Today’s question is something I get asked time and time again by people starting out in making their own skincare products so I figured it would be best to include it in a FAQ Friday video. The question is:
Why is my home made cream or lotion too runny?
When you are starting out making creams and lotions the easiest emulsifier to use in order to get the oil and water to mix is emulsifying wax (sometimes known as ewax).
Unfortunately emulsifying wax is a catch all term for several different formulations some have built in thickeners and some don’t. If you are using an emulsifying wax without a thickener built in, then your lotion will resemble a pint of milk unless you add some Cetyl Alcohol or Cetearyl Alcohol into the formula.
Cetyl and Cetearyl Alcohol are help emulsifiers and thickeners so they can be used with emulsifying wax to create a thicker product – the more you add the thicker your cream of lotion will be.
They will not act as emulsifiers on their own.
An emulsifying wax such as the one from Neal’s Yard Remedies has a built in thickener so will make a lotion on it’s own. You can, however add some additional Cetyl or Cetearyl alcohol to make a thicker cream.