Thursday, April 24, 2014

How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Incroquat BTMS-50

Incroquat BTMS-50 (INCI: Behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetyl alcohol (and) butylene glycol) is a great emulsifier, imparting a dryer, less greasy feel to our lotions. As it is cationic or positively charged, you'll be making a positively charged lotion. (Emulsifying wax NF and Polawax are non-ionic, meaning they carry no electrical charge, while Ritamulse SCG is slightly anionic in nature.) As a result, some preservatives may not work well with BTMS as the emulsifier - Tinosan, for one - so always check out how the other ingredients in your lotion will be affected by changing to a cationic emulsifier. And check how this might work with your ingredients! For the most part, there isn't much to worry about it, but you can't mix Ritamulse SCG and Incroquat BTMS-50 together. 

BTMS-50 will offer skin conditioning benefits to your lotions, which is always a good thing. And if you're using a lot of silicones, BTMS is the best emulsifier for the job. You can make lotions with up to 50% silicones with BTMS.

BTMS-50 is used by adding it to the heated oil phase of your products and melting it along with those ingredients. After heating and holding, pour the heated oil or water phase into the other container and mix well with a stick blender or hand mixer. 

How would we alter our basic lotion with 70% water recipe using Incroquat BTMS-50? In general, you can substitute it 1:1 for Polawax, meaning we could just leave this at 6% emulsifier. But you can go down a bit with BTMS-50 as it can emulsify more with less. How to know how much to reduce? That's up to you! To be honest, I stick with the 1:1 substitution as it's just easier when I'm modifying recipes on the fly in the workshop. I have found recipes with BTMS-50 are thicker and drier feeling than those with Polawax, which is fine with me. If you want to reduce the BTMS-50 in this recipe, I'd start by using 5% and see how you like that.  

HEATED WATER PHASE (68.5% of the lotion)
68.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE (29% of the lotion)
16% oil
5% butter
3% thickener
6% Polawax

COOL DOWN PHASE (1.5% of the lotion)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)

Use the basic lotion making instructions for this product. 

As a note, check what you have in your workshop. You might have Incroquat BTMS-25 or Rita BTMS-225 instead of BTMS-50, which means you have less of the active ingredient behentrimonium methosulfate. Some people have found they can make awesome emulsions with BTMS-25 or BTMS-225 and others have found epic fails, and I haven't found any pattern as to when it works or doesn't. You'll have to give it a try. 

Related posts:

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at how we might modify this recipe using Lotionpro 165. 


Diva Soap said...

I've been wondering if you make a post on using anionic emulsifier, such as Lanette N. I found your mentioning it in on of your posts, but nothing specific. Also, internet doesn't offer much info on using this (kind of) emulsifier, so it'd be great if you helped.
Thanks, my best regards.

Anonymous said...

i think that the fails in the substitutions r that in the 50 u have 50% surfactant n in the 225/25 u just have 25, less surfactant equals more separation, aglutination of the oil droplets

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Hello Susan,

I found a receipe for a lovely light cream that uses:
3% BTMS-50 and 1.4% Stearic Acid as the emulsifier-thickener combo.

I really love the recipe but unfortunately, I ran out of BTMS-50 and my supplier is alsocurrently out. But I do have lots of BTMS-225. Can you help me determine how much BTMS-225 I need to substitute for the BTMS-50.

Here is the complete recipe that I'm using, if this would help.

5% rice bran, apricot kernel or any other similar oil on hand
3% Dimethicone
2% Argan Oil
3% Conditioning Emulsifier
2% Sodium Lactate
1.4% Stearic Acid
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
0.1% EO or fragrant oil
83% Water

Thank you.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Elizabeth. Try doubling it. That'll give you the same amount of behetrimonium methosulfate.

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, so when you say try doubling it, do you mean:

6% - BTMS-225
1.4%- stearic acid

and leave the rest of the ingredients as is, or should I reduce the oils by 3%?

I know that this should be an easy problem for me to solve, but I'd just like your input, before I change the formula.

Thank you.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Sure, try that. I can't guarantee that it'll work, though, because that much BTMS-225 is going to feel waxy and less like a light cream.

Perstephone said...

I believe Ritamulse is the same as Ecomulse, and I've been making lotions and creams with 50/50 BTMS/Ecomulse as my emulsifier for some time now as it seems to stabilize quite well, absorb in the skin quickly with no troubles, and leave a very pleasant after feel. If one is cationic and one is anionic, are they simply "cancelling each other out"? My chemistry is rusty, it's been about ten years since I took the classes. I'm going to pick my husband's brain and see what he thinks, too. Because it's working.

Raji said...

Hello Susan,
I love love your blog!!! I also have one of your ebook . I am from India, pls can you suggest an alternate substitute for BTMS 50, as we don't get BTMS here. Thanks in advance!!

Christopher said...

Susan, I sent you an email but no response.

What does it mean by BTMS-50 can emulsify 50% silicon in a formulation? Even 1% BTMS-50 is already enough to emulsify 50% silicon in a formulation?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Christopher! I received your email and your many comments: I answer them in the order in which they are received. If I might share, my life has been pretty awful as of late, so I'm not able to answer mail or comments right away. Your patience and acknowledgement that I'm human and might have some things going that need my attention is greatly appreciated.

Why don't you try the idea that 1% BTMS-50 can emulsify 50% silicones and see what happens? Please come back here and share your experiences.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Raji! Thank you for your kind words. There is no substitute for Incroquat BTMS-50 for my formulas, but you can try different conditioning agents like behentrimonium chloride and a few others, some of which I'll be writing about in the next month or so.

Hi Christopher! Silicones can be hard to emulsify, and anything over 50% oils or siliciones isn't an oil-in-water formula any more, so what they're saying is that BTMS-50 can emulsify that much. How much BTMS-50 would you need? You'll have to experiment to see what you find out. I would start at 7% and see what happens then. Let us know how it turns out!