Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Grainy lip balms / blooming issue / HELP!

  • Grainy lip balms / blooming issue / HELP!

    Posted by baileybreakthrough on May 12, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    I totally know this has been discussed in here a few times, but I wanted to share my story and exact recipe(s) and see if there is anyone in here that knows the answer.

    I’ve been making lip balms for 10 years. I was using the same recipe without a single problem for about 6 years, then all of a sudden, one year they just started crystalizing. But not straight away, after about 10 days of being on the shelf. We tested for months to try work out what it was, and when we replaced the particular Mango Butter we were using, the issue stopped.

    However, recently it’s started again, and all the usual tests we’ve done aren’t working.
    This was our original recipe:

    10% Beeswax
    17% Shea Butter (organic refined)
    33% Mango Butter
    33% Coconut Oil (RBD)
    7% Vitamin E

    It was so beautiful and creamy for 6 years, and then just started crystalizing out of nowhere. Since then, we have altered the recipe many times, tried different butters, reduced the butters, increased the beeswax, etc etc.

    We put the butters and coconut oil in the bowl and melt to 70% and keep at that temperature for 20 mins, then quickly add the others, pour into jars, and straight into the fridge for rapid cooling.

    Like I say, no issues for so long… but now no matter what I do, I can’t find out what’s wrong.

    This is the recipe I’ve recently been trying, and we’re now getting the larger clunky white crystals, rather than the whole thing crystalizing.

    8% Beeswax
    10% Shea Butter
    10% Mango Butter

    66% Coconut Oil (RBD)
    6% Vitamin E

    Any help would be so incredibly appreciated - this is causing us so much grief. We’ve been selling our lip balms for 10 years and it’s so embarrassing knowing some are out there not right!

    Graillotion replied 3 days, 2 hours ago 4 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • mikethair

    May 12, 2024 at 7:50 pm

    I have experienced similar issues, and my approach has always been a focus on the individual ingredients. I ALWAYS insist on a CoA for each ingredient and buy from the same supplier. This ensures ingredient consistency.

    • baileybreakthrough

      May 12, 2024 at 8:16 pm

      Yeah, I hear you… I have always done that also. And the supplier I was buying from is the largest supplier in my country, and always came with COA. I have changed a few times in my efforts to try work out what’s wrong… at this stage I am starting to think maybe it simply is the actual raw ingredient (either the Shea or the Mango Butter) and it’s nothing to do with my processes.

      But then I get confused by reading online that even if you receive grainy butters from your supplier, you can simply “fix” them by tempering them. Which I have tried. So I’m back at square one.

      • Graillotion

        May 12, 2024 at 9:57 pm

        This is the nature of the beast….when working with natural ingredients….you cannot guarantee you are getting the same thing…batch to batch. Now you know why professional formulas try to stick with synthetic…as you can almost guarantee consistency….decade to decade.

        That aside… tempering butters is simply mommy blogger blather…to keep the masses coming back for more…since it solves NOTHING. You can control one melt and set cycle …. but your very next melt cycle….intended or otherwise….allows the stearic particles to reassemble in a new order….maybe good…maybe bad.

        So, if you look at your butters…..you have two very VERY high stearic butters (your enemy). So, there are add-ins….to help with this issue but guessing by your INCI…you probably don’t want polyglycerols on the label.

        What are your other options? First I would suggest only using the best butters on the planet. This will also give you the most consistent butters (batch to batch) on the market as well. Look into refined butters from ICSC out of Denmark. These folks will bend over backwards to help you. If you cannot buy their MOQ….contact your supplier, and pressure them to buy these better butters.

        Secondly….let’s look at stearic levels in butters…. (Note: The cocoa butter bar is wrong…..they have the stearic wrongly marked….so just ignore the cocoa.)

        So the purple part of the bar is your problem…..so if you look for alternatives….maybe your eye might drift towards Murumuru…. dang…. almost no stearic….No wonder if feels like magic….instead of stearic gross. A simple swap….will reduce your stearic inputs….and should go miles in alleviating your issue.

        Bottom line….1) reduce your stearic levels….and you don’t have to do the ingredient add-ins…for fixing stearic issues. 2) Use the best butters in the world….you will get better consistency (within what nature can offer).

        Good Luck

        • baileybreakthrough

          May 15, 2024 at 10:14 pm

          Hi there, thank you so much for your information. It was fantastic. I went ahead and ordered some Murumuru Butter and have just experimented with some lip balms today using it. What an AWFUL smell/taste it has!!! Even raw, and then while melting, and in the final product. I’m confused 🙂

  • baileybreakthrough

    May 12, 2024 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry that was meant to say heat up to 175 degrees (F) - not 70% 🙂

  • chemicalmatt

    May 14, 2024 at 3:30 pm

    Besides the helpful advice from graillotion and Mike, all legit, I’ll add that addition of lower HLB polyglyceryl fatty esters are used in foods and cosmetics to solve this problem of crystallization. Try adding some polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate to the mix and find out.

  • mikethair

    May 15, 2024 at 11:51 pm

    Yes indeed @baileybreakthrough ….. “Murumuru Butter and have just experimented with some lip balms today
    using it. What an AWFUL smell/taste it has!!! Even raw, and then while
    melting, and in the final product.”

    I have been formulating for 30+ years and along the way co-founded a factory in Viet Nam and Malaysia to produce skincare for global brands, and I’m still learning.

    It’s why I love this profession!!

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 16 hours ago by  mikethair.
    • Graillotion

      May 16, 2024 at 12:37 am

      I see you never got around to using the good stuff…in all those years! 😉

      I learned about a month in….where the good stuff came from. 😉

      Just went to the lab fridge…and ate some ICSC Murumuru….absolutely delicious….well absolutely flavorless…and completely devoid of scent.

      There is a REASON….I always quantify my comments….with the source being the best in the world (ICSC out of Denmark). 😅 Wouldn’t let a filthy butter….touch me, from any other company.

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 15 hours ago by  Graillotion.
  • baileybreakthrough

    May 16, 2024 at 2:23 am

    I can’t seem to get the Polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate in NZ… is <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(-bb-body-text-color); background-color: var(-bb-content-background-color);”>Polyglyceryl 4 Oleate the same? Or completely different… I’m hoping to find an ingredient I can add into my recipe to prevent the crystallization. That would be the best outcome really.

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