Help with formulation/ stabilization/ emulsification (?)

Good day!

I would first in advance like to thank anyone that can help or offer advice for doing so.

I will start off by saying that I am by no means a chemist of any sort. Just a barber trying to formulate an alcohol-free and as-close-to-natural-as-feasible aftershave for small batch production.

I have the formula figured out as far as the key ingredients/desired abilities is concerned. The part that is now baffling me is the solubilization/emulsion of everything. I'm much less concerned about the clarity of the final product as I am the even dispersion of the elements within the base.

My recipe:

.5% pure essential oils (clove, vetiver, rosemary, and lime)

.5% liquid extracts (aloe, chamomile, and calendula)

1% aspen bark extract powder (as preservative)

2% fragrance

Remainder witch hazel (@ 14% alcohol)

250 mL total product per bottle


I guess my question could be divided into 2 parts.

1. As per my current "formulation" would it be prudent to invest in a homogenizing mixer to achieve even distribution? Additionally would the use of such a high shear mixer sufficiently decrease the oil particle size so as to create my final product without the use of an emulsifier/stabilizer?

2. If an emulsifying agent is indeed absolutely necessary, what might be recommended (polysorbate 20, etc) ? And if possible the recommended procedure for its use.

Again I do apologize in advance for the novice level of my questions and knowledge in this arena. Thank you all!

Jack Wolfe

Comments

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    1. No. The only way you can achieve a permanent emulsion using mechanical means is via ultrasonics.
    2. You need to take a look at the HLB system.

    And use a proper preservative, not aspen bark.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Just to add to Belassi's comment, have you tried this formulation on yourself or a panel of friends/family?

    I might be wrong but that amount of essential oil, fragrance and alcohol might be quite irritating for a face product (or any other product), especially one that's worn after shaving. I would love others' opinion of this as well. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Yes, Beaver's right.
    0.5% hydrosols is nothing. I routinely use 40% aloe vera concentration in skin calming products.
    2% fragrance is way excessive. Your nose is in the middle of your face! I once made this same mistake using 1% fragrance in a face cream. I quickly learned my error.
    And alcohol is nasty for the skin, has a horrible drying effect.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Ok so my percentages might be a little off. There are like 8 drops total of essential oil per bottle. Aside from the formula, which I've been testing/using on myself for over a year now, can anyone actually answer my questions? Emulsifier/stabilizer/solubilizer suggestions. Please and thank you.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    To get this product  stable without any emulsifier at all, you need shear well beyond what you can achieve with a homogenizer or homogenizing mixer. @Belassi is correct, ultrasonic mixers can do this, or you need a microfluidizer. http://www.microfluidicscorp.com/create-nanoparticles/fluid-processors 

    An alternative is to use a natural emulsifier that doesn't sound like one. This one comes to mind:
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Yes polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier that will help keep your oils in solution. They level of use, you have to try for yourself but you can start with equal percentage to your oils. 
  • Thanks a lot guys. You've been uber helpful! And thank you for not turning your noses up at me as so many others have in this matter :D
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    You might also want to look into the pemulen polymeric emulsifiers.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
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