Oil Phase Cooling Too Fast!

I have done 2 emulsions now...I know just 2 haha but its a start :) I have noticed my oil phase cools down so fast to the point where a lot of my ingredients get stuck to the glass before I can even pour it into my water phase. Im heating them to around 150-155F.

Is there a trick?

Are my batches too small so maybe its just not staying warm enough due to the small amount? I did a 2oz sample and then a 4oz sample.

I dont want to feel like Im not getting all my ingredients mixed. I ended up pouring all the hot mixture back into my oil phase beaker to try and get some of the stuff stuck on the bottom.


  • What is in your oil phase? Maybe you're not heating it up high enough? Try heating to at least 5°C (41°F) higher than the melting point of the material with the highest melting point.
  • @helenhelen yes Im heating it to at least 149*F I have 1% butter, 5% oil and 5% emulsifying waxes 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    First, please use centigrade, it's the standard here.
    And grams.
    So, 150F is 150-32=118*5=590/9=65 degrees approx.
    Marginal. Very marginal.
    2 oz = 60grams. This is a very small amount, so will lose heat quickly.
    If you intend to continue working with such small sample sizes, I recommend using a water bath and an induction cooker to be able to maintain an even temperature. Also, it's really difficult to use high shear with such quantities. I normally experiment with a minimum of 250g, more often 500g. One of the problems of developing using very small sample sizes, is that errors, and there are always errors, multiply enormously when it comes time to make even a 5Kg batch.

    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.
  • @Belassi So American here, Ive never used centigrade in my life haha I will try to learn so I can keep the appropriate lingo. Same with grams ;)

    Yes I thought maybe it would be too small of a batch to keep the heat consistent throughout. I will start making larger batches. I guess it feels wasteful if Im constantly experimenting but I know I need to learn it may in fact be a bit wasteful as Im testing formulas. Thanks.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Unfortunately, waste is the name of the game. I shudder to think of the amount of raw materials I have discarded. Reading and researching can only take you so far. Ultimately you have to make formulae, try them, improve them, accept or discard them.
    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.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    If you heat your Water Phase and Oil Phase at the same time and immediately before adding the two together you will not have this problem.  Sounds like you're heating up the Oil Phase and then letting it sit for a while before adding it to the Water Phase.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • @MarkBroussard No im not letting it sit at all actually. Im literally heating on my stove top on a water bath and darting to my work room (50ft away aprx) haha. But today I brought my mini mixer to my kitchen and immediately poured my oil phase into my water phase while standing at my stove top. This isnt ideal haha Maybe I will invest in a smal heat top for my work room soon.
  • @Belassi Yes of course. I made a conditioner the other day and cant stand the scent I used. Thats trash...made another conditioner and the smell isnt awful so I will test the formula...today I made what may be an awesome lotion and am experimenting with using hydrosols as my fragrance component and I used one I didnt care for so much anyways for the experiment and whow, did I use WAY too much. I underestimated how much fragrance would come through from the scent. Lets just say I will not be able to drink chamomile tea for a while. Yuck! Also used Geogard ECT and man does that Benzyl smell come through once rubbed in. Yuck again...

    In the meantime though, what can I benefit from a formula that didnt go as planned. Can I be watching for emulsion separation or bacteria build up ect? Maybe they arnt a total waste?
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Generally if I am developing something I can't afford to have failures hanging around cluttering the place up. The good news is that you (should) get better at it. I suggest beginning by copying well known products that don't have terribly complicated ingredient lists. My own first attempt at imitating something was primitive, but it worked, and encouraged me to keep going. I liked Evelyn & Crabtree's shea hand cream so much, that I bought some organic shea on EBay, then I melted it, and mixed it with hair styling gel (carbomer!) to make a carbomer cream. Hair products are much more difficult than skin products, I think.
    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.
  • @Belassi yes Im def seeing that they both (skin and hair) have their challenges. I have extremely sensitive skin so Im formulating with that in mind. Hair products in some cases have been challenging because you want to make something "special". 

    Im researching some of my favorites here at home and just trying to find out the "why". I had another post on here asking for some help with that. I def do my research, thats fun for me, but at times I just sit and wonder, why this and not that?...I suppose we can ask that about anything, its just a preference but its also a more specific question in the literal sense...there are just so many ingredients it makes it seem like there are endless possibilities. :)
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited June 22
    I'll throw my 2 cents in...as a fellow beginner.
    I found 230-240 gm batches were about as small of a batch that could be made, were the measuring errors were not exacerbated.  I also found it impossible with the equipment I had on hand, to create a proper emulsion with less than that volume.
    So yes.... I am probably somewhere near the 40th iteration of the lotion I am working on...and all my friends have lotion samples...:) 
    So I also use my samples as a testing bed for fragrances.  With a 240 ml sample size, I can divide this into 3 portions after processing (before adding fragrance) and test 3 fragrances with one batch.  Something I find very beneficial since I have come to realize...most customers are more scent sensitive than product quality sensitive.  (Very sad)  I am somewhere near 100 fragrance tests...and less than 5 that I really like.
    So the long and the short of it is... testing, testing , testing... if you are serious about creating a really quality product, you will spend a couple hundred dollars in raw material, and yourfriends will begin to hide from you when they see you approaching with bottles in hand. :wink: 
    Regarding cool down...since your oil phase is typically much smaller than your water phase....this is my system:  I always start the water phase first, and begin to heat it, while I am measuring out the oil phase.  Even so... the oil phase reaches temp much quicker than the water phase (and since you are American...I heat to upper 160's F.)  At that point (I use glass) I put the water phase in the microwave, and give it just enough of a blast to match the oil phase...for my sample sizes....around 20 seconds.  Hit with the blender one more time....and mix.  No time for any cooling.  If you are having any solids in your oil phase....you are not heating it long/high enough.  You did not say what wax/s or emulsifiers you were using, but they all have different melting points.
  • @Graillotion hey thank so much! I was just thinking that today; that I may make a larger batch and scent test it that way.

    And too Im going back to basics and I think Im going to do simple emulsification to see the smell and texture of each of my emulsifiers.

    I keep thinking...hmm is that smell the emulsifier or the scent?!...I honestly never just did 1 emulsifier formulas. I just jumped right into my formulas...

    Ive made a leave in conditioner, it separated already and felt and smelt yuck! I made a deep conditioner, it felt so displeasing in the shower and smelt ehh, bad too but not as bad. I kinda felt like I couls smell more "product" then the fragrance was bad (does that make sense?). I made 2 body lotions, the first I used wayyy too much floral hydrosol that I didnt really like anyways and a preservative that made it smell like lice solution. The second I used a combo of hydrosols (trying to experiment with scenting the product with hydrosols verse fragrance...more for facial products then body lotions...I dont mind fragrance in body products)... Im wondering if I can damage the floral scent in them during the heating phase because my product smelt like burnt wilted flowers haha. The texture is nice though. I ended up adding some essential oil and my husband says it smells nice, Im not so sure haha.

    I just purchased a "cheaper" overhead stirrer because I've been having to use my mini wisk and yes I am still seeing very small flecks of wax when I go to rub on the lotion. 

    Ive been using Montanov 68, Olivem 1000, Varisoft EQ...then Ill add some Cetyl Alcohol and Glycerl Stearate Citrate in my lotions.

    I have a stick thermometer and it takes forever to take the temp. I should have purchased the touchless at $25 before they all jumped to $40-60 with corona virus haha goodness!

  • Glycerl Stearate Citrate 
    Where do you buy this?  I had trouble finding it.  Ended up buying it at Making cosmetics.
  • @Graillotion I actually got a sample from Evonik
  • @Graillotion I actually got a sample from Evonik
    Ahh...ok.  It just scares me...having an ingredient with only one supplier.... a recipe for trouble...down the road.  I already have two other ingredients in that boat. :( 
  • oh no haha ya I have thought about that too, I guess I assume I can find it somewhere right? haha 

    oh and IG is Instagram ;)
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