Xanthan gum is used in the food and cosmetics industry as a product stabiliser and thickener. It is added to many products from ice-cream, body lotions to toothpaste, and it is commonly used in gluten-free baking.
Xanthan gum is made by fermenting simple sugars with a specific kind of bacteria.
In natural cosmetics, xanthan gum helps to stabilise a product by preventing the ingredients from separating. It is not an emulsifier. However, it will add further stability and thickness to an emulsion like a cream, lotion or hair conditioner which helps prevent de-stabilisation and separation. Without xanthan gum, an emulsion may still separate when exposed to, for example, hot weather or the pressure in an airplane.
You will use just a pinch of xanthan gum in your homemade cosmetics. For example, in a 200g basic lotion you will use just under 1/8th of a teaspoon (0.5g) of xanthan gum. So a little goes a long way. Xanthan gum must be hydrated before adding to cosmetics - it is most commonly hydrated with vegetable glycerine.
How to use in DIY cosmetics:
- Hydrate 0.2% xanthan gum in a minimum of 1% vegetable glycerine to make a paste or slurry.
- Add this paste to a warmed up water phase, and stir until the water phase becomes thicker and most of the lumps dissolve.
Packaging: Home compostable wood cellulose bag that will decompose in 3 months. Paper label.
Recipes by Natural Nerd: