Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Best emulsifier for low pH moisturizers? BTMS vs Lotionpro 165, Montanov 68, Ewax or?

  • Best emulsifier for low pH moisturizers? BTMS vs Lotionpro 165, Montanov 68, Ewax or?

    Posted by zink on September 10, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Looking to make a sleek pH 3.8 moisturizing lotion with 10% glycolic acid, used Polawax aka Emulsifying wax NF in the past, but find it too waxy.

    Some commonly used emulsifiers are (with prices from lotioncrafter for comparison):

    Lotionpro™ 165 $6/lb (Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate) must be thickened with e.g. cetyl alcohol, creates sleeker emulsions than Emulsifying wax. Very common due to its low cost.

    BTMS-25 $20/lb also just called BTMS (Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol) cationic emulsifier, can create very thin and glidy emulsions that leaves the skin feeling moist presumably due to it sticking to the skin, often thickened/stabilized with cetyl alcohol.

    Montanov 68 $30/lb (
    Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside) liquid crystal emulsifier, potential issue with ocular irritation due to the glucoside? Expensive and don’t see any clear advantages, similar feel to Lotionpro.

    Emulsifying Wax NF $8/lb ( Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60) waxier than Lotionpro 165 due to the longer C18 stearyl alcohols, doesn’t need a thickener - not a great choice for lotions.

    To me BTMS-25 gives the best skin feel of the bunch, any reason not to use it over Lotionpro 165 apart from the higher cost? I find with Lotionpro you’ll need some added silicones or other film formers to get similar glide and skin feel. Does the BTMS also act as a humectant actually improving moisturization and not only moisturization-feel?

    zink replied 3 years, 5 months ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • graillotion

    September 10, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Zink said:

    Lotionpro™ 165 $6/lb (Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate)  Very common due to its low cost.

    I would have to say…. Very common due to excellent performance….not cost! :) 

    Why not blend them?  (165 and BTMS)  I blend 165 and Varisoft EQ 65…and get the best of both worlds.  It is hard to beat the stability of 165.

  • zink

    September 11, 2020 at 8:19 am

    Stability og BTMS + cetyl alcohol generally seems good enough, and sensorials are even better than 165 IMO!

    And what about adding something like 3% DuraQuench IQ SA, Croda  “Cetyl alcohol, Isostearyl Isostearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate,

    Cetyl stearate, Stearic Acid” - isostearyl isostearate has some interesting papers showing TEWL reduction.
  • ngarayeva001

    September 11, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    I used GMS+PEG100 Stearate (aka LotionPro 165) in low ph system. Worked as always. 

  • zink

    September 15, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Right, Lotionrpo 165 is tried and true, just wondering if there are any potential pro’s and con’s about it compared to BTMS.

  • ggpetrov

    September 15, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    I think BTMS could be irritating, especially if it’s used for a long time. In addition to ngarayeva001’s opinion I would suggest also Emulsan (Methyl glucose sesquistearate).

  • zink

    September 15, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Cerave used BTMS-25 is all its moisturizers at around 3% - seems to work fairly well for them (so around 0.75% Behentrimonium Methosulfate) - not a lof of research on the methosulfate form, the chloride form does have ocular irritation potential..

    I wonder if methyl glucose could cause some bacterial growth issues?

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