Best Gelling Agent for Lactic Acid Serum ❓

emma1985emma1985 Member
edited June 15 in Formulating
I was wondering what your recommendations are for increasing the viscosity of a Lactic Acid Serum.

It does not have to be very viscous, just slightly thicker than water. It will be packaged in a dropper bottle.

I also need it to be completely clear.

It will be 5% Lactic Acid with pH 4.

I prefer to use polymeric thickeners, but most are electrolyte sensitive.

I'm thinking about experimenting with Sepimax Zen and C10-30 Alkyl Acrylates Crosspolymer, as those are the most electrolyte resistant according to my research.

I prefer not to use Xanthan Gum, but will consider it if any of you have had a good experience, particularly with Soft or Clear.

Another possibility is high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid.

One thing I thought about that might be kind of out there is using viscous humectants, like Methyl Gluceth-10, to increase viscosity. But I get the sense that I would have to use a lot, which might result in a sticky product.

Thank you!!
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Comments

  • If you are going to buffer it then none of polymers based on acrylic acid won’t work. I am not a big fan of xanthan but there are varieties that are less nasty than others. If cost isn’t an issue, the high molecular weight HA will do.
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Nice sum from @ngarayeva001. I'm for HA too. It gives you also space for claims and performance. 
    Or really nice grade of XG, however .. yeah, it's just XG. Leave this one for stabilising :)

    [I'm using 0.4% of low MW HA and it gives really serum like consistency and slip. Too much slip to my liking :D ]
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    If you are going to buffer it then none of polymers based on acrylic acid won’t work. I am not a big fan of xanthan but there are varieties that are less nasty than others. If cost isn’t an issue, the high molecular weight HA will do.
    Thank you! I was trying to avoid HA because of the cost, but will use it if I have to.

    I actually love how Sepimax feels at 0.4% (just Sepimax and water, tried it last night.)

    pH as supplied is ~1. I was planning on raising to 4 after adding all of my ingredients but BEFORE adding Sepimax.

    So this won't work?
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    I actually think Sepimax ZEN will work. It is really electrolytes resistant, you can do nearly anything to it and it works. It is really easy material to work with, foolproof.
    The only way to ho test it out tho is to try it. Good luck, let us know :)
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    Paprik said:
    I actually think Sepimax ZEN will work. It is really electrolytes resistant, you can do nearly anything to it and it works. It is really easy material to work with, foolproof.
    The only way to ho test it out tho is to try it. Good luck, let us know :)
    Thank you so much! I really really appreciate it 🙂 will report back.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Sepimax ZEN is not that resistant, or you'll need to use 5% of it solid state to hold up. Not foolproof, folks...then what is? Better idea: have you tried methylcellulose? It will not be 100% transparent but good enough to qualify, and can handle electrolytes all day. Far better rheology than xanthan.
  • If it’s just lactic acid without sodium lactate, then sepimax zen might  work (subject to % of acid). Acids are weak electrolytes. Even Sepinov EMT can gel acid at a certain %. But if you have salts (sodium lactate) in the formula, none of acrylic acid based polymers (as per my knowledge) would work. Even Zen.
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    zen - you would have to stay test.
    I'm with @chemicalmatt on methylcellulose.
    your target is slightly thicker than water - 0.1 hya wouldn't cost too much?  
    There's better grade xanthan.
    I tried one serum from Korea which I can't remember the name, they use Adekanol GT-730, really nice skinfeel.
  • hobbizhobbiz Member
    I tried 10% with Acrypol ST100, a kind of Polymer, it works.
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