How Emulsifying Wax Works

One of the main ingredients of making lotion and creams is a glue-like material called emulsifying wax. The element is a factor that holds the cream together so that it would not break into particles or separate likes the oils of oily salad. In order to retain the creamy property of lotions and creams, the addition of emulsifying is necessary aside from the primary components which are water and oil.

The emulsifying wax contains a system consisting of a liquid dispersed in an immiscible liquid. That means that it is has the structure to make two elements incapable of mixing into one solution. Two famous examples of immiscible liquid are oil and water. Both are able to able to stick in one solution without necessarily being mixed in order to maintain the solid aspect.

The wax actually works on a molecular level by drawing water and oil in different sites at the same time. Since water is a polar material, it is also hydrophilic, which means that it is the opposite of the hydrophobic component of oil. Containing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic portions, the emulsifier can bind both oil and water since it can attract the structures of both two elements. There is a partner element in the wax that traps both hydrophilic and hydrophobic aspects. Aside from that, since the oil is retained in the mixture without necessarily blending with water, it can penetrate into the skin as the cream is applied, thus refurbishing lost moisture.

The most well-known emulsifiers used by hobbyists are Emulsifying Wax NF, Cetearyl Alcohol/Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 20, and Ceteareth 20.

Interesting right? You do not necessarily have to become a chemist to be able to understand these things. Like it you can learn the basic ingredients of lotions, creams and soap and eventually learn how to manufacture them.



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