Working With Emulsifier HP 30
Emulsifier HP 30 is a fabulous natural emulsifier that has an affinity to the skin’s amino acid structure and supports skin health and balance. It mimics the skin's natural lipid barrier. It reduces TEWL (trans epidermal water loss), boasts exceptional silky soft skin after-feel, and has good moisturisation properties. Let's explore it some more.
INCI: Glyceryl Stearate and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate and Cetearyl Alcohol
Non-ionic, oil in water emulsifier
Usage rate: 3-5%
Compatible pH range: 4-9
Electrolyte compatibility: compatible
Will emulsify polar and non polar oils up to 30%
Also known as: Ritamulse, Natramulse, Ecomulse
Instructions on how to use Emulsifier HP 30
Recommended usage rate: 3-5%
Melt with the other oil phase ingredients to 75-80 degrees C, then add the heated oil phase into the heated water phase and emulsify with high shear (eg. a stick/soup blender) for 2 minutes. Stir by hand until cool down. Add preservative at cool down and adjust pH to 5.5.
Since the recommended usage rate was 3-5%, I designed three KISS formulas to see how differing percentages of this emulsifier performed. 3-5% is quite a narrow range (which is a good thing in the emulsifier world, it means there’s less room for error), but I like to test the boundaries of ingredients so I went lower and tried a formula with just 2% emulsifier.
Here are the findings:
2% emulsifier, 15% oil: very thin emulsion, but it’s holding up well so far and would make a great ‘skin milk’. It is very easily absorbed into the skin and has an ultra light feeling. I think it may be quite nice for hot summer weather where you don’t want anything greasy. It could also have great potential for an emulsion serum.
3% emulsifier, 20% oil: the ideal lotion consistency; skin feels moisturised but not at all greasy. An easily absorbed, light but nourishing lotion.
5% emulsifier, 30% oil: the ideal moisturiser consistency; also easily absorbed and non greasy.
The last two felt quite similar; there wasn’t a marked difference in skin feel, and the main difference was viscosity due to the increased amount of emulsifying wax.
All three formulations had little to no soaping effect.
Like many natural emulsifying waxes, Emulsifier HP 30 is a thickening wax, and thickens linearly with the amount used: use less, it is thinner; use more, it gets thicker. Viscosity can of course otherwise be controlled with viscosity modifiers such as butters, fatty alcohols or even gums. I didn’t bother with any of those as these formulations are KISS formulas.
What I did notice about this emulsifier was that it was very easy to get rid of any bubble formation. Usually when working in small batches of 30-100ml, the blender doesn’t sit completely under the surface of the emulsion so it tends to whip a bit of air into the final product. One needs to stir and tap for ages to get the bubbles to surface. I’m not entirely sure what makes this emulsifier different with bubbles, but a few stirs and all the air bubbles left, revealing a lovely silky smooth emulsion behind. Happy days!
My recommendations for formulating
2% for a skin milk or emulsion serum.
3-4% for a lovely lotion, without need for additional stabilisers or thickeners.
3-4% + thickeners for a moisturiser
5% for a moisturiser without need for additioner thickeners.
You could try 5% + thickeners for a more body butter style emulsion.
Emulsifier HP 30 is fantastically easy to work, and creates stable emulsions with little effort or need for additional stabilisers. It has a lovely smooth finish, silky skin feel and has moisturising properties of its own (reduces TEWL and has an affinity for the skin).
While Montanov 68 is still my favourite emulsifier ever, Emulsifier HP 30 makes a pretty good second choice, and also a good substitute. At a low usage rate, it works out fairly economical as well. I really recommend giving it a whirl and seeing what lovely moisturisers and lotions you can create with it!