Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Polysorbate 20 in spray

  • Polysorbate 20 in spray

    Posted by humblebutton on January 22, 2024 at 10:27 am

    I found a random formula for a linen spray online and tried it as a starting point for a possible new product line:

    1.8g fragrance oil

    5g polysorbate 20

    35g water

    .2g liquid germall plus

    It worked great as far as spraying, scent quality and lingering in the air go. The issue though is that I’m not sure if it’s separating or if the cloudiness is air bubbles/foam clearing up or what.

    After noticing that, I did some research into usage rates and everything I read says the usage rate of poly20 is 1:1 poly20:oil. Could the amount of poly20 be an issue if there’s too much? I don’t see any free-standing oil as of yet and it’s been 2 days now since I made it.

    One of the pictures is a picture of the spray at rest. The other shows what happens it I move the bottle and disturb the spray in case that helps diagnose the issue. If I shake it it homogenizes temporarily very easily so it’s all white. Is it supposed to be white?

    When I made it I mixed the poly20 with the oil and mixed the water with the germall plus. I added the oil/poly20 to the water/germall and shook it really well. No heat or anything, everything was room temperature. Could the issue be the the process I used? Or is it just foam and nothing is wrong?

    I’ve never used poly20 before or made a spray. My current product lines are mostly soap and candles so this is new to me.

    PhilGeis replied 3 weeks, 4 days ago 5 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • fekher

    January 23, 2024 at 12:17 am

    On the top is it foam or liquid? Just try to add polysorbate (may 2%)

    • humblebutton

      January 23, 2024 at 3:36 pm

      It’s liquid as far as I can tell

  • paprik

    January 23, 2024 at 1:54 am

    That certainly does not look right.

    I would maybe increase Polysorbate to oil ratio to 2:1 or 3:1, even up to 5:1 and see.

    Also, check your method. You cannot dump all solubilised lipid into the water phase right away.

    Do you have overhead mixer? If so, mix with propeller, does not need to be vigorous mixing but must be good turnaround of solution. After, in small additions, add solubilised lipid and mix until solution becomes transparent again.

    You see after each addition the solution might become a bit cloudy but that should clear quickly. If not, you do not have enough solubiliser for the lipid. Each lipid needs a different ratio. However Polysorbate 20 is a very good solubiliser.

    Hope this helps 🙂 Good luck!

    • humblebutton

      January 29, 2024 at 8:16 pm

      I haven’t come back to this yet since I’ve been working on other formulations in the meantime, but I wanted to thank you for your reply. I have a small resin mixer with a stand that I use since it minimizes the amount of air being incorporated into concoctions while mixing. I’m glad for the reassurance that poly20 is the right choice for this product. I did more research from manufacturers and found that majority of the manufacturers disagree with information online about usage rates for it. It turns out that usage rates online only work with essential oils really and that when using fragrance oils, which are thicker and more substantial, you have to use significantly more, like 1:4 oil:poly20 even depending on the oil.

      I’ll be revisiting this after I finish reformulating my current product, hopefully within the next several days.

  • LeonB

    February 1, 2024 at 12:56 am

    Hi Humblebutton,

    In my humble opinion this is phase-separation - try this, premix the fragrance with with the Tween 20 and 3 - 5% Ethanol with your Fragrance oil and add this to your water phase.

  • LeonB

    February 1, 2024 at 1:09 am

    Hi Humblebutton,

    Also - if you are interested, you have the ability to make this spray hydrophobic (repelling water), to be able to do this you can add a raw material called Hansa Care 7140. NS please always test your formulations in real-world application.

  • PhilGeis

    February 1, 2024 at 6:14 am

    Phased out.

    I know this is not your immediate question, but be aware - the preservative is not legal in the US for this kind of product.

    • humblebutton

      February 7, 2024 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you for that! I hadn’t come across that information yet so I really appreciate you bringing that to my attention. I looked into it and it’s because of the dangers of inhaling one of the ingredients in the Germall Plus, but that same ingredient is fine for cosmetics and applications that don’t pose an inhalation risk.

      Would you have an alternative you recommend instead for this application? I don’t know very many or much about preservatives since none of my products use preservatives (candles, soap, bath salts, etc). I made a single lotion for myself with Germall Plus and that’s it.

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