Best gelling agent for this simple serum

DaveStoneDaveStone Member
edited October 2021 in Formulating
Take the example formulation:
Distilled Water 91.5%
Niacinimide 3%
Propanediol 3%
Sodium Lactate 2%
Liquid Germall Plus 0.5%
Citric Acid to reduce PH

I was looking into the following. Which would be the easiest to use, and would leave a decent skin feel?

Comments

  • Any of the gums, HEC or HPC

    Sodium lactate will eliminate most of the elegant polymerics, as it is an electrolyte.  I would certainly evaluate the need of Sodium lactate (and sub it out)...so I could use the elegant gelling agents.

  • DaveStoneDaveStone Member
    edited October 2021
    Any of the gums, HEC or HPC

    Sodium lactate will eliminate most of the elegant polymerics, as it is an electrolyte.  I would certainly evaluate the need of Sodium lactate (and sub it out)...so I could use the elegant gelling agents.

    If urea was used in its place, could the other gelling agents be used?
  • Nope...same issue.

    However...I have been using 

    Hydroxyethyl Urea


    Which is a different animal (Hydrovance)....and getting by with using a Aristoflex / Carbomer blend and 4% hydrovance.

    Granted it is more on par with glycerin (in effectiveness) than the true ureas.

  • DaveStone said:
    Same as the other polymerics...very sensitive to electrolytes, hence why I mentioned it above, by name.

    Simply put....when you choose to use electrolytes...you do not use polymerics...or if you want to use polymerics...you don't use electrolytes.   The list of humectants is lengthy....just choose a couple that don't have sodium in the name.  ;) 
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited October 2021
    Zen is the most forgiving of the polymerics.  You could sure give that a try with the sodium lactate.  (Since your inclusion rate is moderately low.)

    I have not worked with the MC product, but they do state it has some sodium tolerance.

    I believe HEC is used as a last resort, for difficult formulas....not a 'go to' for elegance.

  • The recommendation can depend on your cost and viscosity that you want to achieve. Normally HEC or Xanthan or other gums would be fine. Since there's Sodium Lactate, the recommendation for polymeric emulsifiers would mainly be Sepimax Zen. 

    If you are using Urea, you should be able to use any of them. 
  • DaveStoneDaveStone Member
    edited October 2021
    Zen is the most forgiving of the polymerics.  You could sure give that a try with the sodium lactate.  (Since your inclusion rate is moderately low.)

    I have not worked with the MC product, but they do state it has some sodium tolerance.

    I believe HEC is used as a last resort, for difficult formulas....not a 'go to' for elegance.

    What do you mean by "elegance"? Are you saying HEC may cause an undesirable skin feel?
  • Elegance is in the 'eye of the beholder'.

    Take all the gelling agents you have....and blend them ONLY into water, at the rate you plan to use them.

    Rub the different concoctions on your skin....and you will begin to understand.

    They will all feel different...some will feel good to you....some will feel sticky....some awesome....pick the one that feels the best to you.

    Generally....most people will find Aristoflex AVC....a polymeric with a very good skin feel (elegance).
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited October 2021
    If you absolutely want to keep the electrolyte load in there, I would recommend high molecular weight Sodium Hyaluronate. It's very elegant and an effective humectant in its own right (supposedly the most effective humectant in the industry.)

    I used HMW Sodium Hyaluronate in my Lactic Acid serum because I had the same problem. (Lactic Acid is considered an electrolyte.) 

    It is a bit expensive though. 

    In situations where electrolytes are not the issue, my favorite gelling agent is Aristoflex AVC and Sodium Carbomer.
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