Stearic Acid makes Lip Balm Gritty?

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hellomimi

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Hello all, today I attempted to make this lip balm recipe:

Lemon Rose Lip Balm
Heated phase
3g | 15% cera bellina (USA / Canada)
2g | 10% stearic acid
1g | 5% rose wax
12.85g | 64.25% sweet almond oil
Cool down phase
0.1g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.05g | 0.25% lemon essential oil
1g | 5% liquid carmine dye

I added everything expect the Vitamin E, essential oils, and dye. And I replaced the rose wax with the carnauba wax.

I heated everything in a water bath for 20 minutes and then stirred as it cooled down. However, now that’s the product is at room tempreture, the lip balm is gritty and I can feel sugar like specs. I think it’s safe to say something went wrong with the Stearic acid, however, I’m not exactly sure what caused this? Should I have put it in the fridge?
 
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KimW

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Oh bummer! I'm going to point my finger at the carnauba wax. I'm not familiar with rose wax, but reading some descriptions of how it's made, it's softer consistency and relatively low melting point, it looks to be much different from carnauba wax. Carnauba has the highest melting point of all your ingredients. I find if a balm of any kind ends up gritty, it's usually from the ingredient with the highest melt temperature. How long did you hold (as in "heat and hold") your heat phase?
 

hellomimi

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Oh bummer! I'm going to point my finger at the carnauba wax. I'm not familiar with rose wax, but reading some descriptions of how it's made, it's softer consistency and relatively low melting point, it looks to be much different from carnauba wax. Carnauba has the highest melting point of all your ingredients. I find if a balm of any kind ends up gritty, it's usually from the ingredient with the highest melt temperature. How long did you hold (as in "heat and hold") your heat phase?

I held it for around 10 minutes
 

KimW

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Well, that's a good hold time and I'd think that was plenty long enough to completely melt everything, though I still wonder if it's the carnauba. I do see you're at the higher end of the recommended % of cera bellina for lip balms (looking at the tech data on lotioncrafter), but still well within range. In my experience, lip balm/stick formulas can be very specific with limited wiggle room to achieve the same results with experimenting. It could just be a case of too many hard waxes in one formula. If it were me, and I couldn't get hold of some rose wax, I'd do the recipe again, but up the cera bellina by 5% and leave out the carnauba.
 

KimW

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I stand corrected on my suggestion. See on the original HB&M recipe that the suggested substitution for the rose wax is to up the sweet almond oil (rose absolute is just an aromatic and it's a very small amount, so I'd think it could be left out):

"If you don’t have rose wax, use 69.24% sweet almond oil and 0.01% rose absolute instead"
 
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Agreed - carnauba wax is not a good substitute for rose wax - it's waaayyy too hard. Most likely that is the grit you are feeling in the finished product. If you did not replace the missing 1.15g of liquid that you omitted (EO, dye, and vitamin E) that also contributed to a harder recipe with not enough soft oils to thin out the harder ingredients. Leaving out 5.75% of a small recipe like that is a big change.
 

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