Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Advanced Questions Moisturiser leaves a sticky residue.

  • Moisturiser leaves a sticky residue.

    Posted by Twish on November 17, 2023 at 12:36 am

    Hi! This might be a long post. Sorry about that.

    I tried to reverse engineer the moisturiser below. What was interesting about it was that it used only glysterate SE as an emulsifier which according to my supplier is a W/O with HLB of around 5.

    water/aqua, eau, glyceryl stearate se, glycerin, squalane, caprylic/capric tri-glyceride, dimethicone, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, caprylyl glycol, carbomer, chrysanthemum parthenium extract, ceramide 3, sodium hydroxide, camellia sinensis leaf extract, glycyrrhiza glabra root extract, phenoxyethanol

    My formula had a few substitutions and the cream that got made was a shiny, bouncy, fluffy, melt in your skin goodness! However, when i washed my hands later, it had a weird stickiness to it. Similar to what i felt when i washed my hands after ‘trying’ Polyglyceryl 4 Oleate (low HLB liq w/o emulsifier).

    So, my question is how do i get rid of that áfter feel’?

    My formulation :

    Glyceryl Sterate SE 5%

    Squalane 3%

    CCTG 3%

    Dimethicone 3%

    Cetearyl 3%

    Cetyl 2%

    Xanthan Gum 0.3%

    Glycerin 5%

    Collidal Oatmeal 1%

    Licorice Ext 0.5%

    Euxyl K 9010 1%

    DW upto 100%

    Thank you for your time.

    Twish replied 6 months ago 4 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • chemicalmatt

    November 17, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    For the record, glyceryl monostearate S.E. is an o/w emulsifier whereas GMS plain is not. So much for that. I’ll take a guess and accuse xanthan gum-glycerin for the sticky agency, unless the dimethicone used was a MW greater than 10,000 CST.

    • Twish

      November 18, 2023 at 12:00 am

      Hey, i was wondering how GMS SE gave such a beautiful emulsion for being W/O. Thank you for having that corrected. Let me try to reduce the glycerin and check again. Thank you for helping out!

      • Twish

        November 18, 2023 at 12:00 am

        And it was dimethicone 350..so that cannot be the problem.

  • mikethair

    November 17, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    No surprises here about the “sticky feeling.” You have provided a complicated formulation of synthetics.

    With moisturisers, my approach is a lot simpler. I use only plant oils and select these based on what I’m trying to achieve. With the various oils available, you have a wide palate to produce various outcomes. But you do need to know your oils. And I prefer working with organic oils.

    I co-founded a skincare manufacturing company, and since 2006 have produced these types of products for brands globally. They sell very well.

    • Twish

      November 18, 2023 at 12:04 am

      Hi! Why would you call it complicated? I thought it was rather easy, at least on paper. It didn’t even have a co emulsifier or electrolytes. WIth your experience, can you help with what might have caused the stickiness upon washing?

      Thank you for your response.

      • mikethair

        November 18, 2023 at 12:31 am

        Hi Twish,

        I call it complicated because it is complicated. And this is evidenced by the “stickiness” you describe. In short, your formulation is not performing.

        And I have provided you with an alternative. But you will first need to understand your oils. And this approach provides superior outcomes as evidenced by our experience manufacturing for brands globally since 2006.

        • Twish

          November 18, 2023 at 3:16 am

          Hey Mike,

          Let me try with a different set of oils and see what i get. I totally hear you about your company. Formulating is my happy space and i enjoy the learning process. This formulation is not for a third party but just enhancing my learning curve.

          Thank you for helping out!

  • MarkBroussard

    November 18, 2023 at 10:50 am


    You’re light on your oils at only 6%. Up that to 12% or so. Also, cut down on your GMSE from 5% to 2.5%. Dimethicone at 3% is high, 1% would suffice. Add 2-3% Butylene Glycol. All of these changes should help.

    • Twish

      November 19, 2023 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you Mark, let me rework and update on the progress.

      Really appreciate you helping out.

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