Thickening agents

I'm making a shampoo with a soapberry concotion. I planned on using xantham gum to thicken since the idea is to make a shampoo with no other surfactant. I heard xantham gum is incompatible with some preservatives. If I'm using caprylhydroxamic acid as the preservative, should I use a different thickener? Guar gum, perhaps?


  • Tauriel - Did you end up using guar gum?  I am concerned about separation and was wondering if you have noticed any.
  •  Hi Kelly
    Ooops! I had some unexpected things come up. I did not get around to finishing the project! :/ From what I've read on one of Perry's blogs(If you're reading this, I find your blogs very informative btw), xanthan gum is incompatible with some preservatives. I do not know exactly how incompatible and also do not know which preservatives he was referring to.
    What did you mean by separation, though? If it's only water based, I don't see why there should be separation...... Is there perhaps an oil phase? I'm an amateur so, I could be missing something here... I 'll be sure to update when I get results.
  • whu you do not use salt?
  • Hello smok,
     I hadn't thought of salt. I have only ever used salt to thicken liquid soap and it does work nicely there. Does salt thicken an acidic solution?
  • Hello all,
    So, I tried salt and turns out it did not thicken. I added about 3-4% salt to the soapberry infusion (which I had previously prepared) over low heat. I stirred for about 10 minutes over low heat and it still hadn't thickened. I turned off the heat, let the mixture cool, and when I went to check back later, it still hadn't thickened. I have never had this problem when thickening liquid soap. What did I do wrong? 
    The ingredients in the mixture are: soapberry, water, glycerin(5%), and the salt.
  • smoksmok Member
    sory i have a bad english
    but when add salt  duliete in wataer you mixt the lotion until you get texture
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Not every surfactant system thickens with salt. You have to research the chemical designation/class of your surfactant. Also, when we use the salt curve we go far less than 3-4% Salt. If your surfactant system is going to thicken, it will at a lower level. You may have "crashed" the salt curve.

    Soapberry is difficult to thicken and in my experience not the best primary surfactant. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Tauriel Use EDTA 0.5% for preservative and salt for thickner.
    Xanthan gum is not easily dissolved

  • em88em88 Member
    Quimico said:
    Tauriel Use EDTA 0.5% for preservative and salt for thickner.
    Xanthan gum is not easily dissolved

    EDTA as preservative? 
  • svensven Member
    been asking that myself??
  • Xanthan is very easy to dissolve. It just has to be suspended in glycerin or oil.
  • You can try increasing viscosity with maltodextrin
  • soapberry and xanthan gum ... sounds horrible, I can just imagine the vile snotty sensorials.
    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.
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