What's your favorite ecocert emulsion system?

I'm looking at different "natural" (ecocert) emulsifiers and trying to decide the best route.  Ideally the emulsion would be low soaping with a nice skin feel.  Of course there's no shortage of options out there, but it's hard to differentiate between manufacturer claims and actual performance (for example olivem 1000 claims to have no soaping effect, but actually has a pronounced soaping effect when used alone).  Currently I'm using a non-ionic combination of coco glucoside and glyceryl stearate, but I'm curious about what I'm missing out on compared to other options.  There's also lots of natural anionic emulsion systems out there as well, so I'm just wondering what you may have tried and what your personal experience with different natural emulsifiers has been.  For reference I'll put the different options I've seen/am looking at and my base lotion recipe below.  Looking forward to hearing your responses!

NON-IONIC
  • Oliwax LC
    • Cetyl Palmitate (and) Sorbitan Palmitate (and) Sorbitan Olivate
  • Olivem 1000
    • Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate
  • Natragem EW
    • Glyceryl Stearate (and) Polyglyceryl-6 Palmitate/Succinate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Making Cosmetics Cream Maker Fluid
    • Sorbitan laurate, polyglyceryl-4 laurate, dilauryl citrate

Or some DIY combination of a high and low HLB emulsifier:

High:

  • Coco/Decyl Glucoside: HLB 12-13
  • Cetyl Palmitate: 10
  • Sorbitan Palmitate: 6.7

Low:

  • Glyceryl Oleate: 3.5
  • Polyglyceryl Oleate: 5
  • Glyceryl Stearate: 3.6
ANlONIC:
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE
  • Glyceryl Stearate Citrate
  • NatureMulse
    • Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
  • EcoMulse
    • glyceryl stearate (60%), cetearyl alcohol (25%), sodium stearoyl lactylate (15%)

Current Lotion Formula:
  • water phase:
    • 72% distilled water
    • 1.5% vegetable glycerine
  • oil phase:
    • 5% mango butter
    • 5% coconut oil
    • 5% olive oil
  • emulsion system:
    • 1.5% cetearyl alcohol
    • 1.5% cetyl alcohol
    • 1.5% coco glucoside
    • 2.5% glyceryl stearate
  • skin feel enhancers/soaping reducers:
    • .3% siligel (Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan)
    • 1% Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides
    • 1% olive oil unsaponifiables
    • 1% hemisqualane
  • preservation:
    • .5% phenethyl alcohol
    • .5% glyceryl caprylate
    • .1% sodium phytate
    • .1% tocopherol
    • citric acid to 5.5 pH

Comments

  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited August 4
    I went through a serious pile of these when I started.  If you use the search bar on the forum... you can find many discussions on this very topic.  I do not formulate with ecocert in mind...so some of my comments might fall out of the realm of those parameters.

    Yes... O 1000 is known as the soaping King....but some say depending what phase you add it too, this can have dramatic results in that regard (search forum, I have never used it).

    Soaping is also a pretty easy fix....should you use an emulsifier that soaps (search the forum).

    I found any of the 'mulse' products with sodium stearoyl lactylate, also tended to be a bit soapy.

    As far as creating stability...you will be hard pressed to find a better combo with your non-ionics....than adding GSCitrate as a co-emulsifier.

    A few suggestions....In your oil section...those are some heavy weights....I think it will be pretty hard to make this feel lite and absorbed?  I have often found that less is more....in this area.  And in the feel enhancers....I never really got things feeling amazing...without this area being near the 10% range.  Also no gelling agents???  Does ecocert preclude these?

    Also pretty light on the humectants...was that the goal?

    Finally... I think you should revisit the preservative/s.... Search the forum.  Why only 5.5 pH?  If you drop it below 5...it will significantly help your marginal preservation.  (And use lactic acid to drop it...your skin will thank you.)
  • I agree with @Graillotion. The pH of skin is 4.7 so you want to make high pH product if lower pH works better and is easier to preserve? 

    About emulsifiers 

    Sorbitan laurate, polyglyceryl-4 laurate, dilauryl citrate makea very low viscosity emulsion.

    From this list i like ecomulse more than others. It is table, good skin feel and Avery economical ingredients. 
    You can purchase the ingredients and combine at this ratio to make it even more economical. 
  • SaraLeeSaraLee Member
    Thank you for the feedback!  I'll definitely go back to the drawing board on some of those things.  I'm using siligel at .3% and I could always add more xanthan gum if you think the formula could benefit from it, but yeah ecocert frowns on carbomers and crosspolymers.  I've spent hours (and hours and hours lol) pouring over the forum especially on topics like emulsifiers and preservatives.  This is one of the only resources I trust for accurate information.  I'll definitely continue researching and reading everything I can find :smile: My concern with dropping the pH is if I add an anionic emulsifier couldn't that affect the performance of the emulsion?  And glucosides are so high in pH naturally I was nervous to drop it too much although I don't know why theoretically it would affect it since it is non-ionic.  I've been told ecomulse is especially bad for being able to formulate with a lower pH.  My source for GSC says to keep the pH above 5.5
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    I'll second @Graillotion on the GSC idea. I've found a combo of Polyglyceryl-4 Stearate/Glyceryl Stearate Citrate at a 3:1 ratio works like a charm for emulsifying most polar oils. Add the right builders and you can use that ubiquitously. As for stabilizers: xanthan - nah! / carbomer - yeah! Ecocert: take a walk as far as I'm concerned.
  • SaraLee said:

     My source for GSC says to keep the pH above 5.5
    I asked this question once myself.  The brains of this operation answered it in the following thread:

    Glyceryl stearate citrate emulsifier and pH range. — Cosmetic Science Talk (chemistscorner.com)
  • "nice skin feel" is too uncertain. If we are talking about a short absorbtion time, no stickiness, no shine and a "moist" feel, then my favourite is Glyceryl stearate SE. Because of its unstable nature, usually I mix it with another high HLB emulsifier, for example - Emulsan, or Tego care 450. Also you can try to combine it with the Olivem, but Olivem in the water phase and no soaping will appear.
  • ggpetrov said:
    "nice skin feel" is too uncertain. If we are talking about a short absorbtion time, no stickiness, no shine and a "moist" feel, then my favourite is Glyceryl stearate SE. Because of its unstable nature, usually I mix it with another high HLB emulsifier, for example - Emulsan, or Tego care 450. Also you can try to combine it with the Olivem, but Olivem in the water phase and no soaping will appear.
    @ggpetrov I’ve never used Glyceryl Stearate SE before but have used Tego Care 450. How do the two compare for you in terms of application and afterfeel?
  • SaraLeeSaraLee Member
    Thanks so much for all the feedback everyone!  What are your thoughts then of combining GSC with glyceryl stearate or GS SE (and would one be better than the other) and dropping the coco glucoside?
  • ggpetrov said:
    "nice skin feel" is too uncertain. If we are talking about a short absorbtion time, no stickiness, no shine and a "moist" feel, then my favourite is Glyceryl stearate SE. Because of its unstable nature, usually I mix it with another high HLB emulsifier, for example - Emulsan, or Tego care 450. Also you can try to combine it with the Olivem, but Olivem in the water phase and no soaping will appear.
    @ggpetrov I’ve never used Glyceryl Stearate SE before but have used Tego Care 450. How do the two compare for you in terms of application and afterfeel?
    Tego care 450 used alone, tends to give a "rich" emulsions, which are very occlusive. By adding GMS SE, the emulsions become lighter and fast absorbing but with a strong moisturizing effect. I use 1 part Tego care 450 and 2-3 parts GMS SE.



  • SaraLee said:
    Thanks so much for all the feedback everyone!  What are your thoughts then of combining GSC with glyceryl stearate or GS SE (and would one be better than the other) and dropping the coco glucoside?

    It's up to you. You can make some tests, and decide for yourself which is optimal. Glyceryl stearate has a kind of "sealing" effect to the skin. In the summer this can't be very comfortable feel. GMS Citrate gives heavier emulsions than GMS SE, but GMS SE thickens the emulsions significantly better. So the amount of fatty alcohols should be precisely calculated.

  • ggpetrov said:
    @ggpetrov I’ve never used Glyceryl Stearate SE before but have used Tego Care 450. How do the two compare for you in terms of application and afterfeel?
    Tego care 450 used alone, tends to give a "rich" emulsions, which are very occlusive. By adding GMS SE, the emulsions become lighter and fast absorbing but with a strong moisturizing effect. I use 1 part Tego care 450 and 2-3 parts GMS SE.

    @ggpetrov Interesting, thanks for that. Sounds like I should try it.
  • suswang8suswang8 Member
    edited August 7
    -1-  I agree with @ggpetrov that you will eventually need to get more specific about what you are looking for.  "No soaping" is a good start, but you will need to learn more about what specific attributes you want your product to have in terms of feel/appearance.

    -2-  Even if we exclude the cetyl alcohol, it seems like you are using quite a bit of emulsifier there (5.5% for 15% oil).  I assume you already experimented with using less?

    -3-  I have had 0 soaping with lysolecithin, but it is not an easy product to work with.

    -4-  Next up on my list to try:  Imwitor 375 and maybe BergaMuls ET 1, which I just learned about from helenhelen.
  • Imwitor 375 - awful choice! It's quite sensitive to temperature differencies and electrolytes. You'll need a powerful antioxidant fo it, because it tends to oxidizes too fast.

    Bergamuls - same story. You have to proceed it at least a 40 minutes constantly, because you will notice a particles of it in the emulsion. 
  • SaraLeeSaraLee Member
    Thanks again for all the feedback!  I definitely have some experimenting to do ;)  Any experience or thoughts on any of the emulsifiers in the montanov line?  After doing more forum digging as recommended by @Graillotion I've read some good things from other forum members.
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited August 10
    I like L and 202....and dislike 68.  These comments based on stability first, and texture second. However I would not use either by themselves.  GSC is a good supporting emulsifier with them.  There is another common anionic you can use....but I hated what it did to overall texture.

    I know you won't use 165.... But I use 202 at 3%, 165 at 1%, and GSC between .5-.75%...(and the proverbial Aristoflex AVC + Carbomer enhancer) and it makes a H#@ of a nice product....granted I use a ton of additional enhancers.
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited August 10
    SaraLee said:
    Thanks so much for all the feedback everyone!  What are your thoughts then of combining GSC with glyceryl stearate or GS SE (and would one be better than the other) and dropping the coco glucoside?
    I have a torture chamber I keep of all the emulsifiers I've tested the past couple years.  There are only two....that still sit in that sunny window from couple of years ago.  One of them featured GSC.

    It is called Heliofeel.

    INCI: Glyceryl Stearate Citrate (and) Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate (and) Hydrogenated Lecithin

    The second item in that inci...is pretty salty as well.



  • @SaraLee
    maybe to add on to the comments on the emulsifiers or montanov in general, how i choose normally choose my emulsifier would still depend on the requirements, which can include viscosity, raw material, skin feel, etc. 

    I have the following and will choose them if i'm making the following products, normally i'd pair it with a polymeric emulsifier since i make gel creams most of the time: 
    • 202 - if i require a matte finish, light weight lotion or emulsion
    • L - if making a light weight lotion or milk
    • 68 - if making a slightly waxy cream, with carbomer 980 as a richer texture
    • 82 - i don't use this often but i've made a cleansing lotion with this since it contains coco glucoside
    I'm flexible with my choice of emulsifiers, i've used 68 & L at the very beginning of my formulation days and currently working on 202 since i'm interested in a matte finish. 

    I'd still recommend to choose one based on your requirement(s) since the end result varies (depending on the blend). In terms of soaping, just get adjust the percentage of emulsifiers accordingly. 
  • Ok super helpful thanks!!  @jemolian thanks for the breakdown!   I updated the formula based on your inputs and more research.  Thoughts?

    Emollients

    ·        5% organic mango butter

    ·        5% organic coconut oil

    Humectants:

    ·        2.5% vegetable glycerine

    ·        2.5% propanediol

    ·        1% honeyquat

    Emulsifiers:

    ·        2% montanov 202 (Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside)

    ·        1% Glyceryl stearate citrate

    ·        2% glyceryl stearate

    ·        3% cetearyl alcohol

    ·        .2% siligel (Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan)

    Skin feel enhancers:

    ·        2.5% natrasil (Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables)

    ·        2.5% cetyl esters

    Preservation:

    ·        .1% sodium phytate

    ·        .4% tocopherol

    ·        .7% Phenylpropanol

    ·        .3% ethylhexylglycerin

    ·        1% Jeecide CAP-7 (Caprylyl Glycol (and) Glyceryl Laurate (and) Glyceryl Undecylenate)

    ·        Lactic acid pH to 5

  • @SaraLee

    You will just need to figure out if your combination of emulsifier + viscosity modifier would work out to the viscosity you need. Montanov 202 doesn't add much viscosity, so the viscosity modifier would be the main concern, thus the possibility of soaping. 
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