Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Change my view Sell me on the elegance of stearic acid…

  • Sell me on the elegance of stearic acid…

    Posted by graillotion on August 31, 2022 at 2:57 am

    My path to formulating was the classic mommy blogger path.  Literally started with E-wax, too many lipids, X-gum, stearic acid and Optiphen.  :D  You know the rest….no pH meter, little or no humectants, minimal if any barrier function and proud as heck of the awful products I made…. because they were MINE! :)  And hey…they smelled good….and to this day…I have some sitting in the garage…and they are still white, and held together. :) 

    Fortunately, I moved through that phase at lightning speed, and chased haptics, performance and minimizing claim ingredients.  However, in shedding the vestiges of the past…E-wax and stearic acid…I have often pondered if I might have left something along the side of the path that I need to pick up from time to time (not the e-wax).  :D

    Let me preface the conversation by limiting my side of the conversation to non-neutralized stearic acid, with it serving only as a thickener and haptic manipulator.

    Somehow over time, I developed the idea that stearic acid was draggy and nasty, and only used as a lower cost alternative to fatty alcohols, and waxy esters.  However, with my voracious appetite for reading, I have come across way too many formulators using stearic in formulas above beginner levels.  I know it has some wonderful niches in things like shaving creams and other specialty products…. but what I am curious about, is where it fits in the arena of elegant creams?  Eye creams, face creams, and the likes.

    My formulation process has a personality… :)  I am not a minimalist.  I do not like using too much of any ingredient, as I feel it lends too much of its personality to the final product, without giving depth of dimension.  So, if I am looking at needing to add say 2% of cetyl palmitate…I will naturally add 1% cetyl palmitate, and 1% Myristyl myristate.  I always find for me…this gives a slightly better feel than using either one, at 2%.  (** It might also be helpful to nope… I am currently only using behenyl alcohol in the arena of fatty alcohols.  I have a general disdain for oily, greasy, haptics.)

    So when and where….do I add stearic acid to a cream…to ENHANCE elegance and texture?  My natural bent…would be to add it at 1%.  Is this wishful thinking, to think it can contribute at that inclusion rate…. or can it add some richness to a formula that already has a pretty good build?  Is the emulsifier going to have a lot of bearing on how stearic fits?  Typically, I am starting with a 165 type….and pairing or building it up with a polymeric, a kiss of Anionic, and often Mont L or 202.

    Would love to hear how you have used stearic acid in an ELEGANT manor…where it took a product from ‘good’ to OMG! ::smile:

    Aloha.

    pharma replied 1 year, 7 months ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • graillotion

    Member
    September 1, 2022 at 1:10 am

    Well, let me include an add-on for this post that no one wants to touch. :)  

    I do not plan on utilizing the old trick of neutralizing the stearic, and asking it to help out with emulsification, but due to my curious nature…  I would like to know….if we go through this process, of creating a stearate soap….does this dramatically alter the haptics (and thickening abilities) of how it will perform in formula?  In other words….will the formula feel the same…if we have un-neutralized stearic acid, vs the same formula that we neutralized, and created a stearate soap?  I would have to assume….haptics would be different…but due to my curious nature….I want to know…even if I never go down that old path.

    Am I asking too much….if I want to know how that would alter the haptics?

    Aloha.

  • pharma

    Member
    September 1, 2022 at 4:41 am

    …if we go through this process, of creating a stearate soap….does this dramatically alter the haptics (and thickening abilities) of how it will perform in formula?  In other words….will the formula feel the same…if we have un-neutralized stearic acid, vs the same formula that we neutralized, and created a stearate soap?  I would have to assume….haptics would be different…

    Yes, it will be different.
    Never going down that rabbit hole again, my arse! Your Floraesters K-20W is potassium soap of jojoba oil :smiley: .
  • squinny

    Member
    September 1, 2022 at 5:29 am

    I’m probably considered a ‘mummy blogger’ in your terms - though I’m not a mummy or blogger! Anyway FWIW I wouldn’t put Stearic acid in an eye cream personally. I have only used it a few times and have had mixed results - last time the product (hand cream) went grainy and according to New Directions Aust “Manufacturing Notes:  Add into the oil phase and heat thoroughly. Stearic Acid doesn’t melt until 69-71C and can cause granulation in your finished product if not properly mixed in.” So I obviously didn’t heat properly when I made the cream (probably being impatient on my behalf). I haven’t found it to give my a creamy consistency any time I have used it so I tend not to - even though I’ve got a 1 Kg sitting there mocking me to use it. Again FWIW I would look at popular/expensive brands and what is in their eye creams - find the one you like best and do a dupe on that. 
    For instance the ingredients in Clinique’s Eye Cream or check other you might like the look of. 
    Clinique All About Eyes™ ingredients (Explained) (incidecoder.com)

    I find around the eye area I want a cream/gel/serum that glides on skin easily (not too much rubbing in) and find I it better personally to use a cream or eye serum at night before bed so it can do whatever whilst I sleep. Sometimes in the morning (or after a late night ha ha) I use my homemade eye gel (which I did a dupe on based on various gels) that contains pure caffeine and soothing ingredients including cucumber extract.
    I guess you also need to decide what you are targeting with your eye product - wrinkles, dark circles, bags etc. or you want a miracle cream that does all! Anyway just my 2 cents worth as not too many other comments to date. Cheers - hope my post helps and if not at least I tried.

  • graillotion

    Member
    September 1, 2022 at 6:26 am

    Pharma said:

    Never going down that rabbit hole again, my arse! Your Floraesters K-20W is potassium soap of jojoba oil :smiley: .

    How long have you been holding that ACE in your sleave?  I know you love to tease my K-20W.  ;)

  • graillotion

    Member
    September 1, 2022 at 6:38 am

    Squinny said:

    I’m probably considered a ‘mummy blogger’ in your terms - though I’m not a mummy or blogger! Anyway FWIW I wouldn’t put Stearic acid in an eye cream personally. I have only used it a few times and have had mixed results - last time the product (hand cream) went grainy and according to New Directions Aust “Manufacturing Notes:  Add into the oil phase and heat thoroughly. Stearic Acid doesn’t melt until 69-71C and can cause granulation in your finished product if not properly mixed in.” So I obviously didn’t heat properly when I made the cream (probably being impatient on my behalf). I haven’t found it to give my a creamy consistency any time I have used it so I tend not to - even though I’ve got a 1 Kg sitting there mocking me to use it. Again FWIW I would look at popular/expensive brands and what is in their eye creams - find the one you like best and do a dupe on that. 
    For instance the ingredients in Clinique’s Eye Cream or check other you might like the look of. 
    Clinique All About Eyes™ ingredients (Explained) (incidecoder.com)

    I find around the eye area I want a cream/gel/serum that glides on skin easily (not too much rubbing in) and find I it better personally to use a cream or eye serum at night before bed so it can do whatever whilst I sleep. Sometimes in the morning (or after a late night ha ha) I use my homemade eye gel (which I did a dupe on based on various gels) that contains pure caffeine and soothing ingredients including cucumber extract.
    I guess you also need to decide what you are targeting with your eye product - wrinkles, dark circles, bags etc. or you want a miracle cream that does all! Anyway just my 2 cents worth as not too many other comments to date. Cheers - hope my post helps and if not at least I tried.

    I ONLY shoot for miracles. :)  So yes…all of the above.  When you have several advisors…and each has their own favorite players…. well you end up in the miracle section of formulating.  :D

    I actually made version 6 yesterday….went back to basics, since something in the extended INCI was giving grief… Used 165 as primary, and Zen and GSC as secondaries.  Got the job done.  I did add the 1% stearic, and overall, it is delightful, albeit probably not fully ripened.

    I never have an issue with glide…as a couple of friendly laurates (Isoamyl and lauryl) tend to make a big splash going into my formulas…and what formula would be complete without a glug of D5 at the end? :) 

    Since behenyl alcohol is my poison….my temps are always higher than most formulators, hence NO issue with getting the stearic melted.  Even prior to converting to behenyl….never had any issue with that.

    Aloha.

  • pharma

    Member
    September 1, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    …all of the above…When you have several advisors…and…their own favorite players….you end up in the miracle section…the extended INCI…as a couple of friendly…big splash…and…a glug…

    When you’re already above 100% with your actives and ‘magical sliders’, where do you put your base ingredients? In a second pot? :smiley:

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