Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Newbie Tuesday: Gels, gels, gels! Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20

Last week, we met our gelling agents - Ultrez 20, a carbomer that has to be neturalized with something like triethanolamine or 18% lye, and Sepimax Zen, a pre-neutralized polymer. We'll play with Ultrez 20 this week and Sepimax Zen next week.

There are two ways to make something with Ultrez 20: You can add all the ingredients, then neutralize it, or you can make up a gel and add our ingredients to it after neutralization.

Let's take a look at the first way of making a gel with Ultrez 20 in this post.

Let's say you wanted to make a lovely gelled toner, like this simple rosewater from the first post on toners.

SIMPLE TONER FOR NORMAL SKIN - ROSE WATER & CHAMOMILE
HEATED WATER PHASE
56% distilled water
20% witch hazel
20% rose water or other hydrosol
2% glycerin, sodium lactate, or propylene glycol
0.5% allantoin

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% powdered cucumber or green tea extract
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

First, check to see if there are any ingredients that aren't compatible with Ultrez 20. 
Are there any cationic or positively charged ingredients? Nope.
Are there any that contain a lot of electrolytes? We'd have to leave out sodium lactate, but otherwise, nope!
Are there any salts? Again, nope.
So this recipe can be turned into a gel very easily! Yay!
Remember not to add any aloe vera liquid to this recipe as it's full of salts!

Second, consider how thick you want to make this product. 
If we add enough Ultrez 20 to make a thick gel - about 1.2% - we should get a nice, thick toner that will spread easily on our skin.

1.2% Carbopol Ultrez 20
1.6% triethanolamine or 18% lye solution*

So we'll need to remove 2.8% from the distilled water amount. (When we add something to the recipe, we always remove it from the distilled water amount. We have 2.8% extra here, so we remove 2.8% from the distilled water amount.)

Third, make the product! 

SIMPLE GELLED TONER FOR NORMAL SKIN - ROSE WATER & CHAMOMILE
WATER PHASE
43.2% distilled water
20% witch hazel
20% rose water or other hydrosol
2% glycerin or propylene glycol
0.5% allantoin
1.2% Ultrez 20

NEUTRALIZATION PHASE
1.6% triethanolamine or 18% lye solution

EXTRACTS AND PRESERVATIVES PHASE
10% distilled water, slightly warmed
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% powdered cucumber or green tea extract
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

1. Add all the ingredients in the water phase, except the Ultrez 20, in order into a container.

2. Add your Ultrez 20 to water and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, depending upon how much powder you have used. (0.5% takes 3 minutes, up to 3% takes 5 minutes). Mix gently to get all the flakes wet. You'll know they're wet enough when they are transparent or clear in the container, like the picture to the left.

3. Add the neutralizer. This is a very alkaline ingredient that you add to the very acidic Ultrez 20 to create the gel. You can use an 18% sodium hydroxide solution, an 18% potassium hydroxide solution, or triethanolamine.

4. Dissolve the powdered extracts into about 10% slightly warmed distilled water and mix until dissolved. Add this along with the liquid Germall Plus and mix well.

5. You're done! Yay!

If you find this product is too thick for your tastes, you can reduce the amount of Ultrez 20 you use to 0.9% and use 1.2% neutralizer. If it's still too thick, reduce the amount of Ultrez 20 to 0.6% to 0.8% neutralizer.

Or you could add something like aloe vera at 10%, which will reduce the viscosity quite a bit - more than it would by just adding more water.

Or you could add a hydrolyzed protein at 2%. It's amazing how a very thick gel can become very thin by the inclusion of just 2% silk amino acids!

Let's take a look at how to modfy this more complicated toner from the second post on creating toners...

MODIFIED TONER FOR DRY SKIN WITH POLYQUATERNIUM 7
HEATED WATER PHASE
53% distilled water
20% rose water or lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
5% witch hazel
2% polyquaternium 7
2% silk amino acids
2% glycerin
2% sodium lactate
0.5% allantoin

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered cucumber extract
0.5% powdered chamomile extract

0.5% liquid Germall Plus

First, check to see if there are any ingredients that aren't compatible with Ultrez 20. 
Are there any cationic or positively charged ingredients? Yes, polyquaternium 7 and silk amino acids are not compatible here.
Are there any that contain a lot of electrolytes? Yes, we have aloe vera.
Are there any salts? Sodium lactate and aloe vera.

What do we do, then? We can remove those ingredients easily, and replace them with more distilled water. But don't we want the properties those ingredients added to our product?

Part 1A: Alter the recipe or accept that we can't gel it! But the whole point is to gel this toner, so let's choose the former option and modify our recipe!

If we want a film former, sea kelp extract or bioferment offers some nice film forming without thinning out the gel. Add it up to 5% or so. I'll use it at 3% in this recipe.

If we want another humectant, we could increase the glycerin to add more - I wouldn't go over 4% as this could get sticky - or add something like propylene glycol or propanediol (aka Zemea, which is more natural).

If we want a skin conditioner like polyquat 7, we can use something like the sea kelp for it, but there's really no great substitute for a cationic ingredient. I'd say just add 2% distilled water back into the product.

So we are taking 16% worth of ingredients out of the toner - 10% aloe vera, 2% sodium lactate, 2% polyquat 7, and 2% silk amino acids - and we're adding 7.8% worth of ingredients back - 3% sea kelp extract, 2% extra glycerin, 1.2% Ultrez 20, and 1.6% TEA or 18% lye solution. So we need to add 8.2% distilled water to the mix. (See below for how this looks...)

Second, consider how thick you want to make this product. 
If we add enough Ultrez 20 to make a thick gel - about 1.2% - we should get a nice, thick toner that will spread easily on our skin.

1.2% Carbopol Ultrez 20
1.6% triethanolamine or 18% lye solution*

So we'll need to remove 2.8% from the distilled water amount (which we did above).

Third, make the product! 

MODIFIED GELLED TONER FOR DRY SKIN 
WATER PHASE
51.2% distilled water
20% rose water or lavender hydrosol
5% witch hazel
4% glycerin (or 2% glycerin, 2% propylene glycol or Zemea)
3% sea kelp or bull kelp bioferment
0.5% allantoin
1.2% Ultrez 20

NEUTRALIZATION PHASE
1.6% triethanolamine or 18% lye solution

SLIGHTLY WARMED WATER PHASE
10% distilled water
0.5% powdered cucumber extract
0.5% powdered chamomile extract

LAST PHASE
2% panthenol
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

1. Add all the ingredients in the water phase, except the Ultrez 20, in order into a container.

2. Add your Ultrez 20 to water and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, depending upon how much powder you have used. (0.5% takes 3 minutes, up to 3% takes 5 minutes). Mix gently to get all the flakes wet. You'll know they're wet enough when they are transparent or clear in the container, like the picture to the left.

3. Add the neutralizer. This is a very alkaline ingredient that you add to the very acidic Ultrez 20 to create the gel. You can use an 18% sodium hydroxide solution, an 18% potassium hydroxide solution, or triethanolamine.

4. Dissolve the powdered extracts into about 10% slightly warmed distilled water and mix until dissolved. Add this along with the liquid Germall Plus and mix well.

5. You're done! Yay!

If you find this too thick, please see the notes above to thin it out, or join me either later this week or next Tuesday - depending upon how you answer the question below - to see how to make a gel to which we can add all kinds of lovely ingredients!

Question to you, my lovely readers: Would you like to see me write up more recipes on how to adapt your products to be gelled - for instance, more toners, facial cleansers, eye gels, and so on - or can you figure out how to do that on your own? Please respond as soon as you can as that'll help me decide what to write about over the next few days and into next week. Thanks! 

7 comments:

Uvesh Patel said...

hi susan,


how can we add fragranbe in this gelled toner?

in which phase?

can we mix with solubilizer first and than add? if yes which solubilizer should u prefer?


if direct adding fragrance----will it not opacify the product?


tnx in advance!

Lynae said...

Loving this series on gels but I have a question. In your intro to ultrez 20 you suggested 1.5g triethenolamine to 1g of ultrez but in this recipe you were using 1.33 g to 1g. How specific should one be to keep this in a safe and effective ph range?

Leslie Dimond said...

Hi Susan,
I am so excited to read and soon experiment with gels. I for one would like more examples as I'm not great at seeing the forest through the trees. :)
Leslie

Lorraine St. Louis said...

Hi Susan,

I just made my donation and am super excited about receiving your e-book.
Thanks for all of the great information you provide online as well.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lynae! You wrote: "In your intro to ultrez 20 you suggested 1.5g triethenolamine to 1g of ultrez but in this recipe you were using 1.33 g to 1g. How specific should one be to keep this in a safe and effective ph range?"

In this post on Ultrez 20, I suggested this recipe...

MAKING A THICK GEL WITH ULTREZ 20
96.5% distilled water
1.2% Carbopol Ultrez 20
1.6% triethanolamine or 18% lye solution*
0.5% liquid Germall Plus (or preservative of choice)

So it was 1.6% TEA to 1.2% Ultrez 20, a 4:3 ratio of TEA to Ultrez 20 to make a thick gel. In this post, I suggested using this same ratio in both recipes. In my side notes about making a thinner gel, I suggest using 1.2% TEA to 0.9% Ultrez 20 or 0.8% TEA to 0.6% Ultrez 20, both of which work out to a 4:3 ratio of TEA to Ultrez 20.

In the original post, I note we can use 1.5% TEA to 1% Ultrez 20, a 3:2 ratio. Using a 4:3 ratio means I'm using less TEA and the pH should remain in the acidic range. (TEA is basic, Ultrez 20 more acidic.) I work all my recipes with a 4:3 ratio, and they work well and test in the acidic range when I use my lovely meter. (A 4:3 ratio would be 1.2% TEA to 0.9% Ultrez 20 compared to 1.2% TEA to 0.8% Ultrez 20, so I'm using more Ultrez 20 there.)

To answer your question, be as specific as you can be, but it's not the end of the world if you add a titch more, like 0.1% or 0.2% more. If you'll be working with gels quite a bit, I encourage you to get a good scale that measures down to 0.01 grams and a pH meter. Or use a gel that doesn't need neutralizing, like Sepimax ZEN, Sepinov EMT, or sodium carbomer, to name a few.

I'm sorry but I'm not sure where I used 1.33 grams TEA to 1 gram Ultrez 20. If you could share that with the link, I will be able to correct any mistakes.

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KMY said...

I love all the gel posts & the ezine. I'm looking for guidance (hopefully from you) on making a hydro-alcoholic gel. In it I plan to use some cosmeceuticals, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving ingredients. I use an expensive prescription gel/cream on my sore-from-fibromyalgia muscles.I can get all but one of the active ingredients; a few are alcohol-soluble, one is PropGly-soluble, & the rest are water-soluble. I hate the Px one because it is in a petroleum mineral oil base; it really clogs & blocks my pores, which in the summer is intolerable with my hot flashes. Anyway I'm just asking & hoping you can make a hydro-alcoholic gel with the appropriate gellifier so I can learn how to make it properly for my needs. I don't sell any products BTW. Thanks!