Sunday, December 14, 2008

Homemade Lotions and Creams: Using Emulsifying Wax

Emulsifying wax is the basic component for most body lotions and skin creams. It is basically what keeps the lotions oil and water from separating in the bottle or jar. It does this by attracting both water molecules and oil molecules to its own molecular structure. By doing this it bonds the oil and water together and creates a smooth and creamy texture.

If you are interested in making your own body lotion, body butter, or body creams then you will need to find an emulsifying wax to act as your base. There are six basic types of emulsifying waxes that hobbyists use when making homemade body lotions. These include: Ceteareth 20, Glyceryl Stearate, Emulsifying Wax NF, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol/Ceteareth 20, and Polysorbate 20.

While all of the above ingredients are considered emulsifying wax, not all of these emulsifying waxes are appropriate for every type of lotion or cream. Ceteareth 20 is a common thickener and emulsifier for body lotions and creams. However, it works best when it is combined with another emulsifying wax such as Glyceryl Stearate.The amount of emulsifying wax that you use in your oil and water body lotion or cream will depend on what type of emulsifier you use. For example, Emulsifying Wax NF typically makes up between 3 and 6 percent of the total weight of the product being made. Polysorbate 20 is most commonly used for skin moisturizing sprays. When used for in its spray form it is added to the product in a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 polysorbate 20 to essential oil ratio. If this emulsifier is used in a lotion or cream product then it will need to be used in conjunction with another emulsifier. If you use cetearyl alcohol then you it will need to make up between .1 percent and 3 percent of the products total weight.

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