Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why did I buy that again? Siligel

This is a neat new gelling agent that's considered green, eco-friendly, and natural. Siligel (INCI: Xanthan Gum (and) Lecithin (and) Sclerotium Gum (and) Pullulan) can create gels, be used as a stabilizer in emulsions, suspend things like exfoliants in gels, and enhance skin feel. (They say it may be a substitute for silicones.)

It comes as a water soluble beige powder that we use anywhere from 0.3% to 2% depending upon the application. It has a 12 month shelf life, and it's hygroscopic, meaning it can draw water to itself so keep it well sealed with a few silica packages for good measure.

It can tolerate quite a lot of electrolytes at up to 20% - you'll see this shortly as I used it with magnesium chloride - as well as up to 15% alcohol. You can use it in facial products in which you might want to add hyaluronic acid, AHAs like glycolic acid, or salicylic acid as it can handle a huge pH range of 2 to 10. It can handle up to 2% oils, but it's not a great emulsifier.

The down side is that it can't really be used with more anionic surfactants (negatively charged) or amphoteric surfactants (like cocamidopropyl betaine) at more than 5% active matter or cationic ingredients, like Incroquat BTMS-50 or a cationic polymer, like Honeyquat or polyquat 7. It can be used with decyl glucoside and other non-ionic surfactants, like polysorbate 20 or 80 and caprylyl/capryl glucoside. (Remember to alter the pH there!)

It can take up to 24 hours to reach its final viscosity, so don't worry too much if you're finished working with it and it's still quite thin. The recommendation is to use high shear mixing - so using an immersion blender, stick blender, or one of these adorable mixers I have from Lotioncrafter or Candora Soap (Ontario) - rather than a hand mixer. (Click here for even more information on mixing with high shear.)

I'll be writing more about my new mixing toys shortly. I've been so busy with so many things that everything will be written "shortly". Sorry for over-using that term! 

I found I had to mix for around 10 minutes with the projects you'll see soon. With surfactants, you'll want to mix everything and add the foaming, lathery things at the end as you'll end up with a frothy mess!

Lotioncrafter* very kindly sent me a sample to play with, and I've been having great fun with it, as you'll see in the next few days. 

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