Soft spherical lumps in oil balm

Hello all! 

does any one have any experience in preventing a balm/ointment from forming grains? 

Ive tried rapid cooling, stirring whilst cooling, omission of candelilla/carnuba/shea etc

the one i am currently working has ingredients that are all oils (Coconut, castor, sunflower oils are the main ones) + vit e, though its happened to formulations that have beeswax, candelilla, cocoa butter, shea.. the harder the formula doesnt prevent the grains from coming either.




  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    You will probably need to add an ingredient that will help prevent grains forming.

    You could consider ingredients such as
    Cera bellina (INCI:  Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax),
    Lipidthix (INCI Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) or
    Captex SBE (INCI Caprylic/capric/stearic triglyceries)
  • oooh... thank you for this...whats the chemistry behind this??
  • I've found this is my travels..

    Cera Bellina has the unique ability to give stability by forming non-granular gels of liquid oils. Besides the consistency regulating properties of beeswax, Cera Bellina has the remarkable capability of inhibiting crystallization in the oil phase and therefore enhancing stability by preventing the formation of granules.  This attribute can eliminate the graininess or rice granule effect that can occur when using shea and other natural butters in anhydrous formulations such as lip balms and lotion bars.

    ..but how? 

    are these ingredients considered solubilisers?
  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    captex SBE used at 10% or more should prevent grains
    Jane Barber (free online course)
    Formulation discussion forum (18,000 members):
  • ressurrecting this thread.... i still havent found the reason! 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    the answer is in the text you've quoted: it forms a gel, which prevents the oil phase from moving at zero shear, hence it prevents anything from coalescing and forming crystals

    they are not solubilisers, because a solution is by definition a liquid system, and this is a solid system 
    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
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Also in the text - "Cera Bellina is a crystallization inhibitor". There are ways crystallization inhibitors work that don't involve gelation, but in this case, I think that Bill has nailed it.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Ah hah! of course! thank you!!!!
  • if a wax forms a gel at a lower temp will that mean it will be less likely to grain up because it would become a gel at a larger range of temps?

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