Fun With Cetyl Alcohol Emulsifier
Yesterday I got a wild hair and decided to try Cetyl Alcohol by itself as an emulsifier for this Hemp Seed Oil lotion. As I feared, Cetyl Alcohol alone was not strong enough.
No matter how much I blended, it just kept separating. This was not unexpected. I didn’t change the usage rate (3%) from yesterday’s lotion formula. I wanted to experience just how Cetyl Alcohol acted.
I turned to our Technical Support Team for some suggestions as to how I could proceed and find success this time. I’m wanting a very fluid lotion that would pour out of a bottle easily. They suggested increasing my Cetyl Alcohol usage rate to 5% and adding 3% Stearic Acid. They assured me this would result in a lotion that would be very light.
Increasing ingredients by 5% means that I need to remove 5% somewhere else in the formula. I chose to decrease the Hemp Seed Oil from 20% to 15%. I contemplated going down to 10% Hemp Seed Oil and adding 5% to the water to ensure the fluidity I want in the final product, but I decided to leave the oil at the higher usage rate and leave the water the same as in the previous formula. I wonder if the resulting lotion will be as fluid as I hope it will.
Off I go to the workshop to see what I can create for attempt number two at using Cetyl Alcohol as an emulsifier.
I’m crushing on one of our newer fragrance oils – Country Spring – so I decided to give it a try in this go-round.
Hemp Seed Oil Lotion with Cetyl Alcohol
100-gram Test Batch
70.2 grams Distilled Water
15 grams Hemp Seed Oil
5 grams Hydrovance
5 grams Cetyl Alcohol
3 grams Stearic Acid
1 gram Vitamin E Natural
0.5 gram Liquid Germall Plus
0.3 gram fragrance (Country Spring Fragrance Oil)
70.2% Distilled Water
15% Hemp Seed Oil
5% Cetyl Alcohol
3% Stearic Acid
1% Vitamin E Natural
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
Weigh all ingredients but the Vitamin E, preservative, and fragrance. Heat gently in the microwave, making sure that the Stearic Acid is fully melted. (Use a thermometer to be certain your mixture gets hotter than 156ºF <69ºC>, the melt point of Stearic Acid.)
Stick blend the heated ingredients thoroughly, then set mixture aside to cool below 120ºF (49ºC). Then add the Vitamin E Natural, Liquid Germall Plus, and Country Spring Fragrance Oil.
Once the lotion is done, pour it into jars or bottles and allow to cool completely before putting on lids.
I was afraid this emulsion would also fail as I began mixing the heated mixture. The oil kept separating no matter how long I stick blended. In the end, the emulsion held. Whew! I did have to blend it several more times as it cooled.
This second attempt yielded a creamier lotion thanks to the Stearic Acid. It has more body, yet it still goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly, leaving no greasy residue on my hands. It soaped a little as I was rubbing it in, but that lasted only a second or two.
The resulting lotion was not as fluid as I had wanted, so I’m thinking I should have dropped the Hemp Seed Oil to 10% and added the 5% to the water. I’ll give that a try next week and see what result I achieve.