Formulating a Light Moisture Cream with Xanthan and Emulsifiers

The current trend is to make moisture creams that break on skin application to create a water release. This makes the cream easily absorbed as well as providing light hydration to the skin on hydration.
Olus Oil is a light and easily asborbed oil which is solid at room temperature and stops skin water loss making it ideal for use in a light moisture cream base
Olus Oil is a light and easily asborbed oil which is solid at room temperature and stops skin water loss making it ideal for use in a light moisture cream base

Light Moisture Cream Formulating with natural ingredients

The current trend is to make moisture cream that will break on skin application to create a water release.  This makes the cream easily absorbed as well as providing light hydration to the skin on hydration.

One of the most common questions by our customers is how to make one of these creams, so we’ve made this quick guide to give you the basics of formulating a light cream for skincare use.

Xanthan Gum for thickening moisture cream buy onlineXanthan Gum

The key to making these formulas work is Xanthan Gum, used at low quantities, Xanthan imparts a silky texture, stabilises the emulsion and allows excellent absorption of the cream into the skin.

Many worry about working with Xanthan Gum, but it is one of the easiest materials to work with, once you know how and have a little experience.  It is highly tolerant to salts, pH change and heat, meaning you can use it wherever works best in your recipe formulation.

At Naturallythinking we like to add our Xanthan Gum to Glycerine. As Glycerine (Vegetable based of course) is in most of our recipes, adding Xanthan Gum together with the glycerine is easily possible.

Why do we add the Xanthan and Glycerine together?

Xanthan Gum is miscible in Glycerine, in simple terms the glycerine will suspend the Xanthan Gum powder and make it paste like. Trying to directly add Xanthan Gum to water can be difficult and requires a lot of agitation to make mix, it also limits you to only being able to add the Xanthan Gum at water stage, something you do not always want to do. By adding to Glycerine, the paste can be added at virtually any stage of production to give the best mixing and blending possibilities.

Choosing our Light Moisture Cream Ingredients.

IMG_7897 (002)We are going to make our light moisture cream, by using the common moisture cream ingredients: Glyceryl stearate, Stearic acid and Cetyl alcohol. In addition we are going to add some Vegetable based oil to give the cream some substance and skin moisturising benefits. For this recipe we will use Light Coconut Oil (easily absorbed by the skin and providing antibacterial protection) and Olus Oil (excellent protection against Trans Epidermal Water Loss (keeps the water in your skin)).

As we have water in our recipe we will require a preservative. For this recipe we will be using Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin. This can easily be substituted for a preservative of your choice, if you prefer to use a different preservative.

Lupine Seed Extract for silky smooth skinAs we will be adding some essential oils, we will also add some Vitamin E. Vitamin E isn’t a preservative, it is an antioxidant and this will be required to stop peroxides forming in our essential oils and keep our product fresh. You can use either natural Vitamin E (Tocopherol) or synthetic Vitamin E (Tocopheryl acetate).

We will add an active to this light moisture cream. This isn’t a requirement, this is done to enhance the skin benefits of our formulation. For this product we will use Lupine Seed Extract, for the skin smoothing properties.

We will keep our essential oil blend simple and light. For our Light Moisture Cream we will use Sweet Orange Essential Oil and Geranium Essential Oil. The oil combination will help stimulate a healthy circulation and regulate sebum levels in the skin.

The Light Moisture Cream Recipe

All the ingredients for our recipe are given in grams (g). It is best to weigh all ingredients for an accurate recipe. The following ingredients are to produce 1kg of your finished product.

788.5g Aqua (De-ionised Water)
30g Glycerine (Veg)
2g Xanthan Gum
50g Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Light / Fractionated Coconut)
100g Olus Oil
0.5g Stearic acid
10g Glyceryl stearate
5g Cetyl alcohol
2g Tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E)
1g Citrus aurantium (Sweet Orange Essential Oil)
1g Pelargonium roseum (Geranium Essential Oil)
10g Phenoxyethanol & Ethylhexylglycerin (Preservative)

The equipment you will require

When making at home, you will require the following equipment to produce the Light Moisture Cream formulation.

  •  Weighing Scales (for the smaller weights using a jewellery scale can be the easiest and most accurate way of measuring. Jewellery scales can be purchased for less than £10 on websites such as ebay. Please bare in mind if you are making this recipes commercially, trading standards approved scales will be required).
  • Thermometer
  • Bain Marie or Microwave (You cannot directly heat the oils and waxes, you can use a Bain Marie to heat up your oils and water, or a microwave is an easier and just effective option).
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Measuring Beakers (1 is enough if you wash out between ingredients, we recommend 3 – 4 measuring jugs to pre-measure and weight your ingredients)
  • Blender
  • Jar(s) to package your final products

Producing your Light Moisture Cream

  1. Place your Glycerine in a bowl and add your Xanthan Gum, stir vigorously so that the Glycerine and Xanthan Gum become a paste. Place your pre-blended paste to one side.
  2. Combine your Oils (Capyrlic/Capric Triglyceride and Olus Oil) together and add your emulsifiers and waxes (Stearic acid, Glycerly stearate, Cetyl alcohol).
  3. Melt your Oil and Emulsifier blend either using a bain marie or in the microwave. Ensure you use a microwave proof bowl for the melting and it is best to use a bowl that will have the capacity to to add the rest of your ingredients to.
  4. In a seperate bowl heat your water to 70c
  5. Add your hot water from (4) above with your melted oils and waxes from (3) , stirring vigorously.
  6. Add your Xanthan Gum mix from (1) above to your water and oil mix (5)
  7. Blend the oil, water and xanthan gum together with a blender for 2 minutes
  8. Continue to stir until the temperature of your mix drops below 40c
  9. Add your Vitamin E and Preservative and blend again for 1 minute
  10. Add your Essential Oils and Lupine Seed Extract
  11. Blend for 1 minute
  12. Stir until the temperature reaches 35c and then leave to cool. You can put it in a fridge / freezer to accelerate cooling.

Notes to Making adjustments to the Light Moisture Cream formula

Increasing or decreasing the levels of Stearic acid and Glyceryl stearate will adjust the viscosity and thickness of the product. The higher the levels, the more “creamy” the final product will become.

Increasing or decreasing the levels of Cetyl alcohol will change the “waxiness” of the final formula. More Cetyl alcohol will make the final formula more waxy.

You could add additional oils and actives to the above formula, depending upon the purpose of your final product.

Changing the level of Xanthan Gum can adjust viscosity, more Xanthan Gum will increase the thickness.. though too much could make your cream harder to absorb or too sticky.






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