xantham gum question: when and how to add it in

Hello,

I have recently decided to add a thickener to my vitamin C serum. The thickener in question is Xanthan Gum Clear, from LotionCrafter.com

My question is about if I have integrated it into this formula correctly.

In my formula, you can say I have 3 phases:
- water phase (water, L-Ascorbic acid, sodium lactate)
- glycol phase (propylene glycol, ferulic acid)
- oil phase (polysorbate 80, tocopherol)
- the preservative optiphen, which I add as the very last step. 

The pH is supposed to be 2.5-3

My understanding of how to use a gum
I have never used a thickener before. From research, the consensus seems to be that the most successful way to utilize a gum in a formula is to first make a slurry by combining the gum with vegetable glycerin, a solvent, or oil. After you make the slurry, add in the water phase to the slurry, mixing as you pour it in. It should gel up without clumps. 

My question:
Judging by my 3 phases, is it correct for me to do it in this order:
- first add the xanthan gum to my glycol and oil phases, mixing them together with the gum to make a slurry.
- next, mix in my water phase into this slurry
- lastly, add in the optiphen. 




Does that sound like the correct steps? 

By the way, if you have any critiques of this formula, I am all ears for that as well. 


Comments

  • by the way, I decided to go with xanthan gum in the first place because I was primarily looking for a slip agent; something that would allow me to spread the serum over a greater surface area with ease and smooth glide. if you have any opinions on xanthan gum for that purpose, id love to know. or other slip agents that might be better. Ive heard hyaluronic acid is a good one.

    I will say I avoid silicones, fatty acid and oily ingredients when possible becase my skin breaks out easily from them. 
  • jemolianjemolian Member
    The order looks fine, though you will need to confirm if the grade of xanthan can be stable at that pH, if not most retail versions would also use HA, though it will require sometime to hydrate it fully. Just note that xanthan might be tacky. 
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    Will depend on how much xanthan and what equipment you are using.
    When I DIYed I use xanthan only 0.1-0.2, I added it through a sifter slowly into water under continuous agitation. 
  • jemolian said:
    The order looks fine, though you will need to confirm if the grade of xanthan can be stable at that pH, if not most retail versions would also use HA, though it will require sometime to hydrate it fully. Just note that xanthan might be tacky. 
    Thanks for your comment. If I were to switch to HA instead of the gum, do you think this order would be okay to use as well?
  • Pattsi said:
    Will depend on how much xanthan and what equipment you are using.
    When I DIYed I use xanthan only 0.1-0.2, I added it through a sifter slowly into water under continuous agitation. 
    Thanks. I will keep this method in mind. Are you using an electric latte frother or a whisk for this? With agitation, I always wonder if I would be introducing lots of oxygen into my serum via microscopic bubbles trapped in the gel. What do you think? I wouldn't want to weaken the shelf life or the antioxidants...
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    I would only mix it with some of the glycols and add that to the water phase or the pre-emulsion.
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    I used overhead stirrer.
    As @Pharma suggested, mixing in glycol to prevent clumps. But I was too lazy to do it, I was just testing and playing with ingredients so the method of manufacturing's not my concern.
    HA has a way better skin feel than xanthan, tho you have to check if it can gel at your aimed pH.
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