Has anyone successfully made a homebrew gel?

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  1. Has anyone successfully made a homebrew gel?


    Has anyone successfully brewed up their own gel using Carbomer940? Ive been reading and searching as much as I could, and the best instuructions I could find were in this thread:

    Help with making gel

    It sounds simple enough. I tried an 8Oz test run, (I mixed all the ingredients together, adjusted the PH, and then tried adding the Carbomer 940 to no avail - which isnt what's recommended but once I saw that Carbomer clump up I know what people are talking about when they say its a pain in the ass)

    Using this reciepe:
    Isopropyl Alcohol 40%
    Isopropyl Myristrate 12%
    Isopropyl Palmitate 12%
    Oleic Acid 10%
    Propylene glycol 10%
    DMSO 10%
    D-Limolene 6%

    Im about to just order some spray heads from lemelange and go with a spray, just to get my cycle started. Also considering adding PEG400 to the mix.

    Any advice??

    BV


  2. Well, gave another shot following these directions:

    Carbomer 940 can be used to gel a mix better than 934.
    Mix .5 g carbomer to the 10% gycerol and mix well.
    It will take up to 15 minutes for the carbomer to wet and disperse
    Adjust the pH of this initial mix to 7.2-7.4 with triethanolamine or a drop or two of NaOH
    Add this to the rest of the ingredients and check pH again.
    If you use OA the pH will instantly drop to acidic and you will have to adjust again.
    If gelling the brew be sure to use an adequate volume of d-Limonene as this is the emulsifier that allows the water and oil based ingredients to mix.

    When making a gel the order of addition is very important.
    First, add the carbomer to the PG/glycerol/PEG-400 and allow to "wet".
    If you are not using a hand mixer it will take up to 30 minutes to properly wet. Mix well.
    Second, add the other water soluble ingredients and mix well. Adjust with the TEA (triethanolamine)
    ...usually it will take about 1 mL per gram of carbomer give or take a bit. It will gel immediately.
    I would not recommend adding the DMSO until the end as polar compounds (DMSO and i-prop) tend to make the carbomer clump.
    After it gels add the oil soluble ingredients and mix well. Voila! A lotion is born!
    Chemo
    And still no success!! I was using NaOH to basify, and I dont think that's a good idea. Adding all the water-soluble ingredients together (except the IPA and DMSO, I tried to bring the PH up to 7.4 and after a few drops of concentrated NaOH solution, a white precipitate fell out of the solution.

    I think triethanolamine is the only way to go here. Plus, the lithmus paper I have dosent seem to read PH properly once greasy materials like P.Glycol, IPM, and IPP are added to the mix.

    Any way, I tried mixing everything together, and I got a murky whiteish solution, and big glop of clear gel at the bottom. I added NaOH dropwise with constant stirring trying to get it to dissolve, but nothing.

    In order to do this right, Im going to need triethanolamine and a good digital PH meter,and its too much of a hassle.

    So spray it is!! Ill work on this gel stuff later, considering I already have the Carbomer940.

    BV
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Well, gave another shot following these directions:



    And still no success!! I was using NaOH to basify, and I dont think that's a good idea. Adding all the water-soluble ingredients together (except the IPA and DMSO, I tried to bring the PH up to 7.4 and after a few drops of concentrated NaOH solution, a white precipitate fell out of the solution.

    I think triethanolamine is the only way to go here. Plus, the lithmus paper I have dosent seem to read PH properly once greasy materials like P.Glycol, IPM, and IPP are added to the mix.

    Any way, I tried mixing everything together, and I got a murky whiteish solution, and big glop of clear gel at the bottom. I added NaOH dropwise with constant stirring trying to get it to dissolve, but nothing.

    In order to do this right, Im going to need triethanolamine and a good digital PH meter,and its too much of a hassle.

    So spray it is!! Ill work on this gel stuff later, considering I already have the Carbomer940.

    BV
    Add more NaOH to thicken the gel, but I was never able to make a good high capacity gel with a number of carbomers. Liquids can hold much greater concentrations. I may try some other matrix one day, maybe HPC or something, I'll let you know if it works, but I'd say don't waste you time bud.

  4. Thanks for the input once again, Dr.D. I agree, the spray has just as good or better absorption and is FAR less of a pain to mix in your kitchen. Ive been looking into MethylCellulose as another gelling agent, seems like that's what's most often used in commercial gel-type products, like lotions and soaps. Maybe adding some PEG400 might increase the solubility of products in the gel?

    Im going to give it one more shot. Starting with 50ML DH2O, adding .5g Carbomer940 and then bringing up the PH until I get a gel. Then, Ill add my water soluble ingredients, D-Lim, Proylene Glycol and finally Oleic Acid. We'll see what happens!

    For those that are interested, here's some info on why Carbomer and MethyCellulose work the way they do, and some info on how to use them in a solution:

    http://www.chemistrystore.com/Using%...lcellulose.htm

    http://www.personalcare.noveoninc.co...inalsafety.pdf

    Thanks,
    BV

  5. Partial success!!! Added 1/4tsp Carbomer940 to 50ml DH20, let it sit for 10minutes after some vigorous stirring. Added 5 drops Concentrated NaOH, and VIOLA! Superthick gel!!! Nice!

    Mixed in 30ml IPA, and it stayed in gel form.

    Now, Im trying this:

    Started with 97ml 91% IPA, added 1/2tsp Carbomer940. I thought about it, and I dont know what ingredient in the original to replace with the DH20. So, if I can gel up the 97IPA I need, and then each ingredient one at a time I may have it. Water solubles first, then the D-Lim, then the PG. After each ingredient, if I see the solution start to crash, Ill add NaOH dropwise until it goes back to a gel.

    Hmmm...its crazy, but it just might work!

    BV
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  6. YES! Ive got a beaker with 240mL of a creamy white lotion that looks, feels, smells, evaporates, and burns exactly like the original BDC T-gel. Whoohoo!!

    Basically, the original liquid transdermal recipe is not suited to gelling with Carbomer, it has to be modified.

    I started with 25ml DH2O and added 1/4tsp Carbomer940. After this had become throroughly saturated, I brought the PH up with a concentrated NaOH solution (1tsp NaOH in 50ml DH20). The solution became a thick gel immediated after about 4drops of NaOH.

    Then I added 75ml 91% IPA, which thinned out the gel a bit and mixed right in. Started adding 23ml Oleic Acid next, and the solution broke up into a clumpy gel, started to turn a milky white.

    I added the Oleic Acide a little at a time,adding NaOH dropwise each time to bring the PH up and put the mix back into a gel. I had to add about 1.5ml NaOH before I came back to a smooth consistency.

    Started to add IPM, and it would not mix with the gel. After some thorough mixing, nothing. I added a little DH2O and it went right in. That was the key. Still a bit clumpy though. Added more NaOH and it smoothed out a little bit, but still not what I wanted. I had about 100ml of gel that I had made earlier from 50ml dH2O, Carbomer, and IPA. I dumped the solution I was working on (about 125ml worth) in with this and mixed it together, and the extra IPAgel gave it a nice consistency. It seemed a little out of solution (some IPM and IPP wouldnt go in) - a little more dH2O fixed that up.

    I took 175ml of this IPM/IPP/IPA/Oleic Acid gel and poured it into a separate beaker. To this I added 25ml DMSO, which mixed right in. Added 15ml D-Limolene, and finally 25ml Propylene Glycol, which mixed nicely thanks to the D-Lim and gave the gel a nice, smooth, lotion-like thickness. No clumping whatsoever, its perfectly smooth and has properties very similar to T-Gel.

    Broke out my digital PH meter, measured the PH of the final mix at ~5.8

    So, the PG,DMSO,and D-Lim are still at their original concentrations of 10%,10%,and 6%. The IPA,IPM,IPP,and OA have all been cut with dH2O to facilitate gelling with the Carbomer. I dont have exact measurements yet, but I can estimate that its more like:


    IPA 25%
    IPM 9%
    IPP 2%
    OA 8%
    DMSO 10%
    PG 10%
    D-Lim 6%
    dH2O 30%

    I dont know how much the PH solubility or absorption was affected by cutting with water - Im pretty sure that since the DMSO is still at 10% it wouldnt be reduced from the original formula.

    It evaporates quickly and leaves the skin feeling soft and slightly greasy. It burns a bit at first, but so did T1 the first few times I applied it.

    Now Ill mix up some spray (WAY less of a hassle!!), and see which one I like better.

    BV
    Last edited by BigVrunga; 11-07-2004 at 04:29 PM.

  7. That's kind of what I did by gelling up water and IPA initially. Its the OA that drops the PH, but its also a penetration enhancer so its not something you want to leave out.

    You dont have to add a lot of base to get the solution to gel, I just kept stirring and adding NaOH drop by drop and it gels as soon as the proper PH is reached. Initially gelling the Carbomer in H2O and IPA made a huge difference, though.

    You could make a decent gel from H2O,IPA,DMSO,DLim,and PG but I dont know how effective it would be.

    BV

  8. It could work - Sodium Bicarbonate is a weaker base than NaOH, but then again is is triethanolamine, which is the base most often used in cosmetics. You might have to add too much Sodium Bicarbonate, which could affect the solubility of the PH's you're trying to dissolve in the gel.

    The issue here is - you might have to initially buffer the water/carbomer solution too high in order for it to stay in gel form after adding the oleic acid. If the PH goes too high, the carbomer will precipitate right out of the mix.

    An idea might be to mix the Oleic acid/water FIRST, then bring that to a PH of 7.5 - 8 and try to gel that with the carbomer. THEN add IPA,IPM. Once you get the IPM mixed in you're golden - the other products gel up just fine. I did water/carbomer into a gel, and then IPA, then the Oleic. After gelling the Oleic acid, I didnt really need to adjust the PH again.

    The final PH of my mix was around 5.8, which is right about what commercial lotions and soaps are at.


    BV

  9. Klaus,
    I understand what you're getting at - it could work very well but I dont have the materials to experiment with it at the moment.

    From what Ive seen, PH isnt so much of an issue with making the gel. Its that a good concentration of H2O has to be present in order for all the ingredients in the orignal BDC spray recipe to gel correctly. If there isnt enough water, you can add as much base as you want and all you'll get is a clumpy mess.

    Im going to try and nail down a reliable method here - so far its:

    1.)dH2O/Carbomer
    2.)adjust PH until a gel forms
    3.)add IPA
    4.)add Oleic acid
    5.)adjust PH until it goes back into a gel
    6.)add IPM/IPP
    7.)add water until smooth
    8.)add DMSO(10%)
    9.)add D-Limoene(6%)
    10.)add PG(10%)

    You dont need an electric mixer or anything, I was using a glass stir rod and everything mixed just fine.

    Now, to see if 10g of 4AD will dissolve in the gel I just made...

    BV

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Klaus
    Oh, I was under the impression that pH was causing the clumpiness, not the H2O concentration. Hmm... that does make it a bit more complicated.
    Yes, it is, but after a certain inflection point, the pH has no greater gelling effect. In fact, after about 7.5 it's detrimental.

  11. Yes, a good case indeed! I was thinking dibasic potassium phosphate, but I'm not sure what it would do to the formula dynamics. Only with the IPM would it work for sure I'd say. These more complex formulas create a lot of stability issues. I don't remember the effective pH range for penetration, but the optimum is slightly acidic I'd guess, so maybe another buffer than what I was thinking would be better. Solubility characteristics will be the limiting factor.

  12. I think its a great idea, but the PH of the solution really isnt that big of an issue from what Ive seen.

    The PH was causing the clumpiness to a degree, but the added H2O is what allowed the IPA/OA/H2O gel to mix with the other ingredients.

    With Carbomer and PH, I noticed that too acidic of a solution caused the gel to break up into 'globs'. The carbomer was still dissolved, but it was very clumpy. Too high of a PH, and the Carbomer crashed out of solution.

    Without enough H2O, the IPM/IPP wouldnt mix with the gel.
    The average PH of your skin is 5.5, I think that's ideal for most lotions. Dont know what the ideal for penetration enhancement is, though.

  13. Well, 10g of 4AD wouldnt go into the gel. It took about 6 grams and then started to separate. I finally got 10g in about 320ml of gel, which is definately less than ideal!

    Im going to give this another shot with PEG400.

    BV

  14. You may need to increase the alcohol concentration, or dissolve you hormones in the alcohol before you add. Like I said, I experimented a lot with this years ago, but then decided, why? What's wrong with solution? I know that works and could think of no real advantage in the gel. Even had I figured it out, I couldn't think of an application where I'd favor it over the liquid. If you look at the EtOH concentration of Rx AndroGel, they use 68.9% and that's only at 1% test! It takes too long to dry also and requires a big surface area. Why not make a high-power liquid w/ 10%+ concentrations capacity to cover small, thin areas? Nevertheless, if you get the formula right, let me know and I'll probably try it anyway! I'd think that the alcohol content will have to be kept as high as possible and water minimized. Also, have you thought of using alternate acids like cap or lin in place of the OA?

  15. I'd think that the alcohol content will have to be kept as high as possible and water minimized.
    You're right - my mix had too high a concentration of water. I may have been able to get 1test or OH test in there, but its not happening with 4AD, which dosent like to dissolve in anything!

    I cant see any advantage over the gel either, but I just want to be able to say:

    "Oooh, I made my own gel!"

    Ive already justified my $5.00 purchase of carbomer940 by wasting $8.50 of 4AD.

    Im giving the gel one more go - already have the pump sprayers on order from Lememlange in order to use the liquid. The original homebrew formula has near 30% absorption, so there is no need to play around. But then again where's the fun in that?

    I ordered a bottle of PEG400 to see if I cant up the solubility of the original formula a bit.

    BV

    Also, have you thought of using alternate acids like cap or lin in place of the OA
    Thought of it, but I dont want to spend any more $$ and Ive already got the OA. Good thing with homebrewing you buy in bulk - I think Ive got enough material to make 17 8Oz bottles of transdermal spray, for the cost of 6 bottles of pre-made gel.

  16. Yeah, it's fun to order bulk materials and play with different ideas. As long as it's cheap, your just have to spend the time really, but that's good and that's how you develope insight. You already got way more advanced with this than I did, I was only experimenting with 4 or 5 reagents in my formula!

    Klaus is right about the right buffer being a good idea, not only to stabilize the gel but also for making 'universal' gels that could support different actives. But solubility of the hormone is going to be the intrinsic problem I think. If you had a super potent hormone, it would be better because only low concentration would be required.

  17. Ugh, I tried doing the gel again, this time with Chemo's exact instructions from the 'Recipe...' thread. Not even close. The carbomer HAS to initially mix and gel with water before it even gets off the ground.

    Thing is, if you have to dilute your overall transdermal mix with H2O in order to make a proper gel, then what's the point of making a gel? There's got to be a magic ratio of ingredients, I think I almost hit it the last time...

    I need to make 9 8Oz bottles of transdermal formula for myself, my bro, and a friend. So Im going to have to go with a spray for sure now, because I dont want to waste any more products. If I have some stuff left over Ill mess around with trying to find a good gel formulation, I think Im on the right track -

    Tried 4 times to make the gel, and came very close once. I wonder if I took 2% from each ingredient, and added 14% PEG400 if Id have the solubility Im after. But then again, would I be negatively affecting skin penetration effectivenes in favor of hormone solubility?

    BV

  18. If I took from anything, it would be the lim, fatty acid and water to increase alcohol. What's your carbomer concentration? If it's less that 1%, you could up it a little too to accommodate. Also, are you stirring the heck out of it for like hours to get it real smooth first?

  19. Hey BigV. Hurry up and figure this out, I'm losing patience.

    If I remember right, Chemo talked about using an electric mixer to blend the ingrediants. I don't know if that would help.

  20. I didnt think it did bro. I dumped everything in my blender and whipped it up like mad, still wouldnt go into a gel! And that's following Chemo's exact instructions from the 'Recipe...' thread.

    I did succeed in making the gel, but 8Oz would only hold about 6g of 4AD. Im sure, with proper tweaking of the recipe, I could nail it. The key is in the amount of water in the mix. To get maximum solubility with the 'Traditional' spray recipe, you've got to find a way to minimize the H2O and maximize the IPA.

    4AD is an extreme pain in the ass when it comes to dissolving, as it isnt really soluble in any of the ingredients by themselves at room temp...Chemo is truly a freaking mastermind - finding a way to dissolve 10g of 4AD in 4Oz of gel!!! I think a big part of it is the PEG400, as Ive read him saying on the board how he got 15g of 4AD to dissolve in just a PEG400 and IPA solution.

    If I took from anything, it would be the lim, fatty acid and water to increase alcohol. What's your carbomer concentration? If it's less that 1%, you could up it a little too to accommodate. Also, are you stirring the heck out of it for like hours to get it real smooth first?
    Hey Dr.D...had the carbomer at 1g for the 240ml of gel. And yeah, I stirred it like a bastard! The method I outlined here:

    1.)dH2O/Carbomer
    2.)adjust PH until a gel forms
    3.)add IPA
    4.)add Oleic acid
    5.)adjust PH until it goes back into a gel
    6.)add IPM/IPP
    7.)add water until smooth
    8.)add DMSO(10%)
    9.)add D-Limoene(6%)
    10.)add PG(10%)

    worked great, the gel had a great consistency, it just didnt have the solubility that we really need. I know I used too much water, and could probably find the right mix with a little more trial and error. I didnt get the exact amount of water in the mix, either, the gel I was working on started to separate when I added the IPM, and I added a little water and it went right into a gel. The PG made the texture nice and smooth, very 'T-Gel' like.

    I wanted to ask you - what is the advantage of using triethanolamine over NaOH? I know that triethanolamine is used in the cosmetic industry to adjust PH, is it better for the skin?

    For now, the gel experiment has to go on the back burner. Im making this full out homebrew cycle for myself, my brother, and a friend, and I realized last night I have about 1000 gel caps to whip up with my cap-m-quick. And I can do 50 every 20 minutes. There really isnt any advantage of a gel over a spray, other than a gel might be a little nicer to apply. But, with the spray, you have the concentrated skin conditioners/penetration enhancers with no H2O added to the mix. I would estimate that the transdermal absorption % of the homebrew spray w/DMSO is pretty close to the new T-Gel. Plus, its SO much easier to work with a liquid when transferring from your glassware to the spraybottle.

    Still, though - gels are just so cool

    So, for the transdermal mix Im going to go with the original spray recipe, with some PEG400 added to the mix. If I have some materials left over, Ill try to get the gel down.

    I got it to point, maybe we can all work on it (possibly even incorprating Klaus' buffered base-gel idea), and come up with the ultimate homebrew gel recipe! That would make a phat sticky!

    BV

  21. Nice R&D Mr.BV!

  22. Heya BV, I second the nice work nod, thanks for taking this to the next level.

    One observation that I made was a comparison of your "Frankengel" ingredients and those on the T-Gel label. Considering that ingredients are listed by volume, it may be that D-Limonene acts as a solvent and may contribute to greater PH dispersion. Water is another of the top ingredients which reflect what you have found with your gel attempts. Perhaps fine tuning the ingredients, ala T-Gel, would be beneficial.

    IPA - Solvent
    D-Limonene - Emulsifier and possible solvent.
    IPM - Penetration enhancer.
    DI Water - ?
    Ocytl Salicylate - Penetration enhancer/skin conditioner?
    DMFA - Penetration enhancer, some say better than DMSO.
    Triethanolamine - PH
    Carbomer 940 - Thickening
    INCI Polymer - Thickening?

    Wimpie

  23. Thanks for the kind words guys...It really would be sweet if we could come up with a complete Homebrew Gel formula that worked 100%. Looks like a little more effort and we're there!

    Hey Wimpie - heh...'Frakengel'...

    I was looking over the ingredients for the new T-Gel, and I also notice that Oleic Acid isnt in the list. I wonder if its omitted because it throws the PH off too far, causing you to use too much base? That could limit solubility as well...

    Im curious about the DMFA...isnt that N,N,dimethylformamide? IF that's the case, check out the MSDS:

    https://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/95221.htm

    Now compare that to DMSO, which isnt toxic at all. I think I would rather stick with the DMSO!

    I did a little research on the D-Limolene too, check it out:
    http://www.floridachemical.com/whatisd-limonene.htm

    Looks like its a fairly potent organic solvent!! That could definately explain the great solubility of the new T-Gel, and the higher concentration of D-Lim in the mix.

    Its common knowledge that PEG400 is a very effective solvent for hormone bases - Ive already got some on order, Im going to try adding it to the liquid transdermal recipe. Thinking of taking 2% from the PG, 4% from the IPA, and 2% from the IPP and adding it to the mix in an 8% concentration.

    Yeah, like you said Wimpie the gel mix only needs a little more time and effort to get it right...Does anyone know of a relatively insoluble product (similar to 4AD) that's dirt cheap that we could use to test future gel experiments? Id hate having to continue to throw good PH's away after a failed attempt.

    BV

  24. Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Im curious about the DMFA...isnt that N,N,dimethylformamide?
    BV
    Yeah, if people are putting this on thier skin, it's far more toxic than DMSO. So what if you get a little better absorb?! It carries a value of 3 out of a possible 4 on the health warning, and sounds pretty nasty. I work in a lab and even double glove when I use that ****! Why do people favor it now?

  25. I dont know...maybe they dont know what it really is? I havent heard of a lot of people complaing of high blood pressure, vomiting, dizziness, etc while using any of the DMFA gels...maybe its a different chemical altogether?

    I dont know though, I dont know of any other chemical called DMFA.

    Id definately like a clear answer on this one!

    BV
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