Shaving Cream Formulating Tips

pepepepe Member
edited October 2014 in Formulating
Hello dear collegues,

I am r&d project director in a cosmetic company. Nowadays I am trying to formulate a shaving cream. Formulations that I generated at first were quite good. Pearlescent structure, the viscosity, lathering on face...everything seemed ok. The only problem was the poor slippery effect. In order to get this effect I added some emollients like mineral oil and isopropyl myristate (%3-5) but every time I added those emollients to the formulation the cream became thciker and pearlescent effect disappeared. 

I gave up to add emollients to the formulation and just added some propylen glycol. But the result did not change. Once again pearlescent effect didn't occur...

What should I do to get a perfect pearlescent effect and slippery effect together in a shaving cream?

Thank you...

Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist

    try using a low molecular weight poly(ethylene oxide) resin, e.g. Polyox from Dow

    be advised these are sensitive to shearing, so it's best to add them at the end

    Polyox brochure

    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Dear Bill,

    I have tried PEG 90M  in the formulation but just because of the high ph level (9-10) agglomeration-crystallization occured.

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    because of the high ph level (9-10)
    this is a natural soap based product? otherwise why a high pH?
    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.
  • I am using lye solution to get a saponification reaction with Stearic acid...Also I am using some coconut fatty acid...This is why we have a high ph...
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Pepe, since this sounds like a typical alkali saponification formula, limit your emollient additives to the water phase. I'd suggest Polyquaternium-7, another acrylamide copolymer (see Merquats),  PEG-12 Dimethicone, PPG-5 Ceteth-20 (Ele' Corporation's - NOT Croda's); all compatible with the anionic system to some degree. These will lend the slip without affecting the soap.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    OK I see now. First, I suggest using KOH not NaOH for a shaving soap.
    Anything that messes up the pH will cause the soap to decompose into snot. Mineral oil for me would be an absolute nope!
    I suggest researching your profile for the fatty acids because it is perfectly possible to formulate an excellent shaving soap with good slip using only natural oils and no additives except fragrance. I believe though, that this is not the forum for such enquiries - a soap makers forum will provide a lot more information.
    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.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    If you read Harry's Cosmeticology it discusses the problems with making a saponified Shaving Cream. Amongst the problems are the issues with compensating for evaporative water loss, the exothermic properties of the reaction and the need for controled cooling. These are issues a soapmaker is more comfortable with and more problematic in Manufacturing and Scale-up.

    I remember learning about this Formulation many years ago and if I am correct the typical Formulation uses Stearic acid, Myristic acid and Coconut Fatty Acids. Some additional Glycerin was added and the Formula is saponified with a mixture of NaOH, KOH and TEA. I don't recall why they used the three different bases but it was critical.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • pepepepe Member
    edited October 2014
    @chemicalmatt ; using peg derivatives seems ok...I will try it in my first attempt. ;)

    @Belassi ; I have already used KOH instead of NaOH in the formulation. Sometimes I added some NaOH in the formulation in order to get thicker creams...Stearic acid and Coconut fatty acid we purchased are in good quality. Their Iodine numbers are quite high in comparison to others.

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Using straight coconut fatty acids with a very small amount of extra stearic, then saponifying at 80C, in order, with TEA, KOH and NaOH usually produces the best results. You'll see on labels lauric, myristic, palmitic acids: those, along with stearic, comprise 85% of the coconut FA fraction.  You will get dramatically different physical state and foam state outcomes using TEA vs. NaOH vs. KOH alone, that's why a combo of alkali are used, and order of addition important. Expect the product firmness and appearance to change over the first six months. The old Noxema - Calcium (oil soap) and Ammonia (water soluble) with stearic/palmitic used there - would gain a golden soft pearlescence after 4 - 5 years. With TEA now in decline, I've been wondering what the shave cream people are doing these days. TEA gives you the lush, pearlescent foam most consumers expect. Perhaps they are revisiting ammonia?
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    I wouldn't fancy calculating the required quantities of each of the three bases, myself! Maturing ... yes, I recall that a leading (French) brand of shaving soap in pots, "matures each pot as it it were a fine cheese".
    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.
  • Why not make a cream soap? I make a shaving cream from mine and it is lovely. I add fractionated coconut oil and cocoa butter to it for shaving cream if I turn it into shower cream I just add any light oil, not too much though. I usually make a bit batch of the basic cream soap and then just add what I need for different products.
    Downside of cream soap is that it does need a good long cure (a year is good) to be at its best.
  • Interestingly enough, I found this discussion while looking up information on Polyox that was listed by Bill_Toge and the current discussion was recommended by johnb!  I have been looking for suppliers that carry it but as a small company I probably can't meet their minimums...  there are other options listed here though!  I'm bringing this back because of the information it provides...
  • David08848David08848 Member
    edited September 2017
    chemicalmatt posted: "Pepe, since this sounds like a typical alkali saponification formula, limit your emollient additives to the water phase. I'd suggest Polyquaternium-7, another acrylamide copolymer (see Merquats),  PEG-12 Dimethicone, PPG-5 Ceteth-20 (Ele' Corporation's - NOT Croda's); all compatible with the anionic system to some degree. These will lend the slip without affecting the soap."

    I've got a gallon of Polyquaternium-7 sitting there waiting for me to try!  Thanks for the suggestion back in 2014!

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