This means your emulsion hasn't worked. An emulsified product should see no separation at all, no oil or water on the surface of the product or at the bottom of the bottle. A lotion, cream, or any other emulsified product is called a homogeneous mixture. Think of homogenized milk. It looks like a white milky liquid. You can't see little globules of fat floating in water - you see milk! This is how a lotion should appear. It should be a white-ish liquid or semi-solid with no obvious water or oil leaking out of it.
Without your recipe and your process, I'm only guessing at what could have happened, but here are a few thoughts. To all of you, my wonderful readers, if you don't send me the process and the recipe, I can only guess. Save me the time and send me that information in your first e-mail or comment!
What happened to your lotion? Here are a few thoughts...
- you didn't have enough emulsifier for the product (for instance, 25% of the oil phase for Polawax);
- you used the wrong emulsifier (for instance, using esters with something like Sucragel AOF);
- you used something that isn't an emulsifier (for instance, using beeswax on its own as an emulsifier) or something that isn't an all in one emulsifier (related link);
- you used a preservative that doesn't like your emulsifier (for instance, using Tinosan with a cationic emulsifier like BTMS-50 or Rita BTMS-225);
- you didn't heat and hold the product at all or for long enough, so the emulsion really didn't happen;
- you might not have mixed it for long enough; or
- you added something in the wrong phase (for instance, adding your preservative to a Ritamulse SCG lotion before the mixture was at 45˚C).
Creating products: Combining the two phases - mixing
Troubleshooting an epic lotion fail
Basic lotion making instructions
Emulsification - what's that then?