Making an emulsion in one phase?

RawMaterialGirlRawMaterialGirl Member, Professional formulator
edited August 2014 in Formulating
I've been making a conditioner the traditional way - oil phase and water phase. Someone suggested making it in one phase to save production costs without changing the formula - heating water phase up and adding the oil phase ingredients one-by-one. I will gladly try it for the sake of trying it this afternoon, but I wanted to see if anyone could offer up some advantages and disadvantages of doing it this way. I'm a little skeptical that the nice, tight emulsion I'm getting will form - and stay that way. Thanks in advance for any thoughts. 


  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    If there are components that require melting into a particular phase, they won’t actually be homogeneously mixed into their preferred phase before an emulsion starts to form –particularly an issue when using a solid emulsifier. Obviously this will impact on how the micelle structure sets up and thus effect the finished product.  So the 2 pot method will likely produce smaller particles which will make the product adsorb quicker. Homgenising can of course adjust both size and eveness if your emulsion can take extra. 

    You try adding all the oil phase and the liquid to one vessel and heat through in one then emulsify.  Some conditioners are made like this, but they usually have a quite simple oil phase.

    Also with one pot processing, using an emulsifier that is compatible with both phases, and is liquid at room temperature works can work well.
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  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Most of the hair conditioners I made were single pot creations.  Our production people liked it that way.  Things like fatty alcohols, Glyceryl Stearate, and silicones don't have to be mixed in separate phases.  At least not in the formulas produced for VO5 and Tresemme back in the day.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited August 2014
    what @Perry said - provided your bulk phase is hot enough for everything to melt fully, provided you thoroughly shear the batch, and provided you take care to ensure the batch remains reasonably uniform as it cools, the laws of kinetics and thermodynamics will do the rest of the work for you
    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
  • RawMaterialGirlRawMaterialGirl Member, Professional formulator
    Thank you all for the feedback; I will give it a whirl and see if my same formula will uphold.
  • @perry what do u mean single pot creation?
  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    Single pot creations won't warrant for a standard procedure of heating the oil phase and water phase separately, can be heated all together but of course depending upon the formula. Also it would help if a chronology could be set for adding the ingredients in the pot depending on the physical state of the ingredient.
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