Monday, June 29, 2009

Better crafting through chemistry: Esters & water soluble oils - PEG-7 olivate

There are two ways to make water soluble oils - you can mix an oil with an emulsifier (usually polysorbate 80) to make an oil water soluble or you can esterify them (okay, you can't personally esterify them as you probably don't have the equipment at home, but oils can be esterified to make them more water soluble). Today we'll take a look at esters of vegetable oils, specifically PEG-7 olivate or water soluble olive oil.

PEG-7 Olivate (or olive oil PEG-7 esters) is a non-ionic, water soluble ester. It is actually a surface active agent or surfactant (but not a foamy, lathery one). It can behave as an emulsifier with an HLB of 11, so it can be put into water without the need for an emulsifier. It's an emollient, moisturizer, film former, and irritation mitigator in surfactant systems. In short, it can do all the things we've come to expect from an ester.

It's a solubilizer, which is why it is such an awesome ingredient for a water based, non-surfactant (the foamy kind) make-up remover like the amazingly wonderful Fruit & Flowers Make-Up Remover at the Herbarie. (For the love of all that is good, please try this recipe if you're in the market for a make-up remover! It's great. You can leave out the calendula if you don't have it.) How does the PEG-7 olivate work in this recipe? It's a solubilizer and emulsifier, so it is going to act as an emulsifier with the oils and waters on your face and in your make up to remove it. And it's non-sticky and only slightly greasy, so you don't need to wash it off.

This would be a great ingredient in a toner to give you some olive oil-y moisturizing without the need to turn it into a lotion. I'd add it at 4% in a toner and remove an equal amount of water. You can add it to your body washes or shampoos at up to 4% without a reduction in foam or lather, and it would offer the re-fatting or moisturizing properties to mitigate irritation and offer some conditioning. Again up to 4% works well. Or add it to a facial cleanser at up to 4% for the make-up removing, cleansing, and moisturizing qualities.

Wow, I'm obsessed with using it at 4%, eh? This just seems to be the optimal amount. You could use 2 to 4%, but 4% is the point where it won't interfere with foam, acts as a solubilizer and co-emulsifier, and it's an easy amount to remember. I'd suggest the usage at 1 to 5%.

For those of us who have oily skin, this kind of ingredient is a blessing! We can get all the goodness of olive oil without the fatty acids that might make us break out. We can get the phytosterols, the "it's like human sebum" goodness, and the moisturizing properties without fewer chances for break out. Woo hoo!

Oh, and because you don't have the fatty acids found in olive oil, it won't go rancid on you. It has a shelf life of 3 years (although I have seen a few thing on the 'net indicating it never goes rancid, everything will oxidize eventually. But 3 years? That's a long shelf life!)

This ingredient plays well with gels, so you can make a gel based moisturizer or gel based eye moisturizer with it. Ah heck, let's do some playing!

Make up your gel - you might want to reduce the recipe if you're making an under eye gel because you are going to have 10 years' worth!

Point of interest - this is the equivalent of the 242 grams water, 3 grams Ultrez 20, 4 grams lye, preservative in previous posts...I finally got around to changing it to a percentage recipe!

96.7% water or hydrosol
1.2% Ultrez 20 or ETD 2020 (1.6% for a thicker gel)
1.6% lye solution, 18% to neutralize
0.5% preservative (if you're using Liquid Germall Plus, otherwise use the recommended amounts)

Measure out your water. Add the Ultrez 20 or ETD2020 flakes. Stir to make sure the powder gets wet. Wait 3 to 10 minutes, then add the 18% lye solution to neutralize the gel. Stir very well with a big fork. It's gel!!!

80% gel mixture
10% aloe vera or hydrosol
4% olive oil esters
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
2% cationic polymer (honequat or condition-eze 7) - this is the humectant because sodium lactate might mess with gelling and glycerin will be a little sticky
0.5% extract (optional)
(We aren't including preservative as it is in the gel...)

Add the ingredients in order and mix well. Dissolve the extract in aloe vera or hydrosol before including in the mix.

Feel free to play with this recipe to include your favourite extracts, botanicals, and the like. I wouldn't include a ton of oil based ingredients - like essential oils - because gels don't tend to play well with oils and the olive oil esters can only emulsify so much! I'd keep it at 0.5% to 1% essential oil, and mix it with the olive oil esters before adding. (It will act like polysorbate 20 to emulsify the essential oils in this mixture.)

You can include AHA, BHA, or salicylic acid in this recipe, but please consult my posts and the links for how to formulate safely with these ingredients.

If you want an under eye gel, you could use this same recipe but use the thicker gel. Again, feel free to play with the ingredients.

As we're about to enter summer - yes, we do get summer in Canada, and it can get to 35C where I live near Vancouver!!! - join me tomorrow for another oil free moisturizer idea.


Linda said...

Hi! I just want to say that I adore your blog! So, so much practical information, recipes and inspirational "products"!

I have a question regarding the make-up remover recipe from Herbarie. I just ordered some Peg-7 olivate from GoW so haven't yet had a chance to try it myself. I also heard some people using this Olivem 1000 from the Herbarie (don't want to order from there - internation shipping is high).

So my question is if the remover is very "liquidy"? I mean how thickening is this PEG?

I like things like Clinques "take the day off" cleansing balm because it's easy to work with. So, if I'd like to make the Herbarie recipe a little thicker (not necessary balmish, just so it's easier to spead over the face). Or is it just as easy as less water and more pegs?

Thanks a million!! :)

Linda from the other side of the atlantic!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the kind words, Linda!

PEG-7 olive isn't very thick on its own and it doesn't thicken up a mixture very much. I've been playing with acai and buriti esters, and those are very thick compared to the olive oil: They create an almost gel like liquid at only 10%. PEG-7 is thinner than olive oil - more like sunflower oil, or even fractionated coconut oil.

Pour a little PEG-7 on your will get a little thicker than that, but not by much.

I love the make-up remover from the Herbarie. I use it on a cotton pad and swipe it over my eyes, as I only wear eye make-up right now. (But having seen pictures of how the foundation took out the redness in my skin for the wedding, I think I need to use it way more often!)

Since I am incredibly useless at describing the viscosity of this PEG or the Herbarie recipe and since I have no idea what the Clinique product is like, I'd suggest making up a small batch of it and testing it. If you want it thicker, add more PEG and remove some water. If you want it thinner, add more water. You could make this up in a gel form and see how it works for you - it would be thicker!

mariefel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

is it safe to use sulfated castor oil in hair & body products?

Andrea said...

you are an amazing woman, I must say....your blog is great and a wonderful inspiration to me...
Thank you :)

Tyler said...

Would this be a good blend to make my fragrance oils water-soluble...and clear when blended with water?

I have used so many products claiming to be both surfactants and emulsifiers that boast miscibility and clarity; but I often find the blend becomes too thick. (due to the emulsifying agent)

Would this be the answer to making my fragrance oils water-soluble while still remaining relatively thin - like water?

If not Peg-7 olivate...any other ester that is thin in viscosity that would make my oils water soluble, and still remain clear? Your help will be most appreciated!!!

Tyler said...

I really can't be without your valuable info. Please, please if it isn't too much trouble answer my question. Your blog is valuable but finding the right info can be challenging. Thanks Tyler

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Tyler. I don't know. I don't have all the information I need, for instance, your recipe and process - both of which I ask at the top right hand side of the blog - so I can't tell you if this if the right ingredient for you or not. I don't think this is the ingredient you want: You want a solubilizer. Look at one of the polysorbates or another ester. Maybe one of the glucosides (look under the surfactant category).

Look in the appropriate sections - for instance, emollients or surfactants - or in the ingredient lists for information. Or do a search. I've recently improved the search on the blog.

Tyler said...

Thanks Susan. After looking thru a few ingredients. I think I'm in need of a low viscosity non-ionic surfactant that won't add any thickness to the final product. Alternatively, I could use an ester to thin a surfactant that would be too thick on it's own. It would also act as a co-surfactant. The polysorbates are all too thick for my needs, but do work. I'm looking for a surfactant or surfactant/ester mix to solubilize my oils into a micro-emulsified state when mixed with water.

The best that I could come up with is Polyoxyethylene Nonylphenol. (but it's too thick on it's own with a visocity similar to that of honey) I need it to be similar to the weight and visocity of the oil or water. Ideally I'm looking to both make my oil miscible in water, and as thin as possible.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tyler. Again, without knowing the rest of your ingredients, I can't help much. Have you considered Cromollient SCE or caprylyl/capryl glucoside (link at Voyageur)? I used caprylyl/capryl glucoside with a fragrance at 1% each in water and it was lovely and clear. But I do think that has more to do with the fragrance oil than the solubilizer.

Tyler said...

It's me again! LOL. Thanks Susan for the reply. I'm not using any other ingredients. Just EO/FOs and solubilizer/surfactant blended with it, to make them water soluble and miscible whilst still remaining clear when in contact with water. I like the benefits of capryl glucoside, but would prefer a non-foaming solubilizer. Great Suggestion though! Your knowledge has been very valuable.

Anonymous said...

Can the Peg 7 Olivate be mixed with other oils and make them water soluble as well?

Kim said...

Yes, it can be used in oils. It makes a cleansing oil blend wash away easily and leaves your face feeling fabulous. Take a look at Lotioncrafter's Olivem 300 and their Olive Cleansing Oil recipe. That's what my formula is based on, and it works great!

Kim said...

Where did you purchase the acai and buriti esters from?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. No, the water solubles will not make other oils soluble. It can be used with other oils, but it won't make those other oils oil soluble.

Hi Kim. I got them as a sample from a company ages ago. Sorry, I don't know where to get them!

Anonymous said...

if making a hair pomade that is water soluble what would be the best ingredient that would make all the oils and wax break down when mixed with water.

Caroline PJ said...

Hey There. Would it work as part of the base for Bathoil? So technically it might bind the essential oils and other oils together to help disperse them in the bath - so a completely natural dispersal method rather than Polysorbate or similar?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Caroline. There's nothing natural about PEG-7 olivate. It starts off as olive oil, but it's altered to be water soluble, which is not a natural process. It's a great ingredient, but not something I'd use as a solubilizer in a bath oil as it's just way more expensive than the polysorbates or PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, which is a great solubilizer!

If you want a more natural solubilizer, check out caprylyyl/capryl glucoside. I've used it quite a bit on the blog and it's very sticky and not something I would want to use in a bath oil. But that's just my opinion. Maybe you'll love it!

Chelsea Sutter said...

Hey Susan!

I am trying to make a body scrub for my clients that wax with me. I would like this scrub to be water soluble so it doesn't clog the follicle since it will be left root-less. I need my clients to exfoliate but the market for post waxing products is bleak. Could I use just water the PEG-7 olivate, and sugar or jojoba beads? Also in this mixture can essential oils be added for scent/their actual purpose too? Such as lavender oil to calm and nourish, tea tree oil to act as an antiseptic etc...?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Chelsea! You can't make a sugar scrub with water as it'll dissolve and you'll just have sugar water in a bottle. You'll need some kind of solubilizer for the essential oil, like polysorbate 20 or 80, and so on.

Have you considered making a water based gel? (Again, don't add salt or sugar to it.) Do a search on the blog for gels and I'm sure you'll find something you could try!