June 13, 2024

17 thoughts on “A Few Important Ratios for DIY mixes

    1. Well, you don’t necessarily have to add a thickener even with a smaller percentage of BTMS-50. 6% of BTMS-50 is the max I’ll go. Anything higher just seems like a waste of BTMS-50. It has some thickening agent in it already, but it won’t be as thick as if you added a separate thickener like Cetyl alcohol or Behenyl alcohol.

      Whether you add a thickener is determined by how thick or loose you want your final cream to be, but there are many other factors to consider.

      If you want to make a heavier, more substantial looking cream, you can add a thicker. But be mindful of your recipe and the other ingredients involved. A recipe with a very high water content (like 80%+) may feel light even though the cream looks thick.

      Many thickeners only change the viscosity of the final product. If you want a heavier, more substantial FEEL in the hair, you can use a thickener along with heavier oils (like castor) and butters (like shea). Also, skip the additives which are meant to cut down on the ‘greasy feel’ (like Caprylic Capric Triglycerides and Alkyl Esters) for a cream that will leave a slight oily cast (that’s how we make those creams that last for a few days in the hair after just 1 application).

      Also note that creams with thickeners like cetyl and behenyl can leave a white cast on the hair before it finally absorbs.

      Anyway, whatever you decide it’s important to experiment! You may like a cream with 6% BTMS-50 and no thickener better than a cream with 4% BTMS-50 + thickener. 🙂

    1. It seems like a waste to use e-wax and BTMS. Just use BTMS if making an oil-in-water emulsion. You don’t have to worry about using “25% of the oil phase” recommendation because there are better emulsifiers on the market than e-wax.

      For a water-in-oil emulsion, add glyceryl stearate or, better yet, a combination of emulsifiers for water-in-oil emulsions. If you go with glyceryl stearate, please try to get the “Glyceryl Stearate SE” which is a self-emulsifying version. That means it makes more stable, thicker emulsions.

      I can’t tell you how many grams to use for each without knowing the full size you’re trying to make.

      1. Ok sorry I think I wasn’t as thorough as I thought. However, you did educate me as I had no idea SE was self-emulsifying. But on a small 100g batch. 12% oil at the 25% recommended ratio for emulsifiers would be 3%. So I was asking if you thought 3g of Glyceryl Stearate SE & 1.5g of BTMS would yield a decent creation? I’m a newbie & the emulsification process its frustrating for me. Can’t seem to produce what I’m looking for. Lol sorry to be so meticulous

        1. The usage rate for Glyceryl Stearate SE varies depending on the supplier. ITDF’s Glyceryl Stearate SE (GMSE) has a recommended usage rate is 5- 15%. So 3% Glyceryl stearate my not be enough to make a stable emulsion, especially if you’re using less than 2% BTMS. At makingcosmetics.com, the recommended usage rate for Glyceryl Stearate SE is 1-10% (which may or may not allow you to get away with using 3%). You’re just going to have to experiment and keep a record of what works and what doesn’t. I would never use BTMS-50 at anything under than 3% at this point, even with other emulsifiers because it’s also a conditioning ingredient. Try 4% Glyceryl Stearate with 3% BTMS. Don’t get tripped up with that “25% of the oil phase” rule. Advancements in older emulsifiers and the type of new emulsifiers they’re coming out with is starting to make that old advice obsolete.

  1. What can I use to avoid separation of oils and water when making a growth mist. In this instance, I want the mixture to be watery so it can easily go through the spray pump. I have btms-50 as an emulsifier. I’m looking at 85% water phase and 15% oil phase…. Please advice….

    1. To make sure you don’t have to worry about anything thickening, you may want to try liquid oil-in-water emulsifiers. You can also look at emulsifiers known for their “shear thinning” properties. (That just means things made with this ingredient thin out easily with any type of force.)

      There is one liquid emusifier from researching at makingcosmetics.com that can allegedly create sprayable gel-like emulsions:

      1. GelMaker NAT – https://www.makingcosmetics.com/GelMaker%C2%AE-NAT_p_1420.html

      I’ve used 2 liquid emulsifiers, but never to make a sprayable emulsions. However, if you focus on percentages, you can try one of these:
      1. Creammaker FLUID (nonionic) – https://www.makingcosmetics.com/CreamMaker%C2%AE-FLUID_p_965.html

      2. Creammaker ANIO (anionic) – https://www.makingcosmetics.com/CreamMaker%C2%AE-ANIO_p_1007.html

      Lotioncrafter.com has a free sprayable lotion recipe here:

      However, some of those ingredients you may not have or may want to skip. In that recipe, they use a combination of glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol (nonionic thickener), and Ceteareth 20 (nonionic) at low percentages, making up about 3.3% of the formula. You can try a combination of emulsifiers/thickeners at low percentages to try to get what you’re looking for.

      Whatever you use, make sure you take note of the pH range required to maintain the emulsions. Not only can using too little emulsifier cause instability, not sticking to the pH recommendations can also cause emulsions to separate. Using ingredients with the wrong type of charge together (anionic, cationic etc) can also cause emulsion separation.

      Each ingredient has it’s own pH range which makes optimal emulsions. For example, the final pH for a product made with Gelmaker NAT can be between pH 4-12. But for GelmakerStyle, the pH needs to be between pH 5-7.

      For Creammaker ANIO, the product’s final pH needs to be between pH 4 -9. But for Creammaker FLUID the pH needs to be between pH 5-9.

      So in addition to picking out the right emulsifier for the final viscosity you want to achieve, you have to focus on the pH requirements of that particular ingredient. Whether it has “shear thinning” properties is good to know too. Anyway, I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    1. Hi! For lotions, I usually start with the end-feeling I want. Do I want the lotion to be light? Do I want it to have ‘play time’? Do I want it to absorb very quickly? Do I want it to have a much more substantial after-feel and stay on the skin for an extended period of time?

      Then I decide what I want the percentage of diluent (water/aloe/tea/etc) to be. Usually that’s somewhere around 70%. From there, I think about which oils I’m going to use and whether they are “oily” or absorb quickly. You have a little more leeway with quick absorbing oils. You can use more of them. 15-20% is good. However for heavier oils, like Olive or Castor, keeping those lower may work better for lotion recipe. For example, nowadays I don’t think I’d use over 2% of olive oil in a body lotion, if at all.

      You also have to take into account what your emulsifier can handle. If using an emulsifying polymer as the main emulsifier, you have to keep a record of what the manufacturer says is the max oil load it can handle, and try to stay below that.

      You can also decide to use oil alternatives/silicone alternatives (esters) as your ‘oil’ portion to keep the feel light on the skin. Or, a combination of regular oils/butters and esters. For example, 3% Sunflower oil and 10% of any ester you like. You can even use a combination of esters and regular oils or butters. For example, say you want to use 10% oils then you can use: 5% Caprylic/Capric Triglyceriedes, 3% Sunflower oil, 2% Isoamyl laurate.

      If you want a more substantial feel, you may want to go up to 18-20% oils. Then you can decide how you want to combine the oils.

  2. This is SOO BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLIFIED!! AND HOW NEEDED is this information!! Thank you SOO MUCH for not only sharing this info., But also breaking it down in such an easy to understand way!! What a blessing! Thanks for ALL you do and share!

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