Keeping a Coconut Oil Based Balm SOLID w/out compromising absorption & texture!!

Unknown Member
edited April 2019 in Formulating
First comment: I am ALL EARS!! LOL

Second comment: <sigh> LOL   I am obviously frustrated, apologies.

So... I developed a formulary for an exceedingly effective, all natural topical balm for neuropathic pain. Here's "the rub" <snicker>… the base is coconut oil (and needs to be coconut oil), which obviously melts. Even using 92­degree oil, I have had issues when shipping the product to customers. I primarily solved this issue by utilizing thermal bubble bags with cold pack inserts (which is expensive per order!, especially if one offers Amazon Prime free shipping!!!!) in which I insert the product. The high dermal permeation of the product, as well as the efficacy of the ingredients led me to simply bite the bullet on that cost, as to not compromise the product my customers depend on.

Now I have taken a contract to produce this formulary under another brand. I Have taken... not considering taking, which I am beginning to regret, even as excited as I was about it. Even though I have definitively stated that using common waxes, etc will decrease the absorption rate, and likely the cellular permeation rate as well... the "Board" has now made it clear that they will absolutely NOT undertake the additional costs for cold shipping and cold storage of the product. I have been tasked with as they said "tweeking" my formula so the balm will both stay solid and maintain it's current efficacy. I am ready to pull my hair out over this... and I will not rock a Sinéad O'Connor look very well!!

Any help is SINCERELY appreciated!!!!!!!


  • You could use butters and waxes to restructure your balm. Many other gelling agents exist. you could look in the book below, it might help you.

    Alternative Routes to Oil Structuring - Ashok R. Patel

    As someone who has already made a similar balm, the only advice I can give you is to look for sweating (and/or efflorescence) and of course the oxidation.

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    try adding a few % of castor wax/hydrogenated castor oil - that's good for increasing the set point of oils
    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
  • Unknown Member
    edited April 2019
    Thanks guys! Yes, I am aware their are many options... it is the absorption rate and, quite frankly diminished efficacy, that I am concerned over. Most butters and waxes can have a large effect on this. I have actually not looked into castor wax however, I will check that out
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