Working With Hyaluronic Acid - Powder vs Gel
Hyaluronic acid is a long-time staple in my stockroom – which, by the way, looks absolutely nothing like the romanticized image you see above.
A portion of my stockroom is packed in boxes at the moment, so I figured this generic photo of plant-based ingredients would be a lot more appealing than anything I could have photographed for you.
Now, back to hyaluronic acid (which, by the way, also would have looked far more boring than the photo above).
Hyaluronic acid has over the years magically found its way into many of my products – from eye and face creams to serums and gels.
Truth be told, I've had nothing but positive experiences with it – both in the lab and on the skin...
...right up until I started working with it as a powder.
Take your PickHyaluronic acid is available from many cosmetics ingredients suppliers – mostly in powdered form, but also as a gel.
The powder is 100% pure concentrate that requires a really good scale as it must be measured out in tenths of a gram – especially if you make 100ml of product at a time. The dose can be from 0.1% to a maximum of 0.5%.
The gel is (obviously) not concentrate. It is made by adding hyaluronic acid powder (and a preservative) to water. Depending on the concentration of the gel, the dose can be from 2% to 10%.
For years, I worked exclusively with the gel – partly because it is easier to work with, but mostly because it is much easier to work with.
The Magic of Hyaluronic AcidWhen added to water, hyaluronic acid does a magical thing – it creates a gel – all by itself.
That's really cool.
...if there is an insufficient amount of water, the gel becomes very, very, very lumpy and very very very stiff.
In truth, it becomes so gosh darn stiff and lumpy that incorporating it fully into an emulsion becomes mission impossible and you might as well stop swearing, toss the mixture, and start over.
Can you tell I speak from experience?
How to Work With Hyaluronic Acid as GelMeasure out desired dose and add in the final phase (under 40 C). Stir to incorporate fully.
It's so easy-peasy, you can do it with one hand tied behind your back while having a cup of coffee and discussing what you'd like to have for dinner with your hubby who just wandered by.
How to Work With Hyaluronic Acid as PowderAdd desired dose to demineralised water. Stir to dissolve. Cover. Let rest for 10-30 minutes. Add to your emulsion in the final phase (under 40 C).
That doesn't sound too terribly difficult, does it?
Here's the fun part: finding the amount of water. One of my suppliers recommends adding 0,5% of powder to 100ml of water.
That means, if you're making 100ml of product, there's no room for anything else in the mixture if you want a dose of 0,5%.
So I've been working on solving this one – keeping the water at a minimum without sacrificing viscosity.
Tip: Prepare for a plethora of different reactions if you decide to replace the water with hydrosol. Unless you have ample funding at your disposal, this is one road you probably don't want to go down.
The Alternative Powder MethodThere is an alternative method when using the powder. One of my suppliers suggests the desired dose can be added directly to final product.
Problem: incorporating the powder fully is a problem and the viscosity changes drastically. My experience with this method so far = be willing to toss the product.
Do TellDo you work with hyaluronic acid? I am all ears to hear about your experiences with it!
Topical application of Hyaluronic acid for recurring ulcers
More Info and Other Nerdy Stuff about Hyaluronic Acid and Why it's So Cool
Hyaluronic Acid - a natural biopolymer ...
Hyaluronic acid - a unique topical vehicle for localized delivery of drugs to the skin
Hyaluronic acid - the amazing skin plumper (LisaLise blog from 2011)
Topical application of hyaluronic acid for wound healing
Colins Beauty Pages: About Humectants