Tricks and tips on working with Olivem1000
Use an oil phase concentration between 7-25%.
Set the emulsifier to oil ratio between 1:4 to 1:5 (emulsifier:Oil).
Olivem 1000 is added to the oil phase. The oil and water phases are heated separately, where the water bath temperature is 5-10 degrees Celsius higher than the melting point of your ingredient with the highest melting point – you should never heat and hold your ingredients. Please ignore any advice given to you by DIY blogs or DIY courses online where this is encouraged. It will only lead to you degrading your ingredients, promoting oxidation and evaporating your water phase.
After adding the oil phase to the water phase, add your viscosity modifier (such as a natural gum) which you’ve pre-blended in glycerine for a better dispersion throughout the organic oil-in-water emulsion.
Now you can start cooling down the emulsion and continue stirring during the cool down phase.
At temperatures lower than 40 degrees Celsius, you can start adding your sensitive ingredients and continue stirring while the emulsion cools down.
As the emulsion reaches the room temperature, it’s time to measure the pH. The pH of skincare products for everyday use should be between 4.5-5.5. The optimum pH of your products is also determined by the preservative system you are using.
Prepare a 10% dilution of the emulsion in distilled water. Measure the pH either with a pH indicator strip or with a glass electrode attached to a pH-meter. Adjust the pH as it is recommended by your preservative supplier. In order to reduce the PH you need to add an acid (such as citric acid or lactic acid). If you want to increase the pH, you need to use a base such as sodium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate or arginine. Please note that you should never use a powder to adjust the pH when you’re working at laboratory scale. You will need to make dilutions of the acid or base in distilled water and then add the solution to the emulsion.
After adjusting the pH, add the preservative and blend for a few minutes. Most preservatives either increase or decrease the pH and you need to re-measure and probably readjust the pH to its optimum level once again.
Continue stirring the organic emulsion for a while and then divide the sample for your stability and microbial tests. Fill the rest in a suitable container. You have now created a simple oil-in-water emulsion!
Courtesy of Formula Botanica
While an HLB value has been provided to us by the manufacturer, however the chemistry does not really work based on the HLB system. Its emulsification mechanism is based on liquid crystal formation and therefore the HLB value is not so critical for this emulsifier.
The stability of Olivem 1000 is improved with the addition of a water-phase thickener like our Xanthan Gum (Soft or Clear), used at about 0.2%.
Fatty alcohols such as Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol or Cetearyl Alcohol can be added to the oil phase for thickening if needed.