My Clay Pomade Came Out Clumpy

I tried making my 2nd batch of clay pomade and it came out clumpy this time.

My formula:

H20 - 51.05%
Kaolin Clay - 5%
Bentonite Clay 1%
Ceteareth25 - 8%
PVP - 3.6%
Propanediol - 1%

Beeswax 5%
Emulsify Wax - 15%
Stearic Acid - 2%
Sweet Almond Oil - 3%
Shea Butter - 4%

Fragrance - 0.25%
Preservatives - 1.10%

150g batch.

The only issue I had during this batch was getting all the Ceteareth-25 to dissolve completely. Even at 75C, they were sticking to my stir stick and wouldn't dissolve much. I probably should have waited but I went ahead and mixed my water phase and oil phase together at around 75C and used an immersion blender (w/ milk frother because it was the smallest attachment I had) which seemed to have helped dissolve the Ceteareth but gave me lots of foam (I assume from the milk frother). However, as my mixture was cooling, it started to look clumpy (i.e. like rice pudding).

Do you know what happened here and how I can fix my process?




Comments

  • Unknown Member
    edited February 3
    I just finished a 3rd batch where I tried really hard to dissolve the Ceteareth-25 but could not for the life of me. The batch turned out a lot better but I still couldnt't get to 85C temp (melting pt of Ceteareth)

    1. Does Ceteareth-25 belong in the water phase or the oil phase?

    2. If it belongs in the water phase, do I need to heat the water phase in a double boiler? It is what I currently do and I figure it's not getting hot enough because of the heat transfer. I want to just throw my water phase into a pot and heat it up directly.



    I am also pouring way too late? This stuff is thickening around 60C but my preservatives want to be below 60C. I might just have to throw everything in earlier.
  • If you're not trying to make a gel, I would not use more than 3-4% ceteareth. It has some thickening and gelling properties which end up being more pronounced when you go past these levels. Frankly, it's not the kind of emulsifier which I would suggest for a clay pomade (assuming you want it to be creamy).
  • Forgot to mention that ceteareth-25 is non-polar and goes in the oil phase.
  • My experience with ceteareth has been to add it to an oil phase, and set the heat high. I can stare at it for ages and it'll solubilize in an instant when I'm not looking; it just has to hit the right temp. I'd put my money on mixing oil and water before you had the emulsifier in solution led to clumping.
  • Thanks for the reply everyone. I must have read it wrong because I thought Ceteareth was soluble in water. Looks like longer alcohol chains are hydrophilic. I will try adding it to my oil phase and will lower the % composition to get a creamier texture.
  • natzam44 said:
    If you're not trying to make a gel, I would not use more than 3-4% ceteareth. It has some thickening and gelling properties which end up being more pronounced when you go past these levels. Frankly, it's not the kind of emulsifier which I would suggest for a clay pomade (assuming you want it to be creamy).
    @natzam44 What would you suggest as an emulsifier instead? I went with C25 because I hear it is one of the few emulsifiers that also provide hold.
  • Ceteareth-25 is generally a great emulsifier and it does provide a bit of hold but for this project I would recommend trying something else.
    You could try Emulsifying Wax NF or PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (or a mix of both). 

    Polysorbate 80 might also be a half decent option. I would just make up the hold with 2-3% more wax.

    I've also just noticed that you are currently using 15% E-Wax. Is that not enough on it's own to emulsify your product? If it isn't, you should just remake your emulsifier system because it seems to be a bit messy/unoptimised.
  • Unknown Member
    edited February 4
    @natzam44 The ewax ingredient was a mistake on my part. I meant to write microcrystalline wax. Thanks for the tip on the other emulsifiers. I'll look into them - I've seen PEG-40 on several of my favorite pomades
  • Moving C-25 to the oil phase worked! I was able to fully dissolve everything in two phases and it made mixing a lot easier. However, the texture is still off. It has the consistency of sticky yogurt.

    Is this an issue with my emulsion or do I need a thickener/lower my water composition (was at 46%)?

    Thanks!
     
  • Consistency is something which you will have to play with to get right. Each formula is quote different when it comes to getting the perfect texture.

    The stickiness likely has something to do with the PVP and the high level of ceteareth.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Yeah, >3% PVP seems pretty high. Try 1%
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