Trying all natural emulsifiers has been a failure!

Thread: Trying all natural emulsifiers has been a failure!

  1. #1

    Trying all natural emulsifiers has been a failure!

    For 5 years I've use a simple face cream recipe and it's easy to make and I use simple ingredients. I infuse the oils with herbs from my farm. I wanted to try to make the cream last longer and add more ingredients that were all natural that added moisture and other benefits. So I got the "Formulating lotions" book by Susan Nichols. Since I wanted to use an all natural emulsifier, I decided to learn the HLB system and thought I understood the whole process. I've been to just about every website there is about creams and the HLB system and downloaded every pdf and read it.

    I have done almost a batch a day, and one day did 3 batches and I just give up!!! Now for the first time my creams fail (why I'm here). Some of these ingredients that others rave about, make the cream have too much drag, like trying to put on SPF 100 and sometimes following these new steps, I completely loose emulsification! I'd like to pick someone's brain about my recipe and the percentages and ingredients I came up with.

    Is it OK to post all that here? (I'm new here)

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    I'm new here too and I'm not a big fan of mixing things up myself, but I just wanna ask you why don't you just buy the products on the marketplace instead of mixing your own?
    We're looking for fountain of youth, stay younger and to have beautiful skin all the time.

  4. #3
    Lots of reasons. For one I"m a homesteader and trying to be self-sufficient. I also only use natural products and IF you can find them in the marketplace they are very expensive. But mostly I"m an herbalist and like to infuse herbs that are good for skin into my oils. Also, I really just want to learn this, making things like this is a passion.

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  6. #4
    oops for some reason there are no spaces in my reply, trying to fix

  7. #5
    Well I don't know if anyone is going to read this. But I typed up my notes so I can keep track and here they are. If someone
    reads and has input, please let me know. Thank you for any tips or direction:

    My original recipe that holds emulsification well is

    56% oils/ butters
    42% waters

    And the rest of the ingredients are scent and evaporated monarda extract as a preservative. But this is really a butter. It's nice
    but very thick.

    I want to make a moisturizer CREAM like pudding and smooth. I also want to use lecithin, lanolin and glycerin for their
    properties. But I can do without them as well if they just won’t work together.

    I worked all week on several recipes that I’ve tried. Sometimes I lost emulsification by
    putting the cream into a piping bag. The squeezing squeezed the water right out. Maybe it was too warm?

    Other times I had a beautiful cream and then when I added the cool down ingredients I lost emulsification. Maybe I added
    them too late?

    Originally I was taught to let the water and oils cool till the oils were opaque, semi-solid and THEN blend. I was also taught
    that over agitating a cream will make you lose emulsification so as soon as I get it, I would stop immediately. But after reading
    the book and everywhere I could online I see that some people even blend up to an hour and some said they blend 5 minutes
    after they get emulsification.

    When I added the cool down ingredients and lost my emulsification, I continued to blend hoping I could get it back. After about
    10 minutes it was just worse and I gave up. I ended up re-melting it, letting it cool over night and saved the butter and oil part.
    Should I have blended up to an hour? I just didn’t see ever getting it back.

    I used the HLB chart because I wanted to use liquid lecithin and lanolin as co-emulsifiers, but I also had bees wax as part of
    the recipe as well. So when it came out like SPF 50 sunscreen, I attributed that to too much of either lecithin or lanolin. When
    applied to the skin, the water came out immediately and would glide over the under layer of this sticky cream that didn’t spread
    for a while.

    Then the next time, since I had bees wax and glycerin and know they can be used as co-emulsifiers, I reduced the lecithin and
    lanolin. This time it was like SPF100 with NOOOO glide.

    The first time I added the lecithin to the oil phase and not knowing what caused the emulsion to fail, did research and read that
    someone added theirs to the water phase. So I tried that as well.

    HOWEVER, after melting pebble sized pieces of these thick creams between my fingers and applying under my eyes and on
    the back of my hands… after it melted was phenomenal. Like an invisible face lift. All the fine lines under my eyes and the
    wrinkles on my hands disappeared. So the ingredients are good. It’s either my proportions or methods that are wrong. I’d
    really like to try again using them.

    So here are my last two recipes, both failed emulsion and had a horrible slip. Any guidance would be helpful. I can remove
    ingredients or change percentages, but I can’t add ingredients. This is what I have to work with. For now, I have plenty of failed
    experiments to use on my face. But I was hoping that this winter I could figure out how to make this just right.

    ***Dec 4th Trial

    ** Waters 65%

    Aloe Vera 10%

    Juniper Hydrosol 10%

    Evaporated Monarda Extract (preservative) .5%

    Distilled Water 44.5%

    **Oils 31% + 4% emulsifiers

    Safflower infused herbal oils 9% (30% of oils) (required HLB 8)

    Hazelnut oil 7% (23% of oils) (no one knows required HLB guessing 7)

    Kokum Butter 10% (33% of oils) (required HLB 8)

    Beeswax 3% (10% of oils) (required HLB 12)

    Lanolin 2.7% (as co-emulsifier) (HLB 10)

    Liquid Lecithin (added after off of heat) 1.3% (as co-emulsifier) (HLB 4)

    **Cool Down (oils)

    Vit E 1% (HLB 6)

    Fragrance 1%

    Heated and held both waters and oils. Had a shot glass of extra distilled water in the “waters” double-boiler to maintain same
    temp. Quickly weighed the container and replaced the evaporated water to restore original percentage of waters. Drizzled
    waters into oils. Blended with immersion blender. Emulsification failed when cream put into piping bag and I squeezed. Very
    thick like SPF 50 and didn’t spread for a while till having melt on the skin which took a while. But nice after soaking in.


    ***Trial Dec 5th – Since I added glycerin and it along with beeswax are both co-emulsifiers, I cut the lecithin and lanolin back to
    try to make it less sticky and it was even worse.


    **Waters 74%

    Aloe Vera 10%

    Juniper Hydrosol 10%

    Evaporated Monarda extract (as preservative) .5%

    Distilled Water 50.5%

    Glycerin (co-emulsifier) 3%


    **Oils 24% + 2% oil emulsifiers = 26%

    Safflower oil infused with herbs 7% (26.9% of oil) (required HLB 8)

    Hazelnut Oil 3% (11.5% of oil) (no one knows required HLB guessing 7)

    Kokum Butter 10% (38.4% of oil) (required HLB 8)

    Beeswax (co-emulsifier) 2% (HLB 12) (7.7% of oil) (required HLB 12)

    Lanolin (co-emulsifier) 1.35% (HLB 10)

    Lecithin .65% (co-emulsifier) (added right after oils removed from heat till melted) (HLB 4)

    **Cool down oils

    Vit E 1% (3.8% of oil) (HLB 6)

    Fragrance 1% (3.8% of oil)


    Since the emulsion blender’s blades don’t touch the bottom of the bowl like a mixer would, this time I tried a whisk and the
    emulsion held and made a nice cream until I added the cool down ingredients and the water blew out. After whisking like
    crazy for a long time I went to the immersion blender and after 10 minutes it just kept getting worse. The water would not go
    back in and by that time it was cool.

    Thanks for anything.

  8. #6
    grannyD's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    How did you emulsify your original recipe that worked? I didn't think lanolin and glycerin were emulsifyers. Lecithin and polysorbate 80 will emulsify, so will beeswax and borax.
    Water and oils need to be about the same temp. Adding cold oil at cool down may be what's breaking the emulsion., I understand you may not want to heat the infused oil too much.

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