Technology of blending essential oils in a solubilizer

edited October 2015 in Formulating
I have some issues with separating of my formula.

After mixing the 6 essential oils (tea tree, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, sage, clove) in the solubilizer Sepiclear G7 or Polysorbate-20 the
lotion was not stable and some oil floats on top of the lotion. 

I use 3 portion of solubilizer and 1 portion of essential oils.

What is the mixing ratio of solubilizer and essential oils?

Where to find the diagram of solubility of essential oils in solvents and water?

Is it necessary to use preservatives for this formula?

Thanks for help!


  • Question for you: What is your level of expertise in preparing cosmetic formulations?

    What is your lotions formulation? The fact that your oils float on the lotion has little to do with your solubilizer and a lot to do with your emulsifier and overall lotion formula. 

    And you need preservatives.  
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Every formula needs preservation - always, always, always.

    @AuroraBorealis is absolutely correct - oil floating on the surface of a lotion is a primary indication that your emulsion is not stable, which has nothing to do with solubilization. Your questions about this and about preservation are leading us to believe that you have very little experience with emulsions. That being the case, I would strongly urge that you have your formula safety tested before you distribute it to any other people.

    To answer your other questions anyway - There is no published phase diagram for essential oil blend solubility. (but if you determined one, I'd bet that you could get it published)

    Cosmetic Chemistry is an experimental science, so if a 3:1 solubilizer/oil ratio doesn't work for you, try 4:1, 5:1, etc. The only correct ratio is the one that works for you in your own formulation. If 5:1 doesn’t work, however, you probably have the wrong solubilizer. Try a different one.

    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."
  • @SERGE

    I highly recommend you read these articles: and

    You should probably start making anhydrous creams (that won't come into contact with water, such as an in-shower scrub/cream), while you build up a collection of preservatives and preservative enhancers. Once you learn more about emulsifiers and preservatives, then you can work your way into W/O and then O/W creams.

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Serge, Bob's comment is right on, you need to experiment.
    If all you are doing is solubilising essential oils, then you don't need to consider emulsion properties really, it is simply a solutions issue.
    Remember that though we call them "oils", essential oils are a mixture of all sorts of types of chemicals, including esters, aldehydes, alcohols, terpenes, and so on.
    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.
  • Thanks everyone for your help.

    I will try to do more experiments, also using other type of solubilizers for essential oils.

  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I always find a blend of solubilisers seems to work better than a single solubiliser when solubilising fragrance or essential oil in water. If you can add some ethanol to your solution you will probably use less solubiliser.

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