Emulsifier not working. Help.

I'm trying to make a hair mask and a hair shine mist with the emulsifiers used being cetearyl alcohol, xyliance, and sunflower solubilizer. I also added glycerin as well if that makes a difference. The formula will stay emulsed for about 12 hours then disperse again. It's more of a oil in water emulsion too. Am I using a wrong ingredient or do I need to add something?

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    If you want a useful answer, please provide a list of all the ingredients in the formula. If you want a much more useful answer, list the percentages of ingredients too.
  • BekaSBekaS Member
    waterphase:
    water 41%
    aloe 10%
    glycerin 4%
    sunflower solubilizer 3%

    oil phase:
    macadamia oil 2%
    Hemp oil 2%
    almond oil 2%
    xyliance 6%
    cetearyl alcohol 3%
    shea butter 10%

    C Phase:
    wheat protein 5%
    silk protein 5%
    provitamin B-5 5%
    citric acid 1%
    sorbic acid 2%
    essential oils 1%
    benzyl alcohol DHA 5%

  • What is your process?  Are you heating both phases up to 75C then adding the Oil into Water at high sheer?
  • BekaSBekaS Member
    I heated them both to 70c then mixed them together. I waited until cooled to 40c then added my c phases in one at a time.

  • Are you adding OIL in Water?  or vice versa?  You might want to include a low HLB emulsifier at 2%.  

    Possibly take a look at your phase C and see if anything there can be messing with your emulsion e.g. the acids.

    Try just making Phase A and Phase B without the Phase C and see if that still falls about.  

    Try a knockout experiment.

    https://www.theherbarie.com/files/resource-center/formulating/Required_HLB_for_Oils_and_Lipids.pdf
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    You seem to be using way to much sorbic acid and benzyl alcohol/dha.

    Your Xyliance emulsifer has a low electrolyte tolerance and many of your raw materials are considered electrolytes (e.g. aloe vera, citric acid etc) so try leaving these out or change to a different emulsifier.
  • ozgirl said:
    You seem to be using way to much sorbic acid and benzyl alcohol/dha.

    Your Xyliance emulsifer has a low electrolyte tolerance and many of your raw materials are considered electrolytes (e.g. aloe vera, citric acid etc) so try leaving these out or change to a different emulsifier.
    this is probably the route to go down, I didn't think about electrolyte tolerances. 
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Your proteins also contribute to emulsion (in-)stability which highly depends on pH (unique for each protein, dunno the best pH for silk and and wheat) and, if it's partially or fully hydrolysed proteins, they often contain considerable amounts of salts.
    Sodium sunflowerseedate is also pH dependent, it's basically sunflower oil soap which looses it's emulsifying ability at acidic pH (1% citric and 2% sorbic acid are certainly lowering pH considerably) ;) . And 2% sorbic acid will not do any good to your skin (not to mentioner the too high amount in DHA)!
    Something else to consider: Xyliance is about 50% cetearyl alcohol. This plus 3% additional cetearyl alcohol, 3% sunflower fatty acids (formed at low pH), and 10% shea butter will likely turn your oil phase solid or at least butter like. That masks emulsion instability for a short time since oil droplets don't fuse but only show creaming and/or aggregate formation. The latter may partially be inhibited by the added proteins. Hence the separation with some hours delay.
    I think you'd be better off with a different emulsifier (Xyliance, according to some sources, works better with a higher oil phase than yours, cetearyl alcohol is not needed, and mixing the two phases can be tricky).
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