What the heck is esterification? Esterification is a chemical reaction - for our purposes between a carboxylic acid (like a fatty acid from vegetable oils) and an alcohol - that leads to the creation of an ester and water (as a by-product). The alcohol is question here is glycerol or glycerin, as we can see in the name polyglycerol (meaning many glycerols). Want to know way more about esters? Click here for another page I've written about esters, or click here for a great page from the UK!
If you're using this in a lotion, for instance, you would put it into the oil phase and heat and hold as normal at 70˚C for 20 minutes.
Click here for more about heating and holding of lotion based products.
Click here for more about heating and holding anhydrous products!
Why use it instead of beeswax? It can help eliminate those horrible little grains you get from butters, it can create oily gels, it can help make products a little more glidy (unlike beeswax, which makes things quite grippy), and it can help disperse pigments in things like lipsticks. As with other esters, it seems to have a slightly longer shelf life than beeswax - although the shelf life of beeswax is pretty long already - and it can help solubilize other oils. And it'll feel less greasy than beeswax. You can add it to a facial serum, for instance, to make a thicker version where the oils won't separate from each other, or you could use it to make an oily gel for a body scrub. This viscosity building feature is why I'm interested in it!
You can use cera bellina to make an oily gel, and there are different amounts for different oils. For instance, Lotioncrafter notes that you will need about 8% for avocado oil, 12.3% for jojoba oil, and 25% for IPM! What I've seen suggested is to start at 10% to 15% to make an oily gel and take good notes for future reference. (Definitely click on the link to learn more - Jen has a ton of information on this ingredient!)
Join me tomorrow for the first of my experiments with cera bellina!
Better crafting through chemistry: Esters