What is it? A natural gum made from the fermentation of sugar.
INCI Xanthan Gum
Appearance Fine off-white granular powder.
Usage rate 0.1–2%
Texture Once hydrated it creates slick, slimy gels.
Scent Nothing strong
pH 6–8
Charge Anionic
Solubility Water
Why do we use it in formulations? In gels, xanthan gum creates the body of the gel. In emulsions, it can be used to stabilize and thicken.

I don’t like the feel of gels thickened solely with xanthan gum; I find them to be slimy and unpleasant. I prefer to use xanthan gum around 0.3% in emulsions—at that low usage rate, it contributes a lovely slip and added stability to the emulsion.

Do you need it? No
Strengths Effective natural gelling agent and thickener.
Weaknesses Unappealing consistency, poor leave-on skin feel to some people.
Alternatives & Substitutions Consider guar gum or hydroxyethylcellulose.
How to Work with It Pre-disperse it in glycerin or oil (depending on what else is in the formulation) before combining it with water to fully hydrate. I usually choose oil as the pre-dispersing medium when it is available as xanthan gum cannot clump in oil.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, xanthan gum should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks The inclusion of xanthan gum in emulsions can amplify the soaping effect.
Recommended starter amount 30g (1oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Xanthan Gum


Posted on

December 7, 2018