Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Thickening water with sodium stearate


  • Thickening water with sodium stearate

    Posted by JonahRay on June 26, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Hi friends!

    I’ve been attempting for a bit to create a particular texture I have in my mind - not even sure if it’s possible but that’s R&D I suppose. I want to take a clear aqueous stick sort of formulation where you thicken water+propylene glycol using sodium stearate but I usually end up with a product that is nice in solid form but if you try to dig into it it’s very crumbly, not dry, just breaks up into chunks.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could make it softer and more balmy so that if you were to put it into a jar you could scoop it out?

    Here’s an example of an attempted formula. It feels nice but it’s not scoopable and if I lower the amount of sodium stearate it doesn’t keep it solid enough, it just become very gel but I’m looking for that sort of stiffer balm texture.

    water 25.5%

    propylene glycol 50%
    propanediol 5%
    glycerin 10%
    sodium stearate 2%
    polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 0.5%
    isopropyl myristate 5%
    glyceryl stearate (and) PEG 100 stearate 0.5%
    squalane 1%
    germall plus 0.5%
    Is there something that could possibly give some soft but rigid structure to a water based product?


    JonahRay replied 2 years, 5 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • singhc10

    July 1, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    I am not sure if this would work, you could try Oleocraft HP-31 (INCI:Polyamide-3)  from Croda, it has the potential of thickening your system, since you have 50% propylene glycol in your formulation. Good Luck

  • JonahRay

    July 1, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    @singhc10 I actually have Polyamide-3 on hand! Thank you for this suggestion I’ll give it a try!

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