Lotion is a pain

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hmlove1218

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Almost every single time I make lotion, I get this.. What am I doing wrong??

Procedure:
Measure out water phase, measure out and melt oil phase. Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 180°F.
Measure out cool down ingredients.
Allow oil and water phases to come down under 140°F.
Pour water phase into oil phase while blending with a milk frother to prevent clumping, pour mix back into water phase container. Add cool down ingredients and mix with stick blender.

Ingredients:

274g rosewater made with distilled water
7g glycerin
7g aloe Vera gel

14g e-wax (traditional from WSP)
14g Aryan
14g jojoba
7g cetyl alcohol

3.5g vitamin e
5.5g optophen plus

Thank you in advanced for the help. Meanwhile, I'll be banging my head on a wall...

1448260316142.jpg
 

mazimazi

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Hi,
Is there any chance you rewrite you recipe in percetnages? Makes it easier to fugure out the proportions of water and oil phases.

Thanks!
 

kchaystack

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You should add your water and oil phase when they are both still at top temp.

I would also switch to a hand mixer or stick blender, to make sure your getting enough agitation in your emulsion.
 

DeeAnna

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Definitely what KC said. Absolutely do not cool before combining the oil phase with the water phase and mixing. And definitely use higher intensity mixing. If you cannot use a stick blender then use a kitchen mixer on high speed. A frother just isn't good enough.

You may have confused the temp of 140 when you add the cool down ingredients as the temp for your initial mixing, and they're two separate steps. High shear and warmer temps for your initial mixing will help a lot.

You have plenty of emulsifier and thickener in proportion to the oil phase total weight, but I have to say this is a high-water recipe (84% water phase) and they are a little more tricky to keep emulsified. If you continue to have separation despite better mixing at a higher temp, you may need to increase your emulsifier and thickener a wee bit to help stabilize the emulsion a little better.

But definitely follow KC's advice first and see if that solves the problem, because you really need to make those two changes in your technique to get the best results from any lotion you make.
 
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lsg

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Suan suggests pouring the oil phase into the water phase instead of the other way around. I always boil a little extra water to make up for the water loss during the heat and hold. You will need to weigh the water phase before heating and holding. I heat both phases in the Mircowave and then put them in a 170*F oven for 20 minutes. I second the suggestion of using a stick blender or portable mixer.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1020026/lotionmakingtutorial.pdf
 

Muskette

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In addition to what everyone else suggested, I'd like to add that you should be mixing for a full 2-3 minutes when you first combine the oil and water phases. It'll seem like a long time, but it's really necessary for a stable emulsion. Also, when adding cool down ingredients, mix for at least a full minute.
 

hmlove1218

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Thank you everyone! I'm apologize, I confused everyone when I mentioned the milk frother.. I do use a stick blender to to the major mixing, I just use the frother for the initial blast to keep my waxes/oils from resolidifying just in case (which I won't have to do anymore since y'all say I'm mixing at the wrong temps :) ). With this small amount, I didn't have a container the correct size to get my stick blender fully submerged until after everything was blended together and poured into my mixing container.


You may have confused the temp of 140 when you add the cool down ingredients as the temp for your initial mixing, and they're two separate steps. High shear and warmer temps for your initial mixing will help a lot.

You have plenty of emulsifier and thickener in proportion to the oil phase total weight, but I have to say this is a high-water recipe (84% water phase) and they are a little more tricky to keep emulsified. If you continue to have separation despite better mixing at a higher temp, you may need to increase your emulsifier and thickener a wee bit to help stabilize the emulsion a little better.

Thanks DeeAnna! I was definitely confusing the temps. I was under the impression that the cool down ingredients had to be incorporated prior to mixing.


Suan suggests pouring the oil phase into the water phase instead of the other way around. I always boil a little extra water to make up for the water loss during the heat and hold. You will need to weight the water phase before heating and holding. I heat both phases in the Mircowave and then put them in a 170*F oven for 20 minutes. I second the suggestion of using a stick blender or portable mixer.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1020026/lotionmakingtutorial.pdf

Thanks lsg!


In addition to what everyone else suggested, I'd like to add that you should be mixing for a full 2-3 minutes when you first combine the oil and water phases. It'll seem like a long time, but it's really necessary for a stable emulsion. Also, when adding cool down ingredients, mix for at least a full minute.
I was definitely mixing for long enough then ha. I probably mixed this batch on and off for 30 minutes trying to get it to come together..
 

kumudini

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Yeah, definitely mix right after the holding phase. The optiphen plus goes in after the lotion cools down below 45 Celsius, must be some 110 Fahrenheit. Also, my first thought looking at your picture was air space. Or was it separation? If it is the air, I would suggest you bottling up while the lotion is still fairly liquid and gently tap on the counter to release the air.
Isg, do the liquids stay at 170 degrees for the required amount of time when you pop them in the oven?
 

hmlove1218

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No its unfortunately separated water :/ This morning, the whole bottom half is clear water and the top half is opaque.
 

Dahila

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I agree with above KC but I also wonder what is the temp when you add your Optiphen plus, it is famous for causing separation in lotions but i use it without any issue , You need to add when the temp is lower than 40 Celsius:))
 

hmlove1218

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Ok, how much would you suggest bumping up my amount of ewax and cetyl? Tried again tonight and mixed right after hearing and holding. Got this.... No optiphen added yet, so that didn't cause the problem..

Just as an FYI, I've made this lotion several times before without problems, but the past 6 times I've made it, it's failed each and every time.. I don't know what's causing it :(

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houseofwool

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Could it be a bad batch of relax? I don't use cetyl in my lotions. But if things worked before, what has changed? A new batch of ingredients?
 

hmlove1218

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Aside from the optiphen, nothing is new. And, as much as I'd like to blame the optiphen, I hadn't put it in this batch yet, so it can't be causing the problem.

Eta, Well I say nothing's new, but I guess there are some new things. I'm on a new bottle of distilled water, and I'm using roses from WSP instead of my own garden to make the rose water, but I can't imagine that would have anything to do with this.. Could it?
 

mazimazi

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Lotions tend to have a mind of their own.
I've seen changes and some separation when I switched rose hydrosol provider.

Firstly, with that big amout of water (water phase 81%), I woul suggest a water phase stabilizer, something like xanthan gum.
Scondly, while the phases are very hot, there will be some separation. I stick blend the phases together, then stir and SB occasionally while it cools down. When it cools down, I thoroughly SB again.
Thirdly, are you sure you need 2% of your preservative? Caprylyl glycol is famous for destabilizing sensitive emulsions. I get some separation after the addion of it, I SB my ass of, and then it is OK.

So, to sum it up, xanthan gum to stabilize water phase, less preservative (1,5% should do), SB while phases are hot, durring coll down every now and then, and again while they cool down.

This works for my manj lotions.
 

DeeAnna

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Boy, you had a complete failure there; whattamess. :) I can see why you're frustrated. I am beginning to wonder what is going on.

Are you willing to try an experiment? Try this base recipe using just plain water, the same total weight of oils, and the same cetyl and e-wax weights. Leave out the preservative and vitamin E for the moment. In other words, strip this recipe down to the bare bones and see if you can get a stable emulsion with a very simple recipe. There are so many variables with your recipe, the only way to pinpoint the trouble is to go back to basics. Since you're using heat-and-hold and mixing well when the lotion is hot, you should be getting a stable emulsion.

If you want to play with the existing recipe ingredients, here are some things to consider. I'd do them one at a time -- if you make too many changes too fast, you won't know what solved the problem!

Increase your e-wax from 4% of the total to 5%. In other words, go from 14 g to 17 g.
Reduce the amount of water so the total water phase is about 80% rather than the current 84%. This is going to still make a light lotion.

Mazi -- I am thinking you may want to recheck your math. You are saying the Optiphen is 2% of the recipe, but I'm coming up with Optiphen at 3.5 g in 344 g total. That would put the preservative at a little over 1%. ???
 

hmlove1218

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Thanks guys! DeeAnna, I'm definitely up for an experiment. I have no idea why this recipe has suddenly started failing catastrophically and would really like to. If stripping it to bare bones doesn't fix it, I'll up the ewax as you suggested
 

Dahila

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Could it be a bad batch of relax? I don't use cetyl in my lotions. But if things worked before, what has changed? A new batch of ingredients?
How would you know how much use of E-wax
I use cetyl in all lotions it helps to stabilize the lotion and gives a nice glide to skin. Ewax or polawax must be no less than 25 % of your oils butters, and thickeners.
I.e.
20 % Oil
5% butters.
5 % cetyl (I use 2-3
7.5% of Ewax in this situation
that lotion is garbage I do not think you can save it. Percentage baby percentage so you can do any amount of lotion you want:))
If you use Essential oils include them in the calculation
 

mazimazi

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The original post says 5.5 g optiphen, or have I got it mixed up. All together there is 346 g of batch. I misscalculated something, this would mean 1.5%. For this exact reason I asked to write the percentages of the formulation, so much easier to se what it looks like and we dont all have to do the math..
 

hmlove1218

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My original notes are..

274g (79.3%) rose water
7g (2%) aloe gel
7g (2%) glycerin

14g (4%) argan oil
14g (4%) jojoba oil
14g (4%) e-wax
7 g (2%) cetyl alcohol

5g (1.5%) optiphen plus (sorry, I had an error in the first post I caught after looking at my notes again)
3.5g (1%) vitamin e
no EO/FO in this batch. When I add it, I pull it from the water.
 

Dahila

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You should have 6 grams of Ewax, VE is used at 0.1 I think, Optiphen plus at 1% is maximum so do not put more than that. However in this situation it would not do harm. I have no idea why you failed this time. that much ewax should make lotion very thick but should not separate.
I hope you heat and hold for 20 min at the temps of 70 celsius and mix in warm up pot, or beaker
everything needs to be warm :)
still I would sit down and try to do max of water 80, I usually do 80 for very light lotion but it is difficult to achieve with ewax, I use for that Bmts-50. Lets say you have
73% Water (hydrosol included but not all water should be hydrosol)
25% oils (emulsifier included)
1% optiphen added lower than 45 celsius
1% fragrance
if you want to add VE take the amount from water.
 
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