Do you have any surplus emulsifiers that you really need to get rid of or any emulsifiers that you really don’t like too much. I have a few of both kinds. One nice project to make out of said emulsifiers is a cleansing balm.  I particularly like wash off balms so this is where emulsifiers come in handy.  I made two types of balms here – they have different emulsifiers.  The first one uses  a combination of glyceryl stearate ( a natural emulsifier) and ceteareth-20 – a not so natural one.  The other one has has Xyliance in it – a natural emulsifier.

Tumeric, Guggul and SheaTumeric, Shea and Guggul

This formulation has Tumeric in it, in powdered form – I got it from the supermarket and is used in lots of Indian cuisine.  I have also used Tumeric co2 extract to add a lovely warm scent which seems to blend really nicely with ylang ylang.  Tumeric is purported to be great for hyperpigmentation as it helps even out uneven skin tone. I have also used Guggul.  Guggul has  anti-inflammatory,  rejuvenating  and  energising  properties – apparently. It is of the same family as Myrrh so you could use that instead or any other essential oil or extract you have laying around.  As long as you follow the manufacturers advice you should be fine.  I have used rice bran oil, again, you could play around with other oils – I am thinking a really slippy oil like almond oil might be a nice alternative.  Good old Shea butter is in there and of course you could try another butter but depending on the melting point you may have to play around with the other ingredients to get the desired consistency.


The Formula

Percent UsedIngredient INCI
19.00xyliance Cetearyl Wheat Straw Glycosides (and) Cetearyl Alcohol
15.00Shea butter Butyrospermum parkii
65.00Rice Bran OilOryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil
00.10Ylang Essential oil Canaga odorata (ylang) essential oil
00.20Tumeric CO2 extractCurcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract
00.20GlucodOX™ LiquidCommiphora Mukul (Guggul) Resin Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
00.50Tumeric powder extractCurcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract


Next up is the Fruity one….

Very Berry Fruity CleanserFruity cleansing balm

I used cranberry microzest from Lessonia to colour this balm, it has a lovely understated pink type colour.  Although there is cetereth-20 in it, there are lots of different fruit based oils and butters in here to hide the fact.  I also used gracefruits Gracenotes Strawberry extract which has a very pungent strawberry scent.  You could use Lotioncrafters Goji berry fragrance which is wholly natural and has a very long inci.  So here it is

The Formula

Percent usedCommon nameINCI
09.00Glyceryl stearateGlyceryl stearate
03:00Cetearyl OHCetearyl OH
11.00Capuacu butterTheobroma grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Butter
37.00Olive fruit oil Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil
10.00Lemon seed oilCitrus Limon (Lemon) Seed Oil
10.00Papaya seed oilCarica papaya (Papaya) Seed Oil
10.00Blackcurrant seed oil Ribes Nigrum (Blackcurrant) Seed Oil
00.50Cranberry microzestVaccinium macrocarponse seed powder
00.50StrawberryFragaria Vesca Extract

Dont worry if it doesn’t appear to thicken straight away. Give it 24 hours and it will be a nice firm but pliable balm that melts well on warm skin.  If you find that these are not to your liking in terms of viscosity then by all means adjust some of the ingredients.

You will find that it starts to gel around 30c so you have some time to give it a good stir.

Method and equipment needed for both balms

Equipment you will need

A few heat proof bowls, thermometer, something to stir (though I use my themometer), 100g glass or plastic jar, hot plate or hob.  A double boiler (this will allow you to have better control of the temperature).


  1. Weight ingredients except essential oils in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat until all ingredients have melted and stir
  3. Allow to cool to 45c and add the essential oils/co2 extracts
  4. Decant in a wide mouthed container
Important info

I have not done stability tests on them so can not attest to them separating but they seemed fine for the few days that I had them sitting around at room temperature.  If you find there is any separation then you can increase the viscosity by replacing some of the liquid oils with more butters or even using cetearyl alcohol instead.  A nice sub for cetearyl is Kokum butter as it has a very high melting point. You could also try using waxes like carnauba wax or beeswax.



7 replies
  1. Michele
    Michele says:

    Hi, I wanted to try to make this and read that you can try it with wax. My question is what can I take out and use wax instead? And will any wax do? As I just have beeswax out of all these ingredients. And is it ok without using any preservatives? Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Tracy Wareham
      Tracy Wareham says:

      I suspect because there is no water in the formula a preservative isn’t specifically required. However, if you are selling it’s always good business to practice to add one as you really have no clue how your client will use/store the product. That said, clear instructions and a best before date should have you covered but it’s hard to say how long it will last… guess is the shortest life of the ingredients. How you figure that out using some of these ingredients I cannot speak too.

      • Rebecca
        Rebecca says:

        Hi Tracy,
        I think whether a preservative is used really depends on quite a few factors. I have seen quite a few cleansing balms on the market by large reputable companies that do not use a preservative but I guess it depends on the formulation. How firm the balm is can have a big role, the tighter the matrix the less likely the water will be emulsified into the balm (if it is very firm then the water will run off).

        Deciding on the shelf life of the product isn’t truly dependent on the shelf life of all the other ingredients as there are ways to increase the shelf life with antioxidants. The only real way to test is to do stability tests.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *