Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why did my lotion fail? Optiphen

Optiphen - INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol - is, unfortunately, a bit of a pain in the bum when it comes to lotion making. Yep, it's another reason your lotion could fail.

As a note, I'm hearing that Optiphen Plus (INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid) and Optiphen ND (INCI: Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid) are curdling lotions as well, so this may apply to that product as well. 

Kuldip suggested: Add optiphen at about 45-55°C, the trick is to keep mixing until cool. Usually adding optiphen to a cationic emulsion the product sometime thins out and will eventually thicken as it cools.

I have no experience with Optiphen - as you all know, I'm a liquid Germall Plus girl - so I can't make any other suggestions. If you have any, please share them with your fellow formulators in the comments below!


Cynthia Scott said...

Kinda off topic but what do you think about possibly using sesaflash in a recipe and how would I go about that? Heat oil phase? Heat water ohase? Or cool down ohase? And what percentage? If you'd like I can produce a recipe for your consideration but I'm really just looking for general info and procedure.

What do you think?

Thank you

(You rock btw!!)


Megan Johnson said...

I made a couple of very successful lotions and creams my first few times out.

Then I introduced Optiphen Plus into the mix and everything went to pieces.

So much for that eight dollars; I'll be buying Liquid Germall Plus next time!

Elisabeth said...

I've added Optiphen, since that's been what's available to me, after the product has cooled to room temperature, measured out together with vitamin E and fragrance, and never had any trouble with separation in either W/O or O/W emulsions. My lotion fails have happened when I've been testing new emulsifiers (e.g. Montanov) or exchanged cetyl alcohol for some other solid fat or wax. But e-wax at a fourth of the oil phase and 1-2 % cetyl alcohol have always worked.

Anonymous said...

I'm still new to making things, but Optiphen Plus is the only preservative I've used (I'm allergic to something in most every other preservative). So far, I have not had any problems at all as long as I heat and hold and then wait to add it until things are really cooled off.

Chris R said...

Tried to make a lotion today but it ended in failure. I know for a fact that the culprit is the preservative Microkill COS (Phenoxyethanol & Caprylyl Glycol &
Chlorphenesin). The emulsion looked perfectly fine until I added the preservative at around 40 degrees celsius at which point it curdled immediately. No amount of aggressive mixing was enough to save it, so hopefully now I've learned my lesson: phenoxyethanol is a PITA. You were right Susan and I feel ashamed to think I would have a different experience.

Maria said...

I've used Optiphen ND and Optiphen Plus (the plus is my favorite) in both shampoos and lotions. I've never had any problems. I add it at cool down.

Deb Galloway said...

I'm feeling very fortunate as I have exclusively used Optiphen with no problems. Like those who commented before me, I always introduce it during the cool down phase and always at a temperature lower than 120 degrees.

Audra said...

I am still new at lotion-making, but I have made several now and did not have an issue with the Optiphen Plus... until I made a body butter this past weekend and it was fine until I added the Optiphen Plus and it curdled immediately. No amount of mixing would bring it back together. The entire batch was ruined.

Rosa said...

I feel like I should be knocking on wood. I have always used Optiphen and prefer to add it right after I combine my water and oil phases (I check temp first to make sure it's below its heat tolerance point.) I like to pour when things are still liquid for convenience, which is why I favor Optiphen as it can be safely added at 170 degrees or below. I have never had a lotion fail in over a year of formulating. Luck, maybe? If it does stop working for me, I'll know where to start troubleshooting!

Face said...

I've been making lotion for about 8 months. I add Optiphen Plus to the water phase after it has cooled down below 130 degrees. When both phases are cooled to the same temperature, I then mix the two. I then add my fragrance. I have had no issues with curdling or thinning out.. Btw... I do heat and hold for about 20 mins.

electrikat65 said...

I don't have problems with Optiphen every time but I have had it cause the emulsion to break in my lotions more than once. And today it broke in a 3000 gram batch. Yes, thousand not hundred. I can usually beat it into submission but this time it just completely separated and would not come back together. I told my husband that this was the absolute last time I'll ever use it. Period. It's Pheninip, germaben or germall for me from now on. Parabens or not. It's just not worth the risk anymore.