Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sponsored by readers like you: Polymer clay

The youth in our groups are so creative! It's been a few weeks since we had our polymer clay class, and I'm still blown away by the amazing things they created! I adore Michael's little brown puppy, Melissa's Disney princesses, and Emily's polymer clay Kurt from Glee! (Chayla's pokemon character was definitely photo worthy, but my picture was blurry!) They came up with some amazing stuff, but I can't post them all here!

If you'd like to get into using polymer clay, check out the Sculpey site for some beginner, intermediate, and advance projects or check out Beady Eyed Brat for a list for great tutorials!

As you know, our youth groups are funded by readers like you who donate by buying the e-books, Back to BasicsHair Care Products: Shampoos & Conditioners, and Lotionmaking 101. If you'd like to learn more about our groups and what we do, please click here.

I post these pictures as a thank you for all the support you've offered to the kids who attend our groups at the Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries. This morning, I'm offering a parent-child class for Mother's & Father's day cards and gifts, then video game club at the Chilliwack library. We're making cards on Tuesday and Thursday as well!

I also want to encourage you to try new things. If the kids can come up with these amazing creations when they've never used clay before, imagine how great they'll be when they have some practice!

Oh, I couldn't forget Abbey's cupcake key chain! You know I was coveting that one. And although Jay made me some great pink bob-bombs for earrings, I haven't had a chance to turn them into jewellery yet!

Duplicating products: Philosophy's Hope in a Jar

I've already broken down the ingredients for the Hope in a Jar in this post, but I'll repeat it here with an eye to duplicating it. As a note, this is the Hope in a Jar product, not one of the variations (click here for the Sephora link). And as a note, I don't see any difference in the ingredient lists for the dry skin version, but there could be differences in the amount of the ingredient used.

Water - the solvent.

Glycerin - our humectant.

Rice Bran oil - our oil. Shelf life about 12 months.

C12-15 alkyl benzoate - an ester that feels light and offers good slip and glide, as well as fragrance fixing properties. Shelf life about 24 months.

Glyceryl stearate - part of the emulsification system. A low HLB emulsifier (5.8) that is used with a high HLB emulsifier to create an emulsification system.

PEG-100 stearate - a PEG ester that comes in a waxy format. It acts as a thickener, opacifier, and emulsifier. It's probably part of the emulsification system along with glyceryl stearate as the high HLB emulsifier (18.8).

Octyldodecanol - A fatty alcohol, but one that comes in a liquid form. It offers thickening and emolliency to our products as well as stabilization of emulsions and a reduction of foam when a product is shaken.

As an aside, this is a Guerbet alcohol, which is a branched chain fatty alcohol that will have a much lower melting point than a regular fatty alcohol like cetyl alcohol. This means it is liquid at room temperature. If you want to learn more about the differences between regular fatty alcohols and Guerbet alcohols, click here. If you want to learn a lot more, click here. And if you want to learn even more and learn more about how they are made and learn about Guerbet acids, click here.

Cetyl Alcohol - A fatty alcohol that offers slip and glide, as well as thickening to our products. Also acts as an emollient. It has a required HLB of 15.5.

Stearyl Alcohol - A fatty alcohol that will offer thickening to our products and it acts as an emollient. It has a required HLB of 15.5.

Lecithin - An emollient and emulsifier. It could work as an emulsifier in this product with an HLB of 4 of 9.7.

Tocopheryl Acetate - Vitamin E. Behaves as an antioxidant. It has a required HLB of 6. Generally used at 1% or less (and probably far less for a commerical product).

Retinyl Palmitate - Vitamin A. Good for your skin. It has a required HLB of 6.

Arachidyl Propionate - A semi-solid wax that melts on contact with our skin. It's non-greasy feeling. Required HLB is 7.

Ethyl Linoleate - an ester of linoleic acid. It can be used as an emollient or fragrance ingredient. It has an HLB higher than 10.

Ethyl Linolenate - an ester of linolenic acid. It can be used as a fragrance or flavour ingredient. It has an HLB higher than 10.

Citric Acid - pH adjuster. Used at 0.2% to reduce the pH about 0.9.

Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Salvia Officinialis (Sage) Oil, Limonene & Linalool - fragrance ingredients

Diazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben - preservatives

So here's the problem with this product. Where can we find octyldodecanol, arachidyl proprionate, ethyl lineolate, and ethyl linolenate? I have no idea. The last three are probably in small amounts as they come after the Vitamin E and A, so we could substitute them for other esters, but the octyldodecanol is just behind the emulsifiers, so we know we'll need it at least 1%, and it seems pretty important for the skin feel and the emulsification of the product.

The other problem is that we don't know if the ethyl linoleate and linolenates are in there as fragrance products or skin feel products. Do they have a role in how the product feels or smells? If it's about the smell, then we can add other things to make it fragrance. If it's about the skin feel, even a small change can make a difference in our products. I'm going with the notion that these esters are for fragrance, so I won't worry too much about leaving them out, but I could be wrong, and the skin feel might be different.

We could substitute some other esters for these ingredients (except the octyldodecanol), but it won't have the same skin feel as the original. I know they probably don't make up a lot of the product - they're in the 1% or less category - but a little change can make a big difference. As for the octyldodecanol, I think this is a really important ingredient, but I can't find it anywhere, so we'll have to leave it out and hope we can get the skin feel in other ways.

And one final problem - I'm also not that sure where to get stearyl alcohol on its own. We can get cetearyl alcohol, which is a mix of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol (sometimes it's 50-50, sometimes it's 30-70), so we could use that in our product (which would make sense because we see the cetyl alcohol above the stearyl alcohol).

And a final note. Lecithin can be used as an HLB emulsifier with an HLB of 4 or 9.7. Since I have no idea which lecithin I own, I'm going with the idea that this is another oil. I'll add it to the oil phase at 1% without an HLB amount (so I won't count it in the calculations of how much emulsifier I'll need). If you know the HLB value of your lecithin, you can use it as you calculate your emulsifier with the glyceryl stearate (HLB 5.8) and the PEG-100 stearate (18.8).

I think the key to this product is making it thickish without making it greasy. I'm thinking about cetyl esters as a replacement for octyldodecanol. I know it's not a great replacement, but it will offer thickening and emolliency. I'll try those at 3% and I'll try the cetearyl alcohol at 2%. (The HLB will be the same for cetearyl alcohol as it is for cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol - 15.5.)

I think there's maybe 3% rice bran oil, 3% C12-15 alkyl benzoate in here (I'm going by the fact that the glycerin appears higher than these two oils), but I'm going with 5% of each because it's easier for me to make something thicker for a first try and then reduce the oils. Because we don't have the octyldecanol, we need some emollients in here beyond the fatty alcohols.

So which ingredients are oil soluble and have HLB values? It makes up 16% of the recipe.
5% rice bran oil - HLB 7 -
5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate - HLB 13
3% cetyl esters - HLB 10
2% cetearyl alcohol - HLB 15.5
0.5% Vitamin E - HLB 6
0.5% lavender essential oil - HLB 12

Our required HLB for this product is 10.625. Wow, that's high! So if we're using glyceryl stearate (HLB 5.8) and PEG-100 stearate (18.8), we'll need to use 2.52% glyceryl stearate and 1.48% PEG-100 stearate (and it's okay to round those to 2.5% and 1.5% respectively in this case).

Yes, essential and fragrance oils have HLB values and we can figure those out for our products. Most fragrance oils are around HLB 7 and a lot of our essential oils are in the 12 to 13 HLB range. You don't really need to include them in the calculations because you're not using a lot and if you're using 4% to 5% emulsifier, you have enough to compensate for them. I'm including the lavender essential oil in this calculation to round it up to 16% instead of working with 15.5% as my oil phase. Plus, it's good to know these things! 

If you want to use an emulsifier like Polawax, BTMS-50, or e-wax, with a 16% oil phase you'd use about 4% emulsifier. If you're using another emulsifier - like Ecomulse/Natramulse - you'll have to use it at its suggested rate and remove some of the water to compensate (it's a coincidence that it's 4% for each).

For the water phase, we have two ingredients - water and glycerin. I'm thinking about the glycerin at 3% and the water will make up the rest of the product.

Let's take a look at a possible duplicate recipe...

POSSIBLY A DUPLICATE FOR PHILOSOPHY'S HOPE IN A JAR
HEATED WATER PHASE
75.5% water
3% glycerin

HEATED OIL PHASE

5% rice bran oil
5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
3% cetyl esters
2% cetearyl alcohol
1% lecithin
4% emulsifier (2.5% glyceryl stearate and 1.5% PEG-100 stearate or a complete emulsifier like Polawax, e-wax, or Incroquat BTMS-50).

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% Vitamin E - HLB 6
0.5% lavender essential oil - HLB 12
0.5% preservative

Follow the basic lotion making instructions for this recipe.

As you can see, duplicating products isn't as easy as it seems! Commercial products will often use a little bit of something you can't get, and as we know, a small change can have a huge impact. Play with this recipe to get the skin feel you want. Try different esters, more fatty alcohols or fewer, and get to a point where it feels more like the real product!

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products with Philosophy's "cult" cleanser Purity Made Simple (another suggestion from Aesthete!)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Duplicating products: Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator

Sarah suggested the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator as a possible duplication, so let's take a look at it! (If you want to make your own suggestion, please click here and make a comment. Please include the ingredient list and a link to make my life easier!)

Aqua (water): Our solvent.

Caprylic/capric triglyceride: Fractionated coconut oil. A very light feeling oil with a shelf life of about 2 years. (HLB 5)

Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter: A very moisturizing and occlusive butter. (HLB 6).

Jojoba esters: These are the beads you find in the product. They are fully hydrogenated jojoba esters to create these small beads. They are generally used at 1% to 15%.

Cetyl esters: A thickener that is lighter than cetyl alcohol. It has a shelf life of about 2 years. Generally used at 1% to 5%. (HLB 10)

Glycerin: A good humectant generally used at 1% to 5% (it can get kind of sticky at higher amounts).

Cera alba (beeswax): Used to thicken products and create a waterproof layer. (HLB 12).

Polysorbate 60: A high HLB (15) emulsifier that can be combined with a low HLB emulsifier to create an emulsification system.

Sorbitan stearate: A low HLB (4.7) emulsifier that can be combined with a high HLB emulsifier to create an emulsification system.

Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) oil: An essential oil.

Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil: A light feeling vegetable oil with 10% to 30% linoleic acid. It has a shelf life of about 12 months. (HLB 7)

Panthenol: Vitamin B5 used for moisturizing.

Cetearyl alcohol: Like cetyl alcohol, it's a fatty alcohol that thickens our products, leaving a waxier feeling than cetyl alcohol or cetyl esters. It has about a 2 year shelf life.

Sodium hydroxide: This is used to increase pH.

Limonene: A component of essential oils.

Phenoxyethanol: A preservative. Can be found with benzoic acid and dehydroacetic acid in Optiphen ND.

Benzoic acid: A preservative. Can be found in Optiphen ND with phenoxyethanol and dehydroacetic acid in Optiphen ND.

Dehydroacetic acid: Fungicide and bactericide. (Click here for the Wiki link.) Can be found in Optiphen ND.

Ethylhexylglycerin: Preservative. Could be used to suspend phenoxyethanol.

Polyaminopropyl biguanide: A preservative. Can be found as Cosmocil CQ.

What kind of product do we have here? We have a very well preserved oil in water lotion with a shelf life of about 1 year (the sweet almond oil ruins the possible 2 year life span of the product). It is made using polysorbate 60 and sorbitan stearate as the emulsifiers with cetyl esters and cetearyl alcohol to thicken it. It contains jojoba ester beads as an exfoliant, so we know it's intended to be removed, most likely with a cloth of some kind rather than rinsing.

Where do you think the 1% category starts? I'm thinking with the essential oil (eucalyptus) because you wouldn't want more than 1% of this particular oil on your face. So everything below that will be at 1% or less.

How do we figure out how much we need of each ingredient? I'm thinking about 10% fractionated coconut oil, 5% cocoa butter (we don't want it too thick), 3% cetyl esters, 3% glycerin, 2% beeswax, 1% sweet almond oil, and 1% cetearyl alcohol, for a total oil phase of 25%. I'm not counting the cetyl esters in the oil amount. Although they are an ester, they aren't being emulsified into the product, so we don't need to include them when figuring out the oil phase. (Start with 10% jojoba ester beads and work up or down depending upon your preferred skin feel.)

Let's use the HLB system for this product. If you prefer to use e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS-50, you'll want to use those at about 25% of the oil phase, so 25% of 25% = 6.25%.

Fractionated coconut oil - 10% of oil phase, 10/25 = 0.4 x 5 = 2.00
Cocoa butter - 5% of oil phase, 5/25 = 0.20 x 6 = 1.20
Cetyl esters - 3% of oil phase, 3/25 = 0.12 x 10 = 1.20
Beeswax - 2% of oil phase - 2/25 = 0.08 x 12 = 0.96
Sweet almond oil - 1% of oil phase - 1/25 = 0.04 x 7 = 0.28
Cetearyl alcohol - 1% of oil phase - 1/25 = 0.04 x 1.5 = 0.62
For a total required HLB of the oil phase of 6.26.

If our emulsifiers are sorbitan stearate (HLB 4.7) and polysorbate 60 (HLB 15), then we'll need 85% sodium stearate (0.85 x 4.7 = 3.995) and 15% polysorbate 60 (0.15 x 15 = 2.250) for a total HLB of 6.245 (and we want 6.26, so close enough!) If we're using 5% emulsifier, we'll need 4.25% sodium stearate and 0.75% polysorbate 60.

Let's take a look at our recipe using HLB emulsifiers (with information afterwards on how to make this with Polawax).

POSSIBLE DUPLICATION FOR LIZ EARLE GENTLE FACE EXFOLIATOR
HEATED WATER PHASE
57.5% water
3% glycerin

HEATED OIL PHASE
10% fractionated coconut oil
5% cocoa butter
3% cetyl esters
2% beeswax
4.25% sorbitan stearate
0.75% polysorbate 60
1% sweet almond oil
1% cetearyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% eucalyptus oil
1% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative

REALLY COOLED DOWN PHASE
10% jojoba esters

Follow the basic lotion making instructions for this product.

When the product has cooled to room temperature, mix in the jojoba ester beads then bottle. If you like it less scrubby, start at 5%. If you want it more scrubby, start at 10% and increase it up to 15% if you want it even scrubbier! I like to use the 60/100 jojoba beads as they are very small and don't end up sticking to my skin. You can get smaller and larger beads - choose what you like.

These purple ones are from Voyageur. I'm sure you'd want something more adult and sophisticated like the white ones, but the coloured ones are fun! I use the white ones in my cleanser because my friends think the coloured ones look a little weird, plus I could only find the 60/100 in white. 

If you want to use e-wax or Polawax, follow the rule of thumb for this product (for Polawax it's 25% of the oil phase, which means we need 6.25% Polawax) and reduce the amount of water by the same amount (so you need to take 1.25% out of the water amount for a total of 56%).

If you want to make a foaming moisturizing cleanser with jojoba ester beads, click here for my favourite recipe. And here's how to modify it for oily skin.

Join me for more fun duplicating products tomorrow!

Duplicating products: Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher

In the duplicating products post, Lana asked if we could duplicate this product, the Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher...

Pyrus Communis (Pear) Pulp, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Pulp, Pyrus Communis (Pear) Juice, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Juice, Papaver Somniferum (Poppy) Seed, Juglans Regia (Fine Walnut) Exfoliant, Silica, Vegetable Glycerin, Cyamopsis Tetragnoloba (Guar) Gum, Plantago Lanceolata (Plantain) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Alfalfa, Mica, Glycolic Acid, Vegetable Squalene, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Tocopheryl Actate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Glycine Soya (Soybean) Oil

And honestly, I don't think we can. If you take a look at the list, it's filled with all kinds of fruit juices and pulps, but we don't see a good preservative in there. Yes, we could make it and use our own preservatives and keep it in the fridge and use it for a week, but making something like this at home will result in a really ugly product (think about what an apple looks like when the inside is exposed to oxygen!) that won't be good for more than a few hours. We see some oils in there - apricot kernel, squalene, Vitamin E, Ascorbyl Palmitate, and soy bean oil - but there's no emulsifier.

If you really want to try making this product, here's a thought...Remove all those pulps and juices out of the mix and start with the ingredient list around the glycerin (we'll add the exfoliants later). The key to this recipe is the guar gum. We need to hydrate it before using it in our products, so it's suggested that you sprinkle the guar gum over your room temperature water phase, stick blend or mix well, then leave to sit for about 15 minutes or so or until it is well hydrated (you'll be able to tell because it creates a gel). Then you can add your other water phase ingredients like aloe vera, hydrosols, proteins, and so on and heat and hold as usual. The usage suggested ranges between 0.3% to 5%, so you'll have to do some playing to figure out the best usage for your product. Guar can emulsify small amounts of oils, and looking at the ingredient list, if the maximum usage for guar is 5%, then we can see that everything that comes below it would be at 5% or less.

If we used each of the oils at 1% or less (1% apricot kernel, 1% squalane, 0.5% Vitamin E, 0.5% Ascorbyl Palmitate, 0.5% soy bean oil), then we might just have enough guar gum (if we use 5%) to emulsify those things. Try making this product, then add the various exfoliants and cosmeceuticals and see if you like it. Make sure you preserve this properly - see this section for information on preservatives and usage rates - and don't try it with the fruit juices!

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful here, but I really don't see how this product is possible with all those ready to go bad juices and pulps. But I think you could make a nice scrub with the guar gum, some exfoliants, and some oils. (As a note, I think the green colour comes from the alfalfa they're using and not the actual juices and pulps, and perhaps from the mica.)

If you want to make a suggestion for a product we could try duplicating, please click on this link and make a comment! Please include the ingredient list from a reputable source and a link to the product so I don't have to search all over the 'net for it! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HLB system: Using different emulsifiers and a formula

I've been using glycol distearate (HLB 1) and ceteareth-20 (HLB 15.2) as my emulsifiers for these HLB posts, but you can use any combination you wish as long as you have a low HLB emlusifier and an high HLB emulsifier in the mix.

Here's what I have in my workshop right now:
  • glycol distearate - HLB 1
  • glycol stearate - HLB 2.9
  • glyceryl stearate - HLB 3.8
  • laureth-4 - HLB 9.7
  • oleth 10 - HLB 12.4
  • polysorbate 80 - 15.0
  • ceteareth-20 - HLB 15.2
  • polysorbate 20 - 16.7
You can create combinations that make the math easier or for a better skin feel. I've chosen glycol distearate and ceteareth-20 because I like the skin feel and I have tons of it in the workshop, but you can go for any combination.

Let's use this as our sample oil phase (from this post). We have a 25% oil phase with 10% soy bean oil (HLB 7),  7.5% cocoa butter (HLB 6), and 7.5%  mango butter (HLB 8) Let's figure out the required HLB value for this lotion.

soy oil - 10/25 = 0.4 x 7 = 2.80
cocoa butter - 7.5/25 = 0.4 x 6 = 1.80
mango butter - 7.5/25 = 0.4 x 8 = 2.40

Our required HLB for this lotion is 7.00.

Let's say we decide to use glycol distearate (HLB 1) and polysorbate 80 (HLB 15). The closest we can get to the required HLB of 7 is 6.87 (57% glycol distearate and 43% polysorbate 80), 6.880 (58% glycol distearate and 42% polysorbate 80) or or 7.10 (55% glycol distearate and 45% polysorbate 80). We can't quite get to 7, so we'll have to fudge it or get even more specific. (See below.)

Or let's say we use glycol stearate (HLB 2.9) and polysorbate 15 (HLB 15). The closest we can get to the required HLB of 7 is 7.014 (which is perfect as far as I'm concerned) with 66% glycol stearate and 34% polysorbate 80. At 4% this would be 2.64% glycolstearate and 1.36% polysorbate 80. At 5% this would be 3.3% glycol stearate and 2.7% polysorbate 80. I think the 5% would be a better choice because we can accomplish that on a a scale that weighs down to 0.1 grams!

Or let's say we decide to use glycol stearate (HLB 2.9) and laureth-4 (HLB 9.7) in a product. The closest we can get to the required HLB is with 40% glyceryl stearate and 60% laureth-4. At 4% I'll need 1.6% glyceryl stearate and 2.4% laureth-4. At 5% I'll need 2% glyceryl stearate and 3% laureth-4.

I work this all out by hand, mainly because I enjoy it. I write down the low HLB emulsifier (usually by HLB number) and the high HLB emulsifier and try 50-50 first. Then I try 60-40 and 40-60 so I can get an idea of where the number might fall. Once I have those three figures, it's easy to figure out where to start and go down by fives or 1 (so 61-39 or 65-35) and so on.

If you are comfortable using a formula for this and want to make it easier, here's one I found from Snowdrift Farms and it works really well for me.


Let's try this out!
required HLB = 7
HLB B (the higher HLB emulsifier, laureth-4) = 9.7
HLB A (the lower HLB emulsifier, glycol stearate) = 2.9

So we need 39.7% of HLB A, glycol stearate. Which means we need 60.3% of the laureth-4. With my math by hand, I came up with 40% glycol stearate and 60% laureth-4, so the formula worked! (And my messy chart isn't as inaccurate as one might suspect!)

Try this with glycol distearate and polysorbate 80 to see if we can get closer to 7.
required HLB 7
HLB B (the higher HLB emulsifier, polysorbate 80) = 15
HLB A (the lower HLB emulsifier, glycol distearate) = 1


And this is where accuracy is important. This means we need 57.1428571% glycol distearate and 42.85741% polysorbate 80. If we do the math here we actually get to 7 (do the math yourself if you wish!) At 57% glycol distearate and 42% polysorbate 80, we managed to get to 6.87, but when we use the formula, we get right to 7.001.

Now this does mean if we're using 5% emulsifier we'll need 2.85714% glycol distearate and 2.14285714% polysorbate 80 in our product, and no one has that kind of scale (at least none of us homecrafter types). So really, we have to round up at some point or we'll never make a product!

I really encourage you to use this formula as it is more accurate and less time consuming than creating a chart!

All right! Let's get back to duplicating knowing what we know now!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Question: How do we know the correct HLB value of oils and butters?

Melian poses some very interesting questions in this post, and I thought they needed to be answered here! Bear with me as this is a really long post (not that I'm the Queen of Succint-land on normal days, but this one seems really long!)

I'm finding disagreements on the hlb of a few oils. how do we know what is the correct value? Specifically,:
Mango Seed Butter 8
Mango (Mangifera Indica) Seed Oil [RHLB = 7 ± 1]

Meadowfoam Seed Oil 6.5
Meadowfoam (Limnanthes Alba) Seed Oil [RHLB = 6 ± 1]

Myristyl Myristate 8.5
Myristyl Myristate [RHLB = 7.52 ± 1]

Jojoba Oil 6.5
Jojoba (Buxus Chinensis) Oil [RHLB = 6 ± 1]

Cyclomethicone 7.75
Cyclomethicone [RHLB = 7.5 ± 1]

How do we choose?

If you look at the values you've posted, a lot of them are with in the +/- range. For instance, if mango butter is 7 +/- 1, then it could be 6, it could be 8. With meadowfoam seed oil listed as 6 +/- 1, 6.5 falls into that range. And so on.

HLB values for our emulsifiers is determined theoretically and experimentally. Required HLB values are determined experimentally, which is to say that each batch of oil must be tested and the HLB value must be calculated. Vegetable and animal oils can vary a lot between regions, seasons, climates, and variations of crops. For instance, a sunflower might go through a cold patch and produce more of one fatty acid or more phytosterols than the last crop from this field, and this could alter the HLB value for that entire harvest. Does the company distributing the sunflower oil test the required HLB every time? Probably not.

If you read any of the oil or butter posts I've written for this blog, you'll always see ranges for things like fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols, and polyphenols as opposed to something very specific. If we take a look at sunflower oil, you'll see it contains 5 to 7% palmitic acid, 3 to 6% stearic acid, 16 to 36% oleic acid, and 61 to 73% linoleic acid. If you have a batch with 73% linoleic acid and one with 61% linoleic acid, this could change the required HLB value for the batch. 

This variation in natural ingredients is one of the reasons cosmetic chemists use mineral oil and esters a lot. Mineral oil is always mineral oil and the same product from the same manufacturer will have the same required HLB every time.

Under the theory of HLB, all castor oils should have the same HLB (HLB 14), but they don't because there are so many things that change between each batch. (Ironically, I haven't seen castor oil listed as anything but 14, but it's the one I wrote down repeatedly while consulting different charts.)

This brings us to a very different discussion, which is how do we know which numbers are accurate and if all those calculations we've been doing have any point? We're trying to get these really accurate figures for an emulsifier, but then it turns out we could be out by quite a lot if you consider that +/- part! For instance, I found lanolin listed as 9 in one PDF, 10 in LabRat's PDF, and 12 in this PDF from Zenitech. How will this affect my calculated emulsifier if I'm going with 9 one day and 12 another day? If I'm using lanolin at 10% of a 30% oil phase (so it makes up 0.33) I could be out by 1 in my required HLB (2.97 vs 3.96)!

So what's the point of being all accurate and coming up with a figure that is only off by 0.1 or so for my emulsifier if my oil values could be wrong? This is kind of a rhetorical question, but it is the reason I tend to use all-in-one emulsifying systems like Polawax, BTMS-50, Ritamulse, and so on more often than I use the HLB emulsifiers. As much I like the ability to roll-my-own and not be dependent upon companies that don't seem to appreciate homecrafters (you know which companies I mean!), it's very frustrating to think that all that hard work in calculating required HLB values and emulsifiers might be completely wrong! With something like Polawax, you don't need to calculate the HLB of anything - just make sure you're using 25% of the oil phase and you're likely to get a great emulsification!

Yes, I realize I've just made an argument for not learning the HLB system when I still have at least one more post on the topic, but there are great reasons for using it, including less reliance on big companies when they change their formula for the product, lower cost for these emulsifiers, and the pride that comes in knowing you've learned something new and can use it! I have used the required HLB values from Convergent Cosmetics: Emulsions & the HLB system PDF for the last few years and the only time I've had a lotion fail is when I've failed to do something right like heat and hold for 20 minutes, pouring the water phase into the oil phase, or when I've messed up the values big time!

Melian continues...There are more. On your blog you said that squalane was 12 to 12.9. Another source said it is 7 plus or minus 1. is squalane like lecithin and varies? Also, is lanolin 10 or 12? the pdf you cited says 10 but this information says 12. How do we know who to believe?

I think I found the HLB value of squalane at Lotioncrafter (click here for link). But then I find this link (do a search for squalane when on this page and you'll find it) that says it is 9.5. I wonder if there are different types with different levels of hydrogenation, because this would give it different HLBs for different types. I'm really not sure how to answer this question. Interestingly enough, I found some information on squalene that indicates that "a required HLB value for squalene has not been reported in the literature" (note this is squalene, not squalane).

As a side note, the reason lecithin varies is due to the degree of hydrolysis and extraction methods. Hydrolysis is when a molecule is split into two parts by the addition of water. Sometimes an acid or base catalyst is used in the process. Saponification is the hydrolysis of a fat (our oils and butters) with a base like sodium hydroxide. In the end, we get soap!

I'm really not sure who to suggest you trust when it comes to finding required HLB values for oils. I turn to this PDF first for my HLB values and companies like Lotioncrafter under their specific ingredient listings. But considering that required HLB values are determined experimentally, every batch of olive oil could have a different value, so it could vary from supplier to supplier. It's hard to know the exact HLB values for natural oils and butters, so it could vary by as much as -1 to +1.

Silicones are a different story - and this post is already really really long! There can be variations between the weight of each silicone. For instance, I have two dimethicones - dimethicone 350 c.s. and dimethicone 1000 c.s. (c.s. stands for centistokes and the higher the number, the thicker the dimethicone. Click here for more information.) Although these are both called dimethicone, they may have slightly different HLB values based on the viscosity of the product. (If you want to know more about the 3D HLB system as it relates to silicones, check out the powerpoint presentation found here or the PDF found here).

Okay, this is way too long so I'll stop here. I'm sure there are more questions out there and I'll do my best to answer them! Those of you who are experts in the HLB system, feel free to comment away! The more information we have, the better!

HLB system: Substituting things in our oil phase

Let's take one last look at the HLB system for making our own emulsifiers before we return to duplicating products. Remember that if you make a change to any of the oil soluble ingredients you'll need to re-calculate your emulsifier! If you're going from one vegetable oil to another - soy bean oil to sunflower oil, sweet almond to olive oil, and so on - you probably won't have to do a lot of math as most of them have an HLB of 7.  If you change butters, mango butter (HLB 8) or shea butter (HLB 8) to cocoa butter (HLB 6), you'll have to do some math.

NOT SO MUCH A SIX INGREDIENT LOTION ANY MORE WITH SHEA, SOY BEAN, AND SESAME OIL (originally from this post)
HEATED WATER PHASE
32% water
20% aloe vera
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
2.5% sodium PCA

HEATED OIL PHASE
5% refined shea butter
7.5% soy bean oil
7.5% sesame oil
2% IPM or IPP
3% cetyl alcohol
6% BTMS-50

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% Vitamin E
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (Clementine Cupcake)

I'm going to summarize the steps quickly here. If you want to see the steps again, please click here or hit "older post" at the bottom of the page. 

Our current oil phase makes up 30% of the recipe (count the heated oil phase, as well as the cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and Vitamin E). Divide the percentage of each ingredient by the oil phase to find out the percentage this oil ingredient makes up in the oil phase, then multiply that by the HLB value.  

Shea - HLB 8 - 0.167 x 8 = 1.336
Soybean - HLB 7 - 0.25 x 7 = 1.750
Sesame oil - HLB 7 - 0.25 x 7 = 1.750
IPM - HLB 11.5 - 0.067 x 11.5 = 0.7705
Cetyl alcohol - HLB 15.5 - 0.10 x 15.5 = 1.55
Cyclomethicone - HLB 7.5 - 0.067 x 7.5 = 0.5025
Dimethicone - HLB 5 - 0.067 x 5 = 0.5025
Vitamin E (Tocopherol) - HLB 6 - 0.033 x 6 = 0.198

Our required HLB value for this product will be 8.192

Choose two emulsifiers - let's choose glycol distearate (HLB 1) and ceteareth-20 (HLB 15.2). 

50% glycol distearate (0.50) + 50% cetereath-20 (7.6) = 8.1 

This is close enough for our needs because 49% glycol distearate and 51% cetereath-20 = 8.242, which will be a huge pain to get right because our scales don't generally go to 0.01 grams (unless you're really lucky). So if we're using 5% emulsifier, we'll need 2.5% glycol distearate and 2.5% ceteareth-20. 

Or choose two other emulsifiers! Let's choose sorbitan stearate (HLB 4.7) and PEG-100 stearate (18.8). I eventually figure out that I need 80% sorbitan stearate (5.5) and 20% PEG-100 stearate (3.76) for a total of 8.26, which is close enough to 8.192. If we're using 5% emulsifier, we'll need 4% sorbitan stearate and 1% PEG-100 stearate. 

CHANGING ONE OIL
Let's say we want to make one small change - substituting castor oil castor oil (HLB 14) for soy bean oil (HLB 7). We end up with an HLB of 9.942 (previous HLB 8.192). What a difference! 

If we combine 37% glycol distearate with 63% ceteareth-20 we get an HLB of 9.946. If we're using 5% emulsifier, we'll need to use 1.85% glycol distearate and 3.15% ceteareth-20 just to accommodate the switch from soy bean oil to castor oil. If we're using sorbitan stearate and PEG-100 stearate, we'll have to use 3.15% sorbitan stearate (37%) and 1.85% PEG-100 stearate (63%) to accommodate the changes with 5% emulsifier. 

I want to point that it's a complete fluke that these numbers ended up similar. I chose sorbitan stearate and PEG-100 stearate kind of at random, and I was surprised to see that I needed the inverse for both emulsifiers! 

CHANGING EVERYTHING! 
But what if we want to change some of the oils for others, but keeping the same amounts?

Cocoa butter (HLB 6) instead of shea butter (HLB 8) = 0.167 x 6 = 1.002
Fractionated coconut oil (HLB 5) for the soy bean oil (HLB 7) = 0.25 x 5 = 1.250
C12-15 alkyl benzoate (HLB 13) for the sesame seed oil (HLB 7) = 0.25 x 13 = 3.250
Cetyl esters (HLB 10) for cetyl alcohol (HLB 15.5) = 0.10 x 10 = 1.00
Crodamol STS (aka PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate, silicone replacement, HLB 13.49) to replace the cyclomethicone (HLB 5) and dimethicone (HLB5) = 0.133 x 13.49 = 1.80 (rounded up)
Vitamin E (Tocopherol) - HLB 6 - 0.033 x 6 = 0.198

Our required HLB for this product is 8.50. I'll grant you that it's not that dramatic a change, but if we used the emulsifiers from the last version, we could get some separation. So how much emulsifier will we need?

I eventually figure out that we would need 47% glycol distearate (0.47) and 53% ceteareth-20 (8.056) to reach the required HLB value. This means if we used 5% we'd need 2.35% glycol distearate and 2.65% ceteareth-20. I think that's a pretty significant difference! 

One more post on the HLB system before we get back to learning how to duplicate products tomorrow starting with the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HLB system: Let's get slightly more complicated

The one down side of using the HLB system is that you have to figure out the HLB of the oil phase if you change an ingredient (unless you're substituting one vegetable based oil for another one, but even then jojoba could throw you off because it's 6.5, fractionated coconut oil is 5.5, and emu oil is 8, although that's not a vegetable oil, is it?).

The other down side is that it's hard to find information for some of our esters. There's some great information in the PDF to which I keep referring (and you really should have downloaded by now if you want to play along). So let's take a look at what happens when we take a recipe - let's use yesterday's - and mess with it by changing the oils, adding some esters and silicones, and adding some fatty alcohols. (This won't be considered minimally processed for much longer!)

BODY BUTTER FOR ITCHY WINTER SKIN WITH MINIMALLY PROCESSED INGREDIENTS
WATER PHASE
25% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% tamarind seed extract
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
10% soy bean oil
7.5% cocoa butter
7.5% mango butter
7% emulsifier*

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

Let's say you want this to be a drier feeling body butter. We'll keep the 7.5% mango butter (HLB 8), but let's add a few esters to the mix. I think I want some isopropyl myristate at 2% (HLB 11.5) and I'll add 3% cetyl alcohol to thicken the product (since I took out the cocoa butter, it will be thinner), which has an HLB of 15.5. I think I'll include 5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate (HLB 12) and 5.5% cetearyl ethylhexanoate (HLB 8.22). And finally, I think I'll go with dimethicone at 2% in the cool down phase (it's listed as 5, but there's some debate about this. Click on this post for more information).

Okay, so where are we? We didn't change the amount of the oil phase - it's still 25% of the total recipe (we don't include the emulsifier because we're trying to replace that) - but we've changed the HLB dramatically!

Remember the steps to finding out the HLB of your oil phase...

1. Which ingredients have an HLB value?
Mango butter, isopropyl myristate, cetyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, and dimethicone.

2. How much of each ingredient is in the recipe?
Mango butter - 7.5%
IPM - 2%
Cetyl alcohol - 3%
Dimethicone - 2%
C12-15 alkyl benzoate - 5%
Cetearyl ethylhexanoate - 5.5%
Total oil phase = 25%

3. Divide the amounts by the total oil phase to find out how much each makes up in the oil phase.
Mango butter - 7.5/25 = 0.30 or 30%
IPM - 2/25 = 0.08 or 8%
Cetyl alcohol - 3/25 = 0.12 or 12%
Dimethicone - 2/25 = 0.08 or 8%
C12-15 alkyl benzoate - 5/25 = 0.20 or 20%
Cetearyl ethylhexanoate - 5.5/25 = 0.22 or 22%

4. Multiply the percentage by the HLB value. Add them together to get the HLB value of your oil phase.
Mango butter - HLB 8 - 0.30 x 8 = 2.40
IPM - HLB 10 - 0.08 x 10 = 0.80
Cetyl alcohol - HLB 15.5 - 0.12 x 15.5 = 1.86
Dimethicone - HLB 5 - 0.08 x 5 = 0.40
C12-15 alkyl benzoate - 0.20 x 13 - 2.60
Cetearyl ethylhexanoate - 0.22 x 8.22 = 1.8084

So the required HLB of this oil phase is 9.8684.

1. Find a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier.
I'll go with glycol distearate (HLB 1) and ceteareth-20 (HLB 15.2) for one combination and glyceryl stearate (HLB 3.8) and oleth-10 (HLB 12.4) for another.

2. Work on the percentages to find a total that is very close to the HLB value of your oil phase.


GLYCOL DISTEARATE AND CETEARETH-20
50% glycol distearate (0.5) + 50% ceteareth-20 (7.6) = 8.1. Too low.
40% glycol distearate (0.40) + 60% ceteareth-20 (9.12) = 9.52. Still too low.
38% glycol distearate (0.38) + 62% ceteareth-20 (9.424) = 9.804. Close enough!

If we're using 4% emulsifiers in this recipe, we'll need to use 1.52% glycol distearate (4% x 0.38 = 1.52%) and 2.48% ceteareth-20 (4% x 0.62 = 2.48). If we want to use 5% emulsifiers in this recipe, we'll need to use 1.9% glycol distearate (5% x 0.38 = 1.9%) and 3.1% ceteareth-20 (5% x 0.62 = 3.1%).

GLYCERYL STEARATE (HLB 3.8) AND OLETH-10 (HLB 12.4)
50% glyceryl stearate (1.9) + 50% oleth-10 (6.2) = 8.1. Too low. 
40% glyceryl stearate (1.52) + 60% oleth-10 (7.44) = 8.96. Still too low!
30% glyceryl stearate (1.14) + 70% oleth-10 (8.68) = 9.82. Just about right! 

If we're using 4% emulsifiers in this recipe, we'll need to use 1.2% glyceryl stearate (30% of 4% is 1.2 - 0.3 x 4 = 1.2) and 2.8% oleth-10 (70% of 3% is 2.8 - 0.7 x 4 = 2.8). 

If you want more practice, try figuring out how you'd use something like PEG-100 stearate (HLB 18.8) and glycol distearate (HLB 1) or polysorbate 80 (HLB 15) and glycol distearate (HLB 1) or any other combination of high and low HLB emulsifiers! 

What does our recipe look like now? (And remember to increase your water amount if you've removed anything from the oil phase. We took out 2% of the previous emulsifier, so we need to increase the water to 27%). 

BODY BUTTER FOR ITCHY WINTER SKIN WITH NOT-SO MINIMALLY PROCESSED INGREDIENTS USING HLB EMULSIFIERS
WATER PHASE
27% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% tamarind seed extract
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
7.5% mango butter
2% IPM
3% cetyl alcohol
5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
5.5% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
5% emulsifier (1.9% glycol distearate and 3.1% ceteareth-20 or 1.2% glyceryl stearate and 2.8% oleth-10)

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% dimethicone
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

Join me tomorrow for one more post on HLB emulsifiers before we get back to duplicating! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Duplicating products: Aubrey's Organic

In the duplicating products post, Pam asked if we could duplicate this product, Aubrey's Vegecol with Aloe Moisturizing Cream

Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel (natural herbal extract) , Horsetail Extract, Calendula Oil, St. John's Wort Oil, Coltsfoot Extract, Coneflower Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F), Carrot Oil, Organic Lemon Peel Oil, Aubrey¹s Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C and E).

We can't. (More about this in a moment...)
And zaczarowany suggested this product as a possible duplicate, Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner.

Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, White Camellia Oil, Wheat Germ Oil; Extracts of Fennel, Hops, Balm Mint, Mistletoe, Camomile and Yarrow; Organic Germanium Oil, Organic Rosemary Oil, Organic Sage Oil, Carrot Oil, Aubrey's Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C, and E)

And again, we can't.

Aubrey's products all seem to start the same way, with "Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base". There's no specific information on what's in this base and I don't understand how it can be the main ingredient in a lotion and a conditioner, unless it's a cationic base and they're using it the way we'd use Incroquat BTMS-50 as an emulsifier in their lotions as well.

Here's what Aubrey says on their site about their base (click to see a list of all the products in which it cane be found):
Absorption base containing essential fatty acids, coconut fatty alcohols from palm kernels, aloe vera and vitamins A, C and E. Rich in linoleic and linolenic acids (vitamin F), excellent nutrients and skin conditioners. In hair care products, it is often combined with the important amino acids cysteine and methionine, which are high in sulfur and excellent for the hair and scalp.

What the heck does this mean? I'm not sure, but it could mean anything. For instance, what is "coconut fatty alcohol from palm kernels"?

A coconut - or indeed, any fruit, vegetable, or animal that can produce an oil - produces fatty acids, which can be turned into fatty alcohols through the process of transesterification. You can use any triglyceride for this process. Normally it's palm or coconut oil, but it could be from shea butter, a whale, beeswax, or even animal fat. When the process is finished, there's no difference between myristic alcohol from a coconut or a palm kernel and no difference between lauryl alcohol from a palm kernel, coconut, butter, or a whale. To talk about "derived from coconuts" when it comes to an ingredient that has to be played with in a lab to produce something that could come from a variety of sources is disingenuous at best.

Point of interest: Cetyl alcohol gets its name from whale oil (spermacetti) that used to be used as a thickener for cosmetics. The Latin name for whale is "cetus". It isn't produced from whales any more, but the name stuck. This is why you'll see ingredients like cetyl esters or cetearyl alcohol listed as being a good substitute for spermacetti. We don't use it any more, but for some reason the manufacturers love to compare their fatty alcohols and esters to whale oil! 

There has to be an emulsifier in that "coconut fatty acid cream base" otherwise they'd have bottles of separated products on the shelves. If they wanted to continue with the idea of using coconut fatty acids, you could access a ton of different emulsifiers! Anything with "laur" would work - laureth-4, laureth-23, and PEG-8 laurate come to mind or even glyceryl laurate - but it's hidden in that catch all phrase!

I'm sorry we can't replicate these products. I wish we could, but without knowing what exactly is in that base, we can't even make a start on it.

And don't get me started on their Aubrey's Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C, and E) because we know grapefruit seed extract is not a preservative, and Vitamins A, C, and E are anti-oxidants, not preservatives. If these products do last on the shelves, it's likely because of something they've put into the base and aren't disclosing. 

Okay, I've had my rant for the day. Let's get back to fun with the HLB system!

HLB system: Answers to working it out!

All right! How did you do with yesterday's challenge to figure out how much emulsifier to use in this recipe? Don't worry - it wasn't a trick question (I always hate those in math exams)!

I've realized this was really silly to post this on Easter Sunday because most of you were enjoying your Easter egg hunting and time with family and friends, so if you want to work this out and not see the answers, click here now! Don't read any further!

BODY BUTTER FOR ITCHY WINTER SKIN WITH MINIMALLY PROCESSED INGREDIENTS
WATER PHASE
25% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% tamarind seed extract
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
10% soy bean oil
7.5% cocoa butter
7.5% mango butter
7% emulsifier*

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend


1. Which ingredients have an HLB value?
The soy bean (HLB 7), cocoa butter (HLB 6), and mango butter (HLB 8).

2. How much of each ingredient is in the total recipe?
Soy bean oil = 10%
Cocoa butter = 7.5%
Mango butter = 7.5%
Total oil phase = 25%

3. Divide this by the total oil phase to get a percentage for each ingredient.
Soy bean oil - 10/25 = 0.40
Cocoa butter - 7.5/25 = 0.30
Mango butter - 7.5/25 = 0.30

4. Multiply the percentage by the HLB value. Add them together to get the HLB value of your oil phase.
Soy bean oil - HLB 7 - 7 x 0.40 = 2.80
Cocoa butter - HLB 6 - 6 x 0.30 = 1.80
Mango butter - HLB 8 - 8 x 0.30 = 2.40
So our target number is 7.00

On to our emulsifiers!

1. Find a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier.
I'll go with glycol distearate (HLB 1) and ceteareth-20 (HLB 15.2). You can choose any low and high HLB emulsifiers you like, but I'm going with these ones for this exercise.

2. Work on the percentages to find a total that is very close to the HLB value of your oil phase.
50% glycol distearate (0.5) + 50% ceteareth-20 (7.6) = 8.1. Too high
60% glycol distearate (0.6) + 40% ceteareth-20 (6.08) = 6.68. Too low.
55% glycol distearate (0.55) + 45% ceteareth-20 (6.84) = 7.39. Too high.
57% glycol distearate (0.57) + 43% ceteareth-20 (6.536) = 7.106. Too high.
58% glycol distearate (0.58) + 42% ceteareth-20 (6.384) = 6.964. Just about right! Let's go with this one!

If we're using 4% emulsifiers, we'll need to use 2.32% glycol distearate (4 x 0.58) and 1.68% ceteareth-20 (4 x 0.42). This is kind of an annoying number, but we really don't want to round it up or down or we'll end up with the 60% glycol distearate and 40% ceteareth-20 amounts, which we know equals 6.68, which is too low for our required HLB amounts!

This is where you might consider using another emulsifier so you aren't having to buy some really expensive scale! You can round up to 2.3% glycol distearate and 1.7% ceteareth-20 without seeing too many problems. Or you might consider going to 5% emulsifier, if it's easier (works out to 2.9% glycol distearate, 2.1% ceteareth-20, which would be easier than the original numbers we calculated!). Remember that the 4% is kind of a random number - there's no rule of thumb about using HLB emulsifiers like there is for Polawax.

You won't necessarily get nice round numbers with this system, like 30% one emulsifier, 70% another. It's just as likely you'll get 31% and 69% or 51% and 49%. Play with the numbers until you get the total you want. 

3. Rewrite the recipe with the new emulsifiers. Remember to increase your water amount when you decrease your oil phase. 

BODY BUTTER FOR ITCHY WINTER SKIN WITH MINIMALLY PROCESSED INGREDIENTS
WATER PHASE
28% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% tamarind seed extract
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
10% soy bean oil
7.5% cocoa butter
7.5% mango butter
2.3% glycol distearate
1.7% ceteareth-20

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

There you have it! If you got it right, kudos to you! If you didn't, that's okay. You just need some practice. And for those of you who see math and shut down thinking you can't do it, I have one suggestion:  -  Don't be afraid of math! It isn't afraid of you. It won't bite or kick you in your sleep. It won't steal your car and take it out joy riding into muddy fields where it can do doughnuts and crop circles! Math is nice!

Let's move on to something a little harder tomorrow - figuring out the HLB values of esters and silicones.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don't fear the math!

I know a lot of people cringe when they see math, but I say give numbers a chance!

When I started taking math again - I needed to submit a mark for grade 12 math that was within the last five years -  I would sit at my desk and say how much I hated, hated, hated it! (I'm not a fan of trig or geometry because I don't know left and right and I can't move objects in my head). I realized didn't hate it, I was just frustrated by my not-so-mad skills in it. It made me feel really stupid to sit and look at a picture of a triangle and not understand how this one was ambiguous and the other wasn't (which is the best name for a band ever - the Ambiguous Triangles!). But with a lot of hard work and persistence, I got it in the end and managed an A! I made friends with math and I'm happy with what I know, and I'm even considering taking more math in the future.

Statistics on the other hand...eeek! My husband is a stats minor and we have holy wars between chemistry and stats where he pulls out his stats book and yells "The power of statistics compels you!" while chasing me around the kitchen. I flick water on him yelling "Holy H2O!" or shout something about the pH scale. Yes, we're an interesting couple and the fun never ends in our house! 

Give math a chance. Sit down with it and don't be afraid. Work out the math step by step and you will get an answer eventually. It's not about speed, it's about persistence. If it's the wrong one, then go back and figure it out where you went wrong. The nice thing about math is that there is always a right answer, and there's some comfort in that kind of surety.

We're fortunate in cosmetic chemistry that we don't have to look at a ton of numbers - some basic skills in figuring out percentages is generally enough, although if you really want to get into logarithms for the pH scale, have at it - and with a little persistence, you can get good at it. You don't need to be a math genius to be comfortable with math.

So what the heck do these pictures mean? If you try to get the square root of -1 you get an imaginary number, which is written as "i". And an asymptote is when the line on a graph gets really close to a number but never quite gets there! So you'd never quite reach five, so the high five would go on forever and ever and ever!

Want more math, English, and chemistry related shirts? Check out the Mental Floss site! I have to renew my subscription, and I can't decide between the hyperbole shirt (hey, I was an English major, after all!), the mole shirt, and the Lady Macbeth hand soap shirt (that one's two great references in one for me!).

HLB system: Work this one out!

Now you try it! Here's a recipe (originally found in this post) on which you can practice your mad HLB figuring out skills!

BODY BUTTER FOR ITCHY WINTER SKIN WITH MINIMALLY PROCESSED INGREDIENTS
WATER PHASE
25% water
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% witch hazel
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% tamarind seed extract
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
10% soy bean oil
7.5% cocoa butter
7.5% mango butter
7% emulsifier*

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

Please refer to this PDF for information on your emulsifier and oil values.

Remember the steps to finding out the HLB value of your ingredients.
1. Which ingredients have an HLB value?
2. How much of each ingredient is in the total recipe?
3. Divide this by the total oil phase to get a percentage.
4. Multiply the percentage by the HLB value. Add them together to get the HLB value of your oil phase.

And remember the steps to finding out the HLB value of your emulsifiers.
1. Find a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier.
2. Work on the percentages to find a total that is very close to the HLB value of your oil phase.
3. Rejoice!

I'm going to suggest you use glycol distearate (HLB 1) and ceteareth-20 (HLB 15.2) as your emulsifiers, but you can use others. It's just those are the ones I'm using and it will be easier to compare your notes with mine if we're using the same emulsifiers!

All right! You're on your own! Feel free the post your results in the comments. There isn't a prize or anything - just the satisfaction of knowing you got it right! Join me tomorrow to see if you got it right!

HLB system: A demonstration (part 2)

Let's choose a few more lotion recipes and see how we can use the HLB system to make our own emulsifiers! Let's go with an easy one first - the six ingredient lotion for my husband's itchy skin!

SIX INGREDIENT LOTION WITH SHEA, SOY BEAN, AND SESAME OIL
HEATED WATER PHASE
39.5% water
20% aloe vera
3% glycerin

HEATED OIL PHASE
10% refined shea butter
10% soy bean oil
10% sesame oil
6% BTMS-50

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (Clementine Cupcake)

Remember the steps to finding out the HLB value of your ingredients.

1. Which ingredients have an HLB value?
2. How much of each ingredient is in the total recipe?
3. Divide this by the total oil phase to get a percentage.
4. Multiply the percentage by the HLB value. Add them together to get the HLB value of your oil phase.

1. Which ingredients in this lotion have an HLB value?
We have three ingredients with an HLB value - the shea butter (8), soy bean oil (7), and sesame oil (7).

2. How much of each ingredient is in the total recipe?
10% shea butter
10% soy bean oil
10% sesame oil
Total oil phase = 30%
Remember to leave out the original emulsifier as we are trying to replace that!

3. Divide this by the total oil phase to get a percentage. 
My total oil phase is 30%.
shea butter - 10/30 = 0.333
soy bean oil - 10/30 = 0.333
sesame oil - 10/30 = 0.333

All right, I know this actually equals 99.99999% so let's round one of the oils up to 0.34 and leave the rest at 0.33 and be done with it! I'll round the sesame oil to 0.34 so we have...
shea butter = 0.33
soy bean oil = 0.33
sesame oil = 0.34

4. Multiply the percentage by the HLB value. Add them together to get the HLB value of your oil phase.
shea butter - 0.33 x 8 = 2.64
soy bean oil - 0.33 x 7 = 2.31
sesame oil - 0.34 x 7 = 2.38
Total is 7.33. So our required HLB for this lotion is 7.33.

The steps to finding out the HLB value of your emulsifiers.
1. Find a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier.
2. Work on the percentages to find a total that is very close to the HLB value of your oil phase.
3. Rejoice!

1. Find a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier. 
Let's go with glycol distearate (HLB 1) and ceteareth-20 (15.2) for our emulsifiers.

2. Work on the percentages to find a total that is very close to the HLB value of your oil phase. 
50% glycol distearate = 1 and 50% ceteareth-20 = 7.6. Total = 8.1. Too high!
40% glycol distearate = 0.4 and 60% ceteareth-20 = 9.12. Total = 9.52. Too high!
60% glycol distearate = 0.6 and 40% ceteareth-20 = 6.08. Total = 6.68. Too low!
55% glycol distearate = 0.55 and 45% ceteareth-20 = 6.84. Total = 7.39. Close enough!

So we know we need to use 55% glycol distearate and 45% ceteareth-20 as our emulsifier.

If we're using 4% emulsifier in this product (again, this is kind of a random number I've chosen as there isn't a rule of thumb for HLB emulsifiers), then we need 2.2% glycol distearate (4% x 0.55) and 1.8% ceteareth-20 (4% x 0.45) in our recipe.

Remember, when you decrease the oil phase, increase the water phase by the same amount!

SIX INGREDIENT LOTION WITH SHEA, SOY BEAN, AND SESAME OIL MODIFIED TO USE HLB EMULSIFIERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
41.5% water
20% aloe vera
3% glycerin

HEATED OIL PHASE
10% refined shea butter
10% soy bean oil
10% sesame oil
2.2% glycol distearate
1.8% ceteareth-20

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (Clementine Cupcake)

Now comes the rejoicing! Yay!

I'm posting a recipe in a few minutes so you can practice the HLB system on your own! Have fun!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Emulsifiers and usage amounts

Every time I write a recipe with more or less than 25% of the oil phase in emulsifier, someone writes to me to correct me. I appreciate it when I'm working with Polawax, but this isn't applicable to any other emulsifier out there. (Click here for the post on how much Polawax to use!)

The suggested rate for Polawax - and only Polawax - is 25% of the oil phase of your product. If you're using e-wax, you might need to use 1% to 2% more for stability. For BTMS-50, there are all kinds of suggestions, but I tend to use it the same way I use Polawax so I can change one for the other when I'm in the workshop and don't feel like doing a bunch of math on a plastic sheet with a grease pencil.

If you're using an emulsifier that isn't Polawax, you need to check for the suggested usage rate. For instance, I'm researching Lanette N right now and it seems like you'd use about 8% for 20% oils, which works out to 40% of the oil phase. Ritamulse SCG (aka Ecomulse and Natramulse) is generally used at 8% as well in low oil products (say 15% or lower) and high oil products (up to 30%).

An aside...If you have an oil phase of 20% and you have 8% of an ingredient in that oil phase, that 8% would make up 40% of the oil phase. (8/20 = 0.4 which equals 40%). 

For the HLB system, there really are no recommendations for how much to use in a product. I start at 4% because it works out well for me, but you could go to 2% if you wanted or up to 8%.

If you are using an emulsifier that isn't Polawax, you really need to check the usage rates. Do not assume it is 25% of your oil phase. Look at the data sheets (if you can get them), go to your supplier's website or write to them, ask for help in a forum, or look at reliable recipes made with those emulsifiers and try to figure out what you need to use. (I hope that didn't sound sarcastic, but I'm finding it really hard to find reliable information about how to use these emulsifiers!)

HLB system: A demonstration (part 1)

So how do we use the HLB system to create an emulsifier? Click here for a great PDF with all the required HLB values of our oil phase ingredients and the HLB values of our potential emulsifiers. You will need to refer to this to play along!

The steps to finding out the HLB value of your ingredients.
1. Which ingredients have an HLB value?
2. How much of each ingredient is in the total recipe?
3. Divide this by the total oil phase to get a percentage.
4. Multiply the percentage by the HLB value. Add them together to get the HLB value of your oil phase.

The steps to finding out the HLB value of your emulsifiers.
1. Find a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier.
2. Work on the percentages to find a total that is very close to the HLB value of your oil phase.
3. Rejoice!

So let's take a recipe at random and figure out the required HLB values of the oil phase ingredients and the HLB values of the emulsifiers and create our own emulsification system! How about Lush's Afterlife Moisturizer?

STARTING OUT RECIPE FOR DUPLICATING LUSH'S AFTERLIFE
HEATED WATER PHASE
55.5% water
3% glycerin
2% honey

HEATED OIL PHASE
7.5% emulsifier
3% stearic acid
1% cetearyl alcohol
2% coconut oil
9% olive oil
5% evening primrose oil
5% avocado oil
5% wheat germ oil

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative (I'm using liquid Germall Plus)
0.5% powdered mango extract
1% fragrance or essential oil (optional in a facial product)


1. Which ingredients have an HLB value?
Look for anything oil soluble. In this case, all of the oil soluble ingredients are found in the oil phase. (Sometimes we have to look to the cool down phase for things like silicones, which also have an HLB value.) Most of our carrier oils have an HLB of 7 and most of our butters have an HLB of 8.
  • stearic acid - HLB value 15
  • cetearyl alcohol - HLB value 15.5
  • coconut oil - HLB value 8
  • olive oil - HLB value 7
  • evening primrose oil - HLB value 7
  • avocado oil - HLB value 7
  • wheat germ oil - HLB value 7
2. How much of each oil soluble ingredient is in the recipe?
3% stearic acid
1% cetearyl alcohol
2% coconut oil
9% olive oil
5% evening primrose oil
5% avocado oil
5% wheat germ oil

Total up these numbers and you'll find our total oil phase is 30%. (We don't count the emulsifier from the original recipe as we're trying to replace that!)

3. Divide by the total oil phase to see how much each ingredient makes up in the oil phase. 
Our oil phase here is 30% of the total recipe, so we'll be dividing each ingredient by 30 to figure out how much of each oil is in this oil phase.

3% stearic acid - 3/30 = 0.1 or 10% of the oil phase
1% cetearyl alcohol - 1/30 = 0.0333 or 3.3% of the oil phase
2% coconut oil - 2/30 = 0.0666 or 6.6% of the oil phase
9% olive oil - 9/30 = 0.3 or 30% of the oil phase
5% evening primrose oil - 5/30 = 0.1666 or 16.67% of the oil phase (round to 16.7%)
5% avocado oil - 5/30 = 0.166 or 16.67% of the oil phase (round to 16.7%)
5% wheat germ oil - 5/30 = 0.166 or 16.67% of the oil phase (round to 16.7%)

Make sure the total of the percentages equals 100%. Yep, with the rounding it does!

Note: Remember that a percentage also has a decimal value. For instance, 30.5% is equal to 0.305 (move the decimal two spaces to the right to get the percentage!) These are the values you want to work with in the rest of the phases.

4. Multiply the numbers from step 3 with the HLB values you found in step 1. 

Stearic acid - HLB value: 15. Makes up 0.1 of the oil phase. 0.1 x 15 = 1.5
Cetearyl alcohol - HLB value: 15.5. Makes up 0.033 of the oil phase. 0.033 x 15.5 = 0.5115
Coconut oil - HLB value: 8. Makes up 0.066 of the oil phase. 0.066 x 8 = 0.528
Olive oil  - HLB value: 7. Makes up 0.3 of the oil phase. 0.3 x 7 = 2.1
Evening primrose - HLB value: 7. Makes up 0.167 of the oil phase. 0.167 x 7 = 1.169
Avocado oil - HLB value: 7. Makes up 0.167 of the oil phase. 0.167 x 7 = 1.169
Wheat germ oil - HLB value: 7. Makes up 0.167 of the oil phase. 0.167 x 7 = 1.169

Add these numbers together we get a required HLB of 8.1465 (which you can round up to 8.15).

CHOOSE YOUR EMULSIFIERS
So now we have to choose our emulsifiers. Choose a low HLB emulsifier and a high HLB emulsifier from the list (found in this PDF on page 10).

In my workshop, I currently have the following emulsifiers:
glycol distearate - HLB 1
glyceryl stearate - HLB 2.9
laureth-4 - HLB 9.7
oleth 10 - HLB 12.4
ceteareth-20 - HLB 15.2

I think I'll try two different combinations - glycol distearate and ceteareth-20 and glyceryl stearate and oleth 10.

We're going to multiply the percentage of emulsifier needed by the HLB of the emulsifier to figure out the number. We will have to adjust it to get to the required HLB of 8.15.

GLYCOL DISTEARATE AND CETEARETH-20
This is a fairly common combination and easy to work with because the HLB of glycol distearate is 1, making for easier math. I'm going to use 4% of this emulsifier in the lotion.

I've chosen 4% because I know this is what works for me. LabRat suggested 2%, but I find there's too much room for error with my scales that only go to 0.1 gram weights! You can go higher or lower if you want, but I'm working with a total emulsifier amount of 4%.

My required HLB for this lotion is 8.15.

If I use 50% glycol distearate (0.5 x 1 = 0.5) and 50% ceteareth-20 (0.5 x 15.2 = 7.6), I'll have an emulsifier with an HLB value of 8.1. That really is close enough.

So I need 50% glycol distearate and 50% ceteareth-20 in my 4% emulsifier. (Normally I'd multiply 0.5 x 4 = 2 to figure out how much emulsifier, but it's really very simple here!) So I'll use 2% glycol distearate and 2% ceteareth-20.

Wow, that was easy. And it was a fluke! I have been doing the math as I go along in this post, so I didn't choose this recipe for ease of use! 

GLYCERYL STEARATE AND OLETH-10
This one's going to be slightly harder because glyceryl stearate has an HLB value of 2.9 and oleth-10 has an HLB value of 12.4.

My required HLB for this lotion is 8.15.

I always start with 50% of each emulsifier.
Glyceryl stearate - 0.5 x 2.9 = 1.45
Oleth-10 - 0.5 x 12.4 = 6.2
Total is 7.45, which isn't high enough. I need more oleth-10 and less glyceryl stearate.

Let's try 40% to 60%.
Glyceryl stearate - 0.4 x 2.9 =1.74
Oleth-10 - 0.6 x 12.4 = 7.44
Total is 8.18, which is almost dead on the amount we need.

So if we use 40% glyceryl stearate and 60% oleth-10 as our emulsifiers, we'll get the right amount!

If I'm using a total of 4% emulsifier, I'll need 1.6% glyceryl stearate (0.4 x 4) and 2.4% oleth-10 (0.6 x 4) as my emulsification in this product.

An aside: When I'm figuring out the emulsifiers, I make up a messy little chart like this one to the left. I start off at 50% for each emulsifier, then go to 51% and 49% or 60% and 40%, depending upon what I need, until I get the amount I want. If this doesn't work for you, click here to download my HLB spreadsheet in Excel format and see if that helps!

So let's take a look at the final recipe.

STARTING OUT RECIPE FOR DUPLICATING LUSH'S AFTERLIFE WITH HLB EMULSIFIERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
59% water
3% glycerin
2% honey

HEATED OIL PHASE
4% emulsifier (2% glycol distearate and 2% ceteareth-20 or 1.6% glycol distearate and 2.4% oleth-10)
3% stearic acid
1% cetearyl alcohol
2% coconut oil
9% olive oil
5% evening primrose oil
5% avocado oil
5% wheat germ oil

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative (I'm using liquid Germall Plus)
0.5% powdered mango extract
1% fragrance or essential oil (optional in a facial product)

Notice I increased the water phase to make up for the reduction of 3.5% emulsifier from the original recipe. If you aren't sure why I did this, click here for a post on the topic of increasing water phases when you decrease oil phases.

If you're interested in seeing another example, please click here for lotion and here for body butter! Or join me tomorrow for more fun with the HLB system!

Friday, April 22, 2011

HLB system: An introduction

The next few days are going to be a blast from the past as we learn more about the HLB system. I've updated these posts with more information and ideas so it's not just a re-posting of something I wrote two years ago! 

When we're working with emulsification systems like e-wax or BTMS, we don't really think of how it's going to emulsify our product. We just add the required amount and poof! - we have lotion. If we want to create an emulsification system of our own, we need to turn to the HLB system for guidance! (Please click to see LabRat's amazing PDF on this topic, replete with all the HLB values for oil phase ingredients and emulsifiers! Download this and treasure it!)

For more information on how emulsification works, click here

The hydrophilic-lipophilic balance system (or HLB) was created by William Griffin the 1940s as a way of figuring out which emulsifier would work best with the oil phase of an emulsified product. All emulsifiers have a hydrophilic head (water loving) that is generally composed of a water soluble functional group and a lipophilic tail (oil loving) generally composed of a fatty acid or fatty alcohol.

The theory behind HLB is that emulsifiers showing greater solubility in water would be better for oil in water emulsifications; emulsifiers showing great solubility in oil would be better for water in oil emulsifications. The lower HLB valued emulsifiers are better in water in oil as they are more lipophilic; the higher valued HLB emulsifiers are more hydrophilic.

The solubility of a molecule means it will dissolve in the solvent and becomes part of a homogeneous solution. It generally increases with temperature, hence the reason for heating and holding our lotion ingredients. And most emulsifiers we use are in a pellet or flake form, so heating is the only way to incorporate it into a liquid environment.

The HLB value of an emulsifier is determined by the hydrophilic portion of the surfactant. The equation is as follows - HLB = % hydrophilic portion by weight of the molecule divided by 5. (We don't need to know this to use the HLB system, but I'm the kind of girl who has to know everything, so I thought I'd include it for like minded people!) So the higher the number, the higher the portion of the molecule is hydrophilic, and the more water soluble it will be. The lower the number, the less water soluble and more fat soluble it will be. 

Take a look at this polysorbate 80 molecule (HLB 15). Based on this number, we should expect this is to be an emulsifier that would be better suited for oil in water emulsifications because it has such a high HLB number. (And from experience, we know polysorbate 80 is well suited for adding oil to watery things like toners or facial cleansers - not a lot of oil, but enough that we want it not to float on top of the product!) We don't see any fatty acids or alcohols on this chain, so it's going to be a hydrophilic emulsifier with a high HLB value.

Other high HLB emulsifiers include ceteareth-20 (HLB 15.2), Oleth-10 (HLB 12.4), and polysorbate 20 (HLB 16.7).

Glycol stearate has an HLB of 2.9, which means it is a lipophilic emulsifier that would be better suited for water in oil emulsifications due to its low HLB number. Sorbitan stearate (HLB 4.7), glycol distearate (HLB 1.0), and glyceryl stearate (HLB 5.8) are all examples of low HLB emulsifiers.

So how do we use the HLB system to create an emulsifier? We work out the math (I heard some of you shriek there, but if you can remember your elementary school math for figuring out percentages, you'll be fine!) by figuring out the required HLB of our oil phase and the HLB values of our emulsifiers to get a number that matches. (That's for tomorrow's post!)

You will never use one emulsifier alone for a lotion - you might for bubble baths and body washes (glycol distearate to pearlize them), perfumes or toners (polysorbate 20 or 80 to disperse the oils), and so on, but for a lotion, we require a complete emulsification system!

We want to combine a low HLB emulsifier (the one that loves oil more) and a high HLB emulsifier (one that loves water more) at a level that will match the HLB of our oil phase. And we'll want to add enough of these emulsifiers to ensure we get proper, stable emulsification of our product. (I've seen it suggested that you start at 2% and at 4% emulsifiers in your lotions. I'm going to suggest 4% for now to ensure we have enough in the lotion to be successful.)

Please note, there is no hard and fast rule for how much HLB emulsifier to start off with in a recipe. LabRat used to suggest 2% but I like to use 4% or 5%. This is not like Polawax - there is no suggested rate, it's all about trial and error. You will see different amounts of emulsifier used in different recipes. If you're going to use the HLB system, be prepared to work on the calculations for each recipe and the possibility that you haven't used enough emulsifier. This is why I suggest 4% or 5%. 

Join me tomorrow for more fun with the HLB system with a demonstration of how it works (or you can read ahead to this older post if you can't wait, but there will be more added tomorrow!)