What’s your favorite polymer for gel cream?

GeorgeBensonGeorgeBenson Member
edited April 9 in Formulating
I recently bought Sepinov EMT 10, Sepiplus 400, and Sepimax Zen. It’s my first real dive into using synthetics like this and I can’t believe how easy it is. I fee like I’m cheating!

I haven’t used Zen yet but so far I don’t notice a whole lot of difference 400 and EMT. Been using 2% polymer with 8% oils and both kinds feel amazing.

What are your favorite polymers for a cream gel and why? 

Comments

  • Zen is rough and tumble, but if used above .5%, tends to great an undesired jiggly effect (jello).  Aristoflex AVC in considered by many, the most elegant.



  • CamelCamel Member
    I agree regarding Artisoflex AVC being the more elegant choice, however, it is worth nothing that it is not tolerant of electrolytes, so depending on your formula, Zen might be the better choice. 

    I like to use a two-part system for creating gel-creams. HEC (hydroxyethylcellulose), a water-gelling polymer, around 0.5-1%. I pair that with a non-polymeric oil-gelling agent, "Butter Pearls" (C10-18 Triglycerides), at around 3-5%. 

    It is probably a much less conventional way of doing things, but I've created many lovely, stable gel-creams using this method. It also allows you to use any emulsifier you'd like, and no need to worry about electrolytes. 
  • I'm shocked you don't notice a difference between Sepiplus and Sepimax. Maybe you're using low concentrations?

    Sepimax creates super wobbly and jiggly products. I use it in jelly masks and such. Also it's the most electrolyte tolerant, so I use it in cleansers and AHA products.

    Sepiplus, on the other hand, is a whole different beast. I feel like Sepiplus emulsions are incredibly close to emulsions made with emulsifying waxes, and I LOVE the super glossy and smooth emulsions it produces. It creates the most creamy emulsions, whereas the other polymers definitely create "gel creams."

    ETA: my apologies, I just saw that you haven't used Sepimax.

    You should also try Aristoflex, I put that it in everything. It creates incredibly elegant products and I find it to be the most versatile.

    I have some YouTube videos in which I use Aristoflex if you're interested. I'll link them if you are.

    I also have Polymulse but not a huge fan.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of polymers, trust me when I say you will NEVER want to be without them.
  • @emma1985 i really want to try aristoflex but unfortunately my current formula contains electrolytes. Please do link your aristoflex videos, i would love to see them. Thanks!
  • I don't really have a fav but i normally use Sepinov EMT 10 more often currently. 

    On hand, i have:
    • Aristoflex AVC - If i need better thickening or stiffer 
    • Aristoflex Silk - Something between AVC & Zen
    • Sepinov EMT 10 - If i need something soft
    • Sepimax Zen - If i need something more electrolyte resistant
    Each of them has different textures and sensory, so i use them at a case by case basis. 

    Sepiplus 400 is a polymeric emulsifier blend, so it's different from the others you have mentioned since you can use it to create emulsions by itself. For polymeric emulsifier blends, i normally use Sepigel 305 since it's what i have on hand. 
  • @emma1985 i really want to try aristoflex but unfortunately my current formula contains electrolytes. Please do link your aristoflex videos, i would love to see them. Thanks!




    Here you go. I just started and am trying to get better at this. 🙂


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @emma1985 - nice job with the videos!

  • Perry said:
    @emma1985 - nice job with the videos!

    Thank you so much. That really means the 🌎 to me. I've learned so much here and hoping to share it with others. 🙂
  • @emma1985 nice videos! I’ve read that you shouldn’t use high shear mixing with polymers but you seem to be using your stick blender on the last video without problems, so is that not true or do you just have to be careful with it? 
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited April 12
    If you watch the second video I mention it. I only ever blend for 2-4 minutes total. It might look like more. 

    You just have to be a bit careful. But I've never had an emulsion break from too much blending, and I use polymers in virtually every product I make.

    They tolerate shear, just not a lot of shear, in my experience.

    Thank you so much!! 🙂🙏
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    @emma1985, thanks Ema for the videos. Well done :) 
    I am a bit worried about the high shear too. I don't really think they are even high shear tolerant. I guess you do destroy some of that polymer during the mixing. Have you tried low shear only? And compared the two products? 
    I think the main reason why it didn't separate is due to the waxy emulsifier. 

    Also, you are using quite a bit of butters and oils, but no antioxidant to protect them. 

    But love the format of your videos :) 
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    I have a question too, what you guys think about Pemulen TR-2? 
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited April 12
    Paprik said:
    @emma1985, thanks Ema for the videos. Well done :) 
    I am a bit worried about the high shear too. I don't really think they are even high shear tolerant. I guess you do destroy some of that polymer during the mixing. Have you tried low shear only? And compared the two products? 
    I think the main reason why it didn't separate is due to the waxy emulsifier. 

    Also, you are using quite a bit of butters and oils, but no antioxidant to protect them. 

    But love the format of your videos :) 
    Hey! Thanks for the feedback, I really really appreciate it!!

    I actually tend to use my immersion blender on low to medium speed most of the time, and virtually never on high speed. The blender goes from 1-5 speed settings and I almost never go over 3.

    I don't think it stayed together just because of the waxy emulsifier. I make emulsions using only polymers often and use the same practices.

    I did use Vitamin E in the first and third video. In the second video, I used Q Max, which contains Vitamin E. 🙂

    Graillotion is a good person to ask about polymers and whether or not they tolerate shear as well, he uses them very often (he got me into them.) ☺️
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    edited April 12
    The shear type is not defined by the speed. It is defined by the mixing head. You are definitely using high shear even under low speed. 

    Yeah, @Graillotion, what do you think about the high shear?

    I know that some of them are shear tolerant or resistant, some even require high shear (apparently :D haven't found one yet), so I'm a bit skeptical about it. 

    The first video has Tocopherol Acetate. That has no antioxidant benefits for the formula, only for skin. 

    Anyway, good job, keep posting :) 
  • SylSyl Member
    @emma1985 Very nice videos,  I will have to try making one of your formulations. 
  • @Paprik normally the shear tolerance is mentioned in the tech sheet for the polymers if they are fine with high shear. At least that is what i saw for Aristoflex AVC, Sepinov & Sepimax. 

  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited April 12
    Paprik said:
    The shear type is not defined by the speed. It is defined by the mixing head. You are definitely using high shear even under low speed. 

    Yeah, @Graillotion, what do you think about the high shear?

    I know that some of them are shear tolerant or resistant, some even require high shear (apparently :D haven't found one yet), so I'm a bit skeptical about it. 

    The first video has Tocopherol Acetate. That has no antioxidant benefits for the formula, only for skin. 

    Anyway, good job, keep posting :) 
    Yes, I used Acetate in that one because I wanted to keep the product a bright white color, and my Tocopherol is dark brown. 🙂 I usually use Tocopherol or ROE (which is also brown.)

    And that is good to know about the shear.
  • Syl said:
    @emma1985 Very nice videos,  I will have to try making one of your formulations. 
    Thank you so much! Please let me know how it turns out. 🙂☺️
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited April 12
    @emma1985 nice videos! I’ve read that you shouldn’t use high shear mixing with polymers but you seem to be using your stick blender on the last video without problems, so is that not true or do you just have to be careful with it? 
    @Paprik , or course you can answer this question yourself, very easily.  Just take water and the polymeric of your choice (at ratios you intend to formulate at)....and mix with the amount of shear you anticipate using to create a final product....judge your two ingredient mix for the next day or so...and you'll have your answer.

    When you destroy a polymeric...it is VERY obvious.  I use this same method for testing electrolyte tolerance....just take the formula ratio of water, polymeric, and electrolyte you are considering adding....and emulsify.  The tolerance is IMMEDIATELY evident.  You don't have to make a whole formula to know, in fact....the balance of the formula will often hide what you are trying to discover.

    In case you don't want to do your own test.... I have made every possible combination of carbomer and the top used polymerics...and with 2 minutes of moderate shear, and all is good. (I use the same Dynamic Mini Pro as Emma, but I have a head that gives MUCH more shear.) 

    The context of those mfg comments...are more along the lines of excessive shear.  As you can imagine....the large amount of mfg's that use polymerics...did NOT throw out their Silverson's, to add polymerics to their line-up.  :) 

    Aloha.

    @emma1985 ;
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    @emma1985 - Hi, nice job with the videos, since you are far better formulator than I am, may I comment on the videos for a little?
    - You might need a catch phrase.
    - The parts when you were adding ingredients, the focus was shifted too much from center to the side or the conner of the video. For top view it might be better if your main beaker's placed at the center.
    - Top view, the auto focus shifted a lot. 
    - Is there specific reason why you show product application on your wrist with one finger and slow glide motion which's used in color cosmetic swatch instead of 2 fingers with fast motion on the back of hand. And with straight fingers might look better on screen.
    - More fitted gloves maybe.
    - There're some dead air when you were explaining but no visual movement. 
    Love your makeup, editing, sound, vibe. 
    It might takes some time to gain fan base, keep up the good work, I'll be cheering you on. 
    Sorry for being such a bitch but yes I am that bitch.  :)
  • All my favourite polymeric emulsifiers are listed already but there is also a less known one from Lubrizol https://www.ulprospector.com/en/eu/PersonalCare/Detail/77/722072/Pemulen-EZ-4U-polymer

    This monster can emulsify 20% of oil at 0.2%! I didn't believe it until  I tried (they say 50%, I only tried 20 so can't comment about more, but it's already impressive for 0.2%).

    It's jiggly-wiggly like sepimax zen and would benefit from mixing it with something with a longer flow. Not electrolyte tolerant but definitely worth having in your lab. It is sold by Trulux in Australia and under a different name here https://lotioncrafter.com/collections/emulsifiers/products/polymulse-polymeric-emulsifier

    But Aristoflex AVC was and stays my absolute favourite for its elegance.
  • @ngarayeva001 That's pretty impressive I'll have to try this one out! What other polymers do you like to mix it with and for what type of product?

    As for Sepimax Zen, what's the best way to use this polymer? Can it be used in a cold process like the other polymers mentioned here? 
  • Pemulen EZ4U needs to be neutralized btw. Work with it as you would with carbomer. I think it does well with Sepinov EMT10 in terms of rheology. But again it’s highly subjective. I hate long flow, but there are many people who prefer that. Sepimax Zen can be used as a gel maker and it makes crystal clear gels (takes forever to hydrate). It can be used as a single emulsifier in cold process emulsion, or as a stabiliser in a hot process emulsion. And it’s probably the only product of this type that is actually somewhat strong electrolyte resistant. I can deal with 1.5% of sodium lactate. Although Zen isn’t my favorite polymeric emulsifier, it’s without a doubt the most functional and if I could only have one, it would be Zen.
  • AnnyeapAnnyeap Member
    Hi, @ngarayeva001 ; can you let me know what else can be made with Zen since you  mentioned it is the must functional? 
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited April 19
    1) aqueous gel with electrolytes/low ph
    2) hot process emulsion
    3) cold process emulsion
    it can be used as a main emulsifier or stabilizer in emulsions. 
  • AnnyeapAnnyeap Member
    @ngarayeva001 thanks... think i will explore further on this material
  • KheilaKheila Member


    I just went and liked all your videos for support! 
    Absolutely love channels like this, well done. 
    Keep going, I'd love love love to see more good formulating channels and support you! 
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