Yesterday, we took a look at how changes in oils and preservatives might impact a lotion. What else could be an issue here?
Fragrance and essential oils aren’t inert ingredients: We know vanilla can make things brown, but it can also thin out a product thanks to the vanillin. This is why we may have problems working with vanilla with polymeric emulsifiers (ones we can use cold) that contain a polymer, like Aristoflex AVC, or a gelling agent, like Sepimax ZEN or Ultrez 10, and surfactants. I used vanilla fragrance oil in this formula, and it remained stable, which is a good thing.
More information on this topic:
Understanding the Vanillin Villian (my article from Handmade Magazine
Did vanilla turn my lovely lotion brown?
Is anyone interested in learning more about the chemistry of how vanilla messes with gels? I think it’s really interesting, but I also wear molecular earrings and read chemistry texts in bed, so I can accept my opinion might be in the minority. :-)
What’s in myrrh essential oil? “The main chemical components of myrrh oil are a-pinene, cadinene, limonene, cuminaldehyde, eugenol, m-cresol, heerabolene, acetic acid, formic acid and other sesquiterpenes and acids.” (Reference) I’m not seeing anything here that should destabilize a lotion, so this is probably not the issue, but I can’t be completely sure as I haven’t used it in this formula.
More information on the chemistry of myrrh essential oil:
Compound Interest, chemistry of myrrh
Myrrh - COMMIPHORA CHEMISTRY
Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil and Supercritical CO2 Extract of Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl. and of Acorus calamus L.
The way we make the product can have a huge impact on how it turns out. For instance, Olivem 1000 needs to be stick blended, Simulgreen 18-2 needs to be stick blended then mixed with a hand mixer, and Varisoft EQ 65 needs to be stick blended only. It’s all about shear. Stick or immersion blenders are high shear, beaters on a hand mixer are low shear.
Having said this, Simulsol 165/Lotionpro™ 165 doesn’t have an issue with mixing with a hand mixer, stick blender, or propeller mixer, so I don’t think it’s that.
For more information on mixers:
Gift ideas for crafters - mixers!
After analyzing all of this, I don't think the essential oil, oil choice, or mixer is an issue. I think it's all about the interaction with the preservative.
Looking at all of this, what suggestions do I have for working with Simulsol 165/Lotionpro™ 165? I really don’t have much to suggest as it’s a fairly easy to use emulsifier that isn’t picky about how we mix it. It’s one of the ones I consider fairly foolproof in that we can alter the oil phase easily, switching out any oil for any oil, any butter for any butter, any oil for butter, butter for oil, and all of those things for esters or other oil soluble ingredients.
as we discussed yesterday, alter any formula with this emulsifier to below 30% oil phase.
What does this mean? The oil phase is everything that has to be emulsified by the emulsifier, meaning everything that's oil soluble in the formula, including oils, butters, esters, fatty alcohols, fatty acids, fragrance oils, essential oils, and other oil soluble ingredients, like vitamins, anti-oxidants, cosmeceuticals, and more.
In this formula, the coffee butter, oil of choice, cetyl alcohol, and fragrance or essential oil make up the oil phase. If my limit is 30%, I like to keep things below 29% to compensate for hand slips and such, which I did in the modification in yesterday's post.
If you were to use something like Ritamulse SCG with a maximum oil phase of 25% and you wanted to use this preservative, you want to make sure you're using no more than 24% to be on the safe side.
When lotions go wrong!
Why did my lotion fail? Loads of links here!
Why did my lotion fail? Emulsifiers
Why did my lotion fail? Emulsifiers continued…
Why did my lotion fail? Heating and holding
Why did my lotion fail? Optiphen
Why did my lotion fail? Water in oil emulsions
How to make a successful lotion
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