Honey and Oil Facemask Preservative + emulsifier?


I am wanting to formulate a honey and oil containing facemask. There will not be water in this product. For this, I understand that as there is no water I should not need a preservative but I want to add a preservative due to storing this product in the bathroom and can generally get wet. Now, if I add an oil-soluble preservative do I need to emulsify the oil and honey together? If so what emulsifiers are good to emulsify the oil and honey together?


  • "what emulsifiers are good to emulsify the oil and honey together" what are you going to emulsify if, as you say, there is no water? If there is no water they should just mix together, aren't they?
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Honey is water-soluble, so just treat it like it was your water phase and use any appropriate emulsifier for the type of emulsion you are trying to create ... O/W or W/O.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited January 2020
    Also honey is a significant challenge for the preservation system.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Not that much of a challenge if there's no water present. Sure, honey is hygroscopic and might absorb water over time. Assuming it's going to be a honey in oil emulsion, this effect is minor and therefore preservation is more of a 'better safe than sorry'.
    Regarding emulsifiers: Unfortunately, HLB considerations won't work with pure honey as 'aqueous' phase... I guess it all comes down to trial and error.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    for what it's worth, honey is about 80% sugar, about 20% water and miscellaneous trace compounds
    UK based cosmetic chemist with 13 years' experience at the bench. I've worked with pretty much everything apart from pressed powders, soap, solid lipstick and aerosols.
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