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Did you know, despite what the supplier says, very few natural preservatives actually work. Learn which natural emulsifiers are effective, how much to use and how to pair them up. As stabilisers are vital for any emulsion, we teach you which ones to use. Do you know how to scientifically access whether an active truly works?
Very few natural preservatives actually work, despite what the supplier says. Click the heading above to learn which natural preservatives are effective, how to pair them up and pass preservative tests
Click the heading above to learn how to formulate professionally - how to know which actives really work, how to make improve your lotion, which resources to use, which natural preservatives actually work.
Most surfactants are diluted so working out how much to use can be challenging, even for formulators who are great at math. Click the heading above to access our calculator which does all the work for you.
Click the heading above to access our free online course. We collaborated with Chemists Corner and Swiftcraftymonkey to bring you this formulation course. Work through the units at your own pace and receive a certificate.
Most popular educational posts
We are passionate about teaching how to formulate in a professional, safe way.
As an educator I find giving students practical exercises a powerful, interactive and fun learning tool. Every couple of weeks on instagram we will post a formulation quiz where you can test your knowledge and contribute: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/flawedformula/ Our fun formulation exercises are aimed at formulators (homecrafters and chemists alike) and have proved very popular. Go on, have a go and comment in this link with your thoughts on what the errors might be and how to fix them. The next day after posting in instagram we edit this post on our website to write up the answers. FORMULATION #01 – 4 aPRIL 2020 MAIN ERRORS Tap water Almost everyone who participated in our instagram quiz on 4 April 2020 spotted this obvious error! Tap water contains metals and other chemicals which can cause auto-oxidation, has a destabilising effect on the emulsion and makes our products harder to preserve. Distilled or deionized water is the way
I love this handy chart from Innospec’s presentation: “Formulating High Performance Sulfate-Free Cleansing Products”. As you can see, surfactants have a working pH range. Some surfactants can hydrolyze at a low pH (SCI, Iselux, Sulfosuccinate). Which sulfate-free surfactants do you like to formulate with?
Formulations don’t have to be complex. This one is super simple and a breeze to dupe. Cold process, no oil phase, and all ingredients are easy to get hold of (https://makingskincare.com/cosmetic-ingredient-suppliers/). Ingredient wise, the formula is inexpensive apart from the sodium hyaluronate, (high molecular weight: 1-1.5 million daltons), which retails around US$2-5 for 1g. The preservative, Euxyl® PE 9010, is a blend of 90% phenoxyethanol and 10% ethylhexylglycerin.
InstaMask™ from Vantage won the Silver award for best functional ingredient at In-Cosmetics Global in March last year. These customizable, instant, encapsulated clay mask granules are easy to use. Just add the water phase, mix and apply! We received a sample from Vantage’s UK distributors, Adina and formulated with it back in April 2019 – video below.https://www.youtube.com/embed/YFmAvY1NJuUInstaMask™ (INCI Name: Kaolin (and) Aluminum Silicate (and) Mannitol (and) Cellulose (and) PVP (and) Sodium Polyacrylate (and) Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (and) Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (and) Ascorbic Acid), comprises mainly clay with some gelling and suspending agents. The granules do not include preservative as they are sold dry and are meant to be used for one application. How to use (one-time use only): 📌Weigh one part InstaMask™ and add to that an equal part water (which can be personalised to include water soluble ingredients such as l’ascorbic acid). 📌Wait two minutes for the granules to hydrate, then mix
How to make your emulsion thicker or thinner. First analyze your formula to see what ingredients are contributing to viscosity. This is usually the emulsifier blend, gums/polymers and any fatty alcohols/acids (stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol) or waxes in your formula. If you wish to make your emulsion thinner, all these ingredients listed above also provide stability so do be careful not to reduce the concentrations by too much if you are to avoid emulsion destabilisation. The following web page provides the information you need to calculate the minimum amounts of emulsifiers and stabilisers you need: https://makingskincare.com/emulsions-stability/ To reduce viscosity, you can also swap out your emulsifier blend for one which is thinner, such as TEGO® Care PBS6 or the pair up these single emulsifiers: TEGO® Care CG 90 with TEGO® Care PS. Note: If your emulsion turns out much thinner than expected, bear in mind some ingredients can thin
TEGO® Care PS from Evonik (INCI: Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate) is a popular DIY natural emulsifier in Europe, especially amongst German DIY formulators, where it is known by the name of “Emulsan”. It is one of my favourite natural hot process emulsifiers and produces light, flow-able, easy to spread, non-soapy emulsions. Most formulators find this emulsifier an improvement over old fashioned, expensive emulsifiers such as Olivem® 1000 at less than half the price. As always, as it’s a single emulsifier it needs pairing with another emulsifier. TEGO® Care PS is PEG-free, non-ionic and has a HLB of around 12 so produces oil-in-water emulsions. It is quite a thin emulsifier and needs a fair bit of thickener/stabiliser, especially to handle low pH formulations. If your product will be on the thin side, Evonik recommend heating both phases separately, a bit higher than normal, to 80°C to improve stability. Most DIY suppliers in