Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating About to make my very first creation - nervous!

  • About to make my very first creation - nervous!

    Posted by wannabe_chemist on March 6, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    After struggling to find a urea product that is ‘safe’ for seborrheic dermatitis, I’ve decided to try and make my own. I want to start simple and then add to it. 

    Here it is!

    Water [69.5-78%]
    Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides [15-20%]
    Urea [5%]
    Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 [.5-5% -not sure?]
    Xanthan Gum [1% ?]
    Germaben II (Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben) [.5%]

    The polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 says: The manufacturer advises up to 25% oil can be incorporated into the gel when coupled with a natural polymer like xanthan. And also says Emulsifier-stabilizer and thickener - 0.5 - 5%

    How do I know how much to use? Would 5% be used if I use 25% oil? That seems like a lot?

    —-
    Urea makes me nervous. One comment on reddit claims it degrades into isocyanic acid. But after doing a lot of searching, it seems like it takes a very high temperature to convert to isocyanic acid? Like 200-300°F?

    I really just wanted to make a urea toner and mix urea and water, adjust the pH and add the preservative but I’ve read that urea is less stable in aqueous solutions. And it made me nervous … argh!

    It sounds like it has a pH drift. Do I need to worry about that if I’m only going to keep for a month or so? I also think it’s most stable at a pH of 6. I’ve read on a post on here to use a lactate buffer. Is that like lactic acid? Do you put it in at the end? 

    —-

    Procedure
    A: Dissolve urea in water then add xanthan gum and blend until mixed. 
    B: Blend oil and Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 
    Add B to A and blend. Then add preservative? Or should I mix the preservative in phase A? 
    —-

    This has been so exhausting trying to figure out - I don’t know who else to ask but you lovely people. I’m very grateful for any advice :) 

    Side note- I just joined this forum and I’m seeing the formulating services offered. I wish I had known before buying everything! Would one of these services be able to make something that is very specific? 

    Cst4Ms4Tmps4 replied 3 years, 4 months ago 10 Members · 38 Replies
  • 38 Replies
  • Agate

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 9:01 pm
    I’m confused, what type of product are you trying to make?
    If you’re just looking to solve your own seborrheic dermatitis, I would look into a shampoo containing the antifungal agent ciclopirox olamine. I can’t find the source anymore, but read that unlike with ketoconazole, malassezia doesn’t adapt to it, so it stays effective in the long term. As a life-long sufferer of seborrheic dermatitis, this is the only thing I’ve found to keep it under control permanently for me.

  • pharma

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Don’t you need an emulsifier?

  • Sylarana

    Member
    March 7, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    I have seborrheic dermatitis and I’ve also tried experimenting with urea. I’ve tried urea in water, urea with buffer in water, urea in emulsion (without buffer as I use only polymeric emulsifiers, and they generally don’t tolerate electrolytes). I made several test batches and then measured pH. Without buffer the pH rose, it was closer to 8 within a week. With the buffer it fared much better. Have you read this topic? It has advice on how to make a buffer. 
    As an aside, have you tried Hada Labo or Uremol 10 cream? You might be able to tolerate them.
    You can try making an emulsion with your Sepimax Zen. I’ve never used it so I don’t know if it is able to tolerate that much oil (you list 15-20% CCT) and a buffer. Maybe, try less oil and 2% gluconolactone, as it was recommended in the urea cream formulation I’ve seen somewhere. Personally I’ve just abandoned urea as an ingredient as I haven’t seen any difference. 

  • Agate

    Member
    March 7, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    (Found the source again, just adding it here for good measure in case someone is interested: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615394/)

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 7, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the responses :) Sorry, I should have said I’m attempting to make a gel-cream. Lotioncrafter says Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax zen on LC) emulsifies up to 25% oils with xanthan gum. I’ll definitely start on the lower side with the oil.

    My face really hates any cleansers/antifungal shampoos so I try to avoid them. I’ve had luck with Hamilton urea cream (same ingredients as uremol 10 cream) but it has petrolatum in it. So, I need a cleanser to properly take it off. It makes my skin baby smooth and gets rid of any signs of SD but using a cleanser irritates my face so much. It’s so weird how everyone is different in what works for them! 

    Gluconolacctone was something I was considering too, thanks :) From what I understand is that it has a pH drift toward alkaline and urea has a pH drift toward becoming acidic. Do you know what phase the gluconolacctone is added to? Can I just add it at the end?

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    March 8, 2020 at 11:43 am

    It is a very bad idea to start with such a product. You need a proper buffer to lock down the pH. Or I read you can formulate it in w/o format not to worry about pH shift for urea. But you can’t start with w/o without experience with o/w.
    Sepimax zen is a fantastic material in general but even this one might not be able to deal with urea. 

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 8, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    It is a very bad idea to start with such a product. You need a proper buffer to lock down the pH. Or I read you can formulate it in w/o format not to worry about pH shift for urea. But you can’t start with w/o without experience with o/w.
    Sepimax zen is a fantastic material in general but even this one might not be able to deal with urea. 

    Thank for your advice, I appreciate it! How do I know if an emulsifier is o/w or w/o? Do you know if urea’s pH drifts significantly within a few weeks? 

    If urea doesn’t do well in o/w emulsions, does it not do well in aqueous products like toners/serums? Would the main issue be the pH drift? If I made a simple urea toner and checked the pH to make sure it doesn’t drift, would that indicate it is stable?

    I found this pretty simple 4% urea serum on humblebeeandme:

    https://www.humblebeeandme.com/soothing-hyaluronic-acid-facial-serum/

    which is pretty much water, aloe, sodium lactate, Propanediol 1,3, preservative. Not sure if this would be stable or not.

    I forgot to mention the buffer in my post because I wasn’t sure what the final pH would be and if it was necessary. I was thinking sodium lactate, lactic acid or gluconolactone.

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 8, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    I just noticed that makingcosmetics says w/o or o/w emulsifiers. The only one under w/o emulsifiers that would work for me is Creammaker silicone (Cetyl diglyceryl tris(trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl dimethicone). “Liquid Silicone Water-in-Oil Emulsifier


    It says here: 
    https://www.makingcosmetics.com/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-creammaker-silicone.pdf  , that Creamaker silicone has an ‘HLB value’ of 2.

    but on this page: https://www.makingcosmetics.com/FAQ-HLB-Value_ep_122-1.html

    it says 
    HLB 1 - 3: Antifoaming Properties
    HLB 3 - 8: w/o-Emulsification
    HLB 7 - 9: Wetting Properties
    HLB 9 - 18: o/w-Emulsification
    HLB 15 - 20: Solubilizing Properties

    So I’m confused if it has an HLB of 2, how can it be a w/o emulsifier?
    —-

    Does anyone know if Emulthix from lotioncrafter is w/o or o/w? Or if anyone has a reading material they can suggest to me, please do! 

  • jemolian

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 1:40 am

    From my experience with making a Urea creams, here’s what i’d recommend with the similar ingredients. 

    Water Phase

    • Distilled Water
    • Glycerin (1.5% - 3%)
    • Urea (5%)
    • Buffer - Triacetin (0.25%) 

    Oil Phase

    • Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (15% - 20%)
    • Sepinov EMT 10 (1.2%)

    Others

    • pH Buffer - Lactic Acid (q.s)
    • Preservative as required

    Instructions:

    1. Dissolve/add the ingredients into the distilled water 
    2. Slurry the Sepinov EMT 10 in the CCT
    3. Add the slurry into the water phase and mix till gel
    4. Add the remaining ingredients 

    — 

    I’d recommend to make a fresh batch to retain the maximum effect of the Urea since it will break down in water over time. You can make one batch ever 2 months or so? You can observe the pH and for any bubbling.

    The pH shouldn’t shoot up as much with the Triacetin, however you can choose to use other buffers, then you can opt for Sepimax Zen, if not the Sepinov EMT 10 should be easier to deal with as the Sepimax Zen requires some hydration duration. 

    http://www.iscd.it/files/UREA-FROM-THE-CHEMIST-S-POINT-OF-VIEW.pdf

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 2:13 am

    jemolian said:

    From my experience with making a Urea creams, here’s what i’d recommend with the similar ingredients. 

    Water Phase

    • Distilled Water
    • Glycerin (1.5% - 3%)
    • Urea (5%)
    • Buffer - Triacetin (0.25%) 

    Oil Phase

    • Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (15% - 20%)
    • Sepinov EMT 10 (1.2%)

    Others

    • pH Buffer - Lactic Acid (q.s)
    • Preservative as required

    Instructions:

    1. Dissolve/add the ingredients into the distilled water 
    2. Slurry the Sepinov EMT 10 in the CCT
    3. Add the slurry into the water phase and mix till gel
    4. Add the remaining ingredients 

    — 

    I’d recommend to make a fresh batch to retain the maximum effect of the Urea since it will break down in water over time. You can make one batch ever 2 months or so? You can observe the pH and for any bubbling.

    The pH shouldn’t shoot up as much with the Triacetin, however you can choose to use other buffers, then you can opt for Sepimax Zen, if not the Sepinov EMT 10 should be easier to deal with as the Sepimax Zen requires some hydration duration. 

    http://www.iscd.it/files/UREA-FROM-THE-CHEMIST-S-POINT-OF-VIEW.pdf

    Thank you SO much! I really appreciate it. I’ve been very stressed about trying to figure this out by myself. I’m so glad you posted that article because I thought urea had a pH drift in the opposite direction. 

    I wouldn’t mind making it every couple weeks if I had to!

    I’m not sure if Triacetin (Glyceryl Triacetate) is ‘safe’ for seborrheic derm but at .25% I doubt it would be a problem. I think I will give Triacetin a try!
    Maybe I can try a batch with sodium lactate or Gluconolactone instead of Triacetin and compare them too.

    Thank you again for taking the time to help me :) I’m going to take your advice! So incredibly helpful! I’m feeling a lot better about this now.

    edit: Do you know if Sepinov EMT 10 is classified as a w/o or o/w emulsifier? I still have no idea how to tell. >.<

  • jemolian

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Well, if you want to use Sodium Lactate or Gluconolactone, that would be fine as well.

    Though with the Sodium Lactate, you will need to use Sepimax Zen or no polymeric emulsifier at all as they won’t be able to take the electrolytes. You can consider your previous combination, Sepimax Zen + Gum, if not a normal emulsifier with fatty alcohol or acid should be fine as well.  

    With Gluconolactone, the pH will go in 2 directions so the ultimate amount to add would vary. Not sure if it’s something that you want to try out but it’s this formulation would be one that you’d need to observe more closely. 

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 2:35 am

    jemolian said:

    Well, if you want to use Sodium Lactate or Gluconolactone, that would be fine as well.

    Though with the Sodium Lactate, you will need to use Sepimax Zen or no polymeric emulsifier at all as they won’t be able to take the electrolytes. You can consider your previous combination, Sepimax Zen + Gum, if not a normal emulsifier with fatty alcohol or acid should be fine as well.  

    With Gluconolactone, the pH will go in 2 directions so the ultimate amount to add would vary. Not sure if it’s something that you want to try out but it’s this formulation would be one that you’d need to observe more closely. 

    I’m gonna stick with your first generous recommendation, lotioncrafter makes it all sound so simple.  I thought I once heard gluconolactone had a pH drift downward, thank you for clearing that up.

    I wouldn’t have thought of sodium lactate as an electrolyte but now that you say it, it’s pretty obvious it is. I wish urea wasn’t so tricky, i’d love to just stick it in some water with a buffer and call it a day. But I’ve heard it doesn’t do well in aqueous solutions.

    Would it be ridiculous to mix some urea in distilled water every day and not worry about any of this? lol

  • jemolian

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 2:51 am
    There shouldn’t be any issues if you mix and use it daily but making a 15ml solution daily can be rather tedious, though you can pre-measure the amount into small containers. 
  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 3:28 am

    I would rather not mix it up every day (not sure if mixing the small amount urea every day is hazardous or not lol). Right now I’m mixing up honey masks and wearing them for 3 hours every few days in lieu of urea. Which is also tedious 😐 but I don’t mind too much.

    Could you please tell me where you buy your Triacetin?

  • jemolian

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 3:31 am

    I usually buy most of my ingredients from China but you can see if you can purchase from here https://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/p-7197-triacetin.aspx

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 3:38 am

    you’re so cool! Do you use alibaba.com or something usually?

  • jemolian

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 3:40 am

    No, usually i purchase my ingredients from repackers / resellers on taobao and forward the shipment to my country in Singapore. The sellers in China holds slightly different ingredients compared to the ones in the US or UK/EU. 

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 11:51 am

    @wannabe_chemist, humblebeeandme is not a source I would advise anyone to follow.
     
    Re: water in oil, trust me you need to master o/w first. W/O take a lot of knowledge and months (if not years) of practice. 

    Let’s start from the beginning. Do you want to make a moisturiser for very dry skin? If this is what you are trying to achieve, there are plenty of good humectants and good occlusive materials that work pretty well. Don’t start with a problematic material that requires years of experience. You still can make a decent product that will do what you want and will be elegant upon application. 
    You need glycerin, sodium lactate (or sodium PCA or both), chelating agent (disodium EDTA) petrolatum, mineral oil, a good broad-spectrum preservative (germaben II is good), anhydrous lanolin, a decent emulsifier (GMS+PEG-100 stearate, Ceteareth 20),  thickener (cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol) and some sort of stabiliser (Zen would work, but you can go for xanthan). 

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    @wannabe_chemist, humblebeeandme is not a source I would advise anyone to follow.
     
    Re: water in oil, trust me you need to master o/w first. W/O take a lot of knowledge and months (if not years) of practice. 

    Let’s start from the beginning. Do you want to make a moisturiser for very dry skin? If this is what you are trying to achieve, there are plenty of good humectants and good occlusive materials that work pretty well. Don’t start with a problematic material that requires years of experience. You still can make a decent product that will do what you want and will be elegant upon application. 
    You need glycerin, sodium lactate (or sodium PCA or both), chelating agent (disodium EDTA) petrolatum, mineral oil, a good broad-spectrum preservative (germaben II is good), anhydrous lanolin, a decent emulsifier (GMS+PEG-100 stearate, Ceteareth 20),  thickener (cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol) and some sort of stabiliser (Zen would work, but you can go for xanthan). 

    I agree humblebeeandme is probably not the best source in the world. The only reason I have to go through all the trouble of making my own product is for a urea a product though. I have seborrheic dermatitis which feeds on anything with a carbon chain length of 11-24 (which rules out mostly all emulsifiers).

    I’ve solved all my skin concerns expect for one. The layer of crust that develops from Sebderm after a couple days of not doing honey masks or having a 10% urea cream on my face. Problem is, it has petrolatum in it and my skin just can’t handle being cleansed all the time.

    The ingredients for the 10% urea cream are:

    Water, mineral oil, urea, glycerin, petrolatum, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, triethanolamine, carbomer, ceteareth-20, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben.

    Here is another 10% urea cream almost identical:

    Water, Mineral Oil, Urea, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Ceteth-20, Cetyl Alcohol,  Cetearyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Lactic Acid

    Maybe I can try to recreate something like this. Just drop the petrolatum and do 5% urea instead.  I’m perfectly okay with trying and failing. At least I can cross it off my list of things to try. I know urea is an ingredient that works for me. 

    How does one know if they are using a w/o or o/w emulsifier if the manufacturer doesn’t tell you? And is urea the problematic ingredient in this case?

     Can I just drop the lotion idea entirely and throw urea in some water with a buffer and preservative? 

    Kinda mad that the safety data sheet for urea on makingcosmetics and lotioncrafter makes it sound like you can do almost anything with it and not mess up. They don’t mention the pH drift of urea either. 

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    March 9, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Unfortunately, DIY websites don’t share much info on how to formulate with an ingredient.
    Speaking of how do you know whether it’s w/o or o/w, you can google it. Ulprospector (even the free version) is usually good at saying what kind of emulsifier it is. 

  • Anonymous

    Guest
    March 13, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    @wannabe_chemist A sincere question, here… why do you not recommend Humblebeeandme? I am a fledgling chemist and have used a few recipes from there with no problem, but wondering what you might know that I don’t? Thanks for your response :)

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 14, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    @Lisa2190 I was only agreeing with @ngarayeva001 that humblebeeandme might not be the most credible source in the world because I really don’t know much about them. I mean, her entire website is dedicated to DIY, so her knowledge is far better than the average person’s. If ngara knows something more than that, maybe he can tell you.

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 18, 2020 at 10:59 am

    @Lisa2190 I’m gonna say humblebeeandme is fine at this point. Ngara doesn’t like to answer questions only scaremonger. 

  • alchemist01

    Member
    March 18, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    As far as DIY sites go, humblebeeandme is one of the better ones. I have used her website as a starting point for some stuff before, really because she’s the only one that posts formulas with actual %s and gram measurements, rather than cups.
    It’s still a DIY website, though, and is probably best for advanced hobbyists. 

    The other poster is just trying to tell you urea creams are difficult to formulate and I think they are right. You are welcome to try but I would encourage you to be less dismissive of help.
    My lab made a 10% urea cream with Cithrol DPHS (PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate). I wasn’t involved with it but have made w/o emulsions with that emulsifier and think it could work for you.

  • wannabe_chemist

    Member
    March 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    @alchemist01 it’s not help when he just scaremongers and refuses to answer questions. It wasn’t helpful to me in any way. He asked me if I just wanted to make a moisturizer for dry skin and stated there are plenty of good humectants that I can use instead.

    The very first thing I said in my very first post was “After struggling to find a urea product that is ‘safe’ for seborrheic dermatitis, I’ve decided to try and make my own. I want to start simple and then add to it. “

    @jemolian was incredibly helpful and I’m truly grateful for his response. But he provided something helpful to assist my project. Not completely bashing the very thought of it.

    Ngara says “ Don’t start with a problematic material that requires years of experience.”

    I asked him “ And is urea the problematic ingredient in this case?” No response. He just keeps telling me “ trust me you need to master o/w first. W/O take a lot of knowledge and months (if not years) of practice. “

    So I tried to ask if I could just ditch the lotion idea all together and put some urea in a toner with a buffer and a preservative. He won’t answer if his problem is with me trying to make a w/o emulsion or if the problem is urea.

    Why does lotioncrafter and makingcosmetics make it seem like you can just mix it into anything and there will be no problems. 
    “Reactivity: Not reactive under normal conditions of use”
    “Chemical Stability: No known hazardous reactions”
    “Possibility of Hazardous Reactions: Will not occur”
    “Conditions to Avoid: Gross bacterial contamination”
    “Hazardous Decomposition Products: Urea is decomposed by heating and can form products including ammonia…”

    I’m not gonna heat it, I’m not using sewer water, so what exactly is the problem is my question.

    I’m not keeping this product around for months at a time. I’ve come to find (through the help of jemolian and other sources) that as long as the pH isn’t drifting, there are no bubbles forming, or crystals forming, then the urea is most likely fine. I tried asking this question too, what exactly is it about urea that is so difficult to formulate with? no answer just simply don’t do it, you’re gonna die

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