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How to properly emulsify water and oil?

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Ohsandraaa

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Hi there! I am doing body scrubs that I am planning to sell soon and I am still in the process of improving my formulation to offer the best scrubs that I can do for my future customers.

Here’s the thing, I tried incorporating extracts (water-soluble) and the result of the scrub’s consistency and texture didn’t turn out as expected. I am honestly having a hard time figuring out the cause of it, I believe the minimal amount of extracts did not blend/mix well with the oils. However it could be incorporating another ingredient that might not work with the “emulsified scrub” formulation that I am working on. For your reference here is the formulation that I made (everything were only estimated by me, and I am not a professional in any way - just based everything on my research)

55% cane sugar
15% oils (rosehip, avocado, sunflower)
5% shea butter
6% avocado extract
6.75% stearic acid
5.5% glyceryl monostearate (GMS)
3.25% cetearyl alcohol
.5% vitamin e
.5% Phenoxyethanol
1% colorant
1% poppy seeds (for aesthetic)

it turned out a bit hard but still workable with spoon and in the shower. However it has this weird greasy feel when used on dry skin and it is clumpy. They only break down when it comes contact with water.

i also tried incorporating coco betaine and glycerin in another formulation but i ended up throwing it out because of it’s weird greasy and clumpy texture and consistency.
I believe i did not emulsify the water with oils very well. I hope you can help me out with this. I am only aiming to get the best formulation and offer the best body scrub THAT I CAN DO to my future customers. Your response will be highly appreciated. Thanks so much!
 

DeeAnna

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I don't see where the water in this scrub recipe. That's fine if your intent is to make a scrub that emulsifies after the user starts to rinse their face. If you want to make a product that is emulsified as sold, there has to be a water phase in the ingredients.

Next, are you using the HLB system to create a working emulsifier system? Most people use an all-in-one emulsifier like e-wax in formulations like this. You aren't, so you need to do the work of constructing an emulsifier system that works in this application.
 

lsg

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You might want to try a different emulsifier. Here is a link on formulating body scrubs.

 

Ohsandraaa

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I don't see where the water in this scrub recipe. That's fine if your intent is to make a scrub that emulsifies after the user starts to rinse their face. If you want to make a product that is emulsified as sold, there has to be a water phase in the ingredients.

Next, are you using the HLB system to create a working emulsifier system? Most people use an all-in-one emulsifier like e-wax in formulations like this. You aren't, so you need to do the work of constructing an emulsifier system that works in this application.
Isn’t the avocado extract considered as water? And I am sorry can you please educate me about HLB? What is it and why is it important?
 

DeeAnna

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I have no idea if your avocado extract is water based -- I suppose it could be, but I don't know that. It's just as possible it's fat based or even possibly based on alcohol, glycerin, or other solvents. That's information you should have at your fingertips if you're wanting to use this ingredient.

HLB is a complicated subject that's not something I can explain in a paragraph or two. In short, it's a method of using two or more emulsifiers based on the ingredients in a particular recipe.

The essential point I'm trying to make by mentioning the HLB method is you can't choose any one emulsifier and expect it to work. Normally two primary emulsifiers are used along with a thickener (sometimes called a co-emusifier). And you have to pick the right two emulsifiers in order for the combination to be effective.

An all-in-one emulsifier product like e-wax or BTMS has two or more emulsifiers formulated to work fairly well with typical fat and water combinations -- formulations where there is more water than fat. Many small-scale people who make emulsified products use an all-in-one emulsifier -- it's easy, reliable, and inexpensive.

If your avocado extract is water based that means you have only 6% water phase compared with 30% fat phase (fats, fatty acids, thickeners) -- in other words, way more fat than water. That's not a typical fat and water combination, and it's going to be a challenge to emulsify this mixture.

Frankly, I'd not use any water-based ingredients in this formulation. Make it an anhydrous product. Do this by either finding fat-based alternatives or just eliminating the water-based ingredients entirely. Instead, make an emulsifying scrub -- one that contains an emulsifier system that will emulsify the scrub with water when the user rinses the skin with water.

On a related note -- You are saying in another thread that you want to make, market, and ship a whipped product that will remain fluffy and stable in hot weather. You need to reconsider this plan. Fats will melt and emulsions will break and weep when the temps get high enough. In all the years I've listened to people who make, ship, and sell their body butters, scrubs, and similar products, they say they do not sell or ship these products when it's hot. These products must to stay cool to remain stable.
 
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Ohsandraaa

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I have no idea if your avocado extract is water based -- I suppose it could be, but I don't know that. It's just as possible it's fat based or even possibly based on alcohol, glycerin, or other solvents. That's information you should have at your fingertips if you're wanting to use this ingredient.

HLB is a complicated subject that's not something I can explain in a paragraph or two. In short, it's a method of using two or more emulsifiers based on the ingredients in a particular recipe.

The essential point I'm trying to make by mentioning the HLB method is you can't choose any one emulsifier and expect it to work. Normally two primary emulsifiers are used along with a thickener (sometimes called a co-emusifier). And you have to pick the right two emulsifiers in order for the combination to be effective.

An all-in-one emulsifier product like e-wax or BTMS has two or more emulsifiers formulated to work fairly well with typical fat and water combinations -- formulations where there is more water than fat. Many small-scale people who make emulsified products use an all-in-one emulsifier -- it's easy, reliable, and inexpensive.

If your avocado extract is water based that means you have only 6% water phase compared with 30% fat phase (fats, fatty acids, thickeners) -- in other words, way more fat than water. That's not a typical fat and water combination, and it's going to be a challenge to emulsify this mixture.

Frankly, I'd not use any water-based ingredients in this formulation. Make it an anhydrous product. Do this by either finding fat-based alternatives or just eliminating the water-based ingredients entirely. Instead, make an emulsifying scrub -- one that contains an emulsifier system that will emulsify the scrub with water when the user rinses the skin with water.

On a related note -- You are saying in another thread that you want to make, market, and ship a whipped product that will remain fluffy and stable in hot weather. You need to reconsider this plan. Fats will melt and emulsions will break and weep when the temps get high enough. In all the years I've listened to people who make, ship, and sell their body butters, scrubs, and similar products, they say they do not sell or ship these products when it's hot. These products must to stay cool to remain stable.
I actually want to include some water-soluble extracts on my almost-anhydrous body scrub formulation + some water-based flavoring. Do you know any way to emulsify it well with the fats?

What I normally do is met the stearic, butters and emusifying wax then add in the carrier oils once the mixture starts to thicken. However, once I finish the gradual addition of carrier oils, I try to add the water-soluble extracts and then the mixture immediately breaks down - it’s not thickening anymore even if it’s no longer hot. All i get is a dense liquid then I just mix it with the sugar.
Is there any way to correct it aside from eliminating the water-soluble extracts and flavoring? Because I really want to maximize the natural healing properties of the extracts hence I added them.
Hope you can help me out on this!
 

shunt2011

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I personally think you are expecting a wash off product and not on the skin lung enough to really do anything. You’d be much better off making a leave on product to use after showering. My scrubs to leave the skin feeling great after a shower with no added ingredients.
Also, adding water soluble ingredients I hope you’re getting your product challenge tested. To be sure your preservation system works
 
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