Making and Preserving Emulsions w EGGS

I have been asked if I will make a few products with eggs.  The request is based upon the trending products from Too Cool for School, like their All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream.  Other popular products are Skin Food’s Egg White Pore Foam and Lush’s H’Suan Wen Hua hair treatment (which includes “fresh free range eggs” near the top right after the herbal water infusions – Their Cosmetic Warrior Mask also lists “fresh free range eggs.”  I’m not a fan of the Lush brand, by the way.).

I’ve never worked with egg extracts or eggs in cosmetics.  I know that egg yolks have emulsifying action, but I don’t know about how they would behave in cosmetics.  (I’ve only used egg yolks with linseed oil, pigments, etc. to make egg tempera paints to put on canvas, not human skin!)

I don’t have any kind of egg extract.  I have dehydrated/powdered whole eggs and egg yolks and egg whites.  All three are pasteurized food grade products (used for people and pets).  And I have whole eggs in refrigerator.  (That last prospect makes me afraid!)

I’d like to know if there’s a way to use the egg powders?

How would I include eggs?  If I put egg powder in a heated phase, then they will cook/denature I suppose.  Also, to prevent denaturation, I won’t be able to expose the eggs to ethanol, right?

I could make some egg oil from blackening boiled egg yolks, but that is a long, smelly, smoky process.  (With egg oil, the protein is obliterated, and I think the idea of egg products is to keep the proteins intact?  I don’t know.)

>>>   Would a combination of parabens work as preservative for emulsions containing eggs?  I must say it seems like a preservative nightmare to me, but I want to learn if possible.  (Of course I would test and retest over many weeks before distributing any egg products!)

People complain of the heavy perfume in All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream.  I wonder if that is to mask the smell from egg products?  I cannot have heavy perfume smell in egg products I (might) make.

I’d like to find a way to formulate with eggs/egg products at a significant percentage (whatever that is) and not as a decorative ingredient on the label.

By the way, All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream advertises using egg yolk and egg white extracts.  I see the egg white is the albumen listed.  But even looking at this link below about cosmetics egg stuff, I don’t know what they mean by egg yolk extract.  They have lecithin listed separately.  Do you know what they mean by the “egg yolk extract”?

Link to Cosmetics Egg Extracts

All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream LOI >>>

Water, Isohexadecane, Glycerin, Egg Yolk Extract/Extrait De Jaune D'oeuf, Triethylhexanoin, Sorbitan Stearate, Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Sorbitan Oleate, Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Soluble Collagen, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Sucrose Cocoate, Frag Rance/Parfum, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Polyquaternium-51, Albumen Extract, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Squalane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Alcohol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Raffinose, Adenosine, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Disodium Edta, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Isononyl Isononanoate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Polysorbate 60, Tromethamine, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Inulin Lauryl Carb Amate, Folic Acid, Ceramide Np, Cholesterol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Pullulan, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).


  • Skin food Egg White Pore Foam LOI (not INCI compliant):
    Water, Myristic Acid, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Cocamidopropyl, Betaine, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Albumen Extract, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Trehalose Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine,  Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Beta-Sitosterol, Tocopherol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycine, Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Enanti Chorantha Bark Extract, Oleanolic Acid, Alcohol, Hydrogynated Lecithin, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Parfum

    The above reminds me of the formulation for a shaving cream where the high level of glycerin and soaps act as preservatives. Albumen extract and hydrogynated (sic) lecithin may or may not originate from eggs but the levels are low/very low and the high level of glycerin and soaps will help prevent microbial growth.

    H’Suan Wen Hua hair treatment LOI (not INCI compliant):
    Bay Leaf Infusion (Laurus Nobilis), Fresh Watercress Infusion (Nasturtium officinale), Fresh Free Range Eggs, Cetearyl Alcohol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Fresh Organic Bananas (Musa paradisica), Fresh Organic Avocado (Persea gratissima), Balsamic Vinegar, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Lanolin, Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis), Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Soya Lecithin, *Cinnamyl Alcohol, *Cinnamal, *Eugenol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Limonene, *Linalool, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
    This contains conventional parabens preservatives as well as several antimicrobial essential oils.

    All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream
    Again, the very high level of glycerin will help in preservation but the product also contains phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin.

  • @johnb Quite a few LOI I've found don't adhere to proper INCI.  This makes it difficult to trust those formulations.  Thank you for informing me that a main strategy of these products is high use of glycerin.

    I wonder if making a lotion (high water activity) with 2% pasteurized egg powders would be a lot more difficult to preserve than the goat's milk lotions I make?  I use a combination of parabens to preserve the goat's milk formulations and not over 5% glycerin.

    I am still mired in the research/confusion phase of making these egg formulations, by the way.

  • Will egg components (yolk and/or albumen) serve any real function in your product? If not, I would leave it out with the knowledge that you do not have the problems that may be associated with using these materials.

  • @zwapp:

    The "egg ingredient" phenomena seems to be a new trend.  I'm working on three products right now all containing some sort of egg ingredient.  I would stick with egg ingredients prepared by cosmetics ingredients manufacturers and not resort to using products from your cupboard or fridge.

    You're going to need to fragrance these products as the egg ingredients smell rather "ripe".  Preserve as you normally would.

    @johnb is correct ... these are based on old-time shaving soap formulations.  One thing stands out about all three of the formulas listed above:  They are all ridiculously complicated with what ... 30 or 40 ingredients ... that should tell you that someone has no idea what they're doing in putting together an effective formulation.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details

  • An important point if you are dealing with whole (or separated) eggs is that they must not be heated. Even quite modest increases in temperature can denature egg protein and result in coagulation.
  • Thank you @MarkBroussard and @johnb.  I have decided to refuse to make the eggs emulsions.

    The main reason why is because outside of select groups of people, most people I asked about it expressed a suspicion of eggs in skincare.  I got many questions based upon the people not knowing (ignorance), but I have to factor in different cultures to see if all the researching and experimenting and materials would be worth it.  Examples of questions I got:  What about salmonella from eggs?  What about hormones from eggs?  (Most places it is illegal to administer hormones to chickens.)  Won't eggs spoil?  What about bird flu from eggs?

    I got so frustrated with all these questions!  I decided I'm not going to follow this trend.  It would be a whole campaign effort simply to deprogram people about eggs in cosmetics myths.

    But I wish you the best with your eggs formulations, @MarkBroussard .  I really hope you've got your client based scoped out, because I found a lot of the people have distaste for eggs in skincare--at least if you promote it that way, as eggs-based.

  • I think you are wise to abandon your egg project.
  • @zwapp:

    Oh, not my issue Zwapp ... I am developing these egg ingredient products for a client, so marketing is their issue, not mine.  I would not put egg ingredients in my own products.  
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details

  • @MarkBroussard, I'm glad to hear that.  Every claim for eggs --with maybe the exception of egg oil, which you know is sans proteins-- has other ingredients that are better claims-wise and easier to work with.  A lot of trends aren't great.

    @johnb, I know!  I can't say I was ever thrilled with it in the first place.

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