Carbomer is a polymer that will swell when in contact with water. It can be used to thicken the water for a lotion or making a gel base for a skin serum or hair styling.
Carbomer will thicken when the pH is around neutral. A neutral pH is 7.
Carbomer by nature is acidic and the water needs to be neutral or it will not thicken.
Only a small amount of Carbomer is needed (0.2-0.5%) to make a thick gel.
Add distilled water into a glass beaker (200g) and test the water for it's pH (our distilled water here has a pH of 6). Add a neutralizing agent such as TEA (triethanolamine) to increase the pH to neutral (ph7), which is the dark green color (3 drops were added for this quantity).
Add Carbomer (0.8g) and mix well with a sheer mixer, homogenizer or like here with a stick blender, take your time until fully hydrated. It will start to thicken instantly.
This is now a good base to add additional ingredients such as PVP for making a medium hold hair gel or active ingredients for making a serum gel.
Carbomer is an all-around easy thickener, non tacky, simple with no rub-off. We love it!
pH Indicator roll
For more information on the Carbomer Base visit our website at www.makingcosmetics.com