Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Niacinamide Crystals?

  • Niacinamide Crystals?

    Posted by dbyren on April 14, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    I am working with a simple emulsion base (Water, Sepigel 305 (~3%), caprylic/capric triglyceride (~2.5%), optiphen) and I am incorporating Niacinamide and Azelaic Acid.  Over time, sometimes within 1 mo at room temperature, I am seeing crystallization occur and I think it is Niacinamide coming out of solution somehow.  My pH is 4.5, which I know isn’t ideal for Niacinamide, but I wouldn’t expect it to crystallize like this (very hard crystals, feels like salt).  Anyone know what could be happening? My thought is some sort of complex with the micronized Azelaic Acid since I don’t see it with Niacinamide alone.  First time posting, thanks!

    Zoya replied 9 months ago 10 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • dbyren

    April 14, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Sorry, forgot to add that I am using 2% Azelaic Acid and 4% Niacinamide

  • RedCoast

    April 17, 2021 at 5:32 pm
    Azelaic acid can have solubility issues.
    Have you done a knockout test and left out azelaic acid yet?
  • ngarayeva001

    April 17, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    i haven’t worked with azelaic acid, but I highly doubt it’s niacinamide. Are you using solvents? 

  • scbeautyformulator

    October 12, 2022 at 3:57 am


    I, too, have this issue with Niacinamide. In my case, the only powder and element that can crystalize in my formula (micellar water) is the niacinamide. Similarly to your situation, I found crystals in the bottles that are sitting on the shelf. The ones in use after production do not have this issue. The niacinamide I have has a recommended pH of 6, which is what my micellar waters are adjusted to. I know I am not answering your question, but I am least offering a second person who also has this issue, and I do not have azelaic acid in my product.

  • drjaysee

    October 17, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    RedCoast said:

    Azelaic acid can have solubility issues.
    Have you done a knockout test and left out azelaic acid yet?

    @RedCoast what is this knockout test? Aim and benefits?

  • OldPerry

    October 17, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    Here’s an explanation of the knockout experiment.

  • Kshitija

    October 12, 2023 at 2:11 am

    I am also facing similar problem in my formulation as I am adding 5% niacinamide along with 1% zinc oxide which is crystallizing at RT within 3 days. not able to find out the possible reasons

    • fareloz

      October 12, 2023 at 4:01 am

      Zinc Oxide is not soluble in water

  • Microformulation

    October 12, 2023 at 9:06 am

    It’s not your Niacinamide but there is no need to use it at 5%. The issue is the Azaleic Acid. Search in this forum as it has been discussed at length previously.

  • Zoya

    October 14, 2023 at 3:35 am

    Azelaic acid is poorly soluble in water and with the formula above I’m suspecting it is the one you see crystallizing. As recommended above, make a knock out test, one formula with azelaic acid, without niacinamide, and the other with niacinamide, without azelaic acid. Then, you will be able to tell which one causes the problem. With azelaic acid you probably have to use potent solvents to dissolve it in the water phase or incorporate it in a higher oil-phase containing, more robust emulsion.

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