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!

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