Emulsifying Wax NF Formula

In my country I couldn't find emulsifying wax nf.
I googled it and it contains : Cetearyl Alcohol and Polysorbate 60.

I have Cetearyl Alcohol 68/50 and Polysorbate 60 seperately.
Can I prepare my own Emulsifying wax with these substances?

If yes what is the ratio of cetearyl alcohol/polysorbate in emulsifying wax nf? I couldn't find it on the internet.

Thank you.


  • Sorry I have Polysorbate 80, not a Polysorbate 60.

    Can I use Polysorbate 80 instead of Polysorbate 60?
  • Polysorbate 60 is an emulsifying agent consisting of sorbitol, ethylene oxide & stearic acid (so thickness). It is semi-solid at room temperature and acts as both emulsifier and thickener. There is no reason why you can't mix it with Cetearyl alcohol yourself. You would actually get more flexibility this way (add more Cetearyl and the lotion is more viscous). But you will not get the same result by replacing it with polysorbate 80 or 20. In theory, all three are emulsifiers, and Cetearyl alcohol can work as co-emulsifier, but I have never seen polysorbate 80 as the only emulsifier. It is usually used as a solubilizer to incorporate a tiny amount of oil and keep the system transparent (0.5% of essential oils in a room spray). It's not "strong enough" for high oil phase (lotions normally have at least a couple % of oil). You can try though. It's all about trial and error. Keep in mind that HLB of this emulsification system will be very high and you can't emulsify a lot of oil with it.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    carpl, the commercial ratio is in the vicinity of 2:1 or 3:1 C16-18 alcohol to polysorbate 60, so yes: make your own emulsifying wax. Subbing Polysorbate 80 may not factor much into the outcome depending on the nature of your oil load.  HLB is nearly same as 60, but there IS that olefin linkage to think about.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2018
    What can you find? This could be a learning experience in either the HLB with more widely available Nonionic emulsifiers. or (if available) to try other superior emulsifiers.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • carplgrowercarplgrower Member
    edited December 2018
    Thank you for your reply.
    So I can't use Polysorbate 80 instead of Polysorbate 60.
    I am trying to prepare 10% castor oil/water emulsion.

    I can find;

    Cetyl alcohol
    Cetearyl alcohol 68/50
    Glyceryl monostearate
    Polysorbate 80
    Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

    Can I prepare my castor oil/water emulsion with that chemicals.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you @sven
  • @carplgrower, you totally can make an emulsion with these ingredients. Just don't call them "chemicals" :smiley:

    A cream  (higher viscosity) would look like this:
    INCI % of material HLB Weighted av% HLB weighted av
    Castor Oil 10.0% 14 63% 8.75
    Cetyl Alcohol 4.0% 15.5 25% 3.88
    Cetearyl Alcohol 2.0% 15.5 13% 1.94
    Glyceryl Monostearate 0.5% 3.8 8% 0.29
    Polysorbate 80 6.0% 15 92% 13.85
    Preservative 1.0%
    EDTA 0.2%
    Aqua 76.3%

    A lotion (less viscous) would look like this:

    INCI % of material HLB Weighted av% HLB weighted av
    Castor Oil 10.0% 14 63% 8.75
    Cetyl Alcohol 2.0% 15.5 13% 1.94
    Cetearyl Alcohol 1.0% 15.5 6% 0.97
    Glyceryl Monostearate 1.5% 3.8 23% 0.88
    Polysorbate 80 4.5% 15 69% 10.38
    Preservative 1.0%
    EDTA 0.2%
    Aqua 79.8%

    You can use Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate instead of glyceryl monostearate (or combine all three but I don't know why would you want to do it). Use the same logic and recalculate the value. It's HLB is 8.3.
    You don't need a match to decimal points. Anything within 1- 1.5 is ok.

    Good luck.
  • carplgrowercarplgrower Member
    edited December 2018
    @ngarayeva001 thank you for your wonderful reply :)

    First formulation (high viscous) is perfect for me. Tomorrow I will prepare and keep you informed about result.

    Just for learning, I want to ask something :)

    1-) Why we use both glyceryl monostearate and Polysorbate 80 together? Why we just calculate required HLB and not only use Polysorbate 80?

    2-) Why we use EDTA?

    3-) If we want to make too watery emulsion, is it possible to prepare emulsion without using cetyl and cetearyl alcohols?

    Sorry for lots of questions and thank you again for formula:)
  • @carplgrower, 1) I agree with your point, but I don't think polysorbate 80 is sufficient. Again it's trial and error. Experiment and see if it works. Emulsions are not stable by nature and having two emulsifiers can contribute to stability. 
    2) Tetrasodium and Disodium EDTA are chelating agents. They bind metal ions in your water. They are used as a part of preservation system.
    3) Yes, you can. But Cetyl and Cetearyl Alcohol add stability to the emulsion and act as co-emulsifiers. So, you can do it but you need to make sure you have a very good emulsifier.
  • @ngarayeva001, thank you for your detailed replies. I got it:)
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