Sunday, May 27, 2012

Comments about Sucragel, emulsifiers, and natural products...

I thought I'd answer a few comments I've seen this week in this post. Look for a post on Ritamulse SCG later this morning or tomorrow morning.

In response to Catherine, who commented in this post. As I mentioned in the first post on Sucragel, I do not know where to get it. I received mine as a sample from a supplier who was planning to carry it, but I don't see that they have yet. Susie noted in this post that "Aroma Zone sell a product called Gelisucre which has an INCI similar to Sucragel." Aroma Zone is in French, so I think they might in Quebec or France. (I'm leaning towards France...)

allaboutlavender commented in this postThank you for covering emulsifiers! It would be such a time saver to be able to do cold emulsions. However, I did notice that the link supplied by Robert led to formulas using Sucragel that were heated as usual. It also didn't list very long timelines for stability. Is this really a good emulsifier? I guess time will tell.

What do I think about Sucragel? After all the experimenting I've done, I don't think I would throw my Polawax away for Sucragel AOF. It's really quite easy to use it to make a lotion, but I've found the lotions are quite thin and sticky, two things I don't generally like in a lotion. I liked it in moisturizers because it is easy to make something thin and I like it in a spray lotion for the summer, but I find it is missing that oomph I like my in homemade lotions. I think the word I'm thinking of is cushiony - it doesn't have that same elegant feeling as my normal lotions have.

To make a thicker lotion, you really have to use a butter or fatty alcohol, and that requires us to heat the oil phase. You don't have to heat and hold it, just ensure everything has melted, but that means that you aren't really using it cold. From a stability standpoint, I've found it to be stable. I have lotions I made about 12 months ago and others that are at least 18 months old: Some are going rancid, but they are definitely still emulsified.

As I mentioned in my first post on emulsifiers, "I've seen your requests to work with other emulsifiers, but I have to buy all my supplies myself and shipping to Canada can be very expensive, so I'm afraid I can't accommodate those requests." I'd love to try other emulsifiers, but when I have to spend my own money and pay for shipping to Canada, it gets a little pricey. (And if I get it shipped to the border, it means I have to find a time when the line ups aren't huge!) If you have an emulsifier you'd like me to try, I'll happily accept samples or products shipped to me and I'll do some experimenting. I will gleefully write posts about it, but you're getting my opinion, good or bad.

Yolanda commented in this post, P.S. I don't know if you have already but it would be nice to have a scale of how "natural" a product is in its own category: surfactants, thickeners, extra additives (like hydrolyzed protein, panthenol, honeyquat). With the criteria being its processing level, and what its "derived" from, etc.

Although this is a great idea, this isn't something I'm able to do. There would be so much work required - for instance, learning how each ingredient is processed by each manufacturer, if that information isn't considered confidential - and I don't have that kind of time. Also, what's your definition of natural? If we looked at something like Sucragel AOF, would we consider this natural or not? (I don't tend to think of things that have been manufactured as being natural, so I'd put this in the processed category.) And if we consider what something is "derived from", that can be abused like silly! I've seen silicones advertising as being "derived from sand". I think this would be a great topic for someone who was interested in the topic, and I'd definitely link to that blog/website, but I think it's really a massive task!

Why the picture of my dog? I thought she looked curious and adorable, and I figured you were tired of seeing that bottle of Sucragel AOF.


Robert said...

Hi Susan:

It takes a long time and much experimentation to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of a new emsulsifier.

Based on your comments, it seems that Sucragel may not be the best emulsifier for cold process creams and lotions. For warm process creams and lotions you may have achieved a better result (less sticky, thicker and more cushiony) if you had more closely followed the guideline prototype formulations by starting with the CF grade (which contains Caprylic/capric triglycerides) added xanthan gum combined with a guar or cellulose thickener and added a cushiony ester. But, all this is rather complicated and does not give a reason to switch to Sucragel from another emulsifier.

It seems that the greatest strength and uniqueness of Sucragel may be for the formulation of oily gels. Polawax and other (normal) emulsifiers certainly are not able to do this. For those looking to make oily gel formulation, Sucragel may be an emulsifier of choice and worth more experimentation.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...
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Susie said...

Hi Susan,
Yes Aroma Zone is in France. Seems to be a very efficient company order/delivery time is just under a week and prices are comparable to many in the US. I don't know what their delivery charges are out of the country but are free within France. My first lotion with Sucragel (Gelisucre) was not a great success but I think it was my over eagerness to have a thick rather than thin lotion and used Xanthan gum. Feels nice on the skin but needs to be in a pump container so that you don't see the not so luxurious texture - read that as slimy. I am going to give it another try today using Robert's suggestions.
Thanks again for a great blog or should I say one of the best blogs?.

Susie said...

Hi Susan,
I have just tried to make an oily gel using Sucragel - using the directions given by the supplier 20% sucragel and 80% oils - and I have a nicely mixed batch of oils with a texture of castor oil. The mix isn't as thick as the original Sucragel. I then went exploring and found this site: Here it says to gently add the oils whilst propeller stirring. I have asked the supplier for help and will post again if I have anything of value to offer. I tried with 37.5% sucragel and 62.5% oils and still no luck. This time it did thicken a little more but the first batch has now separated with what looks like undissolved sugar sitting on the bottom of the container. Not looking good!!

Susie said...

Hi Susan,
Perhaps Robert can give some insight as to how to
formulate oily gels, as he says:
"It seems that the greatest strength and uniqueness of Sucragel may be for the formulation of oily gels".
Frustration is setting in.
Like you I am thinking that the mixer isn't up to the job.

Ruth said...

your dog is adorable..
she looks like she is wondering what you are
stirring in a pot, maybe wondering if it is something for her/he...

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ruth. When she cocks her head like that, I always hear her saying, "Bacon? Bacon! Bacon? Bacon!" (My husband does her voice and it's so adorable!)

Nancy Liedel said...

An adorable dog will drag me into a post faster than a fabulous looking bottle will any day. I am a junkie for cute dogs. Cute having more to do with personality than actual looks. My seriously ugly 20 year old Pom is cute to me because he's funny and dramatic. I loves hims. I love the Husky too, but pretty is as pretty does and she steals food. :)

LizziA said...
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LizziA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LizziA said...


I was looking at courses for making own skin care products and found your blog when typing "what is sucragel" in Google to find out what Sucragel was as website with courses on talk about using Sucragel for making toners, cleansers, lotions and creams but appears these creams may be watery or thin ones and I like thick creams too. They claim it is a natural emulsifier and I wanted to see what it was made of. I've found this out now.

The website I was looking at for making own product courses, on their Sucragel course it claimed it looked and felt like Vaseline. Is this true? (Not going to do this as course is expensive).

However this website (UK based)that does this course may sell Sucragel if they do courses using these products. (Type in making own beauty products in Google you'll see different links in search engine). In noticed the website that does courses comes up when type in Sucragel in Google as well.

I'd like to say that your dog looks really cute.

marzena hawkins said...

I was interested in sucragel and watched u-tube videos show to mix it. It looked preattu easy and they did use Mixer with properel. Did you used mixer to blend?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Marzena. Check out this post on Sucragel AOF I wrote for more information.