Emulsifying advice

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trentmcl

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Hi All,

This is my first post and i need to be honest. I'm looking at making a pomade and have found that soap makers are possibly the BEST people to get advice from when it comes to ingredients (both natural and chemical).

I was wondering if anyone can help me with the below set of ingredients and can tell me why an emulsifier would be required in the ingredient set? Is it the vegetable glycerin?? It's the only thing that pops into my mind as to what would need some "assistance" to blend with the oils.

Bees Wax, Emulsifying Wax NF, Ceteareth-20, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Camphor Oil, Vitamin E

I've made plenty of natural pomades and am now exploring the option of adding other ingredients.
 

DeeAnna

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The main emulsifiers are the emulsifying wax NF and the ceteareth-20. Also the lecithin can act as an emulsifier, but it's present in a small % if the ingredients list is correctly done, so I'm pretty sure the e-wax and ceteareth are doing the main job of emulsification. They are also contributing thickness and texture to the product along with the beeswax.

Yes, the product needs an emulsifier to deal with the glycerin, the only water soluble ingredient I see. Another possible reason why the product has an emulsifier is to allow the pomade to easily wash off with water. Without an emulsifier, the pomade might require quite a bit of shampoo and careful scrubbing to wash off completely to avoid any build up of product. The emulsifier would help the product wash off cleanly without stripping the scalp or hair of protective oils.
 

trentmcl

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The main emulsifiers are the emulsifying wax NF and the ceteareth-20. Also the lecithin can act as an emulsifier, but it's present in a small % if the ingredients list is correctly done, so I'm pretty sure the e-wax and ceteareth are doing the main job of emulsification. They are also contributing thickness and texture to the product along with the beeswax.

Yes, the product needs an emulsifier to deal with the glycerin, the only water soluble ingredient I see. Another possible reason why the product has an emulsifier is to allow the pomade to easily wash off with water. Without an emulsifier, the pomade might require quite a bit of shampoo and careful scrubbing to wash off completely to avoid any build up of product. The emulsifier would help the product wash off cleanly without stripping the scalp or hair of protective oils.
Thanks so much for your help. Would you have any idea on a starting point for the amount of ceteareth-20 and lecithin i'd need roughly?

Do you think lecithin is really needed? I would have thought the Ceteareth would have been powerful enough to emulsify??
 

DeeAnna

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"... Do you think lecithin is really needed? I would have thought the Ceteareth would have been powerful enough to emulsify?? ..."

The short answer is, no, I don't think you can omit the e-wax (emulsifying wax NF) and the lecithin. The ceteareth is definitely not going to work by itself. It needs a co-emulsifier for stability. Without getting into a lot of detail, an emulsifier system has to conform to what is called the HLB method or it is likely to fail.

E-wax alone is a complete emulsifier, meaning it is a blend of emulsifiers formulated to conform to the HLB system. I'd be far more likely to omit the lecithin and ceteareth and keep the e-wax than omit the e-wax. I definitely would no use just cetearyl alone. And I would not use cetearyl + lecithin without e-wax unless I checked the HLB calculations first.

f I were to use just e-wax in this type of product AND I was looking at the emulsifier to mainly allow the product to wash off fairly cleanly, then I would start with a ratio of fats-to-emulsifier in the range of 4.2 to 4.5 parts fat to 1 part e-wax. Lower number = fat rinses off more. Higher number = more fat left on hair.

With a small amount of glycerin in the product, this fat-to-emulsifier ratio might not be right. I'd guess maybe the recipe might need more e-wax to get a stable emulsion. It's hard to say without testing - you'd have to make some trial mini-batches and see what you liked.
 

trentmcl

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"... Do you think lecithin is really needed? I would have thought the Ceteareth would have been powerful enough to emulsify?? ..."

The short answer is, no, I don't think you can omit the e-wax (emulsifying wax NF) and the lecithin. The ceteareth is definitely not going to work by itself. It needs a co-emulsifier for stability. Without getting into a lot of detail, an emulsifier system has to conform to what is called the HLB method or it is likely to fail.

E-wax alone is a complete emulsifier, meaning it is a blend of emulsifiers formulated to conform to the HLB system. I'd be far more likely to omit the lecithin and ceteareth and keep the e-wax than omit the e-wax. I definitely would no use just cetearyl alone. And I would not use cetearyl + lecithin without e-wax unless I checked the HLB calculations first.

f I were to use just e-wax in this type of product AND I was looking at the emulsifier to mainly allow the product to wash off fairly cleanly, then I would start with a ratio of fats-to-emulsifier in the range of 4.2 to 4.5 parts fat to 1 part e-wax. Lower number = fat rinses off more. Higher number = more fat left on hair.

With a small amount of glycerin in the product, this fat-to-emulsifier ratio might not be right. I'd guess maybe the recipe might need more e-wax to get a stable emulsion. It's hard to say without testing - you'd have to make some trial mini-batches and see what you liked.
Thanks so much DeeAnna you've been awesome. I'm assuming by fats you mean oils? and/or the petroleum jelly?

I've noticed a lot of recipes contain petroleum jelly as well.
 
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DeeAnna

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"...I'm assuming by fats you mean oils? and/or the petroleum jelly?..."

i thought we were talking about the ingredients listed below, so where's the petroleum jelly? :confused: Petroleum jelly hasn't been on my radar at all -- just sayin'.

"... Bees Wax, Emulsifying Wax NF, Ceteareth-20, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Camphor Oil, Vitamin E..."

In this thread, I've been using the word "fat" to mean any or all fat-soluble, oil soluble, or lipophilic (oil loving, aka not water soluble) ingredients, but obviously beeswax isn't a true fat. Other examples of lipophilic ingredients -- jojoba, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, the butters (mango, shea, cocoa, etc), liquid oils, solid fats, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, etc.

The way I have learned to formulate emulsified products, the amount of thickener is included as part of the "fat" if the thickener is also lipophilic. In this product, the beeswax is the lipophilic thickener, but others include the solid waxes and butters listed above, as well as stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, etc.

Mea culpa -- The word "fat" is fast to type and the other names aren't. I should say "fat soluble ingredients" or "lipophilic ingredients" to be accurate.
 

trentmcl

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"...I'm assuming by fats you mean oils? and/or the petroleum jelly?..."

i thought we were talking about the ingredients listed below, so where's the petroleum jelly? :confused: Petroleum jelly hasn't been on my radar at all -- just sayin'.

"... Bees Wax, Emulsifying Wax NF, Ceteareth-20, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Camphor Oil, Vitamin E..."

In this thread, I've been using the word "fat" to mean any or all fat-soluble, oil soluble, or lipophilic (oil loving, aka not water soluble) ingredients, but obviously beeswax isn't a true fat. Other examples of lipophilic ingredients -- jojoba, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, the butters (mango, shea, cocoa, etc), liquid oils, solid fats, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, etc.

The way I have learned to formulate emulsified products, the amount of thickener is included as part of the "fat" if the thickener is also lipophilic. In this product, the beeswax is the lipophilic thickener, but others include the solid waxes and butters listed above, as well as stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, etc.

Mea culpa -- The word "fat" is fast to type and the other names aren't. I should say "fat soluble ingredients" or "lipophilic ingredients" to be accurate.
Sorry DeeAnna, petroleum jelly was a curve ball. On a side note i made an awesome Matte Clay base today.

Bees wax, Petroleum jelly, Australian Kaolin Clay, Polysorbate 20, a little pumice for grit. Plan on adding some extracts to it in the future, just wanted a solid base for now.

I grabbed a similar product i purchased and it is exactly the same consistency and same performance in hair as well. Quite happy.

Thanks again DeeAnna. Once i've made the pomade we've been talking about i'll be sure to touch base and let you know how i went :)
 

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