Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Advanced Questions Body Cream Phase Separation / Creaming Issue

  • Body Cream Phase Separation / Creaming Issue

    Posted by Unknown Member on August 24, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Hello, we recently started making a cream formulation for a D2C brand. They sent us the formulation and insisted we didn’t change anything. After the first production run, some of their customers are complaining of phase separation (see attached photo).

    I’m also attaching the formulation with a simplified process for its preparation.

    Any recommendations on what we can do to prevent the droplets of oil? It has to be the blood orange and olive oil. Anything is on the table. The customer’s priority now is to fix this, keeping the formulation as close to the original as possible though.



    Unknown Member replied 9 months, 1 week ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Paprik

    August 24, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    I have never worked with Polysorbate 60, but I would say for this higher load of lipids you should choose some solid waxy emulsifier (blend), even anionic, paired with a stabiliser (can be cetearyl alcohol) and also add rheology modifier (Xanthan Gum).

  • Graillotion

    August 24, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    Looks like a knock-off emulsification system of e-wax. As said above…you are lacking a water gelling aspect…some kind of gum or polymeric. This should help a touch.

    I would consider mixing the essential oils with 1% triethyl citrate before adding them. This often will help hold them in place better.

    As mentioned above…consider strengthening the emulsion with the add of 1/10 of the emulsifier as a anionic (GSC or SSG or PCP).

    May I ask what kind of formula (or maybe recipe is a better word) this is? It does not even have a humectant? When I look at that….all I see is emulsified, scented grease?

    You did not list any process steps….as process is often one of the most critical aspects…. do you have equipment that provides shear? Stirring from shear to cool down, the whole time? Temps of each phase when combined…etc…etc…

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by  Graillotion.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by  Graillotion.
  • Graillotion

    August 24, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Note II: The amount of ’emulsifier’ to oil phase percentage…seems to be out of wack. I thought the mommy blogger rule of thumb was 25% e-wax to oil phase?

  • ozgirl

    August 24, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    Why would you agree to make this for a customer without even doing a small trial run and stability test in the lab?

    The ratio of emulsifier to oil phase seems to be incorrect. Why not just use a standard E-wax?

    Why are there only 2 phases. The essential oils, extracts and preservatives are all probably better suited to the cool down phase rather than the oil phase.

    As others have mentioned some xanthan gum and a humectant would help to improve this formula?

    Hope this helps 🙂

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    August 24, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you all. To clarify, we traditionally manufacture gummies & oil blends. For lotions, we usually buy base lotions and mix them with some scents. Lotion manufacturing is certainly not our expertise.

    For this project, a customer came to us in immediate need of this being made because their old manufacturer unexpectedly went out of business, and they trusted us bc we make some of their other products. I only had time to run a couple short stability tests in an oven for a few hours. I’ve since had time to equip myself with a centrifuge, a little more knowledge, and am on this forum to learn how to make this product better.

    I fully admit to not being an expert, and appreciate everyone’s direct criticism

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    August 24, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    We do have an emulsifying pump on the way (link included) but we used normal mixers for the first run. These are pretty small scale production runs for context. We’re making a few thousand units at a time. As I previously admitted, I ran the first production run like complete noobs bc we didn’t have much time to prep. Thanks so much for all your input 🙂

    Sounds like my first steps toward improvement would be:

    1) implement e-wax & at ~25 wt% of total oil phase, where ~1/10 of the emulsifier added as an anionic

    2) add essential oils, extracts, preservatives during cooldown. Question: roughly what temp would you suggest adding them?

    3) Add Aloe Vera or some other humectant. Question: What’s a reasonable range of amounts to add?

    4) Add Xantham gum Question: 0.5-1 wt% sound reasonable?

    5) mix essential oils with 1% triethyl citrate before adding them

  • Graillotion

    August 24, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    Where to even start. I am not involved with legal ramifications of contract mfg…but wow….this is a (won’t use the word ‘formula’ in this situation) recipe from ‘Ell. I was shocked to see that someone else was making it for them…and can guess why they went out of business. Honestly, this recipe looks like someone watched a few YouTube videos from ‘BumbleBee and You’, and decided they should be in the cosmetic business. I would investigate your liability for being the mfg of a known sub-par product!

    There is a plethora of issues you will run into…as you start tweaking the ‘recipe’, that will end up having you reformulate the whole thing, from the ground up. Just something as simple as changing the emulsifier inclusion rate to something reasonable…will throw the viscosity into a whole new realm (as well as changing the haptics). Everything you change…will have down the line ramifications. This is not something you can make a few tweaks…and call it good. This is a ‘do over’, project. I mean look at the basics…there seems to be no goal in making this product (you could not convince me it will do anything…other than leave a scented oily sheen on my skin). Look at the preservation…there are NO hurdles….no glycols, no chelate, worst possible container….no known pH. You are below the minimum use rate on the preservative, in a container that screams….contaminated! You have nothing in the formula to help the preservative.

    Please don’t add aloe…is a very poor humectant, and amazing bug food. It appears as though your client is not interested in making the formula functional or of value…but just wants it to hold together?! So I will not go any further…. other than to recommend you find out from your legal professional, what your liability is in a case like this. I suspect you will drop out….once you hear back. 🙂 Aloha.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by  Graillotion.
  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    August 24, 2023 at 9:49 pm

    Yeah, I understand all the harsh feedback on the formula. I’m an entrepreneur running a small seven figure business trying to help another entrepreneur grow his small seven figure business. Clearly, neither of us are experts in cosmetics but we’re trying, and that’s why I’m here. I’m not worried about the legal ramifications. I’m worried about helping someone who is trying to make a living as a small business owner, however humble his beginnings are in the world of cosmetics.

    Fundamentally, this is meant to be a CBD cream that people use for localized pain and inflammation issues. It doesn’t have to be a great moisturizing lotion. I understand small tweaks might change viscosity, texture, etc, but it’s a start, and that’s what I’m going to try. Thanks for your suggestions

Log in to reply.