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  • Need help formulating a clear gel face cleanser

    Posted by natcstudios on May 24, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    I’m formulating a gel cleanser and it keeps turning cloudy, especially when I add citric acid to balance the pH. I have tried a couple different gums but it doesn’t seem to be the culprit. I don’t want to use too much surfactant as it is pricier so I am trying to thicken with gums.

    Here the base formula I have been testing:

    50.4% water

    5% Glycerin

    0.6% Siligel (Xanthan Gum (and) Lecithin (and) Sclerotium Gum (and) Pullulan)

    37% Plantapon SF (INCI: Sodium Cocoamphoacetate (and) Glycerin (and) Lauryl Glucoside (and) Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (and) Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate)

    3% Leucidal Liquid (also tried Tristat Eco: Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate)

    4% Lamesoft PO (Coco-Glucoside (and) Glyceryl Oleate)

    1% Hemp seed oil

    Is there anything glaring you can see that may be causing issues?

    Thanks!

    • This discussion was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  natcstudios.
    natcstudios replied 1 week, 4 days ago 5 Members · 19 Replies
  • 19 Replies
  • cosmetic_chemist_vietnam

    Member
    May 24, 2024 at 8:45 pm

    I think the problem here is Glyceryl Oleate and Hemp Seed Oil. They make your cleanser is an emulsion. You could try to eliminate them out of your formulation. To thicken facial cleanser, besides gums, you could try PEG-based thickener like PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate and PEG-150 Pentaery… (sorry I don’t remember the INCI name).

    • natcstudios

      Member
      May 27, 2024 at 8:27 am

      Thanks for your reply!

      We are a green beauty brand so PEG’s aren’t an option unfortunately. Makes sense about the Hemp seed oil. We wanted the cleanser to be slightly less drying so that was my attempt to add some moisturizing properties. Also, the supplier suggests using Plantapon SF with Lamesoft PO 65 for gel cleansers so I thought we would be able to achieve a clear-ish gel.

      I am happy to use gums as long as we can still achieve a somewhat clear gel cleanser. If you have any other thoughts for a clean/green cleanser I welcome your input!

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by  natcstudios.
      • cosmetic_chemist_vietnam

        Member
        June 5, 2024 at 9:06 pm

        If you don’t want the skin being dry after cleansing, a little bit quaternium is enough I think. And about the pH, you could check again COA/SDS/TDS of all surfactants you are using. Each surfactant has a optimum pH range. If pH is too low, they could be hydrolyzed and affect transparency of your product.

        Some material has high level of fatty acid and thay could react with metal ion in water, esspecially at low pH. Some chelating agents like EDTA, or biodegradable agents like EDDS and phytate might be necessary.

  • ketchito

    Member
    May 28, 2024 at 8:41 am

    If your issue only shows up when you deop the viscosity, then charges might be involved. After a while, do you see some precipitates? Can you make a sample with and without adding any acid to tune pH, and put both samples in the fridge for a few days? Also, what’s your pH before and after adjusting?

    • natcstudios

      Member
      May 28, 2024 at 10:21 am

      Thanks @ketchito

      Yes - my prototypes were left at our lab over the weekend and when I came back I did see some precipitates. Interestingly, the 1st prototype I made without the hemp seed oil has no separation and is the most gel-like in aspect. Still more opaque than I want but definitely better. Perhaps I need to omit it altogether. It had no hemp seed oil and only 2% lamesoft 65. We found it a bit drying so I added the more moisturizing ingredients to try and tackle that but in doing so I may have created these new issues.

      I will do some tests with and without citric acid and put them in the fridge like you suggested. Do you think I could up the glycerin to make it less drying and keep lamesoft 65 at a lower concentration and completely remove the hemp seed oil? I will also be adding some water soluble extracts but not until I get the base formulation down.

      Thank you again for your help!

      • ketchito

        Member
        May 31, 2024 at 7:05 am

        That your first prototype didn’t show precipitates, could be due to viscosity, since you mentioned it’s gel-like, but it might still have issues. Hemp oil would be an issue only if you see droplets on top…but if your precipitates sink at the bottom, then it’s something else. May I suggest alto to make a sample without siligel?

        • natcstudios

          Member
          May 31, 2024 at 9:44 am

          Hi @ketchito

          Update here! I removed lamesoft and hempseed oil and it definitely made it less cloudy and no precipitates have shown up…yet. I made two samples, one without citric acid (pH: 7.12) and one with citric acid (pH 5.13) and put them in the fridge overnight. No precipitates were observed the next morning, however the citric acid made the sample more cloudy. If it is an issue with charges, do you know how to tackle that? Can I balance pH with something else that may make it less cloudy (ie. lactic acid?)

          I also made another prototype with xanthan gum only (not siligel), and put some aside with no citric acid and that sample is also much less cloudy but it’s not thick enough. Would thickening with sodium chloride work?

          Thank you so much for your help on this!

  • Zoya

    Member
    May 28, 2024 at 9:32 am

    Hello. It seems to me that you have way too much lamesoft PO, I’m also guessing that Glyceryl Oleate from Lamesoft PO and Hempseed Oil cause the issue. Try samples without them, if those look fine, try lowering the amounts of oily ingredients in the formula. I might suggest a good grade of xanthan gum instead of siligel, in my experience, in a wash-off-product, you can’t really tell the difference between a fancy gum like siligel and a cheaper one such as xanthan.

    • natcstudios

      Member
      May 28, 2024 at 10:14 am

      Hello!

      What you’re saying totally makes sense to me. I’ll remove those ingredients and see how the prototype looks. I agree with not needing to use the more expensive gums. The reason why I was using Siligel is we already use it in another product and the third party sellers we previously got it from no longer sell it in smaller quantities, so I have had to purchase 5kg and we will likely not go through it all before it expires so this was my attempt to maximize on our inventory. I have multiple other xanthan gums on hand so I will certainly test those out as well!

      Thanks so much!

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    June 6, 2024 at 6:02 am

    Very very poor preservation. Does your policy allow phenoxyethanol? Benzoate if pH works?

    • natcstudios

      Member
      June 6, 2024 at 10:54 am

      Hi @PhilGeis

      Thanks for your input! I don’t plan on using Leuconostoc, it’s just what I had around and I was really just testing for consistency and aspect. I have been using Tristat Eco (Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate and Glyceryl Undecylenate). Is this also poor preservation?

      We are fine with using sodium benzoate but not phenoxyethanol. Would sodium benzoate alone provide enough protection?

      • PhilGeis

        Member
        June 6, 2024 at 11:23 am

        The combination is also quite weak as is benzoate alone.

        What is your packaging?

        • natcstudios

          Member
          June 6, 2024 at 11:47 am

          The packaging is a sealed glass bottle with a plastic pump. Would the addition of sodium phytate help boost the preservative action of benzoate?

          • PhilGeis

            Member
            June 6, 2024 at 2:04 pm

            Packaging helps - assume cold process.

            Sure - a chelator is always good. What’s pH?

            • natcstudios

              Member
              June 6, 2024 at 2:53 pm

              Hi @PhilGeis

              Yes, cold process! pH is between 4.5-5. What about using Gluconolactone at 1% (Gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate) w/ Sodium phytate as a chelator?

            • PhilGeis

              Member
              June 7, 2024 at 5:00 am

              Suggest not. Gluconolactone is a something if a chelator that breaks down to gluconic acid,

              pH works for Benzoate and true synergism has been reported for it with Benzyl alcohol and a chelator. Do you have challenge testing capabilities?

            • natcstudios

              Member
              June 7, 2024 at 8:25 am

              Hi @PhilGeis ,

              Yes, we will perform challenge testing once the formulation is completed. Could I use Tristat Eco (Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate) or Geogard (Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, and Sorbic Acid) in addition to Sodium Benzoate? We already use both of those so I have them on hand.

              Thanks so much for your help!

            • PhilGeis

              Member
              June 7, 2024 at 8:32 am

              Sure - but more than you need and some junk “preservatives”.

              • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  PhilGeis.
            • natcstudios

              Member
              June 7, 2024 at 8:52 am

              Noted! I can’t seem to find benzyl alcohol from any of my current suppliers so I might continue trials with what I have on hand until I can source some.

              Do you think using a chelator like sodium phytate could help with the cloudiness? It seems to occur anytime I add citric acid to balance pH or salt with lactic acid as a pH balancer.

              Appreciate your help so much!

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