Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating What am I doing wrong? (Formulation FAQ / Advice WANTED)

  • What am I doing wrong? (Formulation FAQ / Advice WANTED)

    Posted by Clark on March 8, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Hey chemists,

    Clark here. I am currently formulating a gel pomade and am running into a few issues. Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated!
    This is my formula: INGREDIENTS: Water, Ceteareth-25, Propylene Glycol, PVP, Vegetable Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance


    1. My product is fine once settled. However, I have to remove about 1/2 in layer of foam from the top of each 4oz jar. Why is my product foaming? Is there a way to get rid of the top foam layer?

    2. I’m doing a w/o emulsion but I see o/w emulsion is generally recommended. How important is it to do the o/w emulsion instead of w/o? What difference would it make (if any) to the end product? 

    3. Currently can only get my product up to 80C. Using a double boiler and have limited lab (kitchen) equipment. Do you think this is hot enough?

    4. Any other general tips / recommendations for my formula.

    Thanks guys! Really appreciate the feedback.

    johnb replied 6 years, 8 months ago 5 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • oldperry

    March 9, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Hello Clark. Thanks for the questions.

    1.  Removing 1/2 in layer of foam is not a good thing to do. You are getting the foam because you are not using the right equipment to formulate.  See this discussion on what you should be using. https://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk/discussion/641/laboratory-set-up-equipment-list
    2.  Water in oil emulsions are more difficult to formulate but not impossible. It will feel a bit more greasy and be more expensive to make. You also don’t get the cooling sensation of an oil in water emulsion.  But there are products on the market that use either form.
    3. Yes, 80C is hot enough. You only need to be about 10C hotter than the highest melting point of your solids.
    4.  Get the right equipment to make your formulas.
    Hope that helps
  • Bonnerja

    April 20, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Hi, this is Joyce
    I would like to Piggy-back on Clarke’s question, working on a similiar recipe, mine includes aloe vera, dimethicone, DMDM hydantoin & PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, no glycerin, PVP or frag. My question is in relation to the water phase, oil phase, cool down phase, where does the ceteareth-25 go, how do I incorporate all of the ingredients? What phase does the ceteareth go in.

    Thanks for your help

  • johnb

    April 20, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Bonnerja, you ought to start a new thread - it will give you a better response.

    When you do that, send more details of your formulation as the information you have given is incomplete and it is difficult to determine exactly what you are doing.

  • Lusecarvi

    June 13, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Did you get rid of the foam? I’m having the same problem with mine. And I can’t see what I’m doing wrong 

  • johnb

    June 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    It is necessary to use a mixing system that does not introduce air into the product - as already noted by Perry.

    As the formula for these pomades is almost all surfactant, removing.foam will be almost impossible without extensive work.

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