Thursday, April 24, 2014

How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Incroquat BTMS-50

Incroquat BTMS-50 (INCI: Behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetyl alcohol (and) butylene glycol) is a great emulsifier, imparting a dryer, less greasy feel to our lotions. As it is cationic or positively charged, you'll be making a positively charged lotion. (Emulsifying wax NF and Polawax are non-ionic, meaning they carry no electrical charge, while Ritamulse SCG is slightly anionic in nature.) As a result, some preservatives may not work well with BTMS as the emulsifier - Tinosan, for one - so always check out how the other ingredients in your lotion will be affected by changing to a cationic emulsifier. And check how this might work with your ingredients! For the most part, there isn't much to worry about it, but you can't mix Ritamulse SCG and Incroquat BTMS-50 together. 

BTMS-50 will offer skin conditioning benefits to your lotions, which is always a good thing. And if you're using a lot of silicones, BTMS is the best emulsifier for the job. You can make lotions with up to 50% silicones with BTMS.

BTMS-50 is used by adding it to the heated oil phase of your products and melting it along with those ingredients. After heating and holding, pour the heated oil or water phase into the other container and mix well with a stick blender or hand mixer. 

How would we alter our basic lotion with 70% water recipe using Incroquat BTMS-50? In general, you can substitute it 1:1 for Polawax, meaning we could just leave this at 6% emulsifier. But you can go down a bit with BTMS-50 as it can emulsify more with less. How to know how much to reduce? That's up to you! To be honest, I stick with the 1:1 substitution as it's just easier when I'm modifying recipes on the fly in the workshop. I have found recipes with BTMS-50 are thicker and drier feeling than those with Polawax, which is fine with me. If you want to reduce the BTMS-50 in this recipe, I'd start by using 5% and see how you like that.  

BASIC LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE (68.5% of the lotion)
68.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE (29% of the lotion)
16% oil
5% butter
3% thickener
6% Polawax

COOL DOWN PHASE (1.5% of the lotion)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)

Use the basic lotion making instructions for this product. 

As a note, check what you have in your workshop. You might have Incroquat BTMS-25 or Rita BTMS-225 instead of BTMS-50, which means you have less of the active ingredient behentrimonium methosulfate. Some people have found they can make awesome emulsions with BTMS-25 or BTMS-225 and others have found epic fails, and I haven't found any pattern as to when it works or doesn't. You'll have to give it a try. 

Related posts:

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at how we might modify this recipe using Lotionpro 165. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Ritamulse SCG

Ritamulse SCG (INCI: Glyceryl stearate (and) cetearyl alcohol (and) sodium stearoyl lactylate) is an Ecocert self-emulsifier that can be used at 2% to 10% to emulsify up to 25% oils in an oil in the water emulsion, although I've found that almost every sample recipe I've seen uses 8% or higher. It works best at pH 5 to 7.5, which means it isn't a great choice for moisturizers that might contain AHA or other acidic ingredients. It is plant derived, and claims to have a "silky, soft, talc-like feel". As you can see in the picture, it comes in off-white waxy flakes that must be used in the heated oil phase of your lotion. Its melting point is around 50˚C.

When using this ingredient, you want to heat and hold your water and oil phases, then add the water phase to the oil phase in a thin stream. They suggest mixing it until it reaches 30˚C. I have found that I can mix it for a few minutes after combining the two phases, leave it a bit, add my cool down phase, then mix it further and still have a really stable product.

Do not add your cool down phase until you reach 45˚C or lower. I tried adding my cool down at around 49˚C, and I had separation within a few minutes. It turned into a cottage cheese looking product! So gross! 

Ritamulse SCG doesn't play well with acidic ingredients, like AHA or lactic acids, and it's not great with cationic ingredients, so you don't want to include any cationic polymers or cationic compounds, like Incroquat CR, cetrimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, or Incroquat BTMS-50.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using this emulsifier.

1. I cannot stress enough how you don't want to go over 25% oils. It will result in a serious lotion fail, like the one you see here.

2. Do not add your cool down phase before you reach 45˚C. It will result in a serious lotion fail.

3. Do not use really acidic ingredients like AHAs or lactic acids as you will result in a lotion fail. This isn't the emulsifier for things like fancy moisturizers with loads of AHAs.

4. Do not use cationic ingredients in this product.

How would we alter a recipe like basic lotion we created the other day using Polawax? First, check to make sure the oil phase is less than 25%. Make sure you don't have cationic or really acidic ingredients. Then substitute the amount of Ritamulse SCG for the Polawax amount at the suggested rate. I have found the most stability with 8% Ritamulse SCG in my lotions with 25% oils. (Your mileage may vary...) So I'm going to substitute the 6% Polawax from the basic recipe with 8% Ritamulse SCG. This means that I will have to remove 2% from the water phase to make the recipe balance out.



BASIC LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE (68.5% of the lotion)
66.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE (29% of the lotion)
16% oil
5% butter
3% thickener
8% Ritamulse SCG

COOL DOWN PHASE (1.5% of the lotion)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)

Another consideration here. Ritamulse SCG contains cetearyl alcohol, which I have found can feel a little waxier than using something like Polawax. I wouldn't suggest using cetearyl alcohol as your thickener as it can get a bit much, but that's a personal choice.

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at using Incroquat BTMS-50 as our emulsifier!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Emulsifying wax NF

As I mentioned the other day, Polawax has an INCI of emulsifying wax NF, but that doesn't mean that something with an INCI of emulsifying wax NF is Polawax. There are many different versions of e-wax, so check what you are getting before buying! Check the INCI name to see what's in it. And make sure it is a complete emulsifier before buying, that is to say something that doesn't require the addition of something else before it will work. (Click here for a related post on all in one emulsifiers and a post on check what you're getting!)


Comes in pellet or flake form and must be heated and held to use. Much like Polawax, add the flakes to the heated oil phase and heat and hold that separately from the heated water phase. When both phases have reached 70˚C and have held for 20 minutes, remove from the double boiler and pour the oil or water phase into the other container. You can mix it with a hand mixer or stick blender.

For instance, at Lotioncrafter, emulsifying wax NF is listed as cetearyl alcohol and polysorbate 60, at Voyageur Soap & Candle as emulsifying wax NF without any specifics, and From Nature with Love as emulsifying wax (vegetable based) as Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Polysorbate 60 (and) PEG-150 Stearate (and) Steareth-20. Every supplier can be different, so keep notes as to what you've bought from whom and how it works in your product.

To substitute e-wax NF for Polawax, the general rule is to add 1% more to the emulsifier. So if Polawax has a usage rate of 25% of the oil phase, your rule for e-wax NF would be 25% of the oil phase, plus an extra 1%. If you have an oil phase of 20%, you'll be using 6% e-wax NF in the heated oil phase of your product. (20% x 0.25 = 5% + 1% = 6%). So how can we alter the recipe found in yesterday's post using Polawax to include e-wax NF? 

BASIC LOTION RECIPE MODIFIED TO USE E-WAX NF
HEATED WATER PHASE (68.5% of the lotion)
67.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE (29% of the lotion)
16% oil
5% butter
3% thickener
7% emulsifying wax 

COOL DOWN PHASE (1.5% of the lotion)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)


We have an oil phase of 24%, so we are using 7% e-wax NF. (24% x 0.25 = 6% +1% = 7%). And when we add something to the recipe, we remove that amount from the water phase to keep the recipe adding up to 100%, so I removed 1% from the water phase.

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at how to alter this recipe using Ritamulse SCG.


Monday, April 21, 2014

How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Polawax

I like Polawax (INCI: Emulsifying wax NF). It's a fairly fool proof non-ionic (neutrally charged) emulsifier that works well with even large amounts of oils in things like body butters or creams. (For a technical data sheet on Polawax, please click here.)

In my humble opinion, Polawax is the easiest of the emulsifiers for lotion making. We add it to the heated oil phase and let it melt with our oils, butters, and other oil soluble ingredients. When we're done heating and holding, we can add the heated oil phase to the heated water phase or vice versa - either way works. Mix with a stick blender or hand mixer or other mechanized method. And

We generally use Polawax at 25% of the oil phase of our lotions. So if you have 20% oils, you would use it at 5% (20 x 0.25 = 5). If you have 30% oils, you would use it at 7.5% (30 x 0.25 = 7.5). And so on.

Polawax can handle up to 50% oils in the oil phase, and it can be used as low as 2% and as high as 10%, although I've found 4% or higher is more stable.

I use Polawax as my default emulsifier when I'm creating recipes, which means I figure out my oil phase, then add 25% of that in Polawax. Let's take a look at a sample recipe today and figure out how we can adjust it for the other emulsifiers we might use. I'm using an oil phase of 24%, and I'm basing it on my basic 70% water recipe, which is the base recipe I tend to use when I'm formulating something from scratch.


BASIC LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE (68.5% of the lotion)
68.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE (29% of the lotion)
16% oil
5% butter
3% thickener
6% Polawax

COOL DOWN PHASE (1.5% of the lotion)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)

Use the basic lotion making instructions for this product.

As you can see, if we are using Polawax, we figure out how much oil is in the oil phase - this would include everything oil soluble in the heated oil phase and the cool down phase - and figure out how much 25% of that might be. (This would include things like silicones in the cool down phase.)

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at emulsifying wax NF and how to use it!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: What's in Polawax?

What exactly is in Polawax? This question has come up a few times lately and the answer is that we don't know what is in Polawax. It's a trade secret. But if this is the case, why has New Directions Aromatics posted this in their listing for Polawax? "Emulsifying Wax NF consists of four ingredients. These are Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-150 Stearate, Polysorbate 60, and Steareth-20. It mirrors the properties of Cetyl Alcohol while promoting the thickening features of Stearyl Alcohol." Where did they get this information?

I think it might have come the Wikipedia site for emulsifying wax NF or WiseGeek's entry on emulsifying wax NF (which is word for word what you see on the NDA site). But here's the thing...the INCI for Polawax is emulsifying wax NF, but emulsifying wax NF isn't necessarily Polawax. So you can't say that the ingredients for Polawax are the same as e-wax NF.

What is in Polawax? As I mentioned above, we don't know. There has been some speculation that it's cetearyl alcohol and polysorbate 60, but nothing has been confirmed.

Let's take a look at some of our emulsifiers again over the next few days! Join me tomorrow for more fun with emulsifiers!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: What to substitute for lecithin in a nail product?

In this post on the Chemistry of our nails: lotion bars with lecithin, Laura asks: What can I substitute lecithin with? Beeswax, more lanolin, exotic butter (which sounds fantastic for my 'gardening without gloves' hands? ;)

When we're trying to figure out what we can use as a substitute, the first thing I do is refer to the post on the oil, butter, or ingredient to see what it brings to the party. In this case, I'll go to the emollients section of the blog and see what lecithin brings to this product. Lecithin is used in this lotion bar for our nails because it contains phospholipids, which are also found in our nails. It can behave as an emulsifier when combined with a high HLB emulsifier and it can behave as a humectant, which means it draws water from the atmosphere to our skin. It is a great emollient, meaning it makes our skin feel softer, and it behaves as an anti-oxidant. It is a thicker feeling, slightly sticky oil, much thicker than any of the oils that we would normally use.

What can we use as a substitute? In a lotion bar, we have to ask if this product is keeping the product solid, because we wouldn't want to make a bar that remained liquid! Nope, it's just another liquid oil, which means we can use another liquid oil in its place, more beeswax, or more butters. We could choose an oil like raspberry oil to get some phospholipids. We could choose an oil like avocado oil to get the thickness, or we could use an oil like olive oil as a humectant. Something like meadowfoamseed oil would add some serious anti-oxidants to the mix as well. Or you could choose your favourite oil or something you have in your workshop as any oil will add some emolliency to the product.

When it comes to adding more solid ingredients like beeswax or a butter to this product, I would caution against it. This is already a solid product, and adding a solid ingredient might make it too stiff or waxy.

To sum it up, the short answer is that you can use any liquid oil as a substitution in this product, but you might want to choose that liquid oil based on the goal of the product and the skin feel of the various ingredients.

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: Is there a general rule about increasing/decreasing beeswax in lotion bars?

In this post on lotion bars, Tina asks: I'm trying to figure out if there's a general rule for tweaking the basic recipe (33/33/33/1 -beeswax/butter/oil/fragrance). You said that, for example, with cocoa butter, you'd use less beeswax. So if I use beeswax at 25%, what's the rule for altering the butter and oil? Does that now available 8% (freed up by reducing the beeswax by 8%) get split between the oil and butter equally, resulting in 25/37/37/1 ? Or does that 8% get added to the oil, resulting in 25/33/41/1 ? I'm looking for a general rule about what ingredients should be increased when the beeswax is decreased. I hope this question makes sense, I just realized it's midnight and I'm a bit sleepy! I got completely absorbed (again) by your blog this evening :)

Unfortunately, there isn't a rule about how to alter the beeswax and butter: It's all about how you want it to look and feel when it has hardened. For instance, I have found that I generally do 28% to 30% beeswax to 28% to 30% mango butter, but that's only my experience with the ingredients I get from my local suppliers. I find 33% shea butter to 33% beewax works best, but that's only if it's refined or ultra refined shea butter.

That's the thing about our ingredients: Because so many of them are botanical in nature, we can get differences between batches. I can get a batch of refined shea butter that feels quite squishy to the touch and other times can be a little harder. Switch to a less refined shea butter, and you're likely to see bigger differences between batches. I found this golden shea butter to be quite dry feeling and crumbly, almost like mango butter!

As a note, this is one of the reasons the big companies tend to use things like mineral oil. They can guarantee each batch of mineral oil will be the same every time they order it. You can't guarantee that with something like sunflower oil or mango butter. 

So if you have 28% beeswax to 28% mango butter, what do we do with the left over 44%? You generally add that much in oil. So I would have a recipe that 28% mango butter, 28% beeswax, 42% liquid oil, 1% fragrance or essential oil, and 1% Vitamin E (optional). However - and you know there's always a however - if you have a mango butter that is a little softer than the last batch, you might need to add a little more beeswax. I've found that what I can do is take a bit of my batch and put it in some kind of small mold and put it into the freezer. Take it out, and see if it's the hardness and skin feel you want. If you like it, then pour it into the molds or tins or containers. If you don't, then modify it by adding more of something to make it harder or softer.

So the short answer to your question, Tina, is that there isn't a general rule about how to modify your lotion bars, except that the left over amount can be added in liquid oils. Keep really great records when you're modifying these recipes so you can make that awesome thing again!

Related posts:
Newbie Tuesday: Let's make lotion bars! 

If you want to learn more about lotion bars, here are a few post ideas...
Back to basics: The basic recipe
Back to basics: Lotion bars - tweaking the waxes
Back to basics: Lotion bars - tweaking the butters and oils
Back to basics: Lotion bars - let's get complicated
Back to basics: Lotion bars - wrap up and link-o-rama
The chemistry of our nails: Lotion bar with lecithin and lanolin