Why didn’t my lotion thicken properly?
As a cosmetic scientist with a home-based business, I have successfully produced many gallons of lotion over the last four years using a combination of aloe vera juice, glycerin, low and high HLB emulsifiers, butters, oils, and optiphen plus as my preservative. Yesterday I (somewhat presumptuously) substituted a refined coconut oil in place of my usual EV organic coconut oil because of a limited supply of the good stuff, and my lotion, upon cooling to room temperature, is only slightly more viscous than water. What happened? I heated and held the water phase at 160F for 20 minutes, I combined and shear mixed the two phases once they were both at this temperature, I added the optiphen once the mixture was below 100F, and I have a perfectly stable emulsion. It is just the wrong viscosity. I noticed that the coconut oil contains TBHQ (antioxidant), citric acid, and dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent). Is one of these the culprit? I dread the idea of reheating the lotion to add more thickeners and potentially volatilizing some or all of the phenoxyethanol in the process, but this may be my only solution. Does anyone have any suggestions for salvaging my watery lotion?
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