Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: How do I figure out if I can use some ingredients as emulsifiers? Why add cetyl alcohol to a recipe with e-wax?

In this post, How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers, Mette asks: I have some questions which I hope you can help me with. I am trying to make a baby lotion and I have Sucrose Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate and Cetearyl Alcohol on my hands. As far as I understand (I'm a total beginner of making skin care products) Cetearyl Alcohol is mostly used as a thickener? Would I be able to make a stable emulsion of Sucrose Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate?

The first thing I do when I want to figure out if I can use something as an emulsifier is this - check out this PDF on the HLB system (Lotioncrafter link). If we take a look at this list we see that glyceryl stearate has an HLB value of 3.8. But I don't see the sucrose stearate listed here. What do do then?

The second thing to do is ask your supplier for the HLB value or consult the internet. (Always ask your supplier first!) Since the supplier option isn't available, I'll check the 'net for the HLB value of sucrose stearate? From this site I see it is listed as 13. (For this particular brand. Your brand may vary.) So we can make a HLB emulsifier out of these two ingredients.

Now we consult the post on the HLB system to figure out how to use these an emulsifier. The quick version is this...Figure out the required HLB value of the oils phase. Then calculate the amount of each emulsifier you'll need to use to get to that value. Then make the lotion! (Check this post for all the information on how to do this bit!)

Related posts:
The HLB section of the blog

To address your second question, yes, cetearyl alcohol will offer thickening to your product. I recommend checking out the right hand side of the blog under the heading "bath and body guides to ingredients" to see the post on cetearyl alcohol (and all the other ingredients I discuss on the blog).

Yeah, I know this is a picture of behenyl alcohol, but I'm out of cetearyl alcohol and I wanted something to go with this paragraph!

Sophia commented in this post on facial scrubs - template recipeI have a question, if you are already using E-Wax, why do you need to add the cetyl/cetearyl alcohol as well because isn't it already in E-wax? I have used this recipe many times and love it but was wondering what it does adding more than what is already in the ewax.

What does cetyl alcohol bring to a product? Again, let's take a look at the entry on cetyl alcohol (the listing for which is found to your right in the bath & body guide to ingredients). The short summary: Cetyl alcohol is a thickener that brings slip and glide to our products. It gives a creamy feeling to the product, and it's a great emollient. As well, if you choose to use a cationic emulsifier like Rita BTMS-225 or Incroquat BTMS-50, the cetyl alcohol will boost the conditioning power of the product.

In the case of this recipe. I'm using Rita BTMS-225, which contains cetearyl alcohol. I want the thickening and emollient properties of cetyl alcohol in this product, so I'm going to add it to the mix.

If I were to use another emulsifier - let's say Incroquat BTMS-50 - I'd still add the cetyl alcohol. Yes, it contains cetyl alcohol, but how much? No more than 25% or so, which means if I use 10% Incroquat BTMS-50, I have 2.5% cetyl alcohol. I want more thickening and more emolliency in the product, so adding 10% cetyl alcohol ensures I have some great thickening, slip and glide, and emolliency.

No emulsifier is going to contain as much cetyl alcohol as I'd like in the product, so I'm always going to add it to the mix!

Related posts:
Cetyl alcohol
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Polawax
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? E-wax
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Ritamulse SCG
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Incroquat BTMS-50
How do we make substitutions with our emulsifiers? Lotionpro 165

Join me tomorrow for more Weekend Wonderings!

1 comment:

Mette said...

Thank you so much for taking your time to help, Susan!! You are a life-saver! Now it makes more sense to me and I can finally finish the recipe. The HLB-system is pretty new to me, but you explained it in a simple way. Can't wait to get started:o)

My best to you on a (Danish) sunday morning.