Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG

Let's take another look at a six ingredient lotion we could make! We've already made a rice bran oil & mango butter body butter and a rice bran oil & mango butter body lotion...what should we do next?

What's a six ingredient lotion? It's one that contains six ingredients not including the water, preservative, and fragrance or essential oil. It helps us get back to the basics when it's so easy to go nuts including every ingredient we have in the workshop!

Let's take a look at my favourite oil and butter combination - kukui nut oil and babassu oil. Kukui nut oil is a light, non-greasy feeling oil with an amazingly silky after feel. And babassu oil is a lot like coconut oil, only it's not as thick with a less greasy feeling that feels silky after a minute or so. It won't add a ton of viscosity to a product, so if you want something thick, you'll have to add something like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid to get some serious thickening. This is a great combination with any emulsifying wax, but I really like it with Ritamulse SCG, which will keep that drier feeling and increase the viscosity.

Do I want to thicken this lotion further? No, probably not. If I were to make this with Polawax or e-wax, I'd probably add cetyl alcohol or stearic acid or another thickener, but Ritamulse SCG already makes thicker lotions than other emulsifiers.

So I have three ingredients - Ritamulse SCG, kukui nut oil, and babassu oil. What's next? I really like allantoin, so I'm going to include that at 0.5% as an occlusive ingredient. We can get our occlusion through using dimethicone, cocoa butter, or allantoin. Since I already have my oil phase complete, allantoin seems to be the best choice.

I do love humectants. I think I'm going with 3% glycerin here as it's simply a great humectant that offers all around awesomeness to the lotion.

So one ingredient left. Hmm, what to use? What skin type am I making this for? I'm making it for my slightly oily skin that gets quite dry in the summer when it's less humid. I have a humectant - could I use another one? I could. Sodium lactate is a great choice, but at more than 3%, it can make you sun sensitive and I'm already not a sun lover as it is! I think honeyquat would be a lovely choice. It's a skin conditioning agent and a humectant that can go into the cool down phase. I think I'll use that one.

I'm going to base my recipe on this one, my mom's favourite lotion, only we'll modify it keeping in mind that we can only use six ingredients!

KUKUI NUT & BABASSU OIL LOTION WITH RITAMULSE SCG
WATER PHASE
60% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
8% Ritamulse SCG
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

COOL DOWN
3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

What do you do if you don't have Ritamulse SCG but want to make this product? Why you tune in tomorrow to see how we could make this with Polawax!

**NOTE: I have mentioned in the past that Ritamulse SCG doesn't like cationic ingredients. Honeyquat is a cationic ingredient. However, I've made this lotion and it is holding up well, so it looks like they can be combined. But I'm not going to recommend it for everyone as I would hate for you to have an epic lotion fail and have it be my fault. Instead, think about using 2% sodium lactate in the heated water phase, or another lovely ingredient that isn't positively charged in place of the honeyquat. Thank you for my lovely readers for remembering this when I didn't. This is what I mean about the heat of the workshop! When you're in the moment and surrounded by lovely ingredients, your best recollections can go out the window when faced by an awesome product like Honeyquat!

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Polawax or e-wax

Yesterday we took a look at how to make a six ingredient lotion with kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG. Today, let's modify that recipe for those of you with Polawax or e-wax.

Recipes made with Ritamulse SCG tend to be thicker than those made with Polawax or e-wax, and a lot thicker than those made with Lotionpro 165. If you want to adapt a Ritamulse SCG lotion for one with Polawax, remember the 25% rule! (And remember, this rule is only for Polawax.) Figure out the size of your oil phase, which is to say you'll calculate your oil soluble ingredients.

KUKUI NUT & BABAUSS OIL LOTION RECIPE WITH RITAMULSE SCG
WATER PHASE
60% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
8% Ritamulse SCG
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

COOL DOWN
3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

In this case, the oil phase is 12 + 12 = 24. (We add up the oil soluble ingredients, which would be the oil and butter.) Then we multiply by 0.25 (or divide by 4) and get the result. This means we would use 6% Polawax. (Add 2% back to the water amount to have the recipe total 100%).

If you are using e-wax, you generally use 25% of the oil phase plus 1%. Calculate to get the Polawax amount of 6%. Now add 1% to that for 7% e-wax.

Should we thicken this product? We could. It will be thinner than the version we made yesterday, but not by a huge amount. It will be the thickness of a body or hand lotion. Should we change any other ingredients? No, I really like this lotion and think it works with the ingredients we used yesterday!

KUKUI NUT & BABASSU OIL LOTION RECIPE WITH POLAWAX
WATER PHASE
62% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
6% Polawax
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

COOL DOWN
3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

If you want to use another emulsifier, then follow the rules for that emulsifier. For Lotionpro 165, you'd want to reduce the emulsifier to 4% and add 2% to the water amount. If you're using Incroquat BTMS-50, I'd reduce it to 4% or 5% or you'll get a very thick lotion. 

Join me on Thursday for more fun with six ingredient lotions! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's time for a holiday!

We're off on a camping adventure to southern Washington state! Canada Day is upon us, and we're celebrating by leaving the country for a week! We'll be back on Thursday, July 2nd or the 3rd, depending upon our whims!

As a result, I might not be near wi-fi every day to send you out an e-book or even see that you have donated. The moment I get near a wi-fi location, I'll check my mail and send out your e-book! Thank you so much for your patience.

I'll still be posting this week, so keep checking back for some more six ingredient lotion ideas! The great news is that I have more holiday time when I come home, which means fun in the workshop with loads of new ingredients!

Hope you're having a great week. If it's too warm where you live, make sure you're using loads of sunscreen, drinking tons of water, staying in the shade, and enjoying some swimming! See you later this week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Six ingredient lotions: Rice bran & mango butter body butter

Yesterday we took a look at a six ingredient lotion with rice bran oil and mango butter. Today we'll take a look at another six ingredient recipe we could make using the basic lotion recipe.

BASIC LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE
68.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE
24% oil
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

I mentioned yesterday that the amount of thickener you choose can change the viscosity of this lotion. So if you want to use 20% butter, you'll get a thicker product than something with 10%. I thought it would be fun to make a body butter using the same ingredients I used yesterday.

I'm choosing rice bran oil and mango butter again, but I'll use them in different proportions. Yesterday, I used 15% rice bran oil and 6% mango butter. Today, I'll use 15% mango butter with 6% rice bran oil. Combined with 3% cetyl alcohol, this will be a thicker product more akin to a body butter than a lotion. If I use an emulsifier like Lotionpro 165, this will be a light and fluffy body butter. If I use Polawax, it'll be a thicker and slightly greasier product. If I use Incroquat BTMS-50, it'll be a thicker and less greasy product. If I use Ritamulse SCG, it'll be a thicker and less greasy product. I think I'll go with Polawax in this lotion as I like the skin feel it offers. (If you want to use e-wax in this recipe, add 1% to the emulsifier.)

I will go with 3% glycerin again because I love to include humectants and I think I'll use the 0.5% allantoin again.

My big changes are to switch the amounts of oil and butter here. What will that recipe look like?

RICE BRAN & MANGO BUTTER BODY BUTTER 
HEATED WATER PHASE
65% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

HEATED OIL PHASE
15% mango butter
6% rice bran oil
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)
3% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Please use the general lotion making directions for this product.

Join me tomorrow as we make another six ingredient lotion!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Six ingredient lotions: Rice bran & mango butter body lotion

Marina's recent experiment with changing just one ingredient in a lotion to see what it does inspired me to bring back the six ingredient lotion challenge! What's a six ingredient lotion? It's one that contains six ingredients not including the water, preservative, and fragrance or essential oil. It helps us get back to the basics when it's so easy to go nuts including every ingredient we have in the workshop!

Related posts:
Six ingredient lotion: Shea, soy bean & sesame oil
Six ingredient lotion: Meadowfoam & cocoa butter
Six ingredient lotion: Cetearyl ethylhexanoate & cocoa butter

Let's take a look at a six ingredient lotion using my basic lotion recipe. (You can use any recipe you like. I'm choosing this one as it's the easiest to adapt and can make all kinds of different lotions!)

BASIC LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE
68.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE
24% oil
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Feel free to use another preservative appropriate for oil-in-water lotions. To learn more, visit the preservative section of the blog!

What could we make with this recipe? We can make just about any lotion you wish with this recipe depending upon the ingredients we include. For instance, if we want to create a body butter type product, we'd use more butters than oils. If we want to create a hand or body lotion, we might use a bit of butter and more oils. If we want to create a moisturizer, we'd leave out any thickeners and butters to keep it quite thin.

I think I'll create a body lotion with some oils, butters, and thickeners.

First, let's choose an emulsifier. I think I'll go with Polawax because it goes with pretty much every ingredient I want to use. It's fairly foolproof and works with the 24% oil phase I've chosen. You could also use Ritamulse SCG, Incroquat BTMS-50, or Lotionpro 165 in this lotion. (I'd go down to 4% for the Lotionpro 165 or Incroquat BTMS-50 and increase the water by 2%.)

What should I use as an oil? I really like rice bran oil. It's a great light to medium oil with tons of phytosterols to help with inflammation and polyphenols. I think it feels about medium greasy. Way less than something like soy bean oil but more than evening primrose or pomegranate oil. It contains a nice balance of oleic and linoleic acid, and it isn't too expensive.

You can use a combination of oils here, but I'm choosing just one so I can include other ingredients since I'm limited to six. 

Should I include a butter? I can, but at a lower level than I would for a body butter. Mango butter is a great inclusion in a lotion as it's a less greasy feeling butter that isn't too expensive. It'll thicken up the product a bit, but not as much as cocoa butter would, for instance.

Should I include a thickener? I would like one in this product to make it slightly thicker than a moisturizer. The butter will thicken it, but the inclusion of something like cetyl alcohol at 3% will make it feel glidy, slick, and thicker. I could use stearic acid if I wanted it to be thicker but not so glidy or cetearyl alcohol if I wanted it to be thicker and a little more waxy feeling.

What else could I choose for this lotion? I could add things to the water phase. I would like a humectant to draw water from the environment to my skin and hydate it further. Let's go with glycerin as it's a great, inexpensive humectant.

Hmm, I have one ingredient left to choose. What could I choose? I could choose from so many ingredients, I couldn't list them here! I think I'll include allantoin at 0.5% in the heated water phase because it's a fantastic skin protectant that softens skin (it's a keratolytic, meaning it causes the keratin to soften), causes rapid cell regeneration and proliferation, and is approved by the FDA to temporarily prevent and protect chafed, chapped, cracked, or windburned skin by speeding up the natural processes of the skin and increasing the water content. It offers so much for so little, and it's inexpensive, too!

So what does our lotion look like now?

RICE BRAN & MANGO BUTTER BODY LOTION
HEATED WATER PHASE
65% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

HEATED OIL PHASE
15% rice bran oil
6% mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
6% Polawax

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

1. Weigh out your water phase in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. (To learn how to compensate for evaporation, click here.)

2. Weigh out your heated oil phase in a heat proof container and put into your double boiler.

3. When both containers have reached 70˚C, weigh out your water again, then add it to your oil container. (This is a very cool moment...watch closely. It's emulsified! It's lotion!)

4. Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender for at least 3 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you would like until the temperature reaches 45˚C.

5. Let cool to 45˚C, then add your fragrance or essential oil and preservative. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.

6. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature (a few hours), put into a bottle (with a pump, if possible), jar, or malibu bottle, then use. Rejoice for you have made a lotion!

This will give us a low to medium greasiness, medium viscosity lotion suitable for a hand or body lotion.

Want to learn more about lotion making? Check out this post on lotion making for newbies!

Join me tomorrow as we play with another six ingredient lotion!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A few links for a lovely almost-summer Wednesday...

If you've ever wondered what it would feel like to change just one ingredient in that lotion, then wonder no more! Marina spent ages changing just one ingredient at a time to see what each thing brought to her product, and she's reporting her results to us! Please visit this post - then scroll down to the comments - to see Marina's awesome process and outcomes!

If you're interested in learning how to make a pomade, check out this recipe. I haven't made of any of these because none of the men in my life use them, but it seems like a nice recipe. (If you try it, can you give us your opinion? There's an e-book in it!) 

Did you see Game of Thrones on Sunday? I'm telling you, I need some serious grief therapy after this season! 



Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Do we use weight or volume measurements?

From this post, Conditioner!, Karen asks: When formulating your (conditioner) recipes, do you go by weight or volume?

And Crystal asked in the Lotions: Adding the additives postI am NEW to lotion making-mostly I do oil, water and emulsifying wax. And I have grown used to using teaspoons, and ounces. I don't understand how to use the percentages way. Of course, it seems way more precise. Do you have a tutorial on how to convert or interpret percentages when formulating a lotion.

Let's check out this post - how to convert recipes from percentages to weight - from the FAQ!

All the recipes on my blog are in percentages and they should add up to 100% (although there are some differences in the amount of preservative used). The easiest way to convert the recipe is to think of the percentage sign as the word "grams". So if you see 70% water, you'd use 70 grams of water. 15% oil would become 15 grams of oil and so on. The recipe will total 100 grams of product.

But let's say you want to make a really large batch of lotion to give as Christmas presents. Substitute the percentage sign with grams, then multiply by how much you want to make. If you want 500 grams of lotion, you'd see the 70% water as 70 grams of water x 5 for 350 grams of water. 15% oil would be 15 grams x 5 for 75 grams of water. And so on. You'd have 500 grams of product.

Why do we weigh our ingredients? For accuracy. Using cups and teaspoons aren't accurate, so we might end up with more or less emulsifying wax than we need, which can result in an epic lotion fail or end up with more beeswax than we want in a lotion bar, leading to drag on our skin. It makes it easier to replicate that awesome recipe you made last time, as well.

If you're curious, the scale above is a Salter diet scale I bought from London Drugs for about $33. It goes to 0.01, which is pretty awesome! (This isn't an endorsement. I make no money if you click through. Just sharing my new purchase!)

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to make a successful lotion!

Don't be scared of lotion making! Yes, failure is a possibility, but if you start with a good recipe, use enough of an appropriate emulsifier, and follow good manufacturing processes, it's almost a guarantee you'll create an awesome lotion that won't separate. Remember that a good lotion requires three things to emulsify - heat, mixing, and chemistry.

To make a successful lotion, you want to start with a good recipe. A good recipe is written in percentages and is done by weight, not volume. Lotions will always have oil, water, emulsifier, and a preservative. If you don't have these four things, you don't have a lotion. (Anything that contains water must have a preservative. Not optional.)

When it comes to working with volume measurements...is tablespoon of beeswax before or after heating? Is the coconut oil melted or not? We use weighted measurements because they are way more accurate. Plus, you have the bonus of not having to wash measuring cups and spoons afterwards! 

You want to follow good manufacturing processes, which is to say you will heat and hold. This is a simple idea - heat and hold your heated oil phase and heated water phase in separate containers for 20 minutes at 70˚C or 158˚F - but it goes a long way in creating a stable, well emulsified lotion. 

And you want to mix your product. Most of the time, you can use a stick blender or hand mixer, unless your emulsifier indicates otherwise. (I'm looking at you, Montanov 68!) There is some debate about how long to mix your product. Generally, I mix for about 3 to 5 minutes, then let it cool, add the cool down phase, and mix again for another minute or two. It's hard to overmix your product - Olivem 1000 notes you can overmix it - but this amount of mixing works for me. 

If you want to make a lotion for the first time, may I suggest the post let's make a lotion? I can guarantee that if you follow this recipe, heat and hold, and mix well, you will have a great lotion that won't separate. (If you're using Optiphen, there's always a chance of failure. See this post for more information...) Or check out some of the other recipes in the newbie section

Related posts:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why did my lotion fail? Water in oil recipes

As I mentioned at the start of this series, the lotions we make are oil-in-water recipes, meaning that the oil is floating in globules inside the water phase. We can also make water-in-oil recipes, meaning that the water is floating in globules inside the oil phase. For these kinds of lotions, we require different emulsifiers.

*If you'd like to learn more about what makes an oil in water lotion or water in oil lotion what it is, check out this post - Chemistry Thursday: The Bancroft Rule

If you make a lotion with more than 50% oil phase, you may be making a water-in-oil recipe and that will require a different emulsifier. (If you want to make a lotion with beeswax and borax as the emulsifier, you will be making a water-in-oil lotion.) If you reduce the oil phase to 45%, you may be back in oil-in-water territory and your usual all-in-one emulsifiers will work well.

As I've never made a water-in-oil lotion - I find them very very greasy, which is saying a lot as I like my lotions greasy - I will refer you to the instructions below for more information!

Related posts from around the web
Instructions on making a w/o lotion from Making Cosmetics
Seppic's water-in-oil emulsifiers

Why did my lotion fail? Optiphen

Optiphen - INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol - is, unfortunately, a bit of a pain in the bum when it comes to lotion making. Yep, it's another reason your lotion could fail.

As a note, I'm hearing that Optiphen Plus (INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid) and Optiphen ND (INCI: Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid) are curdling lotions as well, so this may apply to that product as well. 

Kuldip suggested: Add optiphen at about 45-55°C, the trick is to keep mixing until cool. Usually adding optiphen to a cationic emulsion the product sometime thins out and will eventually thicken as it cools.

I have no experience with Optiphen - as you all know, I'm a liquid Germall Plus girl - so I can't make any other suggestions. If you have any, please share them with your fellow formulators in the comments below!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why did my lotion fail? Heating and holding

I see recipes all over the web for lotions that forget something very very important: Heating and holding. This process is not optional: It's essential. And it's the other major reason lotions fail.

The summary of heating and holding is this...We heat and hold our separate heated water phase and heated oil phase for 20 minutes at 70˚C/158˚F. Remove the containers from the heat, combine, then mix well with either a mixer or a stick blender.

Why do we do this? To make the emulsion work better. If we heat and hold our ingredients at 70˚C for 20 minutes, we are assured that our emulsifier will be very oil soluble, which means it will create a water-in-oil emulsion that will eventually become an oil-in-water emulsion, which is very stable. We are assured our micelles will be a nice size, and we have eliminated most of the nasty contaminants that could ruin our lotion. In short, by heating and holding, we are ensuring we have a stable lotion that will remain emulsified and bug-free for a very long time!

When I teach classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle, we don't have a water bath to create a double boiler, so we can't heat and hold. We warm our water in the kettle and heat the oils in the microwaves. We use recipes I know will work well, but we still get failures. Why? Because we aren't heating and holding.

There is no reason not to heat and hold. It's an easy process that ensures that you will make an awesome lotion!

Related posts:
Why we heat & hold our ingredients!
Why we heat & hold our ingredients separately
Weekend Wonderings: Heating & holding
Creating products: Heating & holding
What if you go over 70˚C when heating & holding?
How to heat & hold over a stove?
Does heating and holding damage our oils?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why did my lotion fail? Emulsifiers continued...

One of the main reasons lotions will fail is due to improper use of emulsifiers. As I mentioned yesterday, you want to make sure you are using a suitable, all-in-one emulsifier that fits the requirements of your lotion.

For instance, if you wanted to make a body lotion with a 30% oil phase, and you were planning to use Polawax, you would want to use 7.5%% Polawax. For Lotionpro 165, you'd use up to 5%, and for Incroquat BTMS-50, you could use as low as 5% as well. You couldn't use Ritamulse SCG or Sucragel AOF as they can only handle oil phases up to 25%. If you were to use these latter emulsifiers or use only 5% Polawax, you would likely see a lotion fail.

So let's say you wanted to make a facial moisturizer with AHAs, proteins, silicones, and cationic ingredients. You would want to use Polawax, e-wax, Incroquat BTMS-50, or Lotionpro 165. You can't use Ritamulse as you are using a positively charged or cationic ingredient. You can't use Sucragel AOF as you are using silicones. You can't use Olivem 1000 because you are using a protein.

If you wanted to make a light lotion, you might turn to Sucragel AOF, Olivem 1000, or Lotionpro 165 to keep the viscosity low. (And leave out the thickeners!) Having said that, you could use any of these emulsifiers as they can all make light lotions!

It is very important to consider which emulsifier you are using. Polawax, e-wax, Incroquat BTMS-50, and Lotionpro 165 are fairly foolproof and have few restrictions on their usage. If you are using the right amount, heating and holding, and mixing with a hand mixer or stick blender, you'll be fine. With your other emulsifiers, please make sure you are familiar with their usage, including what ingredients you can't use with it, when to add other ingredients, and how to mix it well.

Related posts: 
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Polawax
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? E-wax
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Ritamulse SCG
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Incroquat BTMS-50
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Lotionpro 165

I need to make one final point here. Beeswax is not an emulsifier. It can be combined with borax for water-in-oil lotions, but on its own, it is not an emulsifier. Other waxes like floral waxes or things like sunflower wax are also not emulsifiers. In order to be an emulsifier, the ingredient needs to be a surfactant with a hydrophilic - water loving -  head and a lipophilic - oil loving - tail. The hydrophilic head is in contact with the water phase while the lipophilic tail is in contact with the oil phase. The hydrophilic tail connects to the oil and the head protudes into the water connecting the two. Beeswax, floral, and vegetable waxes simply don't have those features.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Why did my lotion fail? Emulsifiers

When you are making a lotion, it is essential that you choose a good emulsifier that will work with the recipe you want and use it in quantities that will guarantee a great emulsification. In general, the lotion fails I see that relate to emulsifiers are all about not using enough or using the wrong one.

Every emulsifier comes with information on how to use it, like how much to use, when to use it (heated oil phase, heated water phase, cool down phase), what it can emulsify (vegetable oils, silicones, esters, etc.) to name a few things. For instance, Sucragel AOF can't emulsify silicones or non-natural oils, while Incroquat BTMS-50 is great at silicones. Check the suggested usage for your emulsifier with your supplier and make sure you're getting the one you want.

Emulsifiers may require other things to make them work. Something like Polawax is an all-in-one emulsifying system that works without anything else, but something like ceteareth-20 requires a low HLB emulsifier to work while glyceryl stearate would require a high HLB emulsifier to work. Check with your supplier to ensure what you are getting is what you want!

Note: All the emulsifiers I list below are all-in-one emulsifiers that are suitable for oil-in-water lotions. When it comes to water-in-oil lotions - like cold creams - you will have to find other emulsifiers, like borax and beeswax.

Polawax is generally my go-to emulsifier because it seems pretty much foolproof. Just use enough and make sure you heat and hold, and you've got yourself a lotion. It doesn't have any restrictions about what emollients it could emulsify. When we use Polawax, we want to use it at 25% of the oil phase of the product.

OIL PHASE
10% olive oil
5% mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM

This oil phase totals 20%. We want to use 25% Polawax, so we would multiply the 20% by 0.25 and get 5%. So we are using 5% Polawax for this oil phase. Using a little more wouldn't be the end of the world, but we definitely don't want to go under.

Note: This 25% rule ONLY applies to Polawax. It doesn't apply to any other emulsifier.  Check out this post on why I might use more or less Polawax in a creation.

If you're using emulsifying wax NF, the general rule is that you would use 25% of the oil phase, plus one. So for the recipe above, you'd use 6% e-wax.

Incroquat BTMS-50 is another fairly foolproof emulsifier that works with any oils, butters, or other emollients you might want to use. (Make sure you are getting BTMS-50 and not BTMS-25 as the latter isn't a great emulsifier! Read the INCI to make sure!) There isn't a hard and fast rule about how to much to use in a product, but I generally use slightly less than I would with Polawax as it thickens the product quite a bit. If I were to use 5% Polawax for the oil phase above, I would use 4% to 5% BTMS-50.

As I mentioned above, Incroquat BTMS-50 is fantastic for emulsifying silicones. The data bulletin shows a recipe emulsifying 20% silicones with 3.5% BTMS-50.

Ritamulse SCG can be a bit tricky as there are some restrictions on what you can use with it. You should not go over 25% oil soluble ingredients total - check out this post to see the epic lotion fail! - and you can't use cationic or positively charged ingredients like honeyquat with it. Do not even think about adding your cool down phase before it hits 45˚C as that can lead to another epic lotion fail.

The usage suggested for Ritamulse SCG is 6% to 8%. I tend to use the higher amount to ensure a good emulsification.



Lotionpro 165 is a new emulsifier for me, and steadily becoming one of my favourites! It's usage rate is suggested at 2.5% to 5% for up to 30% oils. It works well with AHAs and BHAs, and is suggested for facial moisturizers. It tends to make thinner products than those made with the previous three emulsifiers, so you might need to add some cetyl alcohol or stearic acid to boost the viscosity.






Montanov 68 is a liquid crystal emulsifier. The suggested usage is 1% to 5%, and it is suggested to use it at 25% of the oil phase. For this one, you want to mix it with a stick blender, not a mixer. This emulsifier can be hard to preserve, so you will want to choose a preservative that works well with hard-to-preserve lotions, like Germaben II or Phenonip.







Olivem 800 is used at 1 to 3% if used with a co-emulsifier, and 2 to 5% as the primary emulsifier. It must be heated and held in the oil phase for use. It is suitable for oil free products and very light lotions.

Olivem 1000 is a liquid crystal emulsifier. The suggestion is to use 2% to 3% for light fluid lotions where the Olivem 1000 is the only emollient in the oil phase, 4% to 5% for 5% to 25% oils, and 6% to 8% to be a self emulsifying system. It's suggested that we use glyceryl stearate at 1% to 2% in the oil phase or xanthan gum at 0.2% or carbomer at up to 0.1% in the water phase to increase stability. It's also suggested to use cetearyl alcohol as the fatty alcohol in the oil phase.

Heat and hold your water phase at 70˚C and your oil phase to 70˚C to 75˚C. Add the oil phase to the water phase, then mix with high shear mixer, like a stick blender for this. Mix until the emulsion is formed, then a few minutes or so, then walk away until it reaches the cool down phase, then briefly mix again. I've seen it suggested that you mix the post-cool down phase lotion by hand as it is possible to overmix this lotion. It can take up to 24 hours for it to reach its final viscosity.

I've read that this emulsifier isn't a big fan of proteins and some hydrosols can cause clumping.

Side note: I have never had success with this emulsifier and have given up trying. If you want more information on it, please check out the comments in the linked post as people have offered great information on it! 

Sucragel AOF is a liquid emulsifier that can be used cold. As I mentioned above, AOF cannot be used with esters, mineral oils, or silicones. It works with ingredients that are pH 4 to 8. You don't want to go over a 25% oil phase. And you must use your ingredients in the proper order! This makes very light lotions that are slightly sticky, so I suggest adding a thickener like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid to the product to increase viscosity.


Join me tomorrow as we continue to take a look at emulsifiers!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Why did my lotion fail?

The most common question I'm asked is "why did my lotion fail?" I thought we'd take a few days to look at the various ways a lotion could fail and how to fix it.

What is a lotion? (From Back to to the very basics: Lotion making!) A lotion is an emulsified product. It can be an oil in water mixture - meaning there's more water than oil - or a water in oil mixture - meaning there's more oil than water. We generally make oil-in-water emulsions. A lotion must have water, oil, an emulsifier, and a preservative. Without these things, you don't have a lotion.

What do we need for an emulsified product to succeed? (From this post: Emulsification, what's that then?) We need three things - an appropriate emulsifer, heat, and mixing. Without all three, you won't succeed.

We heat and hold our products for 20 minutes at 70˚C/158˚F to ensure they will emulsify well. We mix with a mixer or a stick blender to ensure the product is mixed well. And we use enough of an appropriate emulsifier to ensure the oil and water will come together.

So what happens when our lotions fail? (From this post: When lotions go wrong!) The oil and water phases are no longer combined, and you'll see that as separation. It could be very subtle, like the bottle in the picture at the top of this post, or it could be dramatic, like the cottage cheese looking product to your left. It could happen right away or it could happen over time.

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at what can happen when we don't use enough or choose the wrong emulsifier.

Related posts:
A slightly more in depth look at emulsification
Emulsifying systems: Polawax, e-wax, and BTMS-50
It's time to make lotion!
Epic lotion fail with Natramulse
A few questions about lotion fails
Question: Why did this lotion fail?
Troubleshooting a lotion fail...
Can I save a failed lotion?

Monday, June 1, 2015

The weather is getting warmer! A few notes...

It's getting warm in the Fraser Valley: We had temperatures of up to 29˚C last week, which is far too warm for me, and it's still only spring! When we get into the summer months, it's time to think about a few things...

Get your oils and butters into a cool, dark place. Sun and heat can speed up oxidation and rancidity of our lovely emollients, so get them into a dark place or into the fridge or freezer. Yes, you can freeze your oils with no problems!

Coconut oil and babassu oil melt around 24˚C/76˚F, so get them into the fridge or freezer over the warmer months. I'll never forget the time I went into my oils and butters box only to find a layer of oil in which everything was covered!

Using stearic acid as a thickener in your lotions can make them feel slightly colder. You can also use peppermint essential oil or menthol for that reason, too.

Blast from the past: Sunscreens
Please visit this post if you want to learn more about sunscreens and why we don't make them at home!

I think it's time to have a lie down in the cold room for a while and decompress after a morning in the workshop! It's really hot in there!