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lotion didn't thicken


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I made my first lotion 2 days ago and it is still the consistancy of milk. Recipe I followed was:

oils .125% [13 %]

glycerine .0125% [.02%]

stearic .025% [.03%]

ewax .0125% [.02%]

water .8125% [.82%]

fo .0125% [.02%]


1.0 [1.04]

[percentages are exactly out 4 decimal places, other is approx]

Becasue the oils seemed to be not mixing, I ended up adding another tsp of the ewax. Can I warm this up and add something to thicken this up? Where did I go wrong with the measurments?

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Your oil isn't mixing because there isn't enough ewax to emulsify it properly. That would also be your problem with the thickness and you might try increasing the stearic to 3%. I can't remember the exact recommended ratio for ewax to oils, but I'm sure someone will come along with a suggestion. The least I've ever been able to use is 4% and I believe that was with 15% oils.

You might be able to heat it and add additional ewax to make it suitable for personal use but you will NOT get a true sense of the formula and should start over with a brand new batch once you have your percentages corrected. Also, reheating will compromise your preservative, which I hope you are using even though it isn't listed in your recipe.

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I just noticed that you already added additional ewax. Is it holding together now? If so, do you know how much you added by weight to the total?

Stearic is a thickener and I personally use it anywhere from 3-5%. Adding additional preservative would likely exceed the manufacturer's maximum usage as you would only need a tiny bit to cover the additional ewax/stearic. What preservative did you use? Some can handle a bit more heat than others. Reheat gently and add melted ewax and/or stearic then mix as usual. If you take meticulous notes and find the point at which the emulsification holds, you can recalculate your final batch total to include the additions and that will give you the new ingredient percentages to try.

However, I would not trust this as fact and would start over with a fresh batch so that you can actually see that the emulsification holds from the start, especially since you are new with lotions. I would never ever sell or share a batch that has had to be reheated after adding preservative or a usual formula that "fails" and needs tweaking to hold together. Not only could it be potentially unsafe, but also makes your product inconsistent from batch to batch.

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I actually looked over my notes and had added 2 tsp to the origional .25 oz of the ewax. I'm thinking the stearic is a bit low. Will try warming it up and adding more ewax and stearic. Shouldn't I be able to add up the total weight of everything I put in and refigure my percentages? What are the recommended percerntages of ewax and the stearic?

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I'm assuming by .25 oz. of ewax that your total original batch was 20 oz., correct?

2.5 oz = 12.5% Oils

.25 oz = 1.25% Glycerin

.5 oz = 2.5% Stearic

.25 oz = 1.25% Ewax

16.25 oz = 81.25% Water

.25 oz = 1.25% Fragrance


20 oz. = 100%

I weighed 2 tsp of ewax several times and came up with .18-.20 oz. so let's assume you added .2 oz. Plus, we need to account for your preservative which I'm basing on 1%. So at this point, we have (I took the decimals out to equal to 100):

2.5 oz = 12.255% Oils

.25 oz = 1.225% Glycerin

.5 oz = 2.45% Stearic

.45 oz = 2.205% Ewax

16.25 oz = 79.66% Water

.25 oz = 1.225% Fragrance

.2 oz = .98% Preservative


20.4 oz. = 100%

As you can see, every time you add more ingredients, your other percentages are shifting. Yes, keep track of everything you've added to the total amount then divide the amount used by the final total weight to arrive at your new percentages.

If I were to begin from scratch based on your beginning recipe, I would start with something like this:

12.5% Oils

3% Ewax

3% Stearic

79% Water

1.5% Fragrance

1% Preservative

Just a guess, bit this would might still be thinner than you'd like. I think the stearic amount it basically your preference but too much can leave you with a waxy feel.

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I have a recipe that I got from the dish for a very thick mousse that is:

74% water ( 1/2 of this use liquid aloe if desired )

18% oils

5% ewax

3% stearic

The fo and preservative weren't factored in to the % ( add at recommended rates ) and instead of playing with the lotion you have I would make a thick batch and then blend them together for the consistency you want. That way you don't have to worry about degrading the preservative in the thin lotion.

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Start over with a fresh batch.

You will save in the long run.

You need to have more emulsifiers in there % wise.

I prefer btms and polawax myself in combination.

For what you have on hand, use the ewax at least to 5 to 6% and if you want it to have more body add the stearic acid from 2 to 3%.

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