overwhelmed by the acids (thus electrolytes) in your formula. 
    Yeah, I guess I just cant use fruit acids with Septinov emt for some reason?
    Probably because Sepinov EMT 10 isn't the strongest on higher amounts of electrolytes (acids are electrolytes). Sepimax Zen for example can handle more electrolytes and a lower pH. Hydroxyethylcellulose could also be an option.
    What is the pH of your serum by the way?

    I have attached two documents, about Sepinov EMT 10 and Sepimax Zen, I hope it may be of help for you.

    (Edit: I see now that @missmorganlang already suggested hydroxyethylcellulose. It's a very good suggestion, as it's electrolyte tolerant and it can handle a low pH.)

  • @Doreen, I am referring to fruit acid blends intended for non-professional use like this one: https://naturallythinking.com/aha-fruit-complex
    Please click on the ingredients to see the details. It includes Sodium Lactate and Sodium Citrate to buffer the pH. I suggested that it could be the same with Formulator Sample Shop's blend. Because a small amount of acid doesn't explain why Sepinov turns into a liquid, but the presence of strong electrolytes does. It's just a guess.
  • @Lindsey1009, can you reach out to Formulator Sample Shop and ask them what exactly is included to your AHA blend? If it's buffered as I suggested, it means that you won't be able to use many other gelling agents either. You would either have to choose a less elegant way to gel it (gums) or change that AHA blend to pure acids (which is a bit problematic if you don't have a good pH meter).

  • @ngarayeva001
    Ah I see what you mean. I can't even find the pH of this product mentioned anywhere? Seems important enough though!
    Using this at 2% is quite an electrolyte bomb, doesn't surprise me that EMT 10 can't handle it.
  • If it has to do with the acid only then using Sepimax Zen should solve the problem. I have a product with 4% (active) of Lactic acid with pH 3.2 that is thickened with Sepimax Zen.
  • @ngarayeva001
    Yes, Zen can in theory go even as low as pH 2. It should also be able to handle the blend Lindsey uses. She just has to try how much Zen gives the thickening she wants.
    I've succesfully thickened 3% sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is a strong electrolyte, with only 0,85% Zen in a cream.
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