Gel formula wth Salicylic Acid,Carbomer & base,would the base neutralize the acid & impact activity?

Hi , I am formulating gel, using Carbomer 940 as a gelling agent and neutralizing it with Triethanolamine to get the desired viscosity. 
I am also adding Salicylic acid to the formula as an active ingredient. I would like to know, would adding the triethanolamine to the formula, to thicken the gel neutralize the salicylic acid and impact it's activity? 


  • At some level yes.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    To elaborate on the truthful comment from @Pattsi ; here: your gel formulation will work just as well at pH 5.8 - 6.2, it just won't act as fast as one at pH 2.0 - 3.0. Same holds true with the alpha-hydroxy acids. If you need fast results in the dermatology office- use at pH 2. If you can live with an overnight treatment, pH 6 works fine. Sure helps solubilize that salicylic acid too, I might add. Also, tromethamine works better than triethanolamine at both jobs.
  • em88em88 Member
    What activity exactly? What claims do you have? 
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