Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Help with emulsion needed!

  • Help with emulsion needed!

    Posted by DandyFormulator on February 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I am formulating an emulsion with at least 10% of an ester.  The rest of the oil phase is about 20% (not including the ester).  I am using 4% cetyl alchol and 3% glyceryl stearate as the emulsifiers and stabilizing (tryig to ) the emulsion with carbomer.  The issue is that the ester continues to destabilize the emulsion and falls out.  Is this enough information to give me an idea of what to do?  Thanks for any help!

    MakingSkincare replied 10 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • MakingSkincare

    February 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Cetyl alcohol isn’t really an emulsifier but it will help with stability and thickening. For an o/w emulsion, glyceryl stearate (presumably you have the non SE version) is a good low HLB emulsifier and ideally needs pairing up with a high HLB emulsifier (try at a total emulsifier blend of 7%, as 3% is too low).  Downloadable HLB calculator here - http://makingskincare.com/hlb-calculator/

    What other emulsifiers do you have available to you?
  • mikebavington

    February 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    What is the name of the ester you are using?

  • chemicalmatt

    February 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm


    With an oil load of 25 - 30%, you could get away with formulating without any GMS or cetyl, which by the way will not work here without a co-emulsifier of higher HLB (that’s why so many supply the glyceryl stearate and PEG-150 searate combo), and just use Pemulen TR-2 polymeric emulsifier along with your Carbopol. No other emulsifer needed - just watch your electrolytes!

  • Bobzchemist

    February 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I agree with Matt. If you aren’t getting enough viscosity from the Pemulen, you can pair it with a small amount of Carbopol.

  • DandyFormulator

    February 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Using a higher HLB emulsifier worked!  I had requested some previously, then came in this morning, and they were sitting on my desk.  I couldn’t wait to try them out!  I have also requested a sample of the Pemulen TR-2, so I will evaluate that as well when it arrives.  Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

    The ester I am using is methyl salicylate for Mike, who requested that information.

  • MakingSkincare

    February 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    That’s great, did you use a HLB calculator?

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