How to work with Xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a natural gum that is used in cosmetics, as a thickener and emulsion stabilizer for lotions, creams, liquid soap, shower gels, body washes and shampoos. Xanthan gum produces a large increase in the viscosity of a liquid with the addition of a very small amount of gum. As little as 0.1% can be used in many applications.

The problem when working with the gum is that it tends to clump as soon as it gets in contact with water and no one likes to have clumps on the skin.

There are different ways to incorporate the Xanthan gum into your product. The most common is to pre-mix it with a small amount of glycerine (normally 0.1 % Xanthan and 1% of Glycerine) which can be also quite challenging. 

In order to save time by making every new batch of your product, you can pre-mix a bigger amount of Xanthan and use a necessary amount of the mixture in your formulations. The calculation will look as follows:

10 gr of Xanthan gum

100 gr of Glycerine

In order to disperse the Xanthan gum uniformly, it can be poured into Glycerine through a strainer. Those amounts can be mixed with an electric stick blender which can help prepare a homogenic mixture.

Then, if you plan for your product formulation, for example, 0.2% of Xanthan to be used, you have to measure 2.2 gr of the pre-mixture (for 100 gr of the final product). Of course, you have to deduct the 2.2 gr (in this case, 2.2%) from the water phase of your formulation so that you come to 100% of the final product.

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