Formulation Ingredients

How Do You Stop An Anhydrous Natural Balm Melting In Hot Weather?

The anhydrous natural balm is a popular starting point for kitchen chemists to start learning to formulate on. It’s a good choice. The kind of raw materials you need are easy to get hold of. You don’t need any special equipment. And you can come up with a usable product pretty quickly. The ironic thing is that this while this is an easy thing to do in the first place, doing it well is particularly difficult.

Why Is It Hard To Formulate an Anydrous Natural Balm?

All categories of cosmetic product have their issues. But the more constraints you place on the choice of raw materials the harder is to come up with something decent. No sector makes the formulator’s life more difficult than the natural product one. Even if you aren’t meeting the requirements of one of the ethical standards or accreditations, sticking to raw materials that are perceived to be natural is very limiting. So it is not surprising that most natural products aren’t very good.

Temperature Problems

We’ve often had natural formulators getting in touch around six months after they’ve launched their products seeking help with temperature problems. The product they formulated in the middle of winter is now unusably soft or even completely liquid once summer arrives.

This is something we are well about as formulators. In our lab we have controlled temperature cabinets at 4ºC, 30ºC and 40ºC that we use when we are formulating balms to make sure that we have an idea about how products in general but balms in particular will behave at different temperatures. We even started offering a quick stability screen at high and low temperatures to help people get this right.

Getting Anydrous Natural Balms Right

As I say, the problem with formulating natural products is that you don’t have many tools to play with. If you want to stop your balm melting on hot days you have two approaches. You can minimise the number of ingredients. This works because on the whole mixtures tend to melt at lower temperatures. A good example of this is how you can use salt to lower the melting point of ice to clear a garden path when it is freezing.

You can also use purer ingredients. So select the ultra refined butter grade.

The other option is to include some high melting point waxes into the product. The best ones from this point of view are Candelilla wax which has a melting point of about 70ºC and Carnuba wax which melts at around 85ºC. As always, you need to look out for other effects they have on your formulation besides increasing the melting point.

Are you interested in formulating products generally, not just natural ones? Join our Beauty Launch Bootcamp community on Facebook.

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