Wax Crystals In My Home-brewed Oil Based Pomade

carp0824carp0824 Member
Hello Gang,

I am running into an issue with an oil based pomade that I have been working on. No matter what I do, I end up with little wax crystals, balls, grains, gel pebbles (not sure what to call it). 

  • Petroleum - 56%
  • Beeswax - 20%
  • Coconut Oil - 10%
  • Castor Oil - 10%
  • Hemp Seed Oil - 4%
I have heated the beeswax up to 93.3 C. I ensure all solids have melted. I usually keep it on the heat for about 20 minutes. I add the petroleum and coconut oil at this stage as well. I turn the heat off and add in the castor oil and hemp seed oil. Stir and pour into my container at 62.8 C.

The next day when I scoop it out, I can feel little gel pebbles in the pomade that do melt down when I rub my hands together. Based off of my process and ingredients, can anyone identify what may be causing this?

There is little information online. The information I have read is all over the place. The only thing I have found that makes was found on this link http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6139&context=etd

Is it possible the oils are causing this?

Kind regards,


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Petroleum?? You are adding gasoline to it?
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Petroleum jelly (cosmetic grade).
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    If this is your only problem and otherwise you're happy, I would try replacing the beeswax with other types, eg microcrystalline. There are many people here who can help.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    what grade of coconut oil are you using - is it whole or refined?

    (also, petroleum jelly is called "petrolatum")
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Beeswax particularly at the level you are using will give crystallization problems: try carnubba which should provide nice properties in the presence of that much petrolatum.
  • Thank you all for the feedback. It is truly appreciated and valued. 

    @Bill_Toge, the coconut oil is virgin. I initially thought that was the problem so I tried a sample without using coconut oil and obtained the same result.

    @Belassi, I would like to keep playing with the consistency of the pomade. I like the hold that beeswax offers. Maybe I can find a balance between combining the two. 

    @DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ, would you say the level of beeswax I'm using is too high or low? Would reducing the amount of petrolatum help? I have noticed that the pomade is on the more oily side of things. I'd like to reduce that aspect. 
  • Isn't cera bellina meant to help in situations like this?
  • @EliseCortes, I'm not sure as I'm not 100% positive as to what is causing my issue. I'd like to determine the root cause and see if there is a way to adjust my process rather than add another ingredient to the formula. However, if this is the best option then I will investigate.
  • Elise problem is crystallization of too much B wax so I would cut it to 10 percent and lower petrolatum to 40 and replace with jojoba to improve oily aestheticsYou can back add paraffin or carnubba if needed to replace B wax
  • @carp0824 I did formulate balm with bees wax before and I had the same crystallization problem. I agree with @DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ reduce the bees wax and try to replace with carnubba, paraffin, HCO or a mixture of all three. BTW ain't you using any preservatives in your pomade?!   
  • @DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ, I'll give this a shot. Thank you for the advice.
  • @zaidjeber, I wouldn't think a preservative would be needed in an oil base due to there not being any water present in the formulation. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @carp0824 - If you want to find the root cause, do a knockout experiment.

  • @Perry, I just started doing this yesterday. So far I have one ingredient left to remove and haven't experienced any change in the results yet. Thank you for the recommendation. 
  • @carp0824 you are right, my point is "better safe than sorry"  
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