I need help with face serum formulation

Hi all, I’m trying to make a face serum and so far I have come up with this mixture of composition:

86.75% Aqua
2.00% Hyaluronic Acid
5.00% Dl-Panthenol
0.50% Allantoin
2.00% Seaweed Extract
2.00% Green Tea Extract
0.50% Xanthan Gum
0.25% Citric Acid
1.00% Preservative

I want to ask if I need to add something else into this mixture or this is enough already as it is? I’m aiming for a hydrating, anti-aging and skin-calming effect from this serum.

Thank you very much :) 

Comments

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited September 2018
    1) Too much hyaluronic acid (unless it's SLMW). This serum would feel like a glue.
    2) Too much of panthenol. 
    3) You need 2-3% of propanediol or propylene glycol to dissolve that allantoin.
    4) If your hyaluronic acid is HMW you don't need xantham gum. If you will mix 2% of HMW hyaluronic with 0.5 of xantham you would get a semi-solid substance.
    5) You need a chelating agent to boost the preservative efficacy.
    6) Speaking of preservative, which one do you use? 
    7) Why 0.25% of citric acid?
    8) There is nothing anti-aging and skin calming in this formula.
    9) I would add a little bit of glycerin or butylene glycol, but not required.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    No, you don't need to add anything unless you want to.

    Of course, I think you could get the same results using a 5% solution of Glycerin plus a thickener and a preservative. 
  • 1) Too much hyaluronic acid (unless it's SLMW). This serum would feel like a glue.
    2) Too much of panthenol. 
    3) You need 2-3% of propanediol or propylene glycol to dissolve that allantoin.
    4) If your hyaluronic acid is HMW you don't need xantham gum. If you will mix 2% of HMW hyaluronic with 0.5 of xantham you would get a semi-solid substance.
    5) You need a chelating agent to boost the preservative efficacy.
    6) Speaking of preservative, which one do you use? 
    7) Why 0.25% of citric acid?
    8) There is nothing anti-aging and skin calming in this formula.
    9) I would add a little bit of glycerin or butylene glycol, but not required.
    1) Too much hyaluronic acid (unless it's SLMW). This serum would feel like a glue. 

    Should I dial it down to 1% ?

    2) Too much of panthenol. 

    https://www.lotioncrafter.com/formulary/DIY_Hydrating_B5_Gel.pdf --> I get the 5% from this formulation and I think I should dial it down as well, 2-3% ?

    3) You need 2-3% of propanediol or propylene glycol to dissolve that allantoin.

    Can I use glycerin instead? 

    4) If your hyaluronic acid is HMW you don't need xantham gum. If you will mix 2% of HMW hyaluronic with 0.5 of xantham you would get a semi-solid substance.

    I will confirm this with my supplier and will let you know. 

    5) You need a chelating agent to boost the preservative efficacy.

    Okay, I will find reading material on that topic. Thank you for the heads up. 

    6) Speaking of preservative, which one do you use? 

    Optiphen

    7) Why 0.25% of citric acid?

    Honestly I'm not sure myself... 

    8) There is nothing anti-aging and skin calming in this formula.

    I thought I suppose to get that from allantoin, seaweed extract and green tea extract. So I was wrong? 

    9) I would add a little bit of glycerin or butylene glycol, but not required.

    Noted. 



    Thank you very much :) 
  • Perry said:
    No, you don't need to add anything unless you want to.

    Of course, I think you could get the same results using a 5% solution of Glycerin plus a thickener and a preservative. 

    Well then I think I need to do more research then...

    I'm trying to find a simple formulation for a lightweight serum (hyaluronic acid based). 

    Thank you for taking your time to respond to my question :) 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Lotioncrafter is motivated to get you to use and buy more of every ingredient they sell. You can assume all of the formulas on their site have more of most ingredients than you actually need.

    5% panthenol is a ridiculous amount in any formula. My suggestion, use 0.44% or none. There will be no measurable difference. 
  • Perry said:
    Lotioncrafter is motivated to get you to use and buy more of every ingredient they sell. You can assume all of the formulas on their site have more of most ingredients than you actually need.

    5% panthenol is a ridiculous amount in any formula. My suggestion, use 0.44% or none. There will be no measurable difference. 
    Okay, I'm glad I ask around before I actually make that serum. 

    Thank you :) 
  • I will write detailed explanation later when get to my laptop. Meanwhile to figure out if your hyaluronic is HMW (most likely it is) sprinkle a little amount on water and see if it forms a gel (like 10 ml of water and a tiny pinch of HA not to waste a product)
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Others may disagree but I think hyaluronic acid is a complete waste of money. It will not penetrate the skin in the slightest. That's why the body uses it as joint lubricant: it stays where it's put. 
    In case I doubted this, I had proof recently when I damaged a toe. Hyaluronic fluid leaked out from the joint and made a "blister" under the skin. I expected it to be reabsorbed. No way. It stayed put for weeks. Finally I lanced it and extracted a small teaspoon of completely clear, high viscosity, hyaluronic acid. I thought, no need to order this, I'll just produce it myself...
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi, I agree it is outrageously expensive, but it's a really good humectant. You will not feel the difference in an emulsion (with a good blend of other humectants) but I personally think it makes a noticeable difference in serums. Also, it's "natural", as you noticed our bodies produce it and for some formulators, it is an important feature. Another thing, it is a pretty good gel maker, that is why it's used in so many DIY formulas. It's pretty much foolproof. It forms a gel even in presence of huge amount of active ingredients where polymers would lose viscosity. 
  • @Mrs_ditdut
    1) If you use it as a gel maker (and I think in that formula it is intended as a gel maker) I do not think you need more than 0.5%. I made a serum today with less than 0.3%, but it depends on desired viscosity. Start from 0.3%, leave it to hydrate (will take an hour) then if you don't like it add 0.2% more etc.
    2) I agree with Perry on panthenol. It doesn't do much.
    3) No, you can't dissolve allantoin in glycerin. Allantoin is as tricky as salicylic acid, if you don't dissolve it properly you will end up with a sediment. Get propanediol, it's a solvent and amazing skin friendly humectant. It also reduces the tackiness of glycerin.
    4) Xantham creates rather unpleasant slimy texture in general.
    5) Lotioncrafter has Tetrasodium EDTA. Get the smallest pack, it will last you forever.
    6) If this serum is for personal use and you will use it quickly, you will be fine with 0.5% I think. But 1% is ok too.
    7) It is very hard to say how much citric acid you need. Normally you would want a skin friendly pH for your product (roughly 5 to 6), so you should make a concentrated solution of citric acid, add it by drops and check the pH after every addition until you reach your desired pH. 
    8) Unfortunately, you will not get a real effect from allantoin and algae. It will work "for claims" but will not reduce wrinkles. If you are new to formulating, don't aim to create anti-aging product right away. Start with basic moisturization (that what your serum does) and you will get to anti-aging eventually.
    Hope it is helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Belassi - I agree the HA is a huge waste of money. There is some evidence it penetrates the skin but I'm highly skeptical of that research.  Anyway, HA will not work better than the much less expensive, natural ingredient Glycerin.  The only benefit of HA is that consumers think it works as a miracle anti-aging ingredient so it will be good for a marketing story.

  • MJLMJL Member
    edited September 2018
    @ngarayeva001 @Mrs_ditdut

    I somewhat disagree about the Allantoin absolutely needing to be dissolved in Propanediol (not that it would hurt). I am able to dissolve 0.5% completely in warm water (I just dip my beaker in a water bath with the warm water below and formula inside of beaker) and stir until dissolved (approx. 30-60 seconds). No recrystallization, as I’m not heating it to a high temp and then rapidly cooling it. 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    You can dissolve allantoin in water at approximately 50C to 55C without any additional solvents at up to 0.5%.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Mrs_ditdutMrs_ditdut Member
    edited September 2018
    ngarayeva001 


    1) If you use it as a gel maker (and I think in that formula it is intended as a gel maker) I do not think you need more than 0.5%. I made a serum today with less than 0.3%, but it depends on desired viscosity. Start from 0.3%, leave it to hydrate (will take an hour) then if you don't like it add 0.2% more etc.

    I just received confirmation from my supplier, it is low molecular weight. Do you think it's okay if I go with 1% ?


    2) I agree with Perry on panthenol. It doesn't do much.

    Okay, at first I was thinking of adding Niacinamide instead of Panthenol. What do you think ? 

    3) No, you can't dissolve allantoin in glycerin. Allantoin is as tricky as salicylic acid, if you don't dissolve it properly you will end up with a sediment. Get propanediol, it's a solvent and amazing skin friendly humectant. It also reduces the tackiness of glycerin.

    Noted, also will check that with my supplier. 

    4) Xantham creates rather unpleasant slimy texture in general.

    If it's lmw HA do you think it will still be slimy when xanthan is added to the formula? my supplier also has mastic gum and said it's a better substitute for xanthan. 

    5) Lotioncrafter has Tetrasodium EDTA. Get the smallest pack, it will last you forever.

    Got it. Thanks <3


    6) If this serum is for personal use and you will use it quickly, you will be fine with 0.5% I think. But 1% is ok too.

    I'm planning to make a couple for me and my friends to use this serum, that's why I'm using the 1% preservative. 


    7) It is very hard to say how much citric acid you need. Normally you would want a skin friendly pH for your product (roughly 5 to 6), so you should make a concentrated solution of citric acid, add it by drops and check the pH after every addition until you reach your desired pH. 

    I know now, thank you for correcting me. 


    8) Unfortunately, you will not get a real effect from allantoin and algae. It will work "for claims" but will not reduce wrinkles. If you are new to formulating, don't aim to create anti-aging product right away. Start with basic moisturization (that what your serum does) and you will get to anti-aging eventually.

    I see, thank you very much :) 

  • @Belassi ; @Perry ; @MJL ; @MarkBroussard

    Thank you very much for the information and for taking the time to respond to my thread. I appreciate it very much and I'm taking notes of everything in here *newbie mode :on*



     
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited September 2018
     @Mrs_ditdut if it’s low weight and you are going to use it as the only humectant (no glycerin, no propanediol) stick to your original 2% (its gonna be expensive though).

    Niacinamide is proven to reduce appearance of pores and  improve skin texture. You will get much more effect from Niacinamide than panthenol. Do some research about it. Maximum amount to be used is 5% (some supplies say 6, but reseaches show its effective at 5 and even lower).

    As experts above say, you can dissolve up to 05% of allantoin. Propanediol would make your life easier but not a must for this formula. I had difficulties even with 0.5% but I didn’t try to heat it as recommended above.

    Regarding xantham, I am afraid you will be disappointed, because the texture you will get is not going to be  like some nice serum bought in a store. It will more like a ranch sauce (check ingredients of sauces in your local store, you will see xantham in most of them). You will only know this through practice though. And in fact your serum would do it’s job anyway. My recommendation don’t go above 0.5% and mix it with glycerin first (there are videos on YouTube on how to make a slurry). And keep in mind, it’s very important to make mistakes.
  • Btw, ‘for claims’ you can say it’s pores reducing serum. There is some information that allantoin reduces appearance of pores too. I have done research on Niacinamide but not allantoin, so cannot guarantee that it’s true. But suppliers say allantoin reduces pores :) btw it would be nice if experts can comment on it. Is there any serious evidence that allaintoin reduces appearance of pores?
  • @ngarayeva001 I can't tell what type of HA I have but once added to water, it floats on water and has a slimy feel and after some hours, turns to gel but like a droopy gel  but after like 3 days or so, turns back to water even after I added preservatives, is this ok? Plus I think it's kind of over hyped , it certainly doesn't carries over 1000 times its weight in water. 
  • Guys, I am not saying it is not overhyped. It probably is. All I am saying, it's great for beginners because it's two in one product (humectant and gel maker). Also, as a gel maker, it's pretty much foolproof and creates a nice texture. Is it worth the money? Definitely not, if you are producing to sell. But it's fine for personal use where a 10gr jar of HMW will last forever. @Majman, if it forms gel it's HMW. I am not sure why yours turns to water. Maybe it has something to do with other ingredients? 

    On the picture: a serum made with 0.3% of HMW HA as the only gelling agent in mid-July. Preserved with phenoxyethanol. 
  • Well @ngarayeva001 mine had allatoin and niacinamide dissolved in hot water and I added the HA when cooled and germall plus 
  • @ngarayeva001if

    it’s low weight and you are going to use it as the only humectant (no glycerin, no propanediol) stick to your original 2% (its gonna be expensive though).

    I'm still conflicted with using thickener (xanthan gum) to this formulation, if I use 2% LMW HA, do I still need thickener though? 

    Niacinamide is proven to reduce appearance of pores and  improve skin texture. You will get much more effect from Niacinamide than panthenol. Do some research about it. Maximum amount to be used is 5% (some supplies say 6, but reseaches show its effective at 5 and even lower).

    If I go with 5%, will it cause flushing to the skin? I think I want to start at 2% and see where it goes from there. 

    As experts above say, you can dissolve up to 05% of allantoin. Propanediol would make your life easier but not a must for this formula. I had difficulties even with 0.5% but I didn’t try to heat it as recommended above.

    I think for the purpose of learning through failing (which I'm pretty sure bound to happen to me, lol) I'm going to use both ways. 

    Regarding xantham, I am afraid you will be disappointed, because the texture you will get is not going to be  like some nice serum bought in a store. It will more like a ranch sauce (check ingredients of sauces in your local store, you will see xantham in most of them). You will only know this through practice though. And in fact your serum would do it’s job anyway. My recommendation don’t go above 0.5% and mix it with glycerin first (there are videos on YouTube on how to make a slurry). And keep in mind, it’s very important to make mistakes.

    Thank you for the heads up :) 

  • So this is what I come up after taking a bunch of great advices. I’m aiming for a basic moisturizing serum that will help with reducing pore size.


    89.90% Pure H2O
    2.00% Hyaluronic Acid (LMW)
    2.00% Niacinamide
    0.50% Dl-Panthenol
    0.50% Allantoin
    2.00% Algae Extract
    2.00% Green Tea Extract
    0.10% Tetrasodium EDTA
    1.00% Optiphen

    qs Citric Acid

    Feel free to give me your opinion since I’m still not sure about this formulation…. 

    Hopefully it will do the job :D

    Thank you very much to each and every one of you :) 

    And since many of you are against HA, what is a good substitute for HA ? is it Glycerin ? 
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    edited September 2018
    @Mrs_ditdut
    About the substitute for HA:

    Perry said:
    No, you don't need to add anything unless you want to.

    Of course, I think you could get the same results using a 5% solution of Glycerin plus a thickener and a preservative. 
    I agree with him, but I also understand @ngarayeva001, I was the same  years ago. I have spent so much on ingredients like hyaluronic acid and several extracts, what I now see as a waste of money. If I am honest, I haven't noted a single difference between the serums filled with expensive ingredients or a simple one, like Perry wrote. Be sceptical, it can save you so much money.

    If you want to rule out the placebo effect, you should perform a single (or double) blinded placebo controlled test, in other words: you make two identical looking and smelling (and feeling) serums with the only difference that one of them contains all the expensive ingredients and the other doesn't (but can have the same effect, like Perry's suggestion).
    A second (or third) person has to take care of the labeling and knowing which one is the placebo and which one the other. This person or the other (if you want it double blinded) should hand you the serums, which are labeled, but so that you don't know what's in it.

    This is the scientific (and only) way to truly find out if a substance, whether it's pharmaceutical or cosmetic, has a certain, mostly desirable, effect.

    Edit: I can tell you right now that your serum will not reduce pore size. If you take a look into how the skin works, you will see that a pore doesn't have the capability to tighten or 'shrink'. What ís posible with pores, if that you make it look like they're smaller (with make up/primer etc), but in fact, they have still the same size (provided that they're not clogged).
  • About the pores: what I meant was: you can't reduce the size permanently, of course they can "open and close' due to circumstances.
  • SibechSibech Member, Professional Chemist
    A quick abstract on the size of pores:

    TL;DR
    CONCLUSIONS: Enlarged pore sizes are associated with increased sebum output level, age and male sex. In female patients, additional hormonal factors, such as those of the menstrual cycle, affect the pore size.
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
  • @Sibech
    Anything on cosmetics that change pore size permanently?
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited September 2018
    @Doreen, I agree that  size of pores is generic, but you actually can make them look smaller (let’s say make them look their smallest) with Niacinamide (it’s not a permanent effect). It’s one of the actives that actually works. I will try to find a study. 
  • @Mrs_ditdut, you excluded all gel makers and the serum will be thin as water. Other ingredients are ok. I don't want to confuse you and I am not insisting that my way is the right one. Xantham will do the job and maybe you should try it to see how it feels. I remember how demotivated I was when my products didn't feel like "commercial", that is why I am saying that xantham gum might be disappointing. Also, experts are not "against" HA, it is just outrageously expensive. What I would recommend again, get a 10 gr pack of high molecular weight HA. It will last for some time (for personal use). You should try the ingredients yourself. It's all about experimenting.  My personal opinion is that low molecular weight HA is a waste of money. The high weight is better because it can be used as a gel maker for serums. Another good option is Sepimax Zen (can you get it?), but you would need to add humectants. It's good to have glycerin, butylene glycol and propanediol in your stock.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    2% tea extract will make a highly coloured product. 0.2% would be more appropriate. It will be a pink colour at the correct pH range but will slowly oxidise to beige.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • SibechSibech Member, Professional Chemist
    @Doreen not at all (to my knowledge there are not even surgical procedures, I may be wrong though) - your pores have a life of their own.

    But due to a reduction of sebum secretion, niacinamide (for instance) can reduce visibly pores as @ngarayeva001 mentioned. Other compounds which may reduce sebum secretion would likely also work, including polyphenols, plant sterols, topical retinoids, L-carnitine (of the top of my head).
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
  • Sorry to deviate a bit from the question but does HA dissolve and turn to gel in glycerin? Also LAA? 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Majman - I'd suggest you start a new discussion for that question.
  • Ok 
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