Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with NAG, ceramides, and quaternized rice

I don't know if you noticed, but I seem to be having a torrid love affair with this new emulsifier, Aristoflex AVC, which can create lotions and gels cold!

N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) It is a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, and has been shown to work well when combined with niacinamide. It can also increase hydration of our skin by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin. It can increase the collagen production and elasticity of the skin, increase the speed of wound healing, and increase exfoliation. Not bad for something you can use at 4% or so!

If you're curious, I bought mine from Lotioncrafter. And I used it in this silicone serum

Phyto-oil C3 from Formulator Sample Shop (INCI Name: Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract & Ceramide 3). It has a suggested usage rate of 1% to 5%, and it's oil soluble. Ceramides are essential for the normal organization of our tissues into structures that are responsible for keeping the barrier function of the skin functioning well, like preventing transepidermal water loss and keeping other things out. They are found in our skin at about 50% by mass. A decrease in ceramides - through aging, exposure to high or low temperatures - can lead to dry skin and itchiness due to a decrease in the efficacy of the stratum corneum's ability to keep water in and other things out. Having said this, I can't guarantee that the Phyto-Oil will do all these things, but I'm really hoping it will!

We all know I'm a big fan of allantoin, so I'm adding it at 0.5% in this lotion.

I do love my cationic polymers, so I'm using quaternized rice protein at 2.5% in this product to offer skin conditioning. You can use any cationic polymer you like from polyquat 7 or honeyquat and so on. Use what you have!

Yerba santa glycoprotein (INCI: Lactobacillus/Eriodictyon Californicum Ferment Extract) is the extract of the yerba santa plant, which is found in California, Oregon, and Northern Mexico. It is a water soluble extract used at 1% to 5% to offer moisturizing and hydrating to our skin. It contains polysaccharides, like aloe vera, that moisturize our skin. It contains glycoproteins that also help with moisturizing our skin. I've seen versions that contain tannins, so this might be an astringent extract, too. It has been used traditionally for respiratory ailments and as a cough medicine. It apparently has a nice flavour, but I'm not trying it to find out! I'm using it here because I can't use aloe vera because of all its lovely electrolytes. I thought this ingredient would offer me those lovely polysaccharides without the gel killing properties of salt!

4% NAG (N-acetyl glucosamine)
0.5% allantoin
3% Phyto-oil
2.5% quaternized rice
3% Yerba santa glycoprotein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
87% distilled water
1% Aristoflex AVC

What do I think of this? I'm really enjoying this one. It's the thinnest of all the products I've made so far with Aristoflex, so it's more like a serum than a lotion. I'm sending this out to my testers, so I'll have more opinions shortly on what they think.

I love the idea of what it does, but I haven't had enough time to see any changes.

What will I do differently next time? I'll add the niacinamide at 2% because that helps boost NAG's efficacy. And I think I'll try using a thickener so I can get more of lotion consistency than a serum consistency. It's not a bad thing to have that consistency, but I do like a lotion!

Related posts:
Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with dimethicone and moringa seed extract
Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with pumpkin seed, allantoin, and sea kelp bioferment
Aristoflex AVC - a serum with Vitamin C and ferulic acid

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! When I mention a shop, it's because I love that shop, not because I've been paid to like them! There are no ads on this blog and never will be! 

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!

I have to stop for a moment and tell you how much I love this new emulsifier. No, you're not getting a body butter using this, but you can get some really lovely light lotions and moisturizers. There are so many possibilities - I've barely scratched the surface, and really need to try using butters and thickeners to see what happens there, then try it in a proper lotion to see how it feels in that - and I will definitely be playing with all these things in the next few weeks and months.

It isn't a cheap emulsifier, but considering you only need 1%, the 500 grams I have will last a freakin' lifetime!  If you are worried about cost, get 50 grams and see how you like playing with it. It's strange to make lotions cold, but so satisfying. Just make sure you use distilled water and the maximum allowable amount of your preservative to make sure you're preventing as much contamination as possible.

 Join me tomorrow as we make another Aristoflex AVC lotion. Next week, we'll be taking a look at a few more cold process emulsifiers, like Emulthix and Sepiplus.


Lise M Andersen said...

Ooh this looks interesting! I've never really had any joy at all from cold emulsifiers. This is one series I am going to be following with great interest!

Deborah Kallevig said...

Fabulous! You have joined the "I love Aristoflex" Club! It really is a dream to work with and I am very excited to see it coming soon to a supplier with no huge minimum order quantity!

Ruth H. said...

So, if I am understanding right ..
You don't have to heat & hold any
Of the ingredients?
Just mix everything together in one container?

Thank you...

Maggie Mahboubian said...

I'm eagerly following your experiments with Aristoflex. However, my brand commitment is to formulate with whole, minimally processed ingredients. Would love to see you cover that at some point, especially with emulsifiers. I think I've milked that area for what it's worth (hint: co-emulsifiers), but I'd love to hear your expert opinion!

Belinda Karst said...

I am loving all the experiments with Aristoflex! I really love the idea of no heat and hold. I can't wait to purchase Aristoflex and start experimenting! Thanks Susan!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lise! This stuff is amazing! I had one lotion fail - I tried using a bunch of extracts, and Aristoflex doesn't play well with them - but otherwise, my lotions are stable! I need to play with thickening them with something like cetyl alcohol, but that will have to wait until my back is completely better!

Hi Deborah! I'm a total convert! I didn't think I'd love a cold emulsifier this much!

Hi Ruth! Yep, it's true. Put the ingredients into the container, blend, done. I am hoping to make a video next weekend so I can share the whole process on the blog.

Hi Belinda! You'll love it! It is a bit addicting to make these lotions because it's so quick!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Maggie! I'm not sure what your definition is of minimally processed, but I have written quite a few lotion recipes with that idea in mind.

Can I be completely honest? It's not a topic that interests me much. Don't get me wrong, I love botanical ingredients a lot, but I love the skin feel I get from using ingredients like Aristoflex and silicones. Veggie oils are great - check out something with kukui nut oil and babassu oil together and fall in love! - but I love adding a bit of dimethicone or IPM to change the skin feel into something less greasy or silky. If you have some ingredients in mind, can you give me some idea on what you consider minimally processed, and I can take a look.

I have written about Ritamulse SCG and Natragem EW, and those are ECOcert emulsifiers. Are there others that interest you? Can you send me some links to emulsifiers that might interest you and I'll take a look. I have a whole bunch of emulsifiers in my workshop I haven't tried yet!

I hope I don't come across as mean here, but I only have so much time in my life, and I can only pursue so many interests!

Denise said...

I have been using Aristoflex and love it just as many others do as well. I just wish that someone in the US was going to sell it regularly as my supply at this rate will run out by December. I purchased a lot, but didn't expect sales to grow as much as they did on a few new items I used with it.

salayna said...

Susan, how do I become one of your testers?

Jodie said...

Hi Susan,
I'm so sorry to hear about your back. I went through something similar when I was pregnant (herniated disc). It got so bad that I had nerve damage, and couldn't toe off when walking. I just wanted to tell you that that was almost 13 years ago, and through being careful, exercise, and losing some weight, I fully recovered and only have occasional flare ups. Hang in there, and hopefully the steroid shots will help you get ahead of the inflammation and on the road to recovery!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Denise! Check out Windy Point for her listing! Your dollar is worth so much more than ours, it works out to $7.50 or something for the 50 gram bag.

Hi Salayna! I have chosen people who live in Canada because it's just too expensive to send anywhere else. If you'd like to be considered, drop me a message and I will put you on the list!

Hi Jodie! I have two herniated disks, but they don't seem to be the problem. They're thinking it's nerve damage, and it's awful! It is getting a bit better, but now I have the stomach flu, so that sucks! Oh well, more time on the couch, I guess.

Ash Sarsakht said...

Hi Susan,

I am making creams and lotions etc.. for about 2 years now. Since I got a chance to know you, I have always love reading your blogs and really learned so much from you, and I appreciate it greatly.

I have one question, you always speak about heat and hold for 20 mins to kill all the possible bacteria, since we dont heat and hold with Aristoflex AVC, is it ok? how about bacteria, am I missing something ?

Also, can I be your hands on student? :) I mean come and learn from you in your workshop, I am not even joking.

Thank you so much,

Miri said...

Hi Susan!

I excitedly bought some Aristoflex AVC, then realized I don't know why. I am a anhydrous kind of gal. What should I do with it? Can we use it in anhydrous formulations?



Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ash! I'll be writing about heat and hold shortly, but no, not everything requires it. There's some evidence showing that heating the water phase for 70˚C for 20 minutes isn't helping to kill contaminants, so it might not be necessary. I'm doing more research into this, and hope to write about it soon.

I'm not sure where you live, but I don't know if my workshop has room for two people who are actively working on projects. My best friend and I squish in there from time to time, but it's very cramped. If you're in the neighbourhood, let me know and maybe we can figure something out!

Hi Miri! You could use it in anhydrous products, but why? Why not try your first lotion with this product? It's super easy - get 5% of an oil, water, 1% Aristoflex AVC, and preservative and you're good to go! Try it! Try it! Try it now!!! You can do it!!!!

Ash Sarsakht said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you for responding to my email and hope you are well, I am not in Vancouver, i am in Toronto. but my brother lives in Vancouver and i can travel there for a week or two..

I have a question,Generally, I am using your guide line of using emulsifying wax ( Polawax) 25% of total oils and 2 to 3 thickener in my cream and lotion, but my cream or lotion leave a white residue on skin. what can I do to eliminate this effect or I am doing anything wrong. Meaning your recipes are my guide line in regard of percentage of ingredients but I alter it according to skin type that I make the cream or lotion, or the oils that i have in my lab.

Thank you so very much for your help.

Ash Sarsakht said...

Hi again Susan,

I just read your blog of April 1, 2016 which you talked about white residue on skin after using cream or lotion, and seems like if stearic acid used is causing the white residue, but I am using Polawax and cetyl alcohol and get white residue on skin, just did want to clarify what I am using. . thanks again and have a great night.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ash! Could you please re-post your question, along with your complete recipe in percentages, in this post on the soaping effect. I like to keep things as organized as possible on the blog, and it helps if your question relates to the post.

BrNy said...

I know this is an old-ish post but thought I'd try my luck anyway.
I made this lotion based off of a recipe I saw at but added NAG at 4% and subtracted 4ml of water (I made 100 g of lotion.) I love the consistency and all but it feels pretty sticky, even after I feel the lotion sank into my skin. Do u suppose maybe the glycerin is what is making the lotion sticky? I'm pretty new to skin care formulations and been following your blog for a few months now (been kinda obsessed a little... or maybe a lot!!) Any input will be greatly appreciated! Recipe as follows:

Phase A
2.00% Glycerin
0.50% Resveratrol

Phase B
83.0% Distilled water (79% actually, because I added NAG at 4%)
4.00% Sea Kelp Bioferment
3.00% Niacinamide
2.00% dl-Panthenol
0.50% Allantoin
0.50% Liquid Germall Plus
3.00% Lotioncrafter FCO

Phase C
1.00% Aristoflex AVC

I simply followed the "how to" instructions and ended up with lovely lotion that is pretty light... but sticky!!! I'll use this up but wanted to tweak the ingredients a bit to get rid of the stickiness.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi BrNy! There are two things in there that can be sticky - glycerin and sea kelp bioferment - so you could try taking those out and making a basic batch with just some oil, water, and Aristoflex to see what you think. Then add one of those ingredients back in and see if that's what is bothering you!

BrNy said...

Hi there, and thanks so much for getting back to me! The batch i made turned a brownish color so i chucked it (could the resveratrol have caused the discoloration ?) and made a new batch sans glycerin or resveratrol and tweaked a bit. To that old recipe I added NAG at 4%, niacinamide at 2% and honeyquat at 3%. I love this new version of the lotion, it's NOT sticky at all and my skin saw good improvement in tone and texture since i started using it. In my experience making facial lotions, glycerin usually makes my pores look enlarged and it breaks me out so I'm leaving that out from now on. Would sodium lactate or sodium pca be good alternatives in lotions made with other emulsifier like BTMS-50 (since aristoflex cant handle sodium?) Can they be used together in a lotion? I am a new, avid reader of your blog and always come here for resources. Thanks in advance for your time!!!

PS: could i also use propanediol 1,3 to dissolve the resveratrol should i decide to make this lotion again?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi BrNy! I'm writing a post or two or three with your questions and some ideas for other people who want a less sticky lotion! You can find part one here - What's making my lotion sticky? (part one) with part two on the way tomorrow.

Thanks for the inspiration!