Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Emulsifiers: Basic lotions with Ritamulse SCG

Although the suggested usage rate of Ritamulse SCG is 2% to 10% to emulsify up to 25% oils, almost every sample recipe I've seen uses 8%, so we're going to be working with that amount in our recipes over the next few days. You could go lower, but I have found lotions at 6% or lower tend to be unstable and they have separated on me. You might have better success using lower levels, but I'm going to stick with what has worked for me.

As a note, calculating the amount of emulsifier we need by figuring out what 25% of the oil phase might be only works with Polawax. As Ritamulse SCG is not Polawax, we can't use this rule! 

Let's create a basic recipe and figure out what else we could include after the recipe.

70% water

8% Ritamulse SCG
20% oils, butters, and so on

0.5% to 1% preservative of choice
1% fragrance or essential oil

The first place I want to make some modifications is with the water phase. I want some humectants in there to help attract water to our skin and prevent transepidermal water loss, so I want to include something like glycerin, sodium lactate, propylene glycol, and so on. (Click here for the list of humectants.) I don't suggest using honeyquat as there is some doubt about how well Ritamulse SCG works with cationics. Feel free to add hydrosols, extracts, and other nice water soluble ingredients.

I find that Ritamulse SCG creates less greasy lotions than Polawax, but not as powdery feeling as Incroquat BTMS-50, so which oils we should use will depend upon your personal preference. Let's make an occlusive lotion with some cocoa butter and dimethicone, and rice bran oil (I think this is becoming my favourite oil!) I'm going to add some cetyl alcohol as my thickener as I prefer the glide from this fatty alcohol over the dragginess of stearic for this application. (I know there is cetearyl alcohol in the emulsifier, so I could leave this out if I wanted, but I want to include it!)

67% distilled water
3% glycerin

10% rice bran oil
5% cocoa butter
3% cetyl alcohol
8% Ritamulse SCG

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil
2% dimethicone

Follow the basic lotion making instructions to make this product. But make sure that you mix the product until it reaches the cool down phase and add that phase when the product is under 45˚C or 113˚F because it could curdle the lotion if you add the preservative at a higher temperature. Mix until the product reaches 30˚C or 86˚F.

I have experimented with liquid Germall Plus and Leuicidal as preservatives and have found they will curdle the lotion if added before the cool down temperature of 45˚C or 113˚F. I have no idea what you would do with Phenonip, which is added at the heat and hold temperatures. If you have experience making lotions with Ritamulse SCG and Phenonip, please share!

And there you have a 20% oils lotion made with Ritamulse SCG. As usual, play with this recipe as you wish to find something you love. Increase the oils in this product to 25% and reduce your water phase down by 5% to get a thicker lotion. Change the fatty alcohol, leave it out, or add more. Throw in more humectants, a little allantoin, some proteins, some extracts, some hydrosols, and whatever else you like. Just avoid the cationic ingredients!

Join me tomorrow as we have more fun formulating with Ritamulse SCG.


melian1 said...

phenonip must be added at a temp between 140F-158F, (60C-70C). you said "and add that phase when the product is under 45˚C or 113˚F because it could curdle the lotion if you add the preservative at a higher temperature." so you can't use phenonip with this emulsifier?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Melian. I should have been clearer there...this is only my experience with liquid Germall Plus, Leuicidal, and Advanced Aloe Leuicidal. I don't know how it would work with Phenonip. I've updated the post to reflect this. If you try this, please let me know!

Robert said...

The Phenonip brochure includes the following technical advice: 'For aqueous systems which cannot be heated, phenonip can be incorporated by preparng a concentrate in a suitable solvent, e.g. propylene glycol, and stirring this concentrate into the water to give a final Phenonip concentration below its maximum solubility.'

seventh77 said...

I just made a cream with this emulsifier. About attempt number 20.

Water Phase:
67% water
3% propylene glycol

Oil Phase:
8% Ecomulse
5% Olivem 1000
3% Oliwax
15% Olive oil unsaponifiables

Cool down phase doesn't matter because I haven't even added it yet and my lotion is ruined (but cool down phase is 4.1% of the recipe).

Once both phases were up to 70C and had been held there, I VERY slowly added the water phase to the oil phase while it mixed on low. And a very THIN strem of water, too. And it emulsified. I was so happy. Every attempt before has ended in runny, partially emulsified. But this was waxy looking and so smoooooth. A thick lotion. But then it continued to thicken. And it got so thick that it became clumpy and unusable.

What am I doing wrong? I've used those levels of Oliwax and Olivem1000 before and they did absolutely nothing to thicken the lotion.