Problems with emulsion from a beginner

edited April 2018 in Formulating
Hello there,

I plan to start selling a light cream based on rainforest ingredients locally (i am in a small Latin American country, but am very frustrated with my failed emulsions. I am now trying a simple cream test batch without any preservative or actives added, just to try and get it to emulsify and look professional. It looks grainy and far from professional/smooth. I sometimes have an issue with bubbles too.

I am using
Distilled water (to make up 100%)
glycerin 2%

Simulgreen 5%  - hydroxystearyl alcohol and hydroxystearyl glucoside
(i like how it absorbs but are there ones that are easier to work with). I wonder if I am over mixing.

Shea butter 2%
Cupuacu butter 2%
Coco butter 2%
Sweet Almond Oil or avocado or grape seed oi 6%
( i want to use a combo of 'rainforest' oils but cant try any more as it would be a waste before i can even get a stable smooth emulsion). I can buy the above ones here.
FCO/caprylic capric triglycerides 1%
Cetyl esters 0.5%
(sometimes adding) myrystil myristate 1%

I live in a backward country so most ingredients are imported from USA at huge cost. The failed tests and wasted ingredients are hurting my pocket and optimism!!

I have limited equipment but am using a professional food blender (Dynamic International MX070 Mini-Pro Variable Speed Detachable Mixer) with an ultra shear dispersion bladed welded on to one of the heads that came with the mixer (from MXDprocess USA) 1.6in diameter. (I read a lot on this forum about mixing but cant afford a homogeniser)

I add the oil phase to the water phase when both at 75deg then move to hand whisk after few minutes and put in ice bath as i do it. The thickening process seems to vary every time for some reason.

I also wanted to add gums like sclerotium gum but can't for work out how to add them to water phase and avoid foam and bubbles when heating the water phase.

I feel this emulsifier might be wrong for me/too difficult for beginners - I don't know

Any advice much appreciated as I am now out of emulsifier and need some import some more from USA but not sure if I should try an different one.
I would also love any suggestions on a good and easy to use preservative that is more 'natural' I have been using GSB with the above ingredients.

Sadly, I have no budget for any type of consultancy and just plan to sell on a small scale locally to craft shops/hotels etc

thank you


  • Found this. "When using this emulsifier, a stabilizer like xanthan gum used at 0.5% can increase stability. Fatty alcohols used at low levels (1 to 3%) can also be used to help increase the formation of the liquid crystal structure."

    Perhaps xantan gum and cetostearyl alcohol will fix it. And for your mixing issue you can try this
  • Can't really tell for sure from the photo but it looks to me as if that (incredibly expensive) hand blender has the tips too far from the surround to effectively create high shear. A $25 single speed blender will get the job done.
    The last time I used an emulsifier similar to the one you mentioned, the cream caused breakouts because of the glucoside. So, I do not use glucosides in leave-on products.
    Instead of that fancy emulsifier, I suggest you replace it with a combination of glyceryl monostearate and Cetearyl alcohol beginning at say 8% and increase it if the emulsion breaks. You could also add 0.2% Xanthan gum for stability.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
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