Xanthan Gum

  • Thickener
  • Stabilizer
  • Gel Forming
  • Conditioning
  • Viscosity Enhancer
INCI Xanthan Gum
Uses
  • Excellent thickener & stabiliser in very low concentrations
  • Creates smooth silky products
  • Makes clear gels
  • Non-irritating, natural thickening agent
Type Natural
Also Called
  • Cosmetic grade Xanthan
  • Transparent Xanthan
  • Clear Xanthan
  • Soft Xanthan
Optimal pH Suitable for a wide range
Usage Guidelines 0.1% - 1.5%
Form White or pale cream fine powder
Scent Odourless
Solubility Water soluble
Derived From Xanthomonas campestris (bacterium)
Products Gels, Cleansers, Shampoos, Creams & Lotions
Alternatives
  • Guar gum

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is an excellent natural thickening agent made through the fermentation of glucose with a bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris. It is one of the most reliable natural water-based thickeners, able to produce gels as well as stabilising lotions and creams. Xanthan gum comes in a variety of particle sizes and fermentation methods which has a significant effect on the quality of the xanthan, its thickening capability and its ability to form clear gels.

Benefits of Xanthan Gum for skin and hair care

Xanthan gum can be used as a functional ingredient to stabilise emulsions or as the sole thickener in its own right. Because of this, it alternates between the role of stabiliser or thickener depending on the cosmetic formulation. As a thickening agent, xanthan can produce excellent hydrogels such as shower gels and clear hair gels, making it an incredibly versatile ingredient in formulations. Xanthan gum is also added to emulsions to help stabilise products, creating a smooth and silky texture that remains stable even when exposed to increases in temperatures. Xanthan is also beneficial in its own right, reducing transepidermal water loss and keeping skin hydrated for longer.

How to use Xanthan Gum in formulations

In cosmetic formulations, the two main varieties of xanthan gum are clear xanthan and regular xanthan gum. They are differentiated by their particle size and fermentation process. Clear xanthan has a high mesh grade (14) and should be used in formulations where you want to achieve a clear, highly viscous product such as shower gels and hair gels. Regular xanthan has a lower mesh grade (80) and fine particle size and works well for emulsions as it has a softer finish and less stringy consistency. It is important to note that despite their different properties, all types of Xanthan gum have the same INCI listing.

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