Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Why is it turning purple and how can I eliminate this problem?

  • Why is it turning purple and how can I eliminate this problem?

    Posted by MariaB on April 30, 2024 at 2:54 pm

    We make an Elderberry balancing mist and used Bio Botanica as our elderberry extract supplier. Their minimums are too large for our small company and I’m in search of a new supplier. Bio Botanica’s elderberry in glycerin was a pale, pale pinkish to light amber color. I can’t seem to find a supplier that has this light of a color and doesn’t affect the color of our formula. I’m also thinking the glucolactone and sodium benzoate might be impacting the color of the hydrosols/floral waters as well. The formula turns a beautiful purple color but I’m not sure customers want to spray something that dark on their face! I’ve tried some powdered extracts (.03%) with propandiol and they still turn the formula a very, very dark purple.

    Any help with ideas to lighten the color would be much appreciated!

    Ingredients: Mentha piperita (Peppermint) floral water, melaleuca alternafolia (Tea tree) floral water, sambucus nigra (elderberry) extract,niacinamide (vitamin B3) propanediol, sodium hyaluronate, urtica dioica (Nettle) leaf extract, gluconolactone, arctium lappa (burdock) root extract,pyrus malus (apple) fruit water, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, euterpe oleracea (acai) fruit extract, sodium benzoate.

    MariaB replied 2 weeks, 3 days ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Paprik

    April 30, 2024 at 8:25 pm

    Are Gluconactone and Sodium Benzoate the only preservatives there?

    What is the final pH? If you lower the pH does it lighten the colour?

    • MariaB

      May 2, 2024 at 10:44 am

      Yes, those are the only preservatives. Ph is 5.3. I did switch out those preservatives and tried populus tremuloides (Aspen) bark extract. The color was still dark but not as dark.

      I’ll try lowering the ph with some citric acid.

      Thank you for the help!

      • MariaB

        May 2, 2024 at 10:56 am

        Ooops I meant raise the ph! But then I walk a fine line of too alkaline and defeating the purpose of my calming face mist!

  • Graillotion

    May 1, 2024 at 4:53 am

    Maybe I am not understanding your presentation correctly….but I guess the first thing that comes to my mind is…..they were selling a very diluted product to you. Am I missing something? If this is the case….dilution and pH are your answer.

    The elephant in the room is of course, the anthocyanes are directly color coordinated with pH. So everything that contributes to pH…also contributes to final color. Let me give you a little direct quote from my brilliant mentor: (his comments were directed to my question on the topic…not yours)

    “The anthocyanes in the elderberry extract are not super stable (slightly acidic is best) and will change colour depending on pH 😉 . Somewhere around pH 5 (depends on the type of anthocyane), many of them become colourless, at lower pH they turn red and at slightly higher purple (around neutral pH they turn blue and in alkaline solutions green to finally yellow). There isn’t much you could do to slow down degradation except keeping pH low… from a chemical point of view in the red-coloured range but that’s going to be an acid peel rather than a soothing eye cream… which colour it will have at your target pH IDK… with bad mojo it’s the colourless zone… fingers crossed!”

    • MariaB

      May 2, 2024 at 10:49 am

      For it to be so light the bio botanica has to be extremely diluted, I agree. I’ll try playing around with the ph as well.

      Thank you for your input and your extra credit!

  • Graillotion

    May 1, 2024 at 4:59 am

    Just for bonus points….my mentor wrote such an elaborate expose on elderberry…. I thought it was a shame…for me to be the only person in the world to read it. Enjoy for extra-credit points. We were discussing the use of elderberry amongst the beginner crowd….

    “The toxin is related to the toxin in bitter almonds, is also found in
    apple seeds (which I often eat… don’t waste food, save the planet
    LoL), and the content in ripe berries is low (highest but still low
    within the seeds which are often not crushed when eating berries). Once
    eaten or crushed, those foods liberate prussic acid. Well dried or
    cooked, the toxin (= prussic acid precursors and activating enzymes)
    partially degrade and any free prussic acid easily evaporates upon
    cooking. The human metabolism is quite effective at detoxifying cyanides
    (the salts of prussic acid) and hence, as a non-sensitive adult, you may
    eat hundreds of ripe berries without getting in serious trouble. Why
    some people still get nausea and diarrhea is not known. The whole rest
    of the plant contains way higher amounts of those cyanogenic glycosides
    (and possibly other not so harmless stuff as well) and you may get a
    serious intoxication from consuming leaves or bark.
    As the name ‘cyanogenic glycosides’ implies, these are sugar derivatives
    which are water soluble but don’t dissolve in oil. Judging from
    structure, I would assume that alcohol solubility is also very good.
    To activate the magic blend, crushing works best in fresh form, when the
    glycosidase, hydrolase, and lyase enzymes (the ones which turn the
    harmless stuff into a deadly gas) are fully active and water is present.
    How well drying and then crushing works, IDK. However, these enzymes are
    very effective and ingesting small quantities suffices to degrade the
    precursors and turn even dried plant matter into poisonous food. If you
    were to eat purified cyanogenic glycosides, they are totally safe
    because they don’t degrade to cyanide in our body, they aren’t even
    metabolized and pissed out as is. You might have come across the
    (wrongly) hyped vitamin B17 aka amygdalin, the toxin in bitter almonds
    and apricot kernels; it’s said to cure cancer amongst other miracles.
    Amygdalin is approved as magistral prescription in some EU countries if
    highly purified or synthetic (hence, no enzymes are present).
    So, using dried ripe elderberries for cosmetic concoctions seems to be safe.
    BTW Bitter almond flavor in gastronomy and perfumery is usually derived
    from cheaper apricot kernels and cherry laurel kernels, respectively.
    These contain many thousand times higher amounts of amygdalin and all
    have that typical bitter almond flavor of prussic acid and benzaldehyde
    (don’t ask me why both have a similar flavor but are totally different
    chemicals… maybe one usually occurs in nature only when the other is
    present as well?). Try some dried elderberries, they barely, if ever,
    taste of bitter almonds and even if they do, we can sense very faint
    amounts far from any toxic level.”

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