It can potentially make clear gels. It's suggested that you use up to 5% glycerin to help make it clearer. I have not tried a clear gel, so I can't speak from experience.
You can use it with up to 50% ethanol to make hydro-alcoholic gels. (This could be good for use with salicylic acid.) In this case, add the water and alcohol mix to the Aristoflex. If you have dissolved an active ingredient in alcohol like bisabolol or salicylic acid, make the gel with the Aristoflex and water, then add the alcohol mix to the gel slowly while mixing.
This is how you use this ingredient on its own: Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container. Then add your other water soluble ingredients. Add your active ingredients, then the oil, then the Aristoflex AVC and your preservative. Mix well. Bottle it and rejoice!
Did you notice something in those instructions? Yep, there's no heating and holding with this emulsifier. You can if you want, but it isn't necessary to make a light lotion with 5% oils or silicones.
If you want to use it in a lotion to give it a more cushiony feel, add 0.3% to 0.8% Aristoflex AVC in your oil phase in place of other thickeners, like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid. Check your lotion recipe for things you shouldn't have in there, like electrolytes, and you'll find your lotion feels lighter than the regular recipe without it.
What do I think? I love this stuff! It is so easy to make a lotion - maybe 10 minutes at the most, and that includes getting the ingredients, bottle, and mixing container ready, plugging in my stick blender, and getting it into bottles. It doesn't take much oil - 5% for oils and silicones, including oil soluble ingredients - so it's not going to make you a body butter, but it's amazing for body milks, facial moisturizers, gels, and light lotions. The lotion itself is quite soft and easy to use. I've made quite a few versions, as you'll see over the next few days, and they all feel quite silky and less greasy than I expected.
In North America, we have one choice for this emulsifier: Windy Point Soap (Canadian). It'll be $10 for 50 grams, $17 for 100 grams, $37 for 250 grams.
I know this might seem like a lot, but compare this to Polawax at $17 for 454 grams (1 pound) or $19.75 for 227 grams for Incroquat BTMS-50 and it seems more expensive. But if you consider how much you're using - compare 1% Aristoflex AVC to 4% or more Polawax or Incroquat BTMS for a light lotion - and it's around the same price range. (35 cents for BTMS, 15 cents for Polawax versus 20 cents for Aristoflex AVC.)
If you know of another supplier anywhere in the world, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know so I can update the post!
Aristoflex AVC (INCI Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer
A white powder
Works in pH 4 to 9. (Higher than pH 9 will release ammonia! Not good!)
Suggested usage 0.5% to 1.2% to emulsify up to 5% oils.
Can be used warm or cold.
Can be used to thicken lotions or on its own. Add to the heated oil phase in a lotion at 0.3% to 0.8%.
Doesn't like electrolytes.
Click here to read the data bulletin on this ingredient. Click here for more information on how to use it,
A huge thank you to Jane Barber of Making Skincare for all the information she has provided about this emulsifier. And a huge thank you to Esther for sending the product out to me and for the starter recipe she shared!
Join me tomorrow to see one of a few recipes I've made with this ingredient!