Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A few thoughts for Tuesday morning about emulsifiers...

The rule of using 25% of your oil phase as emulsifier ONLY applies to Polawax (and Natragem EW, which is a natural variation of Polawax, but it's hard to find, so it's not really come up before). Every emulsifier has its own suggested usage rate, and to have a lotion success, you have to follow those rules carefully.

For instance, use between 6% and 8% Ritamulse SCG for no more than 25% oils. Montanov 68 uses 1% to 5% for around 25% oils. Olivem 1000 can be used at 1% to 8% depending on the recipe, while Lotionpro 165 can be used at 1% to 4% for up to 30% or more oils. And so on.

If you have an emulsifier you simply can't figure out by reading your supplier's instructions, check out the frequently asked questions page on this blog to see how to use your emulsifiers or how to convert a recipe using one to another. And check out the list on the right hand side of the blog to see if I've reviewed it!

For years, I worked with Polawax and Incroquat BTMS-50 as my emulsifiers of choice. But the last few years have brought so many new emulsifiers to our suppliers, and I've falling in love with Lotionpro 165. It makes the heaviest body butters feel fluffy and light, and it makes lotions feel less waxy than those with emulsifying wax NF or Polawax. You don't need much - 4% for a body butter, less for a lotion - and you can make light, fluffy moisturizers as it's very tolerant to AHAs.

If you're in Canada and you're interested in Lotionpro 165, Michele and Keith at Windy Point Soap is now carrying it! Seriously, get in on this stuff. It makes the lightest, fluffiest body butter you'll ever use! Check out this recipe on using it in a lotion

As an aside, I'm working on a new e-book about using different emulsifiers in our products. My two e-books on lotion making - Lotion Making 101 and Formulating Lotions & Creams - have focused on Polawax, e-wax, and Incroquat BTMS-50. This new one will include more recipes for those, as well as Lotionpro 165, Montanov 68, Ritamulse SCG, Aristoflex AVC, Simulgreen 18-2, Olivem 1000, and more. I'm not sure when it'll be done as I won't have a lot of time for the month of April with an Iron Maiden concert (SQUEEEEE!) and International Tabletop Day, but I hope to get loads of time in May to write and experiment!


Hildie said...

What a coincidence! I just got some Natragem yesterday and am sitting here trying to fine tune my recipe so I can make lotion today. I was smart enough to NOT write down how much water I used last time I made my lotion. Ugh!

I'm super excited to read whatever you write so no dawdling allowed in the book-writing!

Hildie said...

Oh, one question about Natragem: if I'm using it in the water phase to make it into a thinner lotion, how does that work with the 25% of the oil phase? I'm just doing a little tester batch of lotion and I've got 70 g of oil. Does this affect the Natragem if I'm using it in the water? Thanks!

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, I have to agree with you 100% about Lotionpro 165. When I read your first article about this emulsifier, I was hesitant to purchase it, as I knew it would be a US purchase for me; but lucky for me, a good friend was visiting the US for a couple weeks and I got it shipped to her address. I now have an ample supply to keep me busy for a long time. And it is nice that we'll soon have a Canadian supplier of the product.

Anyway, I love Lotionpro165. When you first introduced me to Polawax a few years ago, I thought this was amazing, but the novelty soon wore off as I really wanted a finished cream or lotion that was creamy, but lighter, and less waxy feeling, which makes L.165 ideal for me.

Thanks for introducing us to L.165. I haven't made a body butter as yet, but looking forward to making one soon, and using L.165 to make a facial cleanser and perhaps hair conditioner.

Now what am I going to do with all the Polawax I ordered last year?

Sabrina K. said...

So interesting! One question if I may : what is the INCI of Lotionpro 165? See, I have a LOT of different emulsifiyers here because some very nice french lady blogger friends sent it to me to try. I have one called "coeur de crème" that does almonst exactly what you say (glyceril stearate citrate, sucrose stearate, polyglyceryl-4 cocoate, cetyl alcohol, sodium ricinoleate). I love the Olivem 1000 for body lotions in tiny amounts. Big thanks, great article!

Sabrina K. said...

Oops found it, don't bother, it was just a click away :)

Sandhya said...

Susan, I have been reading your blog fora while and want to congratulate you on the fantastic body of information you have compiled here.
I wanted to share an "epic lotion fail with Ecomulse from Lotioncrafter. I set about making a batch of emulsified body butter (70% water phase, 12.5% oils, 6% butter, 8% Ecomulse). The preservative I generally use is NeoDefend (also from Lotioncrafter) INCI Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl glycol. I add this to the heated water phase and had no issues with emulsifying wax NF (Cetostearyl Alcohol) from Mountain Rose Herbs. I did the same thing and ended up with a runny mess that then separated. It did not occur to me that the culprit was the Neodefend preservative - it's probably a bit too acidic for the Ecomulse. I went back and made a basic lotion without the NeoDefend and the lotion emulsified beautifully in no time after mixing the oil and water phases. I ended up using Optiphen preservative in the cool down phase. The Ecomulse seems to be creamier than Emulsifying wax but definitely needs more TLC. Have you ever used Emulsifying wax NF from Mountain Rose herbs? What are your thoughts?

Sandhya said...

Sorry - INCI for NeoDefend is Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sandhya. Could you please share your complete and exact recipe in percentages so I can offer more than general advice? What you have there- if the INCI is just cetostearyl alcohol - isn't an emulsifying wax. It's one part of an emulsifying system. You have to combine it with something else under the HLB system to make it into an emulsifying wax. So the quick answer here is that it's about the e-wax, which isn't a complete emulsifying wax at all. I'm surprised you're getting any success with it.

Ecomulse - aka Ritamulse SCG - has a lot of restrictions on its use. I encourage you to read the post on it and see whether or not you can use the ingredients you are using with it. Ritamulse isn't that picky about the pH, but it could be having an issue with a ton of other ingredients.

sgopalak said...

Hi Susan Mountain Rose Herbs does not cite the precise INCI. It looks like my copy/paste did not work properly. Their emulsifying wax is described as follows: It is a waxy solid prepared from Cetostearyl Alcohol containing a polyoxyethylene derivitive of a fatty acid ester of sorbitan. It definitely works. My recipe was:
Lavender infused Water - 63%
Aloe Vera juice - 8%
Neodefend (in water phase) - 1.5%

Kukui nut oil - 13%
Shea butter - 6.5%
Ecomulse - 7%

Cool down
Vitamin E - 1%

Any thoughts?

sgopalak said...

Btw sgopalak is Sandhya 😀

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Exact process please, too. I do ask for this on the right hand column. It's necessary to know when you added things and at what temperature. It's difficult for me to find time to go back and forth like this and still help when you respond.

Danuta Kilar said...

The new book will have a title, do you have one on your mind Susan, I would be very interested in the book :))

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Danuta! I don't have a title! As you may have noticed, I'm not great with titles or names for things. It'll be all about other emulsifiers. I have at least 11 for the list now! I just have a few more recipes I want to make, then I'll be ready to write.

I have another exciting thing planned...I'm hoping to write a monthly e-zine with loads of lovely pictures and recipes! I'm working on the format now, and hope to have some great pictures and recipes up for mid-June at the latest! (But shhh, it's a secret!)

Toni Larimore said...

Susan, can you see any reason that Lotionpro 165 should not be used as an emulsifier for emulsifier sugar scrub? I ran out of polawax but I'm not sure if Lotionpro has limitations.

Thank you - Toni

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Toni! There's no reason not to use Lotionpro 165 in a scrub. I'm very interested in your final result, if you could come back and share with us, as I'd like to know more about the final skin feel and viscosity you find.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Toni! I used your question as today's Weekday Wonderings. Did you try it yet?

Toni Larimore said...

I ran out of cetyl alcohol. I'm waiting, impatiently, for it to arrive to try it. I'm hoping to try it this weekend.

Thanks for checking back,

still learning said...

Hey Everyone

My name is Denise but whenever I post an old screen name I used continues to populate. There is a masque that I would like to create but can't figure out what is the emulsifier. It is Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. Here are the ingredients: Distilled Water, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Propylene Glycol, Sulfur, Chromium Oxide Greens, Fragrance, Methylparaben. Can anyone tell what is the emulsifier in this product? It has water in it so there has to be something to make this product stay blended together. Thanks.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi still learning! There isn't an emulsifier in here because there are no oil based ingredients in the product. Looks like a really basic clay mask to me, but they need to add broad spectrum preservative because methylparaben isn't enough for this product.