Magnesium stearate (lip balm) separation anxiety

Discussion in 'Bath and Body Forum' started by SomethingGoodAustin, Jan 22, 2016.

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  1. Jan 22, 2016 #1

    SomethingGoodAustin

    SomethingGoodAustin

    SomethingGoodAustin

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    Is anyone out there working with magnesium stearate in lip balms or other products? I ask because my balms are behaving rather strangely.

    I've been working on a tinted lip balm. My balm base is satisfactory to me, (although it could be a little firmer, possibly). My main concern was color adhesion. I read that magnesium stearate improves adhesion, so I bumped up the amount in the batch from a largish pinch to a full gram--estimated, since my scale doesn't like grams and only weighs in whole numbers for those units.

    I'd already added color to this particular batch, which was 21% beeswax. Along with the MS, I added a titch more colorant and mica. Melted, stirred well, melted again, stirred, poured. In the morning, I found a small pool of what seems to be oil on the surface of the balm. More problematically, though, the balm itself had suddenly become incredibly soft. It's about the consistency of soft coconut oil, despite 21% beeswax, 15% cocoa butter, 10% Shea butter and 15% coconut oil 76, and despite the fact that the temp in my working area is generally between 65 and 70 degrees.

    Another batch made with candelilla as well as beeswax also softened with increased MS, but not as much, so I think my next step will be bumping up the candelilla and kicking my current all-beeswax formula to the curb. But in the meantime, I thought I would share this current chapter in my lip balm quest saga, in case anyone has any insights or suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  2. Jan 27, 2016 #2

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

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    Right here, silly!
    I've never used magnesium stearate in any of my balms or other products, but hopefully someone who has will chime in soon!


    IrishLass :)
     
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  3. Jan 27, 2016 #3

    SomethingGoodAustin

    SomethingGoodAustin

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    Apparently, the softening is not unusual with MS. The original formula, with MS listed as an ingredient, came from the Humblebee and Me website. I asked the website owner if she'd noticed something similar with the lipsticks she makes, and she said that it was typical. That's when I looked back at her photos and realized that many of her pics show her product in a freshly poured, still-melted state in its lipstick/lipbalm tube, and frequently she suggests pouring the product into a pot for use with a brush. Ah-ha!

    BUT. I see a possible solution, as mentioned above, and this weekend, I'll be busting out my scale and beakers again. :)
     
  4. Jan 28, 2016 #4

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

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    I'm so glad you got to the bottom of it! While searching the net just now, I ran into a lipstick formula that contains sodium stearate (as opposed to magnesium stearate). I wonder if it would work like magnesium stearate does in making things less skiddy, but at the same time provide more hardness? (just thinking off the top of my head). Here's where I found it: https://books.google.com/books?id=UX6b84W5rSgC&pg=PA499&lpg=PA499&dq=sodium+stearate+in+lipstick&source=bl&ots=SfZqnyMvoh&sig=a4Z8Wu1iNR75PpAKZdqApj8GO-U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXke6Tn8vKAhUS9mMKHWhFA284ChDoAQghMAE#v=onepage&q=sodium%20stearate%20in%20lipstick&f=false


    IrishLass :)
     
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  5. Feb 3, 2016 #5

    SomethingGoodAustin

    SomethingGoodAustin

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    That's interesting. Didn't see anything on sodium stearate when I searched on google or looked at my usual supplier websites, but that's not necessarily significant. Think I'll post a question on one of my favorite sites, Point of Interest. Will check back in and let you know what I find out.
     
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