Need help. Formula turned white and frothy

It’s just a simple formula I am sure most have seen it. 

5% dL panthenol 
3% liquid leucidal
1% hyaluronic 

so it was super watery and I am sure it was because I used liquid HA and not powder so I added a little bit of xanthan and it went from clear to white & frothy and stayed that way. Thoughts?


  • SylaranaSylarana Member
    My formulas never turned white and frothy with xanthan gum so I can't be sure if I am guessing correctly. If you add xanthan gum directly into water, it will most likely form lumps. You still can incorporate those lumps completely (I've tried it once) but it takes too much effort. It is better to premix xanthan gum with glycerin, propylene glycol, etc. Then add this slurry into your formula and mix. There are also different grades of xanthan gum. I've only used the cheapest one, the resulting gel is yellowish and not clear. But there are more expensive grades that can be clear.
  • @esthetician922 this seems potentially more of a physical rather than chemical change.

    Highly viscous liquids will trap air and not let go of it. Xanthan gum creates that effect: at low shear the liquid behaves kind of like a solid at high enough concentrations. This is why it is a great suspending agent. 

    I have a feeling that you introduced the Xanthan Gum with vigorous mixing (potentially a stick blender?). This will cause tiny bubbles of air to get trapped in your serum. It will be practically impossible to get rid of them once that happens. This will also make it look white and foamy.

    I know you had a separate post where you mentioned this “liquid hyaluronic acid”. Just to clarify, pure HA is a powder. Viscosity is linked to the molecular weight of the HA and how much you’re using. High Molecular Weight HA will make gels like Xanthan Gum does, and it will also remain on the surface of the skin (forms a film) for hydration. Smaller molecules will travel a bit deeper into the skin and will also not thicken a product as much.

    You’re using 1% of an already diluted version of HA. Do you know what concentration the original is? Note that 1% high molecular weight hyaluronic acid is pretty thick. Like I mention in the other post, you should investigate the concentration of HA in that stock solution because if it’s 2 or 3%, you’re essentially making a serum with <0.03% HA, so basically just water and panthenol with a preservative. Let’s say it’s 2%, your serum would need to contain 50% by weight of the solution to have a final hyaluronic acid concentration of 1%.

    As your formula stands and if this is for your own use, you may be better off using Xanthan to thicken some water with 1-2% glycerin instead of that “liquid” HA.

  • @letsalcido
    Yes and yes! I did use a stick blender which only has one speed (high) and those bubbles are still trapped. What do you advise using? I think you posted about stick blenders too and perhaps I need a pricey one that can blend on low. 

    I did use the liquid HA and I tried increasing it and it was still very viscous so I added the Xanthan Gum, stick blended, and created a crappy product. I just purchased powder HA today so I'll just try creating it again without Xanthan and just use powder HA. 


  • @esthetician922  it’s not the type of blender, it’s whether the blades can be deep enough in the liquid to prevent introducing air. Also, moving the blender up and down will introduce tons of air.

    You can introduce xanthan gum while stirring with a rod or paddle if you’re making a small batch. You do need to “slurry” the xanthan with glycerine to avoid clumping.

    if you’re going with powder high molecular weight hyaluronic, at 1% you’ll have good viscosity but it will still have some flow to it, so eve if you introduce air it should eventually come out and this powder definitely needs more rigorous mixing, so using the stick blender is fine.

  • thanks for the help!
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