Today we want to share a case with you where silver flakes 999 (flakes made from 100% silver) oxidized and nearly dissolved in a cosmetic formulation.
One of our customers had decided to add silver flakes to his formulation for an added visual value. The customer had already successfully processed and sold his first order of silver flakes. No problems occurred. It was not until he processed his second order of silver flakes that he noticed a strange effect: the silver flakes of his second order oxidized in the cosmetic product and virtually dissolved. Dark, unsightly spots remained.
What happened next
At first, we couldn’t explain the effect. Neither our customer nor we had changed anything in our formulation. Why were there no abnormalities in the first batch? Why did the silver flakes behave so differently in the second batch?
To get to the bottom of the cause, we asked the customer to send us some of the silver flakes they used, samples of their solution, and the formulation of the product. We sent all three to the laboratory in order to find out what caused the silver flakes to behave so different in the two batches.
The cause: concentration of aloe vera
The laboratory performed tests on all ingredients. They found out that the aloe vera that was contained in the formulation triggered the oxidation of the silver flakes in the customers second product batch.
But why did aloe vera not lead to oxidation in the first batch?
The formulation of the first batch might have been the same, but the order when mixing the ingredients was different. Oxidation occurs when the silver flakes come into contact with a high concentration of Aloe Vera.
Silver and aloe vera can be used together in a cosmetic formulation, however it is important to pay attention to the concentration of the aloe vera as well as the order in which the ingredients are getting mixed together to avoid oxidation in the final product.