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  • Cosmetic Line purchase - Need some advices

    Posted by Wissal on July 23, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Hello dears, 

    I am starting a small cosmetic lab in the south of Morocco, where we aim to produce natural, raw skin cosmetics using local products. The main range would be specialty oils, hydrosols, liquid soap.

    I am having quite a hard time figuring out the equipment needed for this. We will be having a liquid soap making line, a product mixing line and a filling line.

    1) Liquid soap line : for a starter we want to make no more than 100liters of liquid soap per month. I don’t want to invest in an industrial soap making machine as they can be very expensive. I can however make it in small batches using a water jacketed tank (for heating oils and the saponification process) : I was thinking of using a big soup kettle for this, as I think it’s somehow safer than a bain-marie. Do you think this is a good idea? Any suggestion on what can I use otherwise?
    For the mixing, I was thinking of an heavy duty overhead blender (like the one used in professional kitchens)

    2) Product mixing line : For the all-oil product and all-hydrosol products, I was wondering if a Mixer with a whisk would be enough to have a good stable blend.
    For the balms, where I will be using beeswax, should I need the mixing tank to be heated too? Can’t I be pouring liquid wax with mixing medium/high shear enough? or the beeswax would not allow this? In the case of a heated mixing, my concern when it comes to professional water bath is that the tank used have corners and I fear the mixing would not be good. Can I then be using also here a soup kettle? We are talking here about no more than 50 liters a month (Yes we are starting very small :)

    3) Filling line : We would want a manual filling machine for liquid products with low viscosity (oils and waters) and more viscosity product as shampoo and liquid soap and balms. The filling weight would go from 5g to 250g. Do you have a suggestion on this? The bottles and jars will be in glass and plastic with different screw caps.

    As we are starting small, I am trying to purchase good material but lower the price as much as possible. It would be amazing if you could share you recommendations and advices, but also your own experience on this topic.

    Thank you for your feedbacks.

    Best regards, 

    Belassi replied 5 years, 1 month ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Wissal

    July 23, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    I just realized how long is my request. So sorry for the long text :) 

  • Belassi

    July 23, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    You cannot make liquid soap effectively using vegetable oils. It will contain insoluble carboxylates that will precipitate out in layers. You’d need to buy appropriate carboxylic acids e.g. myristic acid. If you cannot obtain the appropriate ones, forget it.

  • Gunther

    July 23, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    @Wissal In My Opinion you have the right idea:
    people look for “natural” plant extract based cosmetics
    so the most important part is to source the plants, and to make its extracts.
    Then you can look for cosmetic formulas online, and experiment to see if they remain stable after plant extracts have been added.

    Some can easily be extracted, and need no special or expensive equipment
    i.e. @Belassi coffee shampoo. Coffee is a plant extract. Grounded coffee is widely available and relatively cheap, and easy to extract.

    So you’d need:
    1 a mill for grounding the plants to a fine powder
    2 pots for boiling (some plants can even be cold extracted)
    3 hydrosol equipment.
    no big deal you can build it yourself
    you’ll need a water boiler, something that holds finely ground plant material in the steam path, a condenser, and something to hold the condensed hydrosol/essential oil

    You can even use a pressure cooker as the water boiler, and attach a tube to its weigh-valve

  • Wissal

    July 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    @Belassi thank you for the advice. I do believe there is precipitation of the soluble carbon carboxylate only in hard water, if the soap is made and diluted with a rather soft water. Isn’t that correct? I made some small batches in the lab using distilled water and so far, I do not see any precipitation. I will be testing the “factory” water for hardness also. I hope I understood your comment right.
    @Gunther that looks super interesting to make plant extract. I am planning on purchasing an alembic that runs on a boiler to make hydrosol and essential oils to use the local aromatic herbs that wildly grow here in the mountain. Your diagram looks like an Alembic one or the rotary evaporator (using a solvant like alcohol for the extraction?

    Thank you for your feedbacks

  • Belassi

    July 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm

     I do believe there is precipitation of the soluble carbon carboxylate only in hard water, if the soap is made and diluted with a rather soft water. Isn’t that correct?
    - Not in my experience and not by the chemistry either.

  • Wissal

    July 24, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    @Belassi That is very interesting to know. Would you care to give more details on that please?

  • Gunther

    July 24, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    @Wissal there’s a study that shows that only Potassium coco soap is a bit soluble

    The solubility of sodium and potassium soaps and the phase diagrams of aqueous potassium soaps
    Article in Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 25(6):221-225 · June 1948 with 1,107 Reads
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02645899

    Solubility data are provided and collected for the pure sodium and potassium soaps. Hydrolysis obscures the temperatures of solution but is obviated by the presence of a small excess of alkali. Each sodium soap has a large range of temperature between fair and high solubility, whereas the potassium soaps go abruptly into solution, at almost the same temperature and concentration of each soap. The only soaps that are even moderately soluble at room temperature are potassium laurate, myristate, and oleate, the potassium salt of acids from coconut oil, and the sodium oleate. The other sodium and potassium soaps of the saturated fatty acids require elevated temperatures for solution. Phase diagrams for the five commonest potassium soaps are developed and recorded. 

    There are 2 problems to solve:
    1 See if Potassium cocoate is soluble enough for a decent cleaning formulation. And see if the foam is good enough.
    2 Check Potassium cocoate solution pH to make sure it ain’t too alkaline, which may damage skin and hair.

    See if you can find the whole study and keep us posted.

    Just out of curiosity, what plants are grown in Morocco that might be used in cosmetics?

  • Belassi

    July 24, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    I can answer 1 and 2:
    1. Yes, a 30% solution is commonly available from commercial factors.
    2. It is such an efficient cleanser that it readily strips the skin of protective fatty acids leaving it dry and horrible.

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