Ammonia Odor-Xanthum Gum

1. Which of the following ingredients might react with Xanthum Gum and give off an ammonia like odor? 

Aqua, Sodium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, CI 77491, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethylaminoethanol Tartrate , Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Xanthan Gum, Pichia/Resveratrol Ferment Extract , Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate.

2. Any suggestions on how to prevent the reaction?


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    None of them, actually. There's no NH- radicals in there. Why do you think the gum is reacting?
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • My client states that it's not until he adds the xanthum gum to the formula that an ammonia odor develops.

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    what's the final pH, and the method of manufacture?

    my hunch is that it's most likely the dimethylaminoethanol tartrate, since it's the only amine in the formula

    also, I might add that sodium silicate is classified as corrosive to the skin, and unless it's formulated at neutral or acidic pH it is extremely problematic in terms of safety
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • What about when you do it as there is no obvious reaction 
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    edited March 2017
    Almost certainly the DEANOL tartrate decmposing under the alkaline conditions formed by the sodium silicate. DEANOL free base has a very strong ammoniacal odour. I very much doubt is has anything to do with the xanthan (note spelling) gum.

    I'm assuming the product under discussion is a (temporary) wrinkle remover. If it is, be very careful in formulating to avoid adverse reactions from the silicate - which is available in a number of grades, some of which are VERY alkaline (sodium metasilicate and, more so, sodium orthosilicate). A fairly pH neutral grade sold as "water glass" is nearer to the grade needed although this is not stated in the Kligmann Patent for this product.

    Personally, I would avoid this product.
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