What is Xanthan Gum & How Do You Use It In Natural Skincare Making?
Xanthan Gum is a thickener made from bacteria that infect numerous plants. It is an ingredient in a wide variety of foods, as well as products such as body and face wash, moisturiser and toothpaste etc.
The main reason for its addition in skincare products is for texture and usability. It is a type of sugar (polysaccharide), that is made from a bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris, through a process of fermentation.
Manufacturers make xanthan gum by pulling bacteria from many different plants. The finished product does not contain any viable bacteria, so there is no risk of xanthan gum causing infections.
For Xanthan to thicken your recipe, you need to add it to hot water (or hot water infusion, or heated hydrosol) and whisk well. Sifting the xanthan before adding it is highly recommended. Sifting after sufficient whisking will remove any lumps or fibrous parts to leave a beautiful consistency gel.
This gel can than then be modified and stabilised to create your customised recipe further. Stabilising the creation can then be done by adding citric acid or bi carb to normalise PH, and an antioxidant blend such as our triplox to add longevity to the recipe. Modifying (and stabilising) can also be achieved via the addition of carefully selected essential oils.
To learn how to use Xanthan and other natural ingredients in a hands-on environment, book our skincare making class at Plant Essentials.