Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Thickeners - High Polarity Formulations

  • Thickeners - High Polarity Formulations

    Posted by gfeldman on February 2, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I would love to hear suggestions or opinions regarding the selection of thickeners in formulations with highly polar actives (typically anywhere from 1-5%). More specifically, I am looking for a thickener that has the following characteristics:

    - Cheap
    - Easy
    - Functions at pH 3-7 (roughly)
    - Compatible with skin
    - Can handle highly polar actives
    - Med-High electrolyte tolerance (optional)
    - Nice feel (optional - also ideal)

    In addition to a single thickener, I am also open to options regarding the use of multiple thickening agents to accomplish the same task. These could include starches, gums, polyacrylates, ect.

    Any suggestions would of course be highly appreciated. I look forward to your comments and advice.

    Chemist77 replied 10 years, 5 months ago 6 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • vitalys

    Member
    February 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    @gfeldman, You can find a wide range of them here: http://www.lubrizol.com

  • MakingSkincare

    Member
    February 3, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Which thickeners have you tried so far?  Are you also looking at fatty acids/alcohols? What product is this for?

  • Chemist77

    Member
    February 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

    And whats the product?

  • gfeldman

    Member
    February 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    @vitalys: Thank you. I am familiar with Lubrizol products, but I took a look at the website again anyways and it appears that they have a new product “Carbopol 30” that may be a perfect candidate.

    @MakingSkinCare: I have worked with acrylates such as Carbopol, but those traditionally do not function well at lower pH’s. I have also worked with Simulgel, but that is rather expensive. Additionally I have worked with a few gums (xanthan/guar), but I’m really not sure what the best system would be for this type of formulation. I am very interested in hearing more about using fatty acids/alcohols as thickening agents. Would it be cost effective and stable over time?

    @milliachemist:  This product is intended for skin care / moisturization. I’m sorry that I cannot be more specific, but due to extenuating circumstances I do not feel comfortable revealing further details.

    Thank all of you for your comments and suggestions. I am still (very) new to the field, but I’m trying to learn as much as I can and this site and its dedicated members have been nothing but helpful. Thank you!

  • Chemist77

    Member
    February 4, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    http://www.lubrizol.com/PersonalCare/Products/Carbopol/CarbopolAquaCC.html

    You can look into this product as well, have used it and found it quite versatile.

  • MakingSkincare

    Member
    February 5, 2014 at 10:57 am

    gfeldman - is this an emulsion?  are you able to add something like cetyl alcohol to thicken?  It’s really hard to advise without knowing what the product is. 

  • gfeldman

    Member
    February 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

    @MakingSkincare Yes, it is a hot process emulsion. Cetyl alcohol could be used, but I have never tried thickening an emulsion purely with Cetyl alcohol. Would that hold up over time? What percent would you use? Also, I’m sorry for being so vague… extenuating circumstances :/

  • MakingSkincare

    Member
    February 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Cetyl alcohol will thicken and is also an emulsion stabiliser so yes would help with long term stability.  How much to use depends on how thick you would like your emulsion.  Try 2% and go from there.  

    But as I’m not sure what ingredients your hot process emulsion includes it’s hard for me to know if cetyl is suitable so all I can say is try it.  Feel free to PM me more details if you like (just so you know, I don’t sell products so I’m not a potential competitor, I teach instead).
    Do let us know how you get on.
  • maria

    Member
    February 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Carbopol ultrez 30 can be the good choise. I’m using it with panthenol and works well.

  • gfeldman

    Member
    February 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    @maria Yes, I am looking forward to working with it. I had not heard of it until I just recently checked the lubrizol webpage after @vitalys post mentioning their products.

  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    February 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Many color cosmetics use Veegum HV/ PRO(Magnesium Aluminum Silicate) either by itself or in a synergistic mixture with CMC (Carboxy Methyl Cellulose) or Xanthan gum.

    You could look at Laponite, as well.
    I’d also suggest a combination of Pemulen and Carbopol, if you need a lighter feel on skin.
  • Anonymous

    Guest
    February 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I am Marie Louise Schu. I am new to the field but relatively alert. I am working on a line of hair products. I am a chef and I took a crash Chemistry course to be familar with the verbiage. Without having to tell you more than I need to, what kind of natural thickener or stabilizer will be suitable for natural hair products? Every input will be immensely appreciated!

  • gfeldman

    Member
    February 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    @mlndeb Please do not post off topic questions. I am certain that the community would be glad to help you answer your question, but it will not get well addressed in this post and it can derail constructive ideas.

  • Chemist77

    Member
    February 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I agree with Bob re the veegum HV and CMC, have used in most of the foundation make ups and similar products, never faced a problem and the thickening is uniform and consistent

  • gfeldman

    Member
    February 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

    @milliachemist & @Bobzchemist What concentrations would you typically use to form a “high” thickness emulsion? I am guessing 0.3% for Xanthan, but I have not worked with HV or CMC before. (Thank your for your suggestions!)

  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    February 13, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Use Veegum Plus “Typical use levels are between 0.5% and 3%.”

  • Chemist77

    Member
    February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    @gfeldman to suspend around 14% solids in foundation formula it was 0.5% veegum HV and around 0.6 CMC.

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