In this post, Nedeia asks: This topic makes me ask another question: honey in anhydrous products. Yeah, I know, I know, we need an emulsifier, we need a preservative, but there are people out there selling products like honey lip balm. and they swear that the product will not separate. they sell cuticle salves that are quite hard, and no trace of honey on the bottom. And the ingredients are "Natural Beeswax and Honey from our own hives, Shea Butter, Almond Oil and Vitamin E Oil.". now how do they do that? I never managed to incorporate honey with success in such a product. I know it will draw moisture from the air and some day it could ferment. I know the theory.... Are they just lying, or do they have a secret way of mixing? Especially when I know that you should not heat the honey at more than 40 degrees centigrade, if you want to keep any of its properties and not obtain a simple sweetener...
Take a look at this post - Iron Chemist: Sodium lactate - I managed to use sodium lactate in a lip balm and it didn't weep out! Here's the recipe...
LIP BALM WITH SODIUM LACTATE
2.1% sodium lactate
25% aloe butter
21% rice bran oil
26.5% fractionated coconut oil
Mix lecithin and sodium lactate together first until well incorporated. Then weigh out the other ingredients into the same container and heat in a double boiler until melted. Pour into lip balm tubes and rejoice.
First, an aside about solubility...We can divide our ingredients into two categories when it comes to solubility. A rule of thumb is "like dissolves like". Water dissolves water soluble things; oil dissolves oil soluble things. Water is polar; oil is non-polar. Adding something like oil to a water based product will lead to the oil pooling on the top. Adding a water soluble ingredient to an oil soluble mixture generally leads to the water based thing weeping out of the product.
There are some ingredients that require alcohol or other solvents, but we aren't going into that in this post!
To get something to emulsify, we need three things - an emulsifier (the chemical), heat, and good mixing. In this situation, I'm using all three. I've heated my ingredients up to the melting point; I'm using lecithin as my chemical emulsifier; and I'm mixing the product. I think the key to the success of my product is the fact that my water soluble ingredient makes up a small portion of the recipe - sodium lactate at 2% - so I'm able to keep it from separating.
like this one here - I will find the water won't mix in and I'll get a little gooey mess on the top of the product. Sure, it will incorporate at first, but eventually we'll see some separation.
But if I use this recipe - this one has lecithin and lanolin in it - I'll be able to incorporate some watery ingredient, like a protein or a humectant, into the mix.
Ingredients like lanolin (click here for a post) can handle some water, and ingredients like lecithin can behave as emulsifiers. When you see an anhydrous product that contains water, look for those ingredients to see if they're using them as emulsifiers. If you don't see those ingredients, then it might be that the company is using a lot of heating and mixing to keep the ingredients in the anhydrous mixture. It could be that they aren't telling the truth and they are using an emulsifier, or it could be that their products will eventually weep out and look awful. (Believe me, this happens more than you would imagine!)
I don't know about not heating honey - do you have some information you can send me? This is intriguing! I use honey in one of my products as a humectant, and I put it into the water phase to heat with the other ingredients for the 20 minutes heating and holding phase. I hate to think I'm wasting those lovely qualities!