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My cream is separating :(

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Bandaid

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Hi everyone!

I made this recipe here a while ago: http://www.naturesgardencandles.com...afani/-Natural-Facial-Night-Cream-Recipe.html and I realized quickly that it was way too moisturizing for my skin, and I wanted to make a facial cream that was more suitable for an oily or acne prone skin.

I tweaked it up a bit and added some more water to the infusion, it states to add 286 g but I added about the full 320 g of infused water into the mix and raised the e-wax from 36 g to about 40. The mix was around 100 fahrenheit when I added my preservative (Optiphen) and I used my hand mixer until everything was smooth and really well combined.

In the beginning I felt that this cream was perfect, it sank in very fast and made my skin feel hydrated without feeling "greasy", but I noticed that it started separating in some jars (mainly my test jar I put in the fridge, I always temperature test one jar to see how it reacts in colder climates). The other one that separated was the one I put fragrance oil in (only about 10 drops though).

What did I do wrong? Should I try adding more e-wax, and how much in that case?

Thanks :)
 

new12soap

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Optiphen is notoriously difficult and is known for breaking emulsions. Try Liquid Germall Plus next time.
 

Bandaid

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Thank you! I suspected that it had something to do with my preservative. I normally add Optiphen at around 120F, but this time I accidently waited too long, and I guess this is what happened. :(

I still have a large bottle of Optiphen though, so it feels bad throwing it all away. Does anyone have any tips on using it right?
 

Bandaid

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It happened again!

This is so frustrating!

I just spent the morning _very_ carefully mixing a new cream up, this time I used one of Swift's recipes for lotion, and I was super careful with the measurements and exact step by step. I added the Optiphen at 120F this time and started mixing it in periods to allow the lotion to cool down a little in between.

When it was down to about 90F a sort of ugly cracked "skin" formed on the surface of the cream, and I tried attacking it a little with my handmixer. In a matter of seconds all I got was this ugly lumpy mess instead that looks like some sort of rice pudding, it won't go away even if I mash it up with a spoon. I'm thinking if I should try using the electric beater instead but I'm afraid of what might happen then.

What can I do? Can all this really be due to the Optiphen? I have used it many times before with success so really I don't understand what's wrong this time. :sad:

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This is the formula:

33% water
13% aloe vera
12% neem hydrosol
4% glycerin

OIL PHASE
7% emulsifying wax
10% grapeseed oil
5% avocado oil
5% hemp seed oil
3% stearic acid
2% shea butter

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% optiphen
1% vitamin E extract
0.5% rosemary & lavender essential oil
0.5% green tea extract (powdered)
1.5% zinc oxide (powdered)
 

lsg

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I find that using a blender when making creams and lotions helps the product emulsify and stay together. If you have an old blender, disinfect it with rubbing alcohol and put the separated cream in it, turn on slowly at first and then on high. See if that helps you cream stay together. I have heard about the troubles with Optiphen, but have never experienced separation with the method I mentioned.
 

Bandaid

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Do you mean the whisk blender? I tried it actually, and I even tried adding more water to thin the cream out, and whisked it vigorously. It helped for a while and the consistency looked smooth, but the result 5 hours later was something really grainy, it looked as if I had poured sand inside the mixture. :( I tried adding the phases to each other at the same degree (70C) maybe just a few celcius apart. Maybe it has to be exactly the same temperature on both phases?

Anyway, my other optiphen preserved creams have held together so it's a mystery for me why this neem cream won't work.

Does anyone know the general rule of e-wax? I know the quantity should be 25% of the oil phase amount, but do I have to take in consideration the water amount in my calculation? I'm thinking about how these ready made just-add-water bases containing e-wax can hold together, since you can pour as much water as you want into them without worrying about separation.
 

lsg

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I mean a regular jar blender.
 

Bandaid

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Hmm, do you think I can take my grainy failed cream and mix it with new water in a jar blender, even though it's cold or would that destroy the preservative? I'm getting kind of scared of Optiphen now, I think I really need to invest in Germall plus :p

I have an old blender, it's a plastic one. Do you think the temperature of 70C (the correct temperature at heating and holding) will crack the plastic? Silly question maybe, but it happened to one of my cheap Pyrex copies once.
 

lsg

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No, I think it will be OK. Most blenders will accomodate a Mason canning jar, but I like to drizzle the hot water phase into the oil phase through the center cap while the blender is running, just like making mayonaise. Remember start your blender off on low until the water phase is added and then you can kick up the speed. You might want to place a kitchen towel over the lid to prevent splashing in case the lid jars loose. Make sure your blender jar is well seated on the blender and the lid is on tight before starting the blender.
 

Bandaid

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Thanks for the tip! I will try this out tomorrow and let you guys know how the cream turned out. :)

And I'm really super grateful for any more info, tips and tricks about e-wax, emulsifications and using Optiphen correctly.
 

Bandaid

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image (4).jpeg
I couldn't wait so I did it now! :D The blender trick apparently worked, I mixed it for a long while but it was still very liquidy, so I transfered the mix into a bowl and whipped it by hand until achieving a thicker consistency. I only made one small jar since I didn't want to risk making a bad batch again and this is what I used:

80 grams of neem infused water
3 grams aloe vera
3 grams vegetable glycerin
4.5 grams shea butter
45 grams grapeseed oil
11 grams avocado oil
1 grams hemp seed oil
1 grams vitamin E Oil
9 grams emulsifying Wax
1 grams stearic Acid
1 grams optiphen Preservative
1 teaspoon zinc oxide

As you can see I modified the NG recipe a bit to suit my oily acne prone skin better, BUT this time the cream turned out exremely greasy instead. I substituted the cocoa butter to shea since I read that it's supposed to be a better choice for oilier skin types, but still it made my cream competely greasy, my skin just won't absorb it. Next time I'll substitute the shea butter with water to see what happens.

I still have this question though, can I emulsify more water into a ready made cream in order to make it less heavy and oily or would that destroy the emulsification and preservative (say that both are in room temperature)? I really hope someone out there can answer this :)
 

lsg

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Great work! I don't think adding more water will make the cream less greasy feeling. You might add a little hot water and some tapioca or cornstarch to see if that helps the greasiness. If you add more ingredients, you will need to add more preservative.
Here is a link with some info for less greasy lotions and creams.

http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/search?q=greasy+lotion
 
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