Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Help with balm cracking

  • Help with balm cracking

    Posted by Vital_Body on November 21, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Hello, I am not formally trained in this field but I have a very basic understanding and skill in cosmetic chemistry. I own a topical body care company and we are having an issue with one of our products - a balm in a twist-up deodorant style stick (bottom-fill). We’ve been manufacturing this for about 5 years in the same facility and have made no changes to the formula.

    We are now running into a problem that I could use help solving. There is a protective plastic disc that covers the rounded top of the balm. When this is removed, the balm is adhering to the disc and then often cracking/separating to the point of half the stick coming out while still stuck to the top.

    This is a very simple formula - shea butter, beeswax, oil, EOs, Vit E, menthol. No preservative. We’ve tried adjusting the ratio of the butters, wax, and oil, but have seen no change. Currently the butters and waxes are melted in a large melter set to 75C. When they are about 90% melted (we run about 2000oz at a time and it takes about 5 hours to fully melt), we increase the temp to 80C until it is fully melted. The temp of the final melted product is typically right around 80C when we pour.

    They cool at air temperature in our warehouse, which is usually around 60F, and are capped about 3 hours later. This is the regular cap, not the protective disc cap, which we cannot modify since it is a bottom-fill container.

    Wondering if it needs to cool more before pouring? This would be a challenge since it’s a GIANT melter with a pouring gun attached. It would probably take a long time to cool significantly.

    Is there an ingredient that might help with this problem?

    Any insight would be very helpful, thank you!

    natiyo123 replied 1 month, 1 week ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • chemicalmatt

    November 22, 2023 at 9:16 am

    Yes,there is…or perhaps I should say there are (many). Add ceresine wax at 1.0% , that will firm this up enough to stop the cracking. To aid in lubricity and stop the sticking: without knowing your “oils” identity I’d add an alkanolamide or polyglyceryl ester and either should do the trick there.

  • ozgirl

    November 22, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    Have any of your raw material suppliers changed? This could be why you are only seeing the issue now. Unfortunately not all materials with the same name are equal in terms of performance or quality.

    • Unknown Member

      November 27, 2023 at 9:35 pm

      @Snow RiderTruly a difficult question.

    • natiyo123

      January 22, 2024 at 11:48 pm

      was thinking the same, maybe the beeswax? can be quite sticky

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