Thursday, May 29, 2014

Emulsifiers: Olivem 1000

Olivem 1000 is one of the easier to find liquid crystal emulsifiers. (Data bulletin can be found here.) Its INCI is cetearyl olivate and sorbitan olivate. It is an ECOcert ingredient.

The suggestion is to use 2% to 3% for light fluid lotions where the Olivem 1000 is the only emollient in the oil phase, 4% to 5% for 5% to 25% oils, and 6% to 8% to be a self emulsifying system. It's suggested that we use glyceryl stearate at 1% to 2% in the oil phase or xanthan gum at 0.2% or carbomer at up to 0.1% in the water phase to increase stability. It's also suggested to use cetearyl alcohol as the fatty alcohol in the oil phase.

Heat and hold your water phase at 70˚C and your oil phase to 70˚C to 75˚C. Add the oil phase to the water phase, then mix with high shear mixer, like a stick blender for this. Mix until the emulsion is formed, then a few minutes or so, then walk away until it reaches the cool down phase, then briefly mix again. I've seen it suggested that you mix the post-cool down phase lotion by hand as it is possible to overmix this lotion. It can take up to 24 hours for it to reach its final viscosity.

I've read that this emulsifier isn't a big fan of proteins and some hydrosols can cause clumping. You can use this emulsifier for lotions with pH 3 to 12, which is to say just about any lotion you can think of making!

I've seen suggestions that heating and holding your phases together - meaning we put all the heated ingredients into one container without consideration for an oil or water phase - then mixing in another container might increase stability.

Here's my thing with Olivem 1000 - I find it really unstable. I mean really unstable. I've tried quite a few recipes with cetearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol and xanthan gum and glyceryl stearate and not once has the recipe turned out stable. Each and every one has been unstable and separated. I contacted Jen at Lotioncrafter and she gave me the suggestions you see above, but even she notes it's really unstable. This study indicates that it doesn't form a lot of liquid crystal structures, which I thought interesting.

In light of this, rather than asking you to join me tomorrow to make a recipe using this emulsifier, I'm going to ask those of you who have made lotions with this emulsifier to offer your recipes and suggestions for stability. I would like very specific recipes, meaning it should include percentages or weights and the exact process you followed. I will draw names from this post for a copy of the e-book of your choice as a thank you for sharing your knowledge with the readers of this blog.

In the meantime, here are a few recipes I found at suppliers I trust...
Avena Oat Natural Lotion (The Herbarie)
Olive Tree Skin Renew Lotion (The Herbarie)

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!


Olympia Tsimplostefanaki said...

Hallo there! I will give you a tested recipe of mine with olivem, bought from Aromazone, a french supplier. I am surprised to hear it doesn't give stable lotions, I have never had a problem, and I use it from 3-8% depending the oil phase, on its own or with cetyl, stearic acid, xanthan or carraghenan gum. Anyway, maybe the specific batch is problematic, and I have seen many times the same emmulsifier give different results depending on the supplier.
This recipe couples olivem with VE Co-Emulsifier (glyceryl stearate)and it is very light but creamy, for oily to mixed skin. Oily phase-
cartham oil:15%, olivem 5%,VE emulsifier 3%, water phase-xanthan 0.2%, rose hydrosol 35%, centella asiatica glycerin extract:10%, aloe 17%, glycerin extract pine:3.2%, MSM 4%, calamine powder 1%, rasberry extract 1%, allantoine: 0.2%, anana powder 1.7%, V.C: 1%, essential oils (oily skin mix) 2%, cosgard preservative: 0.6%. Hope you like it!!!Kisses and thank you for teaching us so much!

Bindu said...

Hi Susan,

This is my experience with Olivem 1000. I have made several lotions with it.

My tried and stable recipe(over 1 yr) is for combination skin also serves as wonderful body lotion.

Jojoba oil 15%
Safflower oil 5%
Olivem 1000 5%

Water QS
Aloe juice 20 %
PE 9010 1%

Heat till 70
pour oil into water phase
Stick blend for a minute
hand stir cool down.

my friends loved this as a body and face lotion.

My notes-
Olivem needs 2-3% jojoba to remove whitening effect
Olivem doesnt like SB, it prefers hand stirring, which will enable crystal formation and light lotions.
Olivem can be used for facial lotions for acne prone skin.
There is a good chart on aromazone about usage/ stability guidelines
Olivem will form a oil free lotion base at 6% Olivem and rest water.
5% or less resulted in unstable base at home(but it is supposed to form light lotion under proper speeds and processes).

Jane said...

To help stability I'd add cetyl and xanthan gum. Olivem 1000 is VERY dependent upon mixing speed. If I mix at 1100 rpms (fast) it will form a lotion. If I mix at 300 rpms (same formula) I get a cream. Too fast mixing after the heat is discontinued will thin the final product. Olivem doesn't like much in the water phase other than water and glycerin (so add other water soluble ingredients in the cool down phase). Don't add too much olivem. It also has major soaping issues too. These can be overcome with dimethicone or an ester like C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate but also, surprisingly, excluding glycerin helps.

Rachel said...

I have used Olivem 1000 a lot and find it to be unstable at lower percentages. Seems to work just fine at 6-8% and I also include 2% cetyl or cetearyl alcohol. So, if you are wanting a very thin loion Olivem is probably not the one to use. Definitely agree with Susan re the preservative and also agree with Jane about adding water soluble extracts and other ingredients in the cool down phase - for some reason this works much better.

Diane said...

I have also heard that Olivem 1000 doesn't like anything in the water phase except water. This also speaks to a problem I have been having - trying to make a thinner lotion. I've been using it (no separations) in the 6% range; now I dare to go lower. Thanks, great post!

Kim said...

I've used Olivem 1000 a few times, and in my experience, it's stable as long as the only thing in the water phase is water. I've tried using glycerin and silk, but it caused separation. I found these tips at The Herbarie and added them to my notes on liquid crystal emulsifiers.

The timing of your post was good for me, since the last time I made an Olivem 1000 lotion, I forgot it on my desk at work and just discovered it. I made it on 10/17/13 and wasn't sure what I was going to find when I opened it, but it hadn't separated and nothing was growing in it. Yay!

Here's my recipe:
79% water

6% Olivem 1000
10% rice bran oil
3% mango butter

1% Venasilk - added to oil phase

.5% Liquid Germall Plus
.2% FO - White Ginger & Amber

Heat and hold the usual 20 minutes @ 70°C.

Olivoil Glutamate is my favorite emulsifier, and since these both are supposed to form liquid crystal structures, I found instructions from the maker of OOG to mix a small amount (20%) of the hot water phase to the oil phase, then add the rest of the water phase to cool the system. They also suggest using a stabilizer - they suggest xanthum gum - I like Venasilk, so I use it instead. I used their tips and it seems to work for Olivem 1000.

So, those are my tricks for using this emulsifier:
-water only in water phase
-use a thickener to help stabilize
-add a small amount of the water phase to start emulsification, then add the rest of the water slowly

Thanks so much for everything you do! I've been following your blog for awhile now and continue to learn so much!

Lilou said...

Hi Susan.
I've been using Olivem 1000 for some time now and I've never had it separate or present any other issues, with one exception:
It doesn't blend at all with any of the orange citrus essential oils. It will separate the minute you add 2 drops of orange or grapefruit e.o. It will not have the same result with any other citrus or other e.o.
Other than that I strongly suggest pairing it with Cetyl Alcohol at at least 0.5-1%.
Goes very well with any oil in the oil phase, and I've also had no problem with no matter what I add to the water phase. I've tested it with most recipes the previous posters mention, plus in a heavy sun screen cream with TiO2, also works very well.
Could it be that we have different types of Olivem 1000 in Canada and in Europe??

Elise said...

Hi Susan,
I have been using Olivem 1000 for 3 years now. It gives a pleasant texture to the products, without a waxy feeling, and gives stable emulsions as long as you use it with 0.2 to 0.3% xanthan gum or with a co-emulsifier such as cetyl alcohol. Your problem might be related to the fact that you heat and hold for 20 minutes. I bring the ingredients to 70°C and immediately begin mixing for 3 minutes, after which I put the container in a cold bath and continue mixing until the temperature decreases to approximately 40°C. I add heat sensitive ingredients at this stage of the process. The emulsions I get are stable for at least 6 months. As I said, I do not heat and hold; I rather use Geogard at 1% and never had problems with moulding. On two occasions, I let the temperature rise to 80°C and I couldn’t get a proper emulsion; this is why I think that Olivem might be sensitive to prolonged heating.
Here is a basic recipe for a lotion :
52 ml water
1 g Geogard
Bring to 40°C and add 0,3 g xanthan gum to make the gel.
Add the following ingredients:
17 g oil
5 g butter
2,5 g glycerin
1 g bee wax
5 g Olivem 1000
Bring to 70°C and mix for 3 minutes. Put in a cold water bath and continue mixing until temperature drops to approximately 40°C. Add the following ingredients:
15 g aloe vera gel in which 2 g panthenol have been dissolved
10 drops of rosemary oleoresin diluted 1/10 in jojoba oil or other
Adjust pH to 5.5

For a thicker lotion, you can skip the xanthan gum and use 6% Olivem with 3% cetyl alcohol.

I hope this will help you. English is not my first language, so please be indulgent! Elise

rolanda said...

I have used this with your hazelnut and mango recipe and had no problems with separation. The only thing I changed the use of chamomile hydrosol instead of water.

goodgirl said...

I do like the feeling of Olivem 1000, but I had the same separation problems as you, Susan. I might try it again with a few tips from the comments here. Thanks to everybody contributing! :)

Anonymous said...

I've used it with good results, but in the acqueous phase I use 0.2% of xanthan gum and at least 0.4% of carbopol ultrez 21. I go up to 0.6% if in the cool down phase I use salts.
I use it at 5% with a range of oils from 10 to 25%. I add a 2% of Abil Care that not only support the emulsion, but also considerably lighten up the waxy feel.
I hydrate xanthan and carbomer separately and I mix them when I heat them. I them emulsify and only when the emulsion is completed I regulate the ph. This will uniformely thicken the cream.
All in all I find it to be a good workhorse, especially for body lotion.
For my face I very much prefer a mix of Metil Glucose Sesquistearate and Polygliceryl Distearate in a ratio of 2 and 1%. As co emulsifier I use cetyl Alchool (0,5) and sometimes I add a 0,5 of Cetyl Palmitate to give a bit more consistency to the cream. I gel the water phase with 02% of xanthan + 0,1 of magnesium Aluminium Silicate and 0,4 of Carbomer.

Chiara, Milan (Italy)

Smyku Smyk said...

Hi there!

Just came here and I'm really delighted by what I've found :) I'm from Poland, I'm also making cosmetics at home (sorry for my English, it's still not my "first" language). With interest I read your post about Olivem 1000. For today it's my favourite emulsifier. Actually I've never had problems with it, all of my products were really stable, including demaquillage lotion (with really small fat phase)... I have many recipes on my blog, unfortunately most of them are in Polish - if you want, I can translate it for you and you can try any of them by yourself. Unfortunately, in Poland we have very little choice when it comes to cosmetic raw materials (of course this ones to use at home), our market is still developing and Olivem 1000 is still novum, very expensive indeed. Many of the products that you describe are new to me, maybe one day, as I will be shopping on wholesalesupplies, I will buy one of those that you recommend.

Best regards,

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

So, I also find OLivem 1000 a bit fussy. Here is a recipe I tried with success - although sometimes it first starts like a curdle but as it cools down, it suddenly becomes quite liquid and then starts to thicken into a very nice lotion:

water 60
Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate 6
Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) extract 5
Squalane 4
Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil 4
Propylene glycol 4
Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane 2
Dimethicone 2
Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) extract 2
Hydrolized Oats Proteins 2
Sodium Lactate 1
Glycerin 1
d-Mixed Tocopherols 1
Bisabolol 1
Dicaprylyl Carbonate 1
cetyl alcohol 1
Ubiquinone 1
niacinamide 1
Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl. Butylcarbamate 0.5
ferulic acid 0.4
Calendula Officinalis flower extract 0.1

My personal observations with Olivem 1000:

1. soaping, soaping, soaping! Dimethicone helps a lot, I haven't even bothered to used OLivem without 1 or 2% dimethicone
2. As I always make small batches (50-100g or products), I never use a stick blender, just a mini mixer (like the one from lotioncrafter), so I can't comment about high shear mixing based on my experience
3. it's a VERY expensive emulsifier and I have no idea WHY is it SO expensive :).
4. I ma yet to try to limit the amount of ingredients in the water phase. I have no idea how to explain the fact that at times as I pour the water phase, it starts to curdle or goes "marshmallow on stick" but, as I cool down and continue mixing, that thick structure starts to "break" and the mixture becomes very fluid, followed by a very nice thickening into a smooth cream.

OLivem is fussy, I do way much better with other emulsifiers :). I used it as an emulsifier in my facial cleanser and it worked beautifully!

by the way - is the drawing for the eBook still on? :-)))))

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

*** ubiquinone in the above recipe is actually a 3% mixture of ubiquinone in squalane. It is not fully solubilized, I shake it well before adding to the product.

I 've recently used c12-15 alkyl benzoate to dilute my ubiquinone (%10%), which is a lovely stuff!

Marina said...

Hi everybody! I recently purchased Olivem 1000 from Their Olivem 1000 is called OliveMulse. I found it hilarious that the description IngredientsToDieFor provides for OliveMulse *specifically* contradicts many of the complaints/problems posted about this product! :-) The website specifically says that for OliveMulse, there is no need for modifiers, it's a stable stand alone emulsifier, it works with a wide variety of oils, there is no soaping effect, no ice bath is needed, it has a high tolerance for electrolytes/acids/bases, and does *not* need additional thickeners. All of this seems to directly contradict many of the suggestions posted here. So, I decided to try some very simple recipes for myself to see what happened.

Procedure: I measured water and oil phases in separate glass containers. Using two double boilers, I held the water phase at 75 C for 20 minutes while I held the oil phase between 75-85 C for 20 minutes. I did my best to keep the oil phase in this temperature range. Some of these oil phases were held at closer to 75 C and some others were at 85 C. I don't think it made a big difference. After heating and holding for 20 minutes, I added distilled water to the water phase to make up for the amount lost due to evaporation. I slowly poured the oil phase into the water phase while mixing. I used a motorized whisk mixer and not an immersion blender to reach an emulsion because I wanted a lighter feel. It took about 45 seconds to reach emulsion. I allowed the emulsion to cool on the countertop. I added the preservative at ~40 C by hand mixing with a spatula for about 45 seconds.

Lotion #1:
81% Distilled Water
12% Meadowfoam Oil
3% OliveMulse
4% Leucidal Liquid SF

This was a very thin, watery emulsion that turned thick within 24 hours. It is a lovely, light-feeling moisturizer that is perfect for your face. The high water content makes it feel very light on your skin.

Lotion #2:
78% Distilled Water
12% Meadowfoam Oil
3% OliveMulse
3% Cetyl Alcohol
4% Leucidal Liquid SF

This is just like Lotion #1, but with cetyl alcohol. This emulsion appeared gritty, with many very small dots, but became thicker after 24 hours. It feels a little heavier and waxier than Lotion #1, but has a wonderful protective emollient feel.

Lotion #3:
79% Distilled Water
12% Meadowfoam Oil
5% OliveMulse
4% Leucidal Liquid SF

This lotion features a slightly higher percentage of OliveMulse. This has a little bit of a creamier feel than Lotion #1 and not as waxy as Lotion #2. This is a great in-between when you don't want a very light moisturizer and you don't want a cream.

Lotion #4:
76% Distilled Water
15% Meadowfoam Oil
5% OliveMulse
4% Leucidal Liquid SF

This lotion features a higher percentage of Meadowfoam Oil compared to #3 above. I don't think I can tell the difference between this lotion and #3 above. It might be a little heavier.

Lotion #5:
77% Distilled Water
12% Meadowfoam Oil
7% OliveMulse
4% Leucidal Liquid SF

This lotion features a even higher percentage of OliveMulse. This felt more like a cream. This felt very protective and nourishing, especially for dry skin.

I made these lotions about 2 weeks ago and none of them have separated or become unstable. The one thing I did notice that was consistent with the comments Susan posted was that the lotions do get thicker after 24 hours.

Bottom line: I love how all five of these lotions turned out and I LOVE OLIVEM 1000!! It is my absolute favorite emulsifier! I think it feels better than RitaMulse or Emulsifying Wax and I can create lotions/creams that are very light and moisturizing to thick and protective. I love it!

If these formulas separate, I will post and let everyone know. I will be experimenting with adding ingredients in the water phase and other additives such as allantoin, aloe vera, proteins, etc. I wanted everyone to know how these very simple recipes turned out, so you can at least build from there.

Thanks for the great blog and forum, Susan! Marina

Alliya said...

Hello All!!
I have been using OliveM1000 for the past three years quite successfully. As such I was surprised to hear about it being unstable. Please Lord I could do without that experience!! I am not too knowledgeable about the chemistry of this.
My recipe is
73.5% Water
2.5% Vegetable Glycerin
1.3% Neo Defend Plus
.7% Sodium Citrate
14% oils as follows :40% Sunflower
25% meadowfoam
21% Apricot Kernel
7% Evening Primrose
7% SHea butter
4% OliveM1000
2% Cetyl Alcohol

I use Susan's heat and hold method for both phases then combine at high speed 5 - 8 mins then add
1% Essential Oil of choice
.5% Vit E T50
1% ROE
Stick blend again for 5 - 10 mins.

My only concern is that my lotion gets really thick but is sooo moisturising especially for the hot Caribbean weather I live with. I would like to make a thinner lotion though.

Any comments?

zuzice77 said...

Hi Susan, I want to ask you: what is difference between Olivem1000 and Olivem800? Which one you suggest for Eco cosmetic?
P.S. I love your Ebook Formulating Facial product - really thank you.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Zuzice77! Take a look at the INCI name of each emulsifier and you can see what they are. In all honestly, I don't like either of them as they are really hard to work with, and I'm pretty good at making lotions. I don't recommend them for beginners or even veteran lotion makers. If you want to use something easier, check out Ritamulse SCG.

Thanks for your kind words! I'm so glad you enjoy the e-book! :-)

ocean_desert_tribe said...

Hey Marina, I'm wondering if the lotions separated? Any updates? I'm looking for an affordable natural basic lotion recipe for my aunt's extremely acne prone skin. I think Olivem 1000 with oliwax would help but it's difficult reading all about the recipes online saying it would separate. I too worried giving her my other lotions. I just need to know the proper percentages of the oil phase so that it won't seperate.

By Ocean

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ocean Desert Tribe. I don't like Olivem 1000 and wouldn't recommend it. There are so many other emulsifiers you choose, I would implore you to try something that is far easier to use than this emulsifier. The manufacturer can't even give you good information on how to use it! If you want to try it, I'd suggest following every single suggestion to the letter and only making 100 gram batches until you have it down pat.

I really would encourage you to use one of many different emulsifiers, like Ritamulse SCG, Simulgreen 18-2 (my new favourite!), Montano 68, and more!

Izabela Gannon said...

Hey Susan, do you have any sugestions for formulations with Simulgreen 18-2? is it compatable with all kind of preservatives, oils and botanic extracts? So far i am playing with Olivem 1000 but it's a fussy one, works only when water phase contains water only. But I want to stay as "green" as possible with my formulations so Simulgreen 18-2 brought my attention.

Izabela Gannon said...

Hey Susan, Do you have any suggestions how to use Simulgreen 18-2? Is it compatible with all kind of preservatives, oils and botanical extracts? Is there anything that this emulsifier does not like work with? Appreciate for your advise...

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Izabela! Yes, I do! I'm having a love affair with Simulgreen 18-2 right now, and you'll be seeing the results of my experiments in the next few weeks!