Carbomer 940 powder for cosmetic gels
Generic Name:Polyacrylic Acid
50 grams or 100 grams pack.
Light, fluffy powder used to create crystal clear cosmetic gels
Make clear or coloured gels which are non-sticky and can be suspend-a-spoon thick or thinner
Create beautiful texture creams and lotions with that professional quality firmness yet soft enough to easily rub in.
50g Carbomer 940 powder is enough to make over 4kg of very thick gel base which can be mixed with other ingredients to make 6kg of firm gel or more if you are after thinner gel. 100g powder – double that
100g Carbomer 940 powder is enough to make over 8kg of very thick gel base which can be mixed with other ingredients to make 6 litres of firm gel or more if you are after thinner gel
No safety concerns are associated with carbomers. The Skin Deep database of cosmetic ingredients gives them zero hazard rating.
Gel making instructions below
Making a Gel at Home
Equipment should always be sterilised. Glass and stainless steel equipment can be washed and sterilised in a domestic oven at temperature at or above 150°C (302F). Plastic containers can be filled with or submerged in water mixed with 1% preservative for 24 hours prior to using.
You can use boiled and cooled tap water to make the gel but it is best to use distilled water. Tap water contains minerals and metals which may affect viscosity.
Carbomer 940 has to be neutralised to make the gel. This can be done with either sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) or triethanolamine (TEA). Triethanolamine doesn’t have a great reputation and has a moderate hazard rating and can cause allergies. Sodium hydroxide must be handled with great caution, however, once the gel has been neutralised, it is no longer present in the formulation. Personally, we much prefer using sodium hydroxide.
The ratio of carbomer to sodium hydroxide to use is around 3:4. A formulation with 1.2% carbomer needs 1.6% neutraliser. This would give quite a thick gel. Both can be reduced keeping the ratio to make thinner gels.
To make 500g of gel you need:
486 distilled water
6g Carbomer 940
8g neutralising solution* (18% sodium hydroxide + 82% water)
*neutralising solution – 1.44g sodium hydroxide + 6.56g water for above formula.
Preservative is usually added to the final product. Add at this stage if you intend to keep the gel for future use.
Mix the carbomer powder with the water. This is usually done with specialist mixing equipment to avoid clumping. Every single particle of the powder must be ‘wetted’. At home,
At home, using a blender gives great results. Add the powder whilst blending then let the mixture stand.
Prepare the neutralizing solution by adding 1.44g of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) to 6.56g water. You can make an easier to measure larger quantity at the same ratio. Dispose safely of any excess or clearly label the container if keeping the excess for future use. Make sure you are using a heat proof container as
the exothermic reaction that will occur will make the liquid hot and may melt plastic. Use protective gloves.
Mix the neutralizing solution with the gel thoroughly. Watch the mixture thicken and turn into a very thick clear gel! Add and mix in the preservative if required.
That’s it, the gel base is ready!
Add 30% hydrosols, scent and colour if required for a thick gel or higher percentage for thinner gels. If using to make creams and lotions, add the ready-made gel to the heated water phase.
Product: CG-G 940 (Carbomer 940)
Viscosity 0.5% cps……………..50000 – 60000
pH.……………………………………..2.7 – 3.3
Requires wettng and Neutralising