Preventing "Blooming" ("Sweating") in Anhydrous Products ⁉️

emma1985emma1985 Member
edited May 2021 in Formulating
Hello, 

I am working on a cleansing balm formulation that contains the following ingredients:

5% Montanov L
5% Oliwax LC
5% Cetyl Alcohol
5% Lauryl Laurate
5% Polysorbate 80
10% Shea Butter
10% Mango Butter
30% Apricot Kernel Oil
25% Rice Bran Oil
0.9% Sea Buckthorn Oil
0.1% Rosemary Oleoresin

(Oils and butters subject to change, these are just "placeholders" while I figure out which oils and butters to use in the final products.)

I am experiencing blooming as you can see in the picture.

I have found very little information about this phenomenon on the internet.

I have been cooling the balm in the fridge because I think it helps create a more reflective surface, but one of the bits of information I was able to find did mention that temperature fluctuations exacerbate blooming. So maybe I should stop doing that?

Would bringing this to trace in an ice water bath help?

Please let me know if you have any other suggestions. I really really want this to work. Thank you so so much.


Comments

  • Hello,

    For the shiny surface I recommend that you use an old technique that is called "flaming", where you wait for the product to cool then you heat its surface rapidly with a flame.

    As for the blooming/sweating, it is usually due to the difference in polarity between the compounds that you are using, so if you have enough time and knowledge you can dissect each compound and determine its polarity and try to eliminate or replace the odd ones.
    On the other hand, if you have no qualms with adding some compounds, some surfactants may help you overcome this, or some thickeners such as corn starch and/or fumed silica can help you.

    Hope this helps
  • Thank you!! I read that PEGs can help. So I was thinking about adding a few % of Glyceryl Stearate and PEG 100 Stearate. Any thoughts on this? 

    Thanks again.
  • To be honest it is a very complicated subject, and according to my experience the solution is highly specific to the formula, there is no general answer. So I advise you to keep an open mind and try as many solutions as possible.
  • Okay, I will experiment. 🙂 Thank you!! 
  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Hi,

    looking at your formula, I think you need to reduce low melting point ingredients. Lauryl Laurate - melting point 23-30°C. + Shea and Mango butter. In total, you have 25% of those. Keep those under 10%, to give your product good climate stability. 

    I think what you are experiencing is called "Syneresis". Please check polarity of those waxes. And the oils. Mixing non-polar and polar ingredients usually results in this issue. [I would check that for you, but have to get back to work :( :D ]

    Hope that helps :) 

  • EVchemEVchem Member
    I think @Paprik is on the right track- blooming is more like crystal formation, syneresis is 'sweating'. @ChemicalPyros suggestion of the silica could also help- I've used Aerosil 200 at <1%. For reference I also used 10% Glyceryl Stearate/ PEG-100 Stearate in a balm with similar issues, but that was castor oil based.
  • Paprik said:
    Hi,

    looking at your formula, I think you need to reduce low melting point ingredients. Lauryl Laurate - melting point 23-30°C. + Shea and Mango butter. In total, you have 25% of those. Keep those under 10%, to give your product good climate stability. 

    I think what you are experiencing is called "Syneresis". Please check polarity of those waxes. And the oils. Mixing non-polar and polar ingredients usually results in this issue. [I would check that for you, but have to get back to work :( :D ]

    Hope that helps :) 

    Thank you so much, I will definitely reduce low melting point ingredients. I've been having a hard time finding a comprehensive list of the polarity index of oils but I will try. Thanks again.
  • Paprik said:
    Hi,

    looking at your formula, I think you need to reduce low melting point ingredients. Lauryl Laurate - melting point 23-30°C. + Shea and Mango butter. In total, you have 25% of those. Keep those under 10%, to give your product good climate stability. 

    I think what you are experiencing is called "Syneresis". Please check polarity of those waxes. And the oils. Mixing non-polar and polar ingredients usually results in this issue. [I would check that for you, but have to get back to work :( :D ]

    Hope that helps :) 

    Dear Paprik,

    I fully agree with you on the polar suggestion. 
    Could you help me sort the polar from high to low: beeswax,sunflower wax, carnauba wax, candelilla wax, rice bran wax, sumac wax, microcrystalline wax。 Tks!


  • edited July 2022
    I second that what you are looking at is syneresis: "Syneresis in chemistry is the extraction or expulsion of a liquid from a gel.2 Typically, when a gel is formed, little pockets of liquid are trapped in a solid matrix. If this matrix packs tightly enough, or the components of the gel are not compatible, the liquid can be forced out of the network". This quote is from this link that Perry posted some time ago re. this topic. 

    https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/research/literature-data/article/21834707/comparatively-speaking-hysteresis-vs-syneresis

    You can do a search for this topic in the forum and find all kinds of helpful info. Hope this helps.

    Re. cooling it, without rapid cooling it you might graininess. 

    Lastly, your liquid phase may be too high to be held in place by the rest of the formula.
  • Syneresis is the physical evidence of the issue (like fever is the physical signal of a immune response from your body). I agree with many comments that it's necessary to check the polarity of oils, and I also agree with @Anca_Formulator that the oils are too high (a bit more than 60%, if I counted correctly). 

    So, check that your oils have more or less similar polarity, and reduce your oils (try with 40% instead of 60%). Also, don't forget to preheat your butters to prevent blooming.
Sign In or Register to comment.