Incorporate 4% Tea Tree Oil into a gel with the least number of natural ingredients

ZinkZink Member
edited November 2014 in Formulating
A little label beautification challenge ;)

Ingredients: 4% tea tree oil, water, and something to hold it together.

One route would be using alcohol and castor seed oil, then thickening it with e.g. xanthan gum.

Are there any 'natural' single ingredient emulsifiers that could work, e.g lecithin? How about mild detergents?

Comments

  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    You need (at least one, maybe two or three) an emulsifying gellant. Can you use a chemically-modified natural gum? How natural do you have to be? (I'm assuming that you want this to be mostly water, for cost purposes)

    Sclerotium gum comes to mind, for example.

    That stuff from Lucas Meyer uses it in a mixture: http://lucasmeyercosmetics.com/en/products/product.php?id=68&from=cat

    Also, Sucragel.

    But much depends on your definition of "natural"
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited November 2014
    @Zink:

    4% is pretty high concentration for tea tree oil for a topical.

    Your most "natural" approach would be to use 1,3-Propanediol (Zemea) which is plant-based and water soluble. Simply add the tea tree oil to 1,3-Propanediol at a 1:10 to 1:20 ratio and shake vigorously, then add to the water.  You can use 1,3-Propanediol at up to 70% in water-based formulations (in which case it would be a Zemea-based formulation!).

    If you want to cut down on the 1,3-Propanediol, you can add Polysorbate 80 at 1%, and cut the Zemea down to a 5:1 ratio to the tea tree oil.  Polysorbate 80 is on Whole Foods approved list, so that would not present a problem from a "natural" perspective.

    You can bind it with a combination of HEC/Xanthan gum.  Or, as BobZ suggested Sclerotium Gum/Xanthan Gum.  Sclerotium Gum can "hold" up to 5% oils without the use of a solubilizer or surfactant.

    Or, you can use Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder at 0.5% to 1.0% if you want to use only one gelling agent.

       
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • @Bobzchemist "Naturally derived" is fine. Sclerotium gum is wonderful, I use it, but didn't know it could hold that much oil on its own? That's definitely the logical choice then.

    @MarkBroussard ;4% tea tree oil is high, but it needs to be about that high to do anything about acne. How is Konjac Root Powder better than Sclerotium Gum for this?


  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited November 2014
    @Zink:

    I would not say that Konjac Root Powder is "better" than Sclerotium Gum per se.  Either one should work for your intended purposes.  Sclerotium gels tend to be a bit more stable with a bit of Xanthan included.  Yes, Sclerotium can hold up to 5% oils.  But, I would go the route of 1,3-Propanediol + Tea Tree Oil + Sclerotium Gum as opposed to just Sclerotium Gum.

    Mind your pH as the Sclerotium can give you problems below 5.0.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Thyme extract works very well against acne and there is documentation for its ability to kill acne propionis. Tea tree oil is, from my own experience, probably going to cause skin problems at 4%. Then there is the expense: TTO is quite a pricey item (I am paying roughly USD $150/Kg)
    As far as non-carbomer thickeners are concerned, I use this: https://www.lubrizol.com/PersonalCare/Products/MethylGlucosides/GlucamateVLT.html
    which is derived from vegetables. It is one of my favourite ingredients but it is a bit pricey.
    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.
  • DavidWDavidW Member, PCF student
    I don't know if it will work but I really like using Montanov L.  It makes a nice looking cream and gives it a nice feel.  Link below.  Oh wait, sorry just saw you said gel.  I'll leave you info anyhow in case you or someone else can use for another project.

    http://www.seppic.com/cosmetic/o/w-emulsifier/montanov-l-@/view-393-seproduit.html

  • Sucragel!
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited November 2014
    Here's a great video on formulating with Sucragel

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAsIgz4C6M4



    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • TTO at 4% is better tolerated than BPO at 3% according to the study. So should be fine for most people. Testing Konjac Root Powder for starters :)
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