Let’s hydrate Sepimax Zen to a very thick gel without having to let it sit for 8 hours or overnight. This clip is from the Aloe Bamboo Gel DIY video.
If you’re like me, you used to think Sepimax Zen can only reach full hydration and thickness by letting the powder sit for 8 hours, or overnight, after sprinkling it into the batch. Well, that’s not exactly the whole story.
Yes, you can sprinkle Sepimax Zen into your batch and let it sit for 8 hours or overnight to get a thick gel. But you can also get a viscous gel with the method described below.
Sepimax Zen is a powerful emulsion stabilizer and gelling agent that can also be used to create transparent gels. It has a good amount of electrolyte resistance and is a nice substitute to carbomers. Carbomers are very sensitive to pH. Whether they thicken or not is determined by the pH. That’s not the case with Sepimax Zen.
If I’m making a gel or serum using herbs that tend to keep the pH low, Sepimax is always a consideration because I don’t have to worry about raising the pH to get the gel to form. Sepimax thickens over a wide pH range. According to the supplier, it works anywhere from a pH of 2 – 8.
You may have to adjust the percentage to get your desired consistency ,but it won’t turn into a liquid because you… added marshmallow root or hibiscus tea…for example. You know what I mean?
Ok…get to it! How is it done?
The first step is add Sepimax Zen powder to the water-soluble ingredients (before any of the oil-soluble ingredients), and manually stirring for about 2 minutes. Stirring by hand is ultra-low shear mixing.
I bet on the assumption that using high shear (like a stick blender) would cause an issue by negatively affecting the full viscosity… but I wasn’t 100% certain. I just know that sometimes, with some polymers, the viscosity is negatively affected by high shear. So, manually stirring by hand is the preferred method here.
After about 1 minute, you’ll notice the mix getting thicker and the white clumps decreasing rapidly.
.After 2 minutes of manual stirring, it’s well on it’s way to a fully hydrated, thick gel. Not a thin gel or a serum, but a full bodied gel.
The second step is letting that mixture sit about 10 minutes. After stirring for 2 minutes, set it aside for about 10 minutes
That’s it. 15 minutes is fine. 20 minutes is also fine. But about 10 minutes is all you need to continue your process.
It’s a thick gel and it’s ready for your other ingredients, including a small amount of electrolytes. After you add the rest of your ingredients, you may or may not have to use a low shear mixer… like a mini mixer…. or a milk frother …to get a smooth final product.
The point is that you don’t have to wait for 8 hours to get a thick gel. There may be some slight variation in the thickness of an 8 hour gel vs the 2-and-10 min gel. You’ll have to get someone to measure the mPa.s to know for sure. But certainly this is a great start.
If y’all already knew this, why didn’t yall tell me?! Got ya girl out here waiting 8 hours for nuthin! 🤣 Why Anyway, for more DIY recipes and formulas with the full ingredients list, instructions, my notes and other information, hit that link and join us today!
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