Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Shaving gel foaming problem

  • Shaving gel foaming problem

    Posted by luiscuevasii on May 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm


    I’m trying to make a gel that makes a dense foam like the “pressurised can” when it rubs to the face, I was experimenting with mainly water, stearic ácid, TEA/NaOH, sles, cocoamida Dea. Mi idea was to neutralize stearic ácid but I can’t figure out the concentration of stearic needed and the problem is that when I rubed it only make a foam like liquid soap, I need a dense foam.

    My current experiments are:

    Water: q.s
    Stearic acid: 10%-25%
    Sles (28%): 10-25%
    DEA: 2-5%
    TEA or NaOH: q.s to ph 6.5-7.5
    Glycerin: 10%
    Propyleneglyocol: 5%

    OldPerry replied 9 years, 1 month ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • OldPerry

    May 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Is there an example of a product on the market that already works the way you are describing?

  • pma

    May 17, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    pH 6.5 - 7.5 can be too low if you want the dense foam from “soapy” stearic acid. Products like that usually have a pH around 8, 9… 

  • luiscuevasii

    May 20, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Thanks Perry, Gillette sells a shaving gel, that makes a lot of foam and it’s translucent, is there a difference of foam when I neutralize the stearic with tea or NaOH?.

    @pma thanks, but Im not looking for a hard soap, I’m looking for a gel.

    Can anyone suggest me a concentration of stearic and TEA to get a gel consistency.

  • luiscuevasii

    May 20, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Just saw that the product I’m looking for is called “post-shaving gel”, there’s a lot of patents on the Internet, but I just got confused, some of them didn’t use sles, some uses liquid paraffin and diols but I can’t figure out why.

  • pma

    May 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    @luiscuevasii Even so… Shaving gels from Gillette, for instance, have a pH between 8.3 and 8.9.

    I really wouldn’t expect a relevant foam from stearic acid in a pH around 7.
  • luiscuevasii

    May 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    @pma thanks, just adjusted the ph to 8.5, but it only makes normal foam when rubbed, it feels like a solid soap or a liquid soap, im looking for a dense and creamy foam.

  • OldPerry

    May 27, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Ah yes the old post-shaving gel technology.  That involves putting a propellant in the formula.

    Here is an example ingredient list.
    Edge Shave Gel
    Water, Palmitic Acid, Triethanolamine, Sunflower Seed Oil Glyceride, Isopentane, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Isobutane, PVP, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-90M, Phytantriol, Fragrance, Blue 1

    Notice this formula has both Isopentane and Isobutane. When the propellant is incorporated into the gel it expands and forms the foam on the hand. I believe this also uses bag-in-the-can technology to force the gel out of the container.

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