Weekend Wondering: What’s making my lotion sticky? (Part one)

In this post, Aristoflex AVC – light lotion with NAG, ceramides, and quaternized rice, BrNy asked: I know this is an old-ish post but thought I’d try my luck anyway. I made this lotion based off of a recipe I saw at Lotioncrafter.com but added NAG at 4% and subtracted 4ml of water (I made 100 g of lotion.) I love the consistency and all but it feels pretty sticky, even after I feel the lotion sank into my skin. Do u suppose maybe the glycerin is what is making the lotion sticky? I’m pretty new to skin care formulations and been following your blog for a few months now (been kinda obsessed a little… or maybe a lot!!) Any input will be greatly appreciated! Recipe as follows:

Phase A 
2.00% Glycerin
0.50% Resveratrol

Phase B 
83.0% Distilled water (79% actually, because I added NAG at 4%)
4.00% Sea Kelp Bioferment
3.00% Niacinamide
2.00% dl-Panthenol
0.50% Allantoin
0.50% Liquid Germall Plus
3.00% Lotioncrafter FCO

Phase C 
1.00% Aristoflex AVC

I simply followed the “how to” instructions and ended up with lovely lotion that is pretty light… but sticky!!! I’ll use this up but wanted to tweak the ingredients a bit to get rid of the stickiness.

I say this all time but there are no old posts. I receive notifications for every single comment on the blog regardless of age. As well, this is from February 2016, which may be “old” in Internet time, but not so old that the product has gone rancid. (In fact, I still have a sample of my lotion on the shelf and it feels great!)

Let’s take a look at all the ingredients that could make this a sticky product…

Glycerin: Yeah, this is the queen of the stickies, along with other poly alcohol or sugar based ingredients.

Resveratrol: I haven’t found this to be sticky, but if it’s dissolved in glycerin, it could be a contributing factor.

n-acetyl glucosamine: This is a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, and has been shown to work well when combined with niacinamide. It can also increase hydration of our skin by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin. This combination has been studied and found to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation to promote a more uniform skin tone. (Whew! That’s a lot of stuff, eh?) I don’t think this contributes to stickiness in a product.

Sea kelp bioferment: This is a great film former and substitute for hydrolyzed proteins in this formula as Aristoflex AVC can’t handle those lovely ingredients. I usually use it at 2% and I see you have it at 4%, so dropping that down to 2% might be an idea?

Niacinamide: Used at as little as 2%, niacinamide can increase skin’s barrier lipids and ceramides, which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. It can reduce sebum production and pore diameter, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. It can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there’s a lack of irritation and redness on our faces (’cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and “pebbling” or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin’s barrier functions.

I don’t think this is contributing to the stickness of the product.

dl-Panthenol: I’m guessing you’re using the powder for this awesome humectant, hydrator, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, anti-itch, and wound healing ingredient. Liquid or powder, this shouldn’t contribute to the stickiness.

Allantoin: This is another one of my favourite ingredients that I use to soothe skin and prevent wind and cold chapping. I use it at 0.5% as well. This definitely isn’t contributing to the stickness.

Liquid Germall Plus: Your preservative isn’t contributing to the stickiness when used at 0.5%.

Fractionated coconut oil: This very thin oil feels slightly dry and non-greasy, and not sticky at all. Some oils could have that effect – especially something like lanolin – but FCO is all about the light moisturizing.

Aristoflex AVC (INCI Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer): This emulsifier can feel a bit sticky to some people. I don’t notice it, but I’ve had other people ask me about this and you may be one of those who notices it.

We have three potential sticky culprits here: Glycerin, Aristoflex AVC, and sea kelp bioferment. What can we do about this? As this post is getting long, join me tomorrow to see what we can do about altering the skin feel of this lotion!

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