Monday, February 22, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC - a light lotion with pumpkin seed oil, allantoin and bull kelp bioferment

I've been in the workshop playing with Aristoflex AVC, a new to me all-in-one emulsifier that creates gels and light lotions at only 1%! It's also a cold emulsifier, meaning no heating required, which is why I can make 8 in one day! On Thursday, I introduced you to a moisturizer with moringa seed oil extract (or C12-15 alkyl benzoate) and dimethicone as our only oils. Today, I tried something different.

You may know of my love of pumpkin seed oil already. It's no secret I think this oil is inexpensive, well balanced, and slightly greasy. I decided it could be the only oil in this recipe. I added sea kelp bioferment - as a film former and oil free emollient because I'm not sure yet if I can use proteins with this emulsifier.

Mine is a gel from the Formulator Sample Shop, but you may find it in other viscosities at other shops. Lotioncrafter's version is also a gel

I included allantoin at 0.5% as it's a great barrier protector, moisture binder, anti-irritant, and keratolytic that's approved to help chapped, chafed, cracked, or windburned skin. I love this ingredient, and you use so little and get so much from it!

I included glycerin as it's not a proper lotion to me without a nice humectant. I used 4% in this recipe because my hand slipped! I originally wanted 3%, but I guess 4% it is!

I want to note that I based this recipe on one I read from Nanette in the Aristoflex AVC Facebook group. I saw she had used the sea kelp bioferment and figured I'd give it a try! Good job, Nanette! 

84% distilled water
5% pumpkin seed oil
5% sea kelp bioferment
4% glycerin
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% Aristoflex

Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container, then add the glycerin, bull kelp bioferment, and allantoin. Add Aristoflex AVC, and preservative in that order. Mix well. Bottle and rejoice!

I did mention these lotions are made cold, right? It's amazing to realize that it probably took more time to come up with the recipe and get the ingredients from their boxes than it did to actually make hte lotion. It's pretty amazing!

What do I think of this lotion? It's an awesome light lotion, and it feels quite lovely on my skin. I really like the extra greasiness I'm getting from the pumpkin seed oil and I think I can feel a difference in the amount of hydration I'm getting from the product. I think it's weird that it feels thinner than the lotion I made on Thursday as I'm using a thicker oil.

This emulsifier can get picky around proteins and electrolytes, so perhaps the sea kelp bioferment was too much, hence the thinner viscosity? Not sure, but I do like the texture very much.

Working with Aristoflex means you have a small oil phase, and I'm working hard to find water soluble ingredients that do what I might find in oils. I'm also not able to work with proteins - which I love - and possibly cationic ingredients, so I have to choose from ingredients outside my regular rotation. I love a good challenge, which is why you'll see many more lotions with this ingredient!

For those of you interested in finding Aristoflex AVC, Michele at Windy Point Soap (Alberta) has it coming in a few weeks! If you're in Canada, this is a woo hoo situation for us! If you're in the States, your dollar is worth something like ten of ours, so order from her too and rejoice that you have spent way less than you expected!

Please note that, as usual, I have not been compensated in any way for using ingredients or writing about them on the blog. I have been sent free ingredients by Formulator Sample Shop that I am using in my products, but I do that because I love them! 

Join me tomorrow when we'll make a Vitamin C and ferulic acid serum using Aristoflex AVC!


Pepper7 said...

Good morning Susan,
I love pumpkin oil also FYI, I used that oil and pumpkin seed extract in a lotion I made with this emulsifier and the texture wasn't effected at all.
So add pumpkin seed extract to the list of "ok to use" ingredients if you want !

terriblybadgrrl said...

Hey Susan,
Since Aristoflex AVC seems to have quite a few limitations as to reacting with some ingredients, might not Sclerotium Gum be a better choice? Unless it's excellent suspension properties(Sclerotium Gum) do not equal emulsification per se?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pepper7! Where did you get that extract?

Hi terriblybadgrrl! Have you made a lotion with sclerotium gum? I have tried it in a few different products - a face wash, body wash, and facial serum - and really didn't like it much. I couldn't get it suspend anything and it didn't make a very good gel. Would you be willing to share a recipe that worked for you?

No, suspension doesn't equal emulsification, unfortunately. I think I know something about this ingredient, but I can't find my notebook, which is freaking me out a bit as it's got all my recent experiments in it! I'll keep looking!

terriblybadgrrl said...

Susan dear,
In my ever experimenting experience, yes, Sclerotium Gum takes quite a bit of playing around for me to be able to put it to good use. On it's own, 1-2% makes serious gel! 1% in water is enough really, but it does seem that it can't be trusted to gel if merely added in powder form to a water phase with a plethora of other ingredients...So I do hydrate it alone with water, and add it separately while including in the overall water percentage, and then it really helps pull everything together.
I've gone up to 2% because it didn't seem to like cohabiting with the ingredients in my C serum and would lose it's viscosity. I've yet to figure it out, since I originally purchased it to have Fruit Acids suspended in it due to SG's supposed wide PH range and ionic charge(I need to recheck that, but that was one of my initial reasons after reading your warning and instructions with Fruit Acids in formulas).
As to sharing a recipe, I'd be happy to, once I get all my notes (a mess!!!)together. For the most part, I add it fully gelled to the final phase while mixing everything together, as said, counting as part of water phase.
I know it sounds as though "suspension doesn't equal emulsification" is self explanatory, but if you care elaborating I'd be most grateful! Does this mean whatever is "suspended" might not be as active or penetrating?


Kirsten Thomas. said...

Hi Susan, I made a recipe similar to this, but instead of using pumpkin seed oil, I used kukui and then added some pumpkin seed extract. I love the stuff, but it did turn from an off white to a yellowish color after a couple of weeks. I was guessing oxidazation, and then I heard from someone online that she had a similar thing happen, that the viscosity of the aristoflex was broken down somewhat by the pumpkin seed extract. Have you run into this before with either extracts, or extracts with aristoflex? I have written to ask the manufacturer, because I love my facial serum, and just don't want it changing color. Also concerned that the change in color could signal that it's stability will be compromised. Thanks, Kirsten