Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Using 100x or 200x aloe vera powder in our products

In yesterday's post on cooling sprays, I used aloe vera 200x powder, which is a concentrated powdered extract that we can dissolve into water to make aloe vera.

The easiest way to do it is this: Into a container, measure out 1 gram aloe vera 200x extract, add 198 grams of distilled water, and 1 gram of liquid Germall Plus. This will give you 200 grams of reconstituted aloe vera, which you should store in a bottle for future use.

If you want to use another preservative, please make sure it can be used in an all water product and it can handle high levels of electrolytes. (Check out the preservatives section for more information.)

I can do it straight into the bottle as I have this awesome little MicroMini™ Mixer from Lotioncrafter* Seriously, I love this thing! I've been playing with all kinds of tiny mixers lately, and I'll share that all in a post shortly! 

I've read a few recipes lately in which people are using 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder directly into a product, which isn't a good idea. Why? Because doing this means you don't have water in this product any more - you have aloe vera.

Think of it this way: If you measure out 2 litres (2 quarts) of water and add a package of Kool-Aid into it, you don't have 2 litres of water, you have 2 litres of Kool-Aid. You wouldn't think of using that water to make soup, wash your face, or clean your countertops because it's not water any more, it's (brightly coloured) Kool-Aid. This is what we're doing if we add 0.5% 200x or 1% 100x aloe vera powder directly into a product: We're adding aloe vera, not plain water.

I recognize that Kool-Aid still contains water, but it's not pure water. It's water with colours and salts and sugar and other things, which is the point of that paragraph.

What's wrong with loads and loads of aloe vera? Isn't it great for our skin? It's a lovely ingredient, but using this much is definitely messing with the viscosity of the product. For products made with surfactants, you're pretty much guaranteeing they won't thicken well, even with all the liquid Crothix in the world. When you go past a certain level of electrolytes, they get into the "forget it, I'm never thickening zone" of the salt curve, and nothing will make that watery thin mess back into a just-right gooey loveliness. You can see on the picture to your left that between 3 and 3.5% is the danger zone, and adding 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder to your amazing facial cleanser, body wash, or shampoo probably that point, depending on the surfactants you've chosen.

If you want to see this in action, try this for yourself! Into a container weigh 30% C14-16 olefin sulfonate (Bioterge AS-40) or 30% sodium laureth sulfate (SLeS), 10% cocamidopropyl betaine, 0.5% liquid Germall Plus, and 59.5% distilled water.  Mix well, then add 2% liquid Crothix. Then try a version with 10% aloe vera liquid (meaning you have 49.5% distilled water) and another version with 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder. Can you see the difference in viscosity?

Almost every one of our emulsifiers from Polawax to Incroquat BTMS-50 to Simulgreen 18-2 has a limit on electrolytes, and every one of our gelling agents like Sepimax ZEN, Sepinov EMT 10, and Ultrez 20 has a definite limit on them, so using 0.5% or 1% powder straight into those products will end up in separation and a serious loss of viscosity.

If you have 200x powder and want to add it directly into a product, adding 0.05% would equal 10% aloe vera and 0.10% would equal 20% aloe vera.

If you have 100x powder, you'd use 0.1% to get 10% aloe vera or 0.2% to get 20% aloe vera.

I generally use no more than 10% aloe vera liquid in my products, although I will go as high as 20% or 30% aloe vera for toners or sprays as I don't have to worry about separation or loss of viscosity.

*Please note, I do have a relationship with Lotioncrafter in that I think Jen is awesome and I consider her a good friend, but this is not a sponsored post or affiliate link. I get nothing if you click through, and I'm sharing it because I am having a serious love affair with this tiny mixer! 


Susan L said...

Very clearly explained! Thank you

singfreedom said...

Hi Susan, thanks for this post. I'm interested in making a salve with aloe extract 200x. Do you know if it can be added directly into oils?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

No, it's water soluble.