Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Counter-ions for Carrageenan

  • Counter-ions for Carrageenan

    Posted by hatasamatter on December 6, 2023 at 10:16 am

    Hi! I have a “noob” question about Carrageenan. In my starting formula I have Xanthan Gum as a thickener which I’d like to replace with Carrageenan. I know that for Carrageenan, you’re supposed to include a counter-ion for it to form a gel, depending on which type of Carrageenan you’re using. For Kappa and Iota Carrageenan, potassium and sodium ions - please correct me if I’m wrong.

    My question is which ingredients I should use as counter ions. Would Sodium Chloride work? Also, at what percentage? Would 0.5% Sodium Chloride in my formula work?

    Thank you so much in advance, your advice is greatly appreciated!

    This is my starting formula:

    Phase A:

    Water Aqua — ad 100%

    Phase A1:

    Glycerin — 3.00%

    Xanthan Gum (Carrageenan) — 0.50%

    Phase B:

    Glyceryl Stearate Citrate — 3.00%

    Cetearyl Alcohol — 2.50%

    Almond Oil Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil — 20.90%

    Mimosa Acacia Decurrens Flower Cera — 2.00%

    Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil — 0.10%

    Phase C:

    Preservative — q.s.


    Add phase A1 to A at 55 °C and mix until completely dissolved. Heat phase A/A1 and B separately to 75–80 °C. Add phase B to A/A1 under stirring. Homogenize for 90 seconds. Cool under moderate stirring. Add phase C below 40 °C. Cool further to RT and fill into suitable packaging.

    hatasamatter replied 1 month, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • ketchito

    December 7, 2023 at 9:43 am

    I believe it’s divalent ions the ones that help carrageenan molecules to bridge between each other, so better use Calcium chloride.

    • hatasamatter

      December 7, 2023 at 9:59 am

      Thank you so much for your reply! When do you recommending adding the calcium chloride? Directly into my carrageenan/glycerin premix?

  • evchem2

    December 7, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    is right on, especially for iota carrageenan- divalents will work best and you can usually use a bit less than the monovalents which will help reduce chance of instability (maybe try 0.1-0.2% CaCl2 or MgSO4?). Since you’re making an o/w system, I would suggest adding those salts after forming the emulsion (https://www.ulprospector.com/knowledge/11641/pcc-tips-and-tricks-guaranteed-to-improve-the-your-formulations-part-one/) .

    Do you know which type of carrageenan you are using?

    • hatasamatter

      December 7, 2023 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much for your help! Lots of valuable knowledge for me in that article. I don’t know which type of carrageenan I have available exactly but I will report back once I do! Thank you again!

  • hatasamatter

    January 12, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    Soo the carrageenan I’ll most likely be using is an iota type! <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;”>Gelcarin® PC 379

  • hatasamatter

    January 17, 2024 at 10:23 am

    Hi, I was wondering if - even though I have an iota type carrageenan - I could also use sodium/potassium, maybe at a higher concentration than the divalent? And would adding a preservative with sodium/potassium suffice? I’m asking because I have I have a preservative called Euxyl K 712 (INCI: Sodium Benzoate (and) Potassium Sorbate (and) Aqua) already available and was wondering if this could already be enough in my formula (recommended concentration for this preservative is 0.5-1.5%). Thank you so much!

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  hatasamatter.

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