How to guess the percentage

I made a post yesterday asking about water based products and have since started educating myself on the subject (I hope I am not posting too much). I have started looking at the ingredients of water based hair products and I have been trying to guess the percentage of each ingredient. This is great practice but, without someone verifying it, it is useless. 

Please keep in mind that I am only a beginner and I do not have much experience with water based products however, I love cosmetic chemistry and I am excited to learn more about it.

Okay, from what I have learned, water is usually about 50%. That gives me somewhere to start, the rest is just estimating (for me).

Tell me what you guys think.

Here is the list of ingredients (taken from Kegley & Co's Clay Pomade):
Water/Aqua   40%
Castor Oil   20%
Emulsifying Wax NF   15%
Beeswax   10%
Olive Oil   5%
Bentonite Clay   5%
Kaolin Clay   4%   
Eucalyptus Essential Oil   0.5%
Sage Essential Oil   0.5%

I look forward to hearing from you guys.



  • Hi Nathaniel, I´m Sylvie and i´m learning too. Now i´m trying to understand the ingredients in a shampoo with the idea of formulate mine, but i´m curious with your formula, and i have a lot of questions , maybe someone can help us to understand this formula. Sorry for asking if not appropriate

    I do not see a preservative in this formula, and this formula has water. I would think it is necessary, is it?

    What is the ph of the emulsifier you are using (Emulsifying Wax NF is a nonionic self-emulsifying wax
    Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Polysorbate 60) i have not seen in its Material Safety Data Sheet

    What ph should be great in this product? can this formula need an acid?

    Does this formula need a polymer or a gum?

    Does this formula need any ingredient to dissolve essential oils?

    I think this is not a LOI, this is a list of a few ingredients, what Kegley & Co's wants the people know, not an INCI (?¿?)

    thank you so much, hugs from Spain.

  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Water content varies too much to make assumptions like that.

    Easy way to determine water level: weigh sample, put in oven at 105C for two hours, weigh sample again.

    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."
  • If the LOI is indeed complete (it adds up to 100%) then the preservative action is coming from the 1% of essential oils. Also it's possible that the pH is quite high since it contains bentonite clay.
    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.
  • @Kloe ;

    This is not my formula, but it also struck me as odd that there was no preservative. Like Belassi said, it probably comes from the essential oils.

    As for your other questions, as I am still learning I actually have the same ones. 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    in my experience, ingredient lists on styling products are notorious for being incomplete, or just plain wrong - personally, I'd take that list with a very big pinch of salt
    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
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    That amount and that proportion of essential oil would likely result in the user smelling like a cough sweet.
  • wow , thanks to all for your time. I'm glad I asked. I never imagined that I could put a sample in the oven to evaporate the water and thus calculate its weight.

    Sincerely I was not assuming because I´m just trying to learn, I think I asked the wrong question because my English is not good and sometimes I use the google translator.
    I see that not always when a formula contains water, you need a preservative. Now I'm curious to know those exceptions and I must to investigate about it.

    I do not know if this inci is complete or not. It gave me that feeling because i love reading incis, but I'll keep your tip in mind, Tom. I thought it was an easy formula if the LOI is complete. It seems an easy formula but now I think it is not, I think I would have to do a lot of testing for not a doughy or greasy consistency in the hair.

    Hahaha, I think I'm not ready to start with the essential oils, I am going to buy fragrance for all my experiments.

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