Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: How much oil will Lotionpro 165 emulsify?

In this post, Emulsifiers: Lotionpro 165 in a lotion, Alana asks: Can LotionPro emulsify 38% shea butter and 3% stearic acid along with 3% menthol crystals? What is the max capacity of this emulsifier to emulsify oils?

As Lotionpro 165 (aka Simulsol 165) is an oil-in-water emulsifier, we know the oil phase has to be 49% or lower.

Okay, this isn't strictly true because the determination of whether something is an oil in water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion isn't just about the amount of water or oil in a product. It's actually about the phase in which the emulsifier is more soluble. The higher the HLB value, the more soluble in water the emulsifier can be. Considering that Lotionpro/Simulsol 165 has an HLB value of 11, it's more soluble in water. So anything made with this emulsifier is considered an oil-in-water emulsion. 
If you're interested in knowing more, click here to learn about the Bancroft rule. 

I've done a ton of searches and I'm afraid I don't have an answer. There's nothing in the data bulletin or other materials from the company about the amount of oils it can emulsify. I have seen recipes that use a lot of oils - take for example, Lotioncrafter's amazing Body Bliss recipe that uses 36.5% oils for 3.5% Lotionpro 165 - but I can't f

As for whether it can emulsify 41% oil phase with 3% menthol crystals, I'd suggest bringing that down a notch to keep the phase below 40%, as that's generally the upper end of emulsifying you'll want to do. And just a question - with that much shea butter, do you need stearic acid at all? I know Lotionpro 165 is a really fluffy emulsifier, but shouldn't the shea butter be enough thickening for a product?

I ask because over on the Patreon feed I'm trying to duplicate Noxzema Classic Clean, and I created a product so thick, it was a ball of lotion, or as I'm calling it, a ball lotion™. (Patent pending!!!) Mine was done with stearic acid and cetyl alcohol, but it was so incredibly thick, you'd be shocked to find out there was water in it! (There was a ton of water in there as it's an oil-in-water lotion.)

If you've tried the 38% shea butter with 3% stearic acid, what was the result? I'm really curious now!

Sorry I can't find you a specific amount, but I'm thinking if you keep the oil phase below 40%, you should be fine.


Alana said...

I read that with LotionPro 165 you needed oil phase thickeners to stabilize the lotion, hence the addition of stearic acid (also because its a foot butter, I wanted it to be really thick and last long.) I will be making this soon once my ingredients arrive from LotionCrafter, so I'll tell you how it goes :)

terriblybadgrrl said...

Susan, the link you have in the "The Bancroft rule" (check more in depth), does not work now...could you please repost?

thank you!


Lisette Warren said...

FYI Maya

terriblybadgrrl said...

Thank you, Lisette!

Joyce Bonner said...

Hi Susan,
Hope all is well with you.Have a question for you, I found a recipe I am interested in duplicating from Hair Rules.Com site called Hair Rules Quench Conditioner, ingreds: water, Cetyl alcohol, cyclopentasiloxane, Behentrimonium chloride, Shea butter, Behentrimonium methosulfate, ctclohexasiloxane, coconut oil, honey, Hawaiian white ginger extract, lemongrass extract, hops extract, coix lacryma Jobi ma-yuen seed extract, Butylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, dimethiconol, dimethicone, Polyquat-10, ceteareth-20, hydroxyethylcellulose, fragrance, Disodium EDTA, citric acid, DMDM hydantoin, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. My question is this, why ceteareth-20 if there is b.chloride and b. Methosulfate? Is the ceteareth a solubilizer in this case and how much would you add? What are the emulsifiers? Really woul like your thoughts on duplicating this recipe.

Matt said...

Joyce- If it helps, in that ingredients list, I would say that Ceteareth-20 functions as an emulsifier. The other emulsifiers would be: behentrimonium chloride and behentrimonium methosulfate. As far as why to add Ceteareth-20, if the BTMS is BTMS-50, then BTMS-50 ( may yield lower viscosity emulsions when compared to our regular BTMS-Conditioning Emulsifier. So, Ceteareth-20 may provide additional stabilization and add some "weight" to the final formulation.

Ceteareth-20 comes between Polyquaternium-10 and Hydroxyethyl Cellulose. Recommended use of P-10 is between 0.2 and 2%. Recommended use of HE-Cellulose is 0.5 - 3.0%. Therefore, I would try adding Ceteareth-20 at between 0.5 and 2.0% Given the other emulsifiers in the formula, I would imagine somewhere between 0.8 and 1.5%. Immediately after HE-Cellulose are fragrance and disodium EDTA, which are certainly under 1.0%.

Hope that helps!

Jane Askin said...

Hi Susan, general emulsification question may be silly. How do you account for the water/liquid volume loss during heating through evaporation? I don't think recipes take it into account as they usually don't indicate how long to heat/boil etc. I would think it would affect the viscosity at least of the end product.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jane! You can find the answer to this question in the FAQ and in the basic lotion making instructions!

Alana said...

Hi Susan,

I did end up making the shea foot butter (not with 38% shea though!). I modified the recipe to use 22% shea and 3% stearic acid because I didn't want to waste a ton of lotion if it failed and it was for my mom's friend who was paying for it. It wasn't super thick- I would like it thicker. Perhaps in the future I might try slowly increasing the amount of shea butter. I did try your suggestion of using a large percentage of humectants (I used 10% propylene glycol and 10% glycerin). I don't know whether it was super hydrating because I never used it, but I know my mom and my mom's friends like it.