Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC - a facial serum with Vitamin C and ferulic acid

I liked yesterday's lotion and I really liked last week's lotion with Aristoflex AVC. But there are more experiments to be done, so let's take a look at a Vitamin C and ferulic acid serum made with this new emulsifier!

The main ingredients in this recipe are ferulic acid and Vitamin C, a combination that is purported to do all kinds of lovely things for our skin. It is the combination found in a very expensive serum, and I think it's one of the things that DIYers try when they learn about making products.

Ferulic acid is a polyphenol that offers good anti-oxidizing properties that can moisturize skin, help with light and weather damage, and might help tone down age spots. It might help stabilize Vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) in our products. It should be good for protection against skin cancer and wrinkles and age spots caused by sun exposure because it protects against oxidative stress. It isn't cheap - 1 gram goes for $2.95 at Lotioncrafter - but we only use a titch in a product at around 0.5%.

Ferulic acid isn't very soluble, so we have to mix it into propylene glycol or glycerin before adding it to the product. Mix it very well, then add it to the lotion or other product you're making.

I'm adding the glycerin as it's a great humectant, but also a vehicle for dissolving the ferulic acid. I'm not using propylene glycol, even though it's more effective, because I don't have any. If I did, I'd use it in this recipe at 3% or so.

MAP liposome - Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, INCI Water & Phospholipids & Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, from the Formulator Sample Shop - is a water soluble Vitamin C product that we can add to our products. (I've used it like an oil in this recipe as I originally thought it was oil soluble). It has been proven in studies to be an anti-inflammatory that can stimulate collagen formation, lighten skin, treat hyperpigmentation, and heal wounds. Vitamin C is a very unstable ingredient - you can't just get some ascorbic acid and put it into the water phase of something and hope that it works - so you use a version made more stable in some way.

Why am I adding it? Because I'm constantly asked for a Vitamin C serum, and thought this could be a great time to try it. There are some good studies to show that it can be effective for our skin, but I'm still not sold because there seem to be a lot of things one has to do to make sure it's stable in a lotion, like have a low pH, use opaque containers, and so on. I don't know that there aren't other cheaper and easier to use ingredients that will have the same effect. That's why I'm making this and sharing with my testers to see what they think.

If you want to make this and you have some ascorbic acid, you can't just add a bunch of it to the recipe. As I mention above, it's not stable in water, so you'll need to get another version that is stable in a product, like the MAP I mention above. 

89% distilled water
5% MAP liposome
3% glycerin
0.5% ferulic acid
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% Aristoflex AVC

Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container. Measure the glycerin into a small shot glass, then add the ferulic acid and stir until dissolved. Add this to the container. Add 5% MAP, liquid Germall Plus, then the Aristoflex AVC. Mix well. Bottle and rejoice!

What do I think of this lotion? I like it. It feels very nice on my skin, very light, more like a serum than a lotion. It's thinner than the last two lotions by quite a bit, and I'm wondering if I couldn't make it a bit thicker with a titch of cetyl alcohol or behenyl alcohol?

This one is definitely going out to my testers for their opinions, which I'll share as they come in!

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!

Join me tomorrow for another Aristoflex AVC lotion with N-acetyl glucosamine, ceramides, and more! 


terriblybadgrrl said...

Susan dear,

Thank you for posting this version and more importantly opening a discussion on this much needed and controversial topic:
1. I must ask why you've only used 5% MAP...Every research I've read claims that concentration should be 20% to really work, although 5% to 15% are on the market, and of course, not everyone can tolerate the serum at 20%, hence it should be built up slowly...Fortunately, my skin is fine with 20%, but that is first issue of confusion for me. What was the final PH of your lotion? As you know, it's just as important that PH must be lower than 3.5.
2. I've been coveting and wondering lots about liposomal C and was about to get a relatively cheap device to make my own, when came across the following article and link:
"Encasing a molecule in a liposome is a technique devised by cosmetic chemists to impart stability and penetration properties to AA and other molecules. The molecule is wrapped in a bubble of lipids (the liposome) making it oil soluble which is a really bad idea when it comes to vitamins. Worse, chemists use ascorbyl palmitate when making liposome vitamin C. The addition of more lipids (the liposome) may only worsen the ingredient’s toxicity. Please see our post “Why it can be Disastrous to use the Wrong Vitamin C” for details." See full article @http://feleciaroselabs.com/is-my-expensive-vitamin-c-serum-killing-my-skin/
I'm still trying to wrap my brains round this one. Been wanting to ask your opinion about that for a while now.
3. Why no vit E that is supposed to be working synergistically with the C? Incidentally, and accidentally, I'd purchased the water soluble powder E, which I wonder if is as effective in the case of this particular combo, but that's another topic, I know.

As for adding Cetyl Alcohol, I have done so and like it lots, albeit still wondering if it might hinder some of the C's penetration. Than again, it may well be enhancing penetration due to it's skin softening properties. (?)
I'd happily stand to be corrected on any of the above if goofed in any way.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts as it's all been baffling me to the brink of no return :)


Elizabeth said...

Hey Swift!
I work a lot with MAP and noticed that you had a thinner lotion than expected. I am just talking about powder MAP here, not a phospholipid encapsulation, but there is always thinning when adding it to a cream. I can hazard a guess that it's probably due to the large amount of magnesium that ends up added, but that's an aside. If you ever try the pure powder MAP you can first dissolve in something like aloe vera gel and then add this to a cream to mitigate the effect.

As far as the person commenting -
I think you are confusing guidelines for ascorbic acid with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Ascorbic acid needs a low pH for max stability, while MAP actually prefers closer to 7...hence the increase in stability with using it in formulas. Pure MAP is only recommended to use at up to 10% which you can verify in any supplier info. Getting 20% MAP to dissolve is very hard to do and results in a paste instead of a fluid water solution.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi terriblybadgrrl!

1. As I've mentioned, I can only use 5% oils in an Aristoflex AVC recipe, hence the usage at 5%. As well, my supplier - Formulator Sample Shop recommends a maximum of 10%, not 20%. The emulsifier, Aristoflex AC can't handle a pH lower than 4.

2. Sorry, I don't understand the question you're posing? Did you write that article to which you linked? (As an aside, it takes ages to load!) Are you saying that MAP is toxic? What does that word mean? It's such an overused word, can you be more specific about what it means for this ingredient to be toxic? Is that quote something you wrote, something from the post to which you linked, or from a study?

3. As I mention above, I can only use 5% oils in my product, so I can't add Vitamin E without decreasing the amount of Vitamin C.

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for that information! As you mention, my supplier recommends 10% maximum. I should have thought about the impact of magnesium on an emulsifier that doesn't like electrolytes! D'oh! It has been really stable though, so I guess it worked out okay!

Can I be brutally honest? I haven't done much research on Vitamin C because I don't really care about it as an ingredient. I think it's too expensive for my tastes, and it's something that requires a lot of work to make sure it does what it's supposed to do. I was fortunate to get this ingredient for free from the Formulator Sample Shop because it's so far out of my price range, I would never have thought to purchase it. I'm looking forward to hearing what my testers think of it because so far, I don't really care about using it so much. This isn't to put people down who do like it - isn't the fun of making things choosing what you want? - but it's just not my cup of tea.

I honestly hope I'm not opening a discussion on Vitamin C because I really don't have the energy for it right now. I am starting to regret this recipe so much...

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I think I sounded a little negative in that comment above. I totally don't mean it that way. I'm always open to information and discussion, I'm just in a lot of pain and it feels like I've been inundated with questions about Vitamin C this week. It's just been a lot...

terriblybadgrrl said...

Susan, most sorry for the pain you are in and can relate. I suspect I'll need a steroid treatment my self very soon, and just as a curios fact that sounds insane, but cross my heart, after a weeklong oral steroid treatment a few months back, I'd noticed to my shock and most pleasant surprise, that I practically needn't a deodorant any longer! My armpits and, ahem, feet, ceased being smelly!!! Too crazy and curios to not mention. I wonder if anyone else had same experience.
As for your comment regarding the article, I most certainly did not write it. On the contrary, as mentioned, am still attempting to wrap my brains around it. Perhaps the data's incomplete. It did not refer to MAP, but rather to liposomal C and other vits in any form for TOPICAL application. I'm not sure it states such delivery as downright toxic, but warns it's dangerous. Again, still completely unclear why but worth noting.
As for Vit E, as I've mentioned, I'm using/experimenting with the powder, water soluble form, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate and am still wondering how it truly compares to good ole Vit E oil. Anyone can advise? I've tried researching much as could but to little avail.
Lastly, since Ascorbic Acid is dirt cheap and is the gold standard , that is what I use to make a serum every couple of weeks. The expensive, more stayble versions, when I can afford them, I'll use at appropriate percent in lotions.
Elizabeth, yes, thanks for correcting me, I did confuse the percentage while thinking of Ascorbic Acid instead of MAP.


Megan Xi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrNy said...

Could I make this with Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate? I got some to make the pomegranate almond serum (which I love by the way), and was wondering if I could use it in this formula. Thanks in advance!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi BrNy! Yes, you can! Just remove some of the oil phase to add it. Don't you love that serum? That sounds arrogant - aren't I awesome, or what? ha! - but I really love that one so much.

BrNy said...

Hi, thanks so much for responding!!! No, you didn't sound arrogant... you really are pretty awesome with that awesome brain of yours... I have already learned so much from your blog and I'm sure I'll be learning way more! Now that I have the ferulic acid and oil soluble vitamin C I can't wait to whip this up. Cheers!!

Lisa H said...

Hi Swift, I am late finding this recipe but I am confused. You used MAP as an oil soluble Vit C here and said Aristoflex can only handle up to 5% oils.
Both Lotioncrafters and FSS list MAP as a water soluble form of Vit. C.
I am still so new to formulating that I can't figure this out. Can MAP be used in both oil and water?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lisa. I'm not sure why I said it was oil soluble as it's water soluble! I've made the correction. You'd use MAP in water soluble things like toners or emulsions, like moisturizers. Thanks for catching that!