Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Rheology Modifying Ingredients for Lotions and Creams

  • Rheology Modifying Ingredients for Lotions and Creams

    Posted by spadirect on August 20, 2018 at 12:46 am

    What are your favorite rheology and tribology modifying ingredients to work with when formulating body lotions and creams where the goal of the product is to have optimally pleasant non-tacky skin feel?

    What combination(s) of rheology modifying ingredients do you like to use in the same lotion or cream formulation?

    What do you like about formulating with your favorite rheology modifying ingredients?

    ngarayeva001 replied 5 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 16 Replies
  • 16 Replies
  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 9:21 am

    @Spadirect there are so many ways depending on what result you want to get. I would say 
    (1) C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer is a very common one. I prefer the one made by makingcosmetics. It’s self-wetting and needs 3 minutes to hydrate. I tried other brands and it was impossible to mix it. It gives a very smooth feel and you need not more than 0.1%. What is not perfect about it, it vary by the supplier (same INCI different results) and requires neutralisation. Another one I absolutely love is

    (2) Sodium Carbomer. It is a preneutralised carbomer, which means you totally control the thickness! You add it to the final product and mix on a high speed. I would say 0.1 to 0.3% is enough (depends on your emulsifiers and thickeners). What is not perfect about it, your product should include silicones. It is not as smooth as C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer. My favorite is 

    (3) Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer. It is an emulsifier and a thickener (well it is a polymer that it creates pseudo-emulsion but let’s say it is an emulsifier). Very smooth luxury feel (used a lot by luxury brands), improves stability can be used alone to make a gel body lotion. Can be used in a hot process and cold process. What is not perfect about it? I would say it’s the best but maybe a bit expensive for a body product. You need 1.5-2% if its the only emulsifyer and from 0.3 to 0.75% with other emulsifiers and thickeners. There is also 

    (4) Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer. Similar to (3) but gives a lighter and fresher feel (#3 feels more luxurious). I like many things about it except for air bubbles. I assume you need a professional mixer to work with it.

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 9:25 am

    (5) Polyacrylate 13/Polyisobutene/Polysorbate 20 aka Sepiplus 400. It is liquid, can be added at the end of the formulation, so you can control the result. Gives extremely smooth and “silicony” feel. Don’t add extra silicones if use it, or it would feel as a film. I can’t comment on how much. It is highly dependent on other ingredients. Works synergistically with other polymers.

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

    The huge drawback of all listed above is that they are extremely sensitive to electrolytes, pH (even Sepiplus 400, don’t believe what the producer says) and active ingredients. If you add ceramides or peptides at a quantity more than “just for claims” viscosity will be destroyed. If you need something that will tolerate huge amounts of active ingredients extremely low pH, high amount of electrolytes then
    (6) Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6. It tolerates pH of 2. Will take several hours to hydrate. Can’t comment on how much because there is a very fine line between smooth and sticky. Rather cheap.
    Again for the body product, you probably would like #(1). Not expensive, you don’t need much, and most of the commercial products I saw use either that one or regular carbomer. It will take some time to learn how to work with it because you don’t see the result until you neutralise it.

  • EVchem

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    @ngarayeva001 I’m interested in polyacrylate crosspolymer-6. We have been looking for a thickener that can handle large amounts of electrolytes but other than xanthan gum we haven’t found much. I don’t see it on UL prospector, do you know any suppliers?

  • Microformulation

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 5:19 pm
    Try Sepimax Zen. It has worked well for us in some high electrolyte Formulations.
  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    @EVchem lotioncrafter sells it in the US under name Sepimax Zen. There’s also a supplier in the UK. Let me know if you are in the UK or Europe and I will look it up. Try to search Sepimax Zen. If you want to see formulations with it, check The Ordinary brand. They use it a lot. It really can hold a lot of actives! If you get it just remember to leave it for several hours (it will hydrate by itself) and then just stirr manually. It tends to bubble on a high speed.

  • spadirect

    Member
    August 20, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    @ngarayeva001 thank you very much for your immensely informative and helpful posts!

    If you were formulating (no ingredient cost concerns) an O/W full body professional massage therapy lotion (also containing botanical extracts and essential oils) with a target pH of 5.5 optimized for pleasant non-tacky skin feel aesthetics through the application, rub out and after feel sensorial perception by massage therapy clients, which rheology modifier (or combination of rheology/tribology modifiers) would you use in your formulation?

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 21, 2018 at 1:37 am

    @Spadirect it really depends on the texture you would like to achieve and what are the other ingredients. Some extracts can decrease viscocity. If you insist on pH 5.5 #(1) might be not the best option as it has to be  neutralised. Do you have an ingredients list?

  • EVchem

    Member
    August 21, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    @Microformulation & @ngarayeva001  thank you both! It was on prospector but wasn’t coming up by the INCI name. Definitely looks worth a try. It can be used cold-process?

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 21, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    @EVchem, I am not sure you can use it in a hot process. I used it in a cold process myself (AHA peel) and saw many products with it that were clearly made using the cold process. If you want to see commercial products made with it go to beautypedia and type the INCI.

  • Microformulation

    Member
    August 21, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    If you read the documentation and look at the sample Formulations, Yes, it can be used in a hot process.

  • spadirect

    Member
    August 23, 2018 at 12:55 am

    @ngarayeva001 I would expect to need to neutralize the formula.  I do not have a final formulation.  But I do know the general outlines of the potential target formulation.

    Octyl Palmitate
    Several oilseed oils and waxes (Apricot, Grapeseed, Canola, Sesame, Jojoba, Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax)
    1,3 Propranediol
    Aminomethyl Propanol (pH adjustment)
    Dimethicone
    Allantion
    Vitamin E
    Botanical extracts (no essential oils, just several botanical extracts)
    Preservative system (not determined, ideally one that would work up to 6.0 pH)
    Considering Carbomer or other rheology modifiers per Chemists Corner Forum contributors’ valuable advice

    I have specifically considered using Carbopol Ultrez 30 Polymer (TM) or a combination of Carbopol Ultrez 10 NF (TM) with Ultrez 30 (products from The Lubrizol Corporation).  Although this idea is all just speculative on my part.  I really don’t know. 

    As you can see, I have been debating with myself about which specific carbomer or combination of branded carbomer products would be ideal to use to achieve an easy, lush workability for licensed massage therapists at initial application while maintaining nice slip and lubrication through the rub out phase and ultimately attaining a pleasantly light weight and non-sticky skin after feel as perceived by massage clients.

    I imagine the carbomer would be the most important rheology modifying ingredient in the formula.  I am neither wedded nor committed to the idea of using the above-cited ingredients or attaining a 5.5 pH for the final product.  The pH could vary as long as the rheology characteristics are nice.

    Most importantly, what I would like to achieve with the massage lotion is the rheological, tribological and sensorial characteristics I have described above.

    Which carbomer products and/or other rheology modifying ingredients and/or combinations thereof do you suspect might be a good starting point to include in a pilot formulation that would have the potential to achieve this type of sensorial profile for a massage lotion?

    I would greatly appreciate any other Chemists Corner Forum contributors’ recommendations and comments in addition to @ngarayeva001.

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 23, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I think sodium carbomer would be a good option since your formula isn’t finalized and it will allow you to control viscosity. Check lotioncrafter. The great thing about it you can add 0.1% if you don’t like the result add 0.1% more etc. it can be added in the end of formulation.  @Spadirect

  • spadirect

    Member
    August 26, 2018 at 12:59 am

    @ngarayeva001 Would you be referring to Lotioncrafter’s sodium carbomer product named PNC 400 Thickening Agent by 3V Sigma USA? 

    I guess the idea would be progressively to add 0.1% of sodium carbomer at the final step of formulation until you achieve the desired level of viscosity? Thanks again.

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 26, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Yes, it’s a product sold by lotioncrafter. Start from 0.1% and add until you reach desired viscosity @Spadirect

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    August 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    The INCI is Sodium Carbomer

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