Water Based Pomade - Preservative & Emulsifier Advice

edited April 2017 in Hair

I live in The Republic of Ireland where it is very hard to source a natural water based pomade.  I used to order O'Douds water based pomade from the United States but unfortunately they've increased the shipping rates so high I can't afford to purchase them anymore.

As a result I am looking to try to make my own natural water based pomade for personal not commercial use.

I am not looking for formulae or step by step instructions, I am just in the process of sourcing my ingredients at the moment.

I am looking for help in two areas: 

1. Preservatives as I don't want any mould or bacteria building up.
2. Emulsifiers and the emulsifying process.

In relation to preservatives I have researched both Phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol, these are quite hard to source in the ROI, I have found this, I don't know if this is adequate or what quality level these must be.  However as these are chemicals I am concerned as to how much should be used, if someone could give me an idea of percentages/ratios I'd appreciate it.

In relation to emulsifiers I have researched Soy Lecithin to bind the water with the oils/wax.  Can anyone advise me on the emulsifying process or emulsifier as I really don't have any experience in this field?

I understand that people do this for a living and I'm not looking for encroach on that, I'm just looking for solid advice in order to make a good quality product for myself.

Thank you in advance


  • edited April 2017
    Remember that Google is your friend.

    I looked up the product and found that there are a number of UK suppliers of this - including Amazon and eBay. I don't think the import duty from UK into ROI would be excessive, would it?
  • Hi johnb,

    Thank you for your helpful comment and for addressing the questions in my post.  If when you say "the product" you refer to the one I was purchasing from the united states, the prices in the UK are much higher, are in STG, that plus the P&P make it almost if not more expensive than prices from the US.  That is of course assuming that "the product" you refer to is in fact O'Douds, if not, would you mind clarifying or even go as far as to provide some advice in relation to my original post without the sarcasm.  Also, would you believe it, Google (my friend) has led me to source all my ingredients and led me to this forum where I had hoped to get some friendly advice, normally, that's what forums of this type are for.
  • edited April 2017
    Despite what you might think, I was trying to help you in sourcing the product that you are having problems with importing. The products I found via Google are described as being O'Douds - which is the name you gave in your original post. There are several variants for sale and I expected there to be something there that matched your requirements.

    I don't think I can help you any further.
  • Well then I must offer you my apologies johnb, it is hard to read a tone from text and I from reading yours got a sarcastic one, which was obviously incorrect.  Thank you for your original advice.  I had already checked amazon for that product and they don't ship to Ireland.

    So again, I'm back to my original post.  I appreciate you can't help me further so again, just to apologise for my reply.
  • You may wish to ditch your current emulsifier and replace with the ones mentioned here which are generally more stable and easier to work with: http://www.makingskincare.com/emulsifiers/

    Most homecrafters in Ireland buy from soapkitchenonline or gracefruit in the UK. They stock optiphen but might have renamed it so do check the INCI. If you prefer to buy in Euros, aliacura.de is a good supplier with reasonable postage prices.  I would not, generally advise to buy cosmetic ingredients from ebay or amazon. 
    Jane Barber
    www.makingskincare.com & The Advanced Cosmetic Formulators Club 
    Formulation discussion forum (15,000 members): www.facebook.com/groups/makingskincare/
  • edited April 2017
    I wasn't suggesting buying the ingredients via Amazon/eBay but the finished O'Doud product which I see available on both.

  • Johnb I was actually referring to GaryDoo's link in his first comment which is to optiphen being sold on ebay.
    Jane Barber
    www.makingskincare.com & The Advanced Cosmetic Formulators Club 
    Formulation discussion forum (15,000 members): www.facebook.com/groups/makingskincare/
  • Odouds was one of the first. I understand they used borax with beeswax which is a natural emulsifier but borax is banned in the EU. I'm puzzled how they sold there.

    2 best preservatives for this kind of product is optiphen plus ( can cause curdling) and liquid germall . Best of luck!
  • Hi @MakingSkincare thank you for your helpful response.  As per the advice on your site I've opted for Emulsifying Wax.  Ive had a look at gracefruit and soapkitchen and I've managed to source most of my ingredients, although a bit pricey for a guy who doesn't know what he's doing  :)  Do you know of any other European suppliers as aliacura.de did have much of the required ingredients.

    If you've got any other tips, I'd greatly appreciate it!!

    Kind regards, 
  • Hi @manny

    Many thanks for your reply.  I've noted that o'douds are using soy lecithin now as an emulsifier.  It's definitely going to be a steep learning curve as I've no chemistry experience.  So for now it's going to be trial and error and try to get my formulae right.  :)
  • @MakingSkincare

    Can I ask, in your blog you recommended Emulsifying Wax NF which is available from gracefruit but is not available from soapkitchen which is where I'm sourcing most of my ingredient to cut down on shipping.  On soapkitchen they have an alternative Emulsifying Wax BP .  Is this a suitable alternative for a newbie?

    Thanks for your help.
  • Gary, you need to use emulsifying wax NF. Go very easy on soy lecithin. It is a co emulsifier. Not the main emulsifier. 
  • @manny

    Thank you for that advice, I've managed to source emulsifying wax nf, so I've ordered that.  So now I've just to await my ingredients and commence my trial and error!!!   :D
  • in this context it shouldn't make much difference either way; NF and BP are different pharmaceutical standards (NF is American, BP is British), and both materials will do the same job

    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • @Bill_Toge
    Many thanks for the info, that's much appreciated as NF is very hard to source (from Ireland anyway).  I've had to order it and Optiphen plus from America.
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