Monday, July 17, 2017

Emulsifier: Simulgreen 18-2 - an ECOcert and Natrue certified emulsifier

I've been working with this emulsifier for more than 18 months, and I'm so excited to finally share it with you! 

Simulgreen 18-2 (INCI: Hydroxystearyl Alcohol and Hydroxystearyl Glucoside) is an ECOcert and Natrue approved emulsifier derived from a vegetable source (castor oil) that contains no ethoxylated ingredients. It's a liquid crystal emulsifier that that can handle electrolytes, like those we find in aloe vera, sodium lactate, certain extracts and cosmeceuticals, magnesium oil, and more.

Use it at 2% to 4% in the heated oil phase of your emulsions. As this can be a less than stable emulsifier, add up to 3% fatty alcohols - like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, or behenyl alcohol - in the heated oil phase. Or add up to 0.5% xanthan gum. The recommendation is to heat and hold the two phases, pour the water into the oil phase, then stick blend with for a few minutes (high shear) before switching to a hand mixer with beaters (low shear).

I've seen quite a few people who've said they can't make this emulsifier work, but I've had no problem with it. (This isn't a judgement, just an observation. Look at my struggles with Olivem 1000!) If you follow the recommendations above - use 4% in the heated oil phase, heat and hold, use a fatty alcohol, pour the water into the oil phase, stick blend then mix - your product should work. (You'll see quite a few recipes in action this week!) I have used it with 0.5% xanthan gum, but I prefer the skin feel using a fatty alcohol.

Related posts:
Physics Friday: High shear
Question: Can how and when we mix have an impact on an emulsion?

Why use this emulsifier? Studies have shown that conventional emulsifiers could cause irritation to our skin by disrupting the skin's lipid barrier, while the liquid crystal emulsions mimic the lipid bilayers in our stratum corneum,  which means more actives or lipids from the lotions could penetrate into our skin. Studies have also shown there is a reduction in transepidermal water loss when using a liquid crystal emulsifier and an increase in moisturization of our skin as the lotions hold more water in contact with the skin for a longer period of time.

I like it because it creates much thinner lotions than those I make with Polawax, Ritamulse SCG, or Incroquat BTMS-50. It has a lot of slip and glide, which is great for body butters and facial moisturizers.

If being green or more natural is your thing, Simulgreen 18-2 is a great way to create a more natural lotion when Ritamulse SCG is just too thick. I've never been able to make a thin facial moisturizer with Ritamulse SCG, but I can make awesome ones with this emulsifier.

I would compare this emulsifier to Montanov 68 or Olivem 1000 for viscosity, and I found it was much easier to use than the latter, which seems to confound me no matter what I do!

Join me tomorrow and the rest of the week to take a look at using this new emulsifier in all kinds of facial and body lotions!


Barbara A. said...

Thank you Susan for writing about this new emulsifier! I am new to lotion making, and had a couple of epic failures with some of the recipes with lots of nice ingredients, so I've stepped back and am working on very basic recipes (thank goodness I decided to only work with 100 gram quantities!) I've now had Polwax and BTMS-50 work well for me, but wanted to try something "green" because a couple of friends and family prefer "green" products and making all these trial lotions, I need some people to use it up! Last night I used the Simulgreen 18-2 and LOVE the way the lotion feels- I think it will be perfect for a facial moisturizer. I followed your instructions pretty closely, including behenyl alcohol and the stick blender for a couple of minutes before using the hand mixer. Hopefully tomorrow the mix will still be emulsified! And one question: I am leaving fingerprints on everything with my lotions- does IPM really take care of that? Or perhaps an oil-free formula using dimethicone? (I initially got into this to make facial moisturizer, but it's really addicting and now I want nice hand lotion. Why doesn't the finger print problem happen as much with commercial lotions?)

The recipe I used:

Oil Phase:
20% Apricot kernel oil
4% Simulgreen 18-2
2% Behenyl alcohol

2 % glycerine
71.2 % water

0.8% Optiphen Plus (I have been using Phenopip for my own use, but friends won't use Parabens- I looked up skin reactions on PubMed and found that Parabens have some of the lowest skin reactions!)

Yay! I LOVE it! THANK YOU for your blog!

EEGenerating Skills said...

Hi Susan,
Can you use simulgreen in a hair conditioner? Will it replace BTMS?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Barbara! Sorry I missed your comment - I'm trying to work through them, but every time I get caught up, more come in! My suggestion is to use a less greasy oil than apricot kernel or add some IPM or esters in their place. For instance, try 5% IPM in this formula or try IPM with something less greasy, like squalane (although 20% is a lot for a hand lotion), macadamia nut, hazel nut, or evening primrose, to name a few. I have some posts on creating less greasy lotion in the men's section of the blog.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi EEGenerating Skills! No, you need a positively charged or cationic emulsifier for a conditioner as conditioning needs that positive charge.

Caleb said...

Hi Susan.
I tried using Simulgreen 18-2. I Followed your instructions to the T. The product ended up extremely watery. The only problem I can think of is the mixers I used. I've never had a product emulsify and turn out this watery. The biggest difference between this recipe and other recipes is the high shear mixing process. I used a Cuisinart stick blender (as the high shear mixer) first. After using the stick blender, I used a Cuisinart 5 speed hand mixer.

Are those the correct tools? If not, would you be able to recommend a stick/high shear blender that you use/like. I have read the equipment section of this blog and can't seem to find your thoughts on high shear blenders. I understand you try not to endorse products, but this high shear blender portion of lotion crafting has me a bit confused.

Thank you for all your help and thank you for the information you post on this blog.

All the best,