What is it? Guar Gum is a thickening gum extracted from the guar bean.
INCI Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba Gum
Appearance Fine beige powder.
Usage rate <2%
Texture When hydrated it creates slippery, rather snotty gels.
Scent Nothing noticeable
pH 5.5–7 (1% solution)
Charge Non-ionic
Solubility Water
Why do we use it in formulations? Guar gum is used to thicken water-based products. It can be used as the sole gelling/thickening agent in products like gels or body washes, or can be incorporated at lower amounts (typically 0.5% or less) to thicken and stabilize emulsions.
Do you need it? No
Strengths Inexpensive, natural, vegan thickening agent.
Weaknesses Gels made solely with guar gum tend to have a snotty consistency, and I really don’t like how they feel on the skin when they dry down.
Alternatives & Substitutions I prefer hydroxyethylcellulose, but xanthan gum can also work.
How to Work with It Whisk the guar gum into something from your formula other than water to create a slurry; glycerine is a good choice, or a liquid oil. This allows us to distribute the gum without it starting to hydrate, which will cause it to clump and create “fish eyes” in our product. Once the gum has been thoroughly dispersed in the non-water medium you can start to slowly incorporate the water. Gentle heating will speed the thickening process, but it is not necessary.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, guar gum should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks One can also purchase cationic guar (Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride). This is not the same ingredient and they are not interchangeable.
Recommended starter amount 30g (1oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon. Guar gum is also often available at health food stores.

Some Formulations that Use Guar Gum


Posted on

January 9, 2019