Emulsifier combinations

I have a hair product that contains glyceryl stearate and ceteareth-20  and lower on the ingredient list btms25. Is there a reason why one would not use the Btms 25 as the sole emulsifier since it's a hair product? Why use  the glyceryl stearate  with the ceteareth-20 as the main emulsification system? 


  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited November 2020
    BTMS 25 is not a complete emulsifer. BTMS 50 is.

    It's possible to obtain a stable emulsion with BTMS 25 if enough is used, but it's not really recommended. 
  • @emma1985 thanks. I am aware that 50 is more stable than 25  but have seen a lot of products with just 25. Why isn't it recommended? And is it just easier and more cost effective to use the glyceryl stearate?
  • It's not recommended because only using BTMS 25 will lead to one of two things:

    1) an unstable emulsion
    2) a very thick/viscous emulsion because you have to use twice the amount of BTMS 25 in order to reach the emulsification "power" of BTMS 50. BTMS 25 contains 75% Cetearyl Alcohol, that is already a ton of Cetearyl Alcohol and you are using at 2x the concentration. 

    Also, using 2 emulsifers will almost always lead to more stable emulsions. You will notice that a lot of commercial products contain multiple emulsifers. 

    And yes, BTMS 50 is more expensive.
  • @GARIFUNA In your formula, the true emulsifiers are glyceryl stearate (low HLB) and ceteareth-20 (high HLB). A mixture of both gives a more stable emulsion rather than using just one. Behentrimonium chloride gives not such robust emulsions (you see that for how easily affected they are by share, and also, when you add some oil or fragrance during the cool down phase and you see a marked drop in viscosity, even in the presence of ceterayl alcohol, which is a co-emulsifier).
  • Agree with the comments above. Conditioners with only cationic emulsifiers separate.
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