Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Critique my one size fits all liquid crystal daily moisturizer base, % included ?

  • Critique my one size fits all liquid crystal daily moisturizer base, % included ?

    Posted by Zink on December 6, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Been working on a relatively simple daily moisturizer for all skin types that will ideally also be beneficial for, or at least compatible with, acneic and eczematous skin.

    Its special feature is a set of fatty acids and lipids that could strengthen the skin barrier and reduce TEWL. Note that I haven’t chosen a preservative yet.

    Do you have any suggestions, with regards to:

    1. Increasing long-term moisturization efficacy (ideally w/o petrolatum), e.g. adding non-hydrolyzed jojoba esters.
    2. Improving compatibility with “troubled skin”
    3. Is poor skin penetration of cholesterol or ceramide 3 a likely issue?
    4. Better alternatives than caprylic/capric triglycerides? Squal-E-ne?
    5. Cost reduction


    Zink replied 4 years, 6 months ago 8 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • EVchem

    December 6, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    How long-term are we talking? are you talking about lower TEWL while using the product or even after application has been stopped? I’m still new to the field but the studies on TEWL I can find mostly come from ingredient suppliers so I think they are a little biased. I found this paper that mentions urea working after 7 weeks, but that ingredient won’t be compatible with your low pH, and they don’t mention at all if the levels revert after stopping use.

    I’ve only worked with squalane because squalEne is pricey, you can’t have that and then also have cost reduction- and I’m not really sure about it’s use as an antioxidant. you might as well go for an ester instead of CCT for stability and reduced cost.

  • LincsChemist

    December 6, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Cost reduction: buy cetearyl alcohol and coco-glucoside separately (at a guess you’re using Montanov 82 currently?), consider grapeseed oil (high linoleic content) instead of pure linoleic acid.

    Long term moisturisation: I beleive there’s some quite good data behind saccharide isomerate (aka Pentavitin).

  • Zink

    December 6, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for the tips, the two worst offenders in terms of cost are cholesterol and ceramide 3 here which make up 66% of the total cost(!), don’t think there’re any easy ways to save there besides reducing the amounts used.

    There might be marginal savings on the emulsifier and the linoleic acid source (which is in triglyceride form in natural oils, so they’re not equivalent AFAIK, very little free linoleic acid them).

    @LincsChemist I don’t see any studies on saccharide isomerate, but seems like it’s a “second generation” humectant, have you seen any studies comparing it with glycerin et al? Any drawbacks with it? 

    Here’s the pentavin discussion incl some references https://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk/discussion/5025/saccharide-isomerate

    Here’s DSMs formula:

  • OldPerry

    December 6, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I see way too many ingredients in here. If you want to optimize, strip it down to just a few ingredients then build in other ingredients to see if you notice any improvements.

    For example, you have Glycerin and Sodium PCA. I doubt you will notice any difference if you just used Glycerin alone. 

    And would you really be able to tell a difference in using both linoleic and palmitic acid? or Cholesterol? or even the ceramides?

    Start with a 7 ingredient formula.  Then build it up from there.

    1. Water
    2. Jojoba esters
    3. Glycerin
    4. Scloretieum gum
    5. Caprylic triglycerides
    6. Ceteryl alcohol emulsifier
    7. Glyceryl stearate emulsifier

    (preservatives of course - and maybe the Glycolic acid for pH adjustment)

    Then build from there.  

  • Zink

    December 6, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks Perry!

    We have some data to indicate a performance benefit from the lipids, and there’re several of studies supporting the amounts and ratios used, in some cases, taking one out nullifies the effect. In any case, that’s a separate discussion (i.e. what actives/special features to add and whether they are effective).

    Focusing on the moisturizer base, glycerin is also used as a dispersion aid for the gum, but Sodium PCA could be replaced with Saccharide Isomerate if the latter gives a longer lasting effect, something to test that could be noticeable.

    One major question is the value of using SqualEne over Capric/caprylic Triglycerides, if using the shark liver type cost would be comparable, trying to look into if squalene - which plausibly could work as an antioxidant unlike squalane, and is depleted in skin subjected to pollutants (opening for anti pollution marketing), is stable enough to work as a replacement.

  • ngarayeva001

    December 6, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    I guess the main problem is to make it compatible with eczematic and acne-prone skin as eczematic skin benefits from heavier emollients and acne-prone skin might get worse. 

  • Zink

    December 7, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Good point nga! And a very difficult question to answer, I don’t think you can generalize too much and it probably comes down the the individual emollient and etiology of acne/eczema in the person.

    The goal with this moisturizer is to make an elegant and light formula that still gives long lasting moisturiziation, enabled by e.g the lipid/fatty acid combo, perhaps saccharide isomerate etc. 

  • ngarayeva001

    December 7, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    @Zink there are ways to get long-lasting moisturisation and keeping it elegant. You can either add a little bit of petrolatum and combine it with lighter esters, or make HIPE w/o. Nothing can beat w/o when it comes long-lasting moisturisation. For example, if you make o/w with 10% of oil and w/o with 10% of the oil the w/o one will last on the skin much longer without a greasy feel. They come with tons of problems unfortunately as are utterly unstable.

    If you stick to o/w, to get “the elegant”, replace some of the fatty alcohols with polymers. For example, instead of using say, 4% of Cetearyl alcohol, you can use 2% but add 0.5% of something like Sepinov EMT10, or Aristoflex AVC.

  • Zink

    December 9, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Want to stick with a base I know for now, since development resources are limited. Still o/w with a 10% oil phase (or do you mean just oil?) will not necessarily feel greasy?

    What are the best elegant/long lasting moisturizers on the market in your opinion? Any w/o ones?

    I’m a bit vary of polymers after I saw some evidence that sodium acrylate polymers seemed to increase TEWL over time (2006 Changes in skin barrier function following long-term treatment with moisturizers, a randomized controlled trial) and there’s very limited data on toxicity http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/ACTAPY122015rep.pdf

  • ngarayeva001

    December 9, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    There are some great w/o but much less than o/w. One good example is this one https://incidecoder.com/products/khiels-creamy-eye-treatment-with-avocado
    This is one of Kiehl’s best sellers as far as I am aware.
    There are a couple of others in lux segment:
    very elegant with very long playtime. I can’t find these emulsifiers, one is dow’s 5300 (I only managed to get 5600 which is not the same).
    This one is w/si, really pretty texture:
    ingredients easier to find.

    I understand all of it might not be feasible for you because those are pricey materials and w/o are not easy to deal with (most of my attempts end up separating) but just FYI these are very elegant W/Os that are currently on the market in the luxury segment. They feel “expensive” upon application and last much longer than o/w

  • Zink

    December 11, 2019 at 3:59 pm


    One thing the formula is missing is a thickening emollient, originally used 4% jojoba ester 60 but that was on the low side plus it’s a quite expensive ingredient. Any suggestions here? Cetyl alcohol? Some other natural petrolatum alternative? Or simply petrolatum?

  • Vnnil

    December 11, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Have you considered other emulsifiers? Allergic reactions to glucosides
    are not uncommon, and other ingredients can feel more moisturizing.

    for emollients, there are many options, depending on desired
    attributes, target audience and cost: natural waxes or butters, castor
    oil, etc.

    By the way, Clariant has various vegetable alternatives to petrolatum/lanolin.

  • Zink

    December 12, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Allergies to alkyl glucosides are uncommon, 30 cases in 11842 people or in 0.25% of people, but they are however more common in older women with a history of atopic dermatitis. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cod.12154

    “Allergy to alkyl glucosides is more common in females than males, likely due to females’ higher use of personal care products.5,9 The median age of those sensitized is 49.6 years. Conditions such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and occupational irritation may increase the risk of ACD to alkyl glucosides by affecting the skin barrier and allowing greater penetration of the allergen(s).5 Furthermore, people with atopy or sensitive skin might self-select those products marketed for sensitive skin, many of which contain alkyl glucosides. ” https://www.the-dermatologist.com/article/update-alkyl-glucosides

    What’s the best emulsifier then for such a formula? ;)

    Jojoba esters seem to offer around 2x better TEWL reduction performance than Shea Butter, at least if we are to believe floratech. So adding it and increasing the gum percentage could be an idea here.

  • jemolian

    December 13, 2019 at 3:34 am

    @zink, There are a few things that you can consider: 

    • Finding more alternative for the Montanov 82, if you are looking into the liquid crystal emulsifiers, you can consider the others from the Montanov series, like Montanov L which i believe they have tested for having the highest TEWL reduction in the series though it would need a co-emulsifier. 
    • You can look into moisturizing emollients or emollients that reduces TEWL such as Isononyl Isononanoate, Isostearyl Isostearate, Sensolene (Ethylhexyl Olivate), etc. For the plant oils, you can use a smaller amount of Grape Seed or Safflower or Jojoba Oil or Squalane
    • For the humectants, besides from Pentavitin mentioned previous, perhaps you can consider Betaine (Trimethylglycine) for the skin strengthening effect (see brochure from DuPont), Aquaxyl (from Seppic), etc. You can consider using glycols or diols as well. 
    • There are also preservative blends that has hydrating effect as well, such as Symdiol 68.  
  • Dr Catherine Pratt

    December 14, 2019 at 10:21 am
    Other emollients like C12-C? Benzoate, Isoamyl Acetate, for people with sensitive skin try using ingredients that do not produce fatty acids as bacteria that grows on the skin and make it red and turn into patches etc can come from various bacteria. In fact if this is a large point for you use a wax also like parrafin wax. Parrafin will reduce cost too and mineral oil, there is a naturally derived vaseline type ingredient now.
    Also have you tried dimethiconol? its just dimethicone with a hydroxyl group built in to make it more water friendly.
  • Zink

    December 17, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    @jemolian thanks, so we’re already using glyceryl stearate as a co-emulsifer, maybe Montanov L could be a drop in replacement here? But it’s still an alkyl glucoside so It will be as likely to trigger reactions as Montanov 82.

    They do specify 82 for sunscreen applications, moisturization wise they L and 82 performs identically

    They also claim 3% Aquaxyl nearly doubles this performance

    @Cahterine have not tried dimethiconol! Are you saying to not use linoleic acid (in free fatty acid form)?

  • jemolian

    December 17, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    @Zink yes, you can try the 3% Montanov L with 1.5% Aquaxyl & 1.5% Glycerin and see how it goes. If I am going to launch a face/body lotion maybe in the future, it would be the combination I will use and one of the emollients that I mentioned previously. So far my Montanov L formulations are doing alright with Aristoflex AVC as the co-emulsifier. 

  • Zink

    December 17, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Seems like replacing glyceryl stearate with Montanov 202 as a co-emuslifier could lead to some benefit? (at 5x the cost)

  • jemolian

    December 18, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I don’t think you will need the Montanov 202 unless you want to change the skin feel aspects. Using normal thickening co-emulsifiers should be able to do a reasonable job. 

    One of the combinations i have is by using Lotionpro 165 + Olivem 1000 + Sodium Carbomer to produce a body cream. So it depends on what you really want.

    There are blends can promote liquid crystal formation if that’s what you need which you can combine with a normal emulsifier, eg, Oliwax LC (which is sold at lotioncrafter) or DuraQuench (from Croda, which is named as Moisture REG at Makingcosmetics)

  • Zink

    December 18, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Guess it’s hard/near impossible to say if Montanov 202 would offer much of a performance benefit over Glyceryl Stearate.

    Will make the base now with saccharide isomerate instead of sodium pca.

    As for non glucoside emulsifiers Potassium Cetyl Phosphate looks interesting, but have 0 experience with it.

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