Alpha lipoic acid

Hello Guys, I would like to add to my formulation alpha lipoic acid (R), one of the supplier suggest the usage of 0.25% to perform as an antioxidant. Is it enough? Is it a realy good antioxidant ingredient? Is there a solid science behind? What other synergetic ingredients to use with it? Any thoughts and opinions? 


  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    ALA would not be near the top of the list in my choice of antioxidants.

    It is of a yellow colour - which it can impart into the product. It smells appalling - which it can impart into the product and it is unstable - requiring careful formulation control to maintain stability.

    Unless you want to make a virtue about ALA being present, I would avoid.
  • Hmm, thank johnb. So which antioxidant is on the top of your list? I appreciate if you can share... Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate? Idebenone or Astaxanthin perhaps? I am beginning Formulator so please advise me, which of antioxidants would be pretty easy to use and quite stable in my formulation. 
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    My list varies depending on the product that the antioxidant is intended to protect. An aqueous formulation requires a different A/O to that required for an oil.

    You have obviously been influenced by the exotic. Idebenone or astaxanthin would most likely never appear on my list due to cost and rarity (I suppose I might include astaxanthin if I wanted an intense colour imparting).

    If you can give a clue as to the type of product you are trying to protect, I'm sure someone can offer some practical ideas.
  • Ok, here I am formulating a face cream for a mature, dry skin. I am trying to stick to the "natural" ingredients  as much as possible. This product feels good on the face, but I would like to add more antioxidants. 
    my formulation contains: green tea extract, glycerin, honeyquat, silk proteins, oat proteins, Panthenol, niacamide, n-acetylglucosamide, hyialuric acid, borage oil, squalane, cocoa, Olivem 1000, cetyl alcohol, vit E, optiphen ND,
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    You already have vitamin E (tocopherol) present and green tea. Do you really want to use others as well?
    It is known that with certain antioxidant materials (not necessarity tocopoherol) that using excess/and or using certain antioxidant mixtures can act in a completely opposite way and be a pro-oxidant. I'm not necessarily indicating that your formula will do that but there is very often a case to be said for "less is more".
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