Water Based Clay Matte Paste - HARD TOP LAYER!

Hard top layer is forming after pouring into jar.  It feels a bit clumpy.  Underneath the top layer is a perfect consistency...the way it should be.  Any ideas why I'm getting this layer?  Almost looks dehydrated.  A friend told me that some companies scrape out the top layer and "sculpt" the top and form a swirl.  My formula below is very similar to Lockhart's Anti-Gravity.  Here is my formula and pictures...

Water Phase

Water:  74 grams

Vegetable Glycerin:  3 grams

PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate:  6 grams

GelMaker and PVP is added when water phase is about 170 degrees

GelMaker Style (Acrylates C10-30 alkyl methacrylate copolymer):  3 grams 

PVP:  .75 grams

Oil Phase

BTMS-50:  4 grams

Ceteareth 20:  8 grams

PEG 8 Beeswax:  6 grams

Microcrystalline Wax:  4 grams

PEG 40 HCO:  8 grams

Avocado Oil:  8 grams

Grapeseed Oil:  5 grams

Refined Shea Butter:  6 grams


4.6 grams kaolin clay

2.5 grams dead sea clay


Liquid Germall Plus (.5%)

After mixing both phases with stick blender, I added preservative and fragrance at around 130 degrees F.  Mixed more the poured at about 120 degrees F.  Very sticky and was setting up already at 120 degrees.  More water perhaps? 


  • Try to pour around 140/ 60c. Your water thickener may be reacting with the clays causing it to thicken too much. Are you neutralizing the thickener? 

    Depending on formula, many big formulators fill in a heat tunnel to avoid skinning etc. Plus depends on humidity where you are filling, ambient temps etc. and when you cap your products. 
  • Do you have a film former in the formula? 
  • How do you neutralize a thickener?  What do you mean by filling a heat tunnel?  
  • A heat tunnel is a tunnel simply supplying heat around a conveyor. I believe he is suggesting applying heat when filling can slowen the cooling process and prevent the top skinning over with a different texture to the bulk
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Your formula is a long way from adding up to 100%
    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.
  • @Dirtnap1 do you think i might be adding too much PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate? How would I neutralize the water phase?
  • Peg 7 GC would make it thinner if adding too much. Will not harden. 
    Triethanolamine (TEA) for adjusting pH
     pH of 5-6 is good for hair products to my knowledge. You will need to test the pH of the product to see where it's falling.
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