Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Question: How do we heat proof an emulsified scrub?

In this post One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in emulsified scrubs (part one), MK asks: I made this scrub the other day, but what can we do to heat/humidity proof it? I had a thin film of oil on the top after this product got a little hot in our heat and humidity blast last week. Does it make sense to sub a butter with 3-4% of beeswax or 2-3% of candelillia wax?

Why not try it, MK, and see what happens? Waxes like beeswax and candellia wax are great way to increase the melting point in a product, although they might stiffen the product more than you want and they can leave a waxier feeling on your skin, so a small amount like you suggest is a great idea. Candellia wax has a melting point of 70˚C, while beeswax melts at 50˚C to 55˚C, both of which are above the melting point of our butters.

EMULSIFIED SUGAR SCRUB
10% emulsifying wax (e-wax, Polawax, BTMS-50, BTMS-25 BTMS-225)
10% cetyl, cetearyl, or behenyl alcohol or stearic acid (5% cetyl and 5% stearic is very nice)
10% cocoa butter (or other really hard butter)
10% shea or mango butter (or quite soft butter - shea aloe would be great here)
56% oil
1% Phenonip
1% Vitamin E (optional)
2% fragrance or essential oil (optional)

You can also substitute one butter for another, or use all cocoa butter instead of using a bit of shea butter. Cocoa butter with a melting point of 38˚C, mango butter at 34˚C to 38˚C, and shea butter at 31˚C to 37˚C. (Check out other butters in this post.) But remember that when you substitute a stiffer butter for a softer one, your product will feel stiffer and harder. (Yes, kiddies, that did sound rude!)

As an aside: This is why I discourage you from using coconut oil as the major oil in an anhydrous product like a sugar scrub, whipped butter, lip balm, or lotion bar. It melts at 76˚F or 24˚C, which is easy to reach in a bathroom, hot car, or pocket in the spring and fall months, and very easy to reach in the summer anywhere. (MK doesn't say she uses this oil; I'm just taking the opportunity to remind you, my wonderful readers, about this issue.) The same suggestion goes for babassu oil, which has a melting point of 24˚C or 76˚F.

You could also increase the amount of stearic acid or cetyl alcohol in place of some oils. For instance, you could use another 10% cetyl alcohol in place of 10% of the liquid oils, which would increase the melting point of the product. It would be a bit stiffer and harder to get out of the container than one with less cetyl alcohol, but it would be less likely to melt. As well, you could consider using more emulsifier, which would also stiffen the product.

Something else to consider - keeping it in the fridge during the summer months. It's not a lot of work to get it out of the fridge before taking a shower or bath, and it means you can keep the wonderful skin feel and texture you've created in your product all year 'round!

Let us know what you do and how it turns out!

11 comments:

Penny Lane Organics said...

Hi Susan, you can also get 92 degree coconut oil (we use it and also sell it) and there is also 105 degree coconut oil (haven't used it). We switched to 92 degree coconut oil in all our products since 76 degree just wouldn't "cut" it.

eyeluvmakeup said...

had a question on your comment: So if its regular body scrub why does it matter if the coconut oil melts since you would want and oil based scrub, regular scrub that is?



"As an aside: This is why I discourage you from using coconut oil as the major oil in an anhydrous product like a sugar scrub, whipped butter, lip balm, or lotion bar. It melts at 76˚F or 24˚C, which is easy to reach in a bathroom, hot car, or pocket in the spring and fall months, and very easy to reach in the summer anywhere. (MK doesn't say she uses this oil; I'm just taking the opportunity to remind you, my wonderful readers, about this issue.) The same suggestion goes for babassu oil, which has a melting point of 24˚C or 76˚F."

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Penny Lane! That's a great suggestion! Thanks!

Hi eyeluvmakeup! I've answered your question in today's comment round up. The short answer is that it wouldn't be a heatproof emulsified scrub if we used coconut oil. The long answer? Take a look at the post!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan!!
I have also heard there are recipes for emulsified scrubs that include kaolin clay in it. Would that help in keeping it from separating? At what percentage would you include that in your recipe? Also, The supply of ingredients is very limited where I live. You cannot find any emulsified wax (just beeswax or white carnauba. The yellow candelilla wax has a very strong chemical smell) so can you recommend a separate emulsifier and the percentage? Thank you soooo so much!

-Heather

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Heather. If you don't use an emulsifier, then it isn't an emulsified scrub, it's just an oil based scrub. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not the same thing. I'm not sure what kaolin clay would do for separation of a scrub, but I can't see it helping with separation. In these recipes, how did the recipe writer say it would help? What is the chemistry behind that?

I'm afraid I don't understand your last question. Can I recommend a separate emulsifier and percentage? Do you mean beeswax or candelillia? Those aren't emulsifiers, those are waxes. I wouldn't use either in a scrub, to be honest, as it would feel very waxy and unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! Thanks for your reply. Sorry if I didn´t explain myself well! :-( What I meant was that since they do not sell any sort or brand of emulsified wax where I currently reside, could you recommend an emulsifier to use in this recipe with white carnauba wax? (That´s the only type I could find since I need to keep it vegan that´s why I wouldn´t use beeswax). And the percentage of wax and emulsifier to use in this recipe.Thanks so much for your help!

Heather

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Sorry, Heather. I still don't really understand. You can't get any emulsifiers where you live? If that is the case, then you can't make this recipe, and you'll have to try an oil based scrub instead. If you mean you can't get e-wax but can get other emulsifiers, I encourage you to search the blog for the other versions of this scrub I've made with just about every emulsifier I have found!

I really wouldn't use a wax in this. It won't rinse off well and will feel pretty awful. The key to this recipe is that when you rinse it off, the emulsified turns it into s lotion that feels silky on your skin. That will not happen with a wax.

Heather said...

Hi again Susan!
Sorry to keep you going back and forth. Yes, that´s what I meant, they don´t sell e-wax or polawax where I live. like I said, I have made this recipe before and it turned out lovely! It did turn into lotion in the shower! Even though the retailer claims they only carry "white carnauba wax" (This is what I have been using to substitute the e-wax in your recipe) and they claim it is not an emulsifying wax, I´m starting to suspect it is and the salesperson just doesn´t know it...?
The only problem I have is that it separates in this hot and humid weather we live in.
I followed the tutorial you have on Snapguide but researching further on your blog, I noticed I haven´t done the "heat and hold" at all. Could that be an issue?
Also, how long do you recommend I whip it up? Sometimes it turns out too fluffy and it "deflates" after a couple of days.

Thank you so much for the time you take to reply!

Heather

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Heather. Yes, the not heating and holding can be an issue. White carnauba wax isn't an emulsifier, so the sales person is correct. If you look at the FAQ on the blog or do a search for "emulsifier", you'll find a whole list of them to choose from. Or talk to your supplier and see what they recommend as an emulsifier. You can make your own using the HLB system, so take a look at that and see what supplies you can access from that list.

When you have an emulsifier in this product, it won't separate, even in the heat. It might melt in the heat, but it isn't going to separate just sitting somewhere.

You whip it until it reaches about double the size. It will deflate in the jar. There isn't a way to keep it that fluffy.

Rach said...

Hi Susan, Thanks for an amazing resource.

I need some advice on the recipe in this post. I have made it a few times using your recipe and these ingredients:
10% BTMS-50, 5% cetyl alcohol, 5% stearic acid, 10% coca butter, 10% shea, 30% sweet almond oil, 26% olive oil, 1% vit E, 1% optiphen, 2% essential oil.

Following your instructions, I've melted the waxes and oils, then at 45 degrees C added the vitE, preservative and fragrance, and whipped until smooth. Then I've added salt at 1.5 times the total of oil mixture. So far so good, it looks perfect and creamy and I've spooned it into jars.

Fast forward to the next day and there is a noticeable layer of yellow oil floating on the top. Everything I've read says if you use an emulsifying wax you won't get oil floating on the top, but there it is! I tried using E wax NF too, with the same result. Secondly the scrub is leaving a very waxy feeling on my skin and it doesn't rinse off.

So my questions: how do I tweak the recipe to reduce the waxy feeling, and what am I doing wrong that is producing the oil layer on the top? Does salt behave differently than sugar?

Thank you so much for any advice
Rachel

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Rach! I'm really sorry, but I have no idea what might have happened here, other than it's really hot where you live and the scrubs melted a bit. I don't get the waxy feeling - are you using BTMS-25 or BTMS-50? Did you get the waxy feeling when you used the e-wax in it?

To answer your questions...
1. I have no idea why you're getting a waxy feeling with this recipe because I've never had that experience or heard of it when using these oils and emulsifier.
2. I think the product might be melting and reforming?
3. No, salt behaves the same as sugar.

If you could check your recipe again and let me know, I might be able to help further.