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And another Palm Free Emulsion for those who like that kind of thing.

August 15, 2013

OK so you guys should know by now that I am not ‘for’ boycotting palm per se but I am worried about how Palm fits into the whole sustainability thing.  The reason I am sharing these formulations with you (that I could earn up to $5000 a piece for developing once they are finalised) is because I don’t feel comfortable making money out of something that I am not convinced will do what it is setting out to do.  By that I mean that I am not convinced that palm free products will help move the planet to a healthier place.  This is why.

When doing my research on palm free alternatives I found that there are a couple and that these alternatives are usually derived from another robust feedstock such as coconut or rapeseed.  Now I’m giving coconut a miss right now as that grows under pretty much the same conditions as oil palm and as such is potentially another ‘palm’ issue waiting to happen.  Instead I’m turning my attention to what I will now call the ‘westernised solution’.  That is, ingredients made in the west using feedstock that grows in a temperate climate (rather than rain forest).  Us ‘Westerners’ have forgotten that our backyard, school yard, hospitals, housing estates and motorways used to be forests, forgot that we used to only eat meat and veggies that we have grown or butchered or purchased from the local market (NOT the sanitized supermarket).  We have forgotten what it feels like to be a kid in a  sweet shop oblivious to the ‘poisoned sugar’, the diabetes, glaucoma, obesity etc.  We have had lots of good times and are now suffering from affluenza.  It simply isn’t cool any more to be a wantonly desperate consumer.

However, that isn’t the case everywhere in the world and the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) AND from a feedstock perspective Indonesia and Malaysia are enjoying letting the good times roll.

I mentioned to a customer today that the world isn’t all the same ‘age’ and that expecting Indonesia to stop doing what it is doing because of a picture of an Orang Utan in a cage is like trying to stop your average 18-year-old getting tipsy and vomiting in his shoes from too much alcohol at their birthday party.  The average 50-year-old might have a bit more decorum and self-control, mainly because they have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt but also because they have lived through a few consequences to know that it just isn’t worth it.  That is what the world is like.

Now that isn’t to say that everyone in these growth countries is emotionally or physically immature. That is ridiculous and in an age of global travel a highly naive statement.  However, culturally there is a bit of that ‘sweet shop’  or ‘binge drinking’ mentality floating around and as such we need to tread carefully when trying to initiate change.

Remember that to a teenage party animal a 50-year-old is practically dead, a relic or dinosaur and not someone to be taken much notice of………

So what can we do?

Our affluenza is not a bad thing.  Those of us who understand the economics of a mature market know that it is a powerful vehicle for change.  It is less dependent on price, more interested in value and has patience and an  attention span that will sit through the ad breaks.  This can all be worked to our advantage.

Our western world friends can try new farming methods for feedstock – just like the guys in Europe who have pledged to reduce their reliance on pesticide to grow the Rapeseed oil that is part of our non-palm cosmetic future.  They can do this without worrying too much about the price of the product increasing or the quality going down because to the mature market the ‘bigger picture’ has value – more value than the short-term-good-time’s.

Anyway,  I’ll leave that there and share the formula plus some notes about this new emulsifier.


I have used an ingredient from American manufacturers Inolex – a lovely team of people who I have had the pleasure of working with over the last five or so years on and off.  They have really embraced ‘green’ chemistry and have produced a wide range of alternatives to traditional ingredients such as natural silicone replacements,  emulsifiers, preservatives and conditioning agents.  I love what these guys are doing and have them in my ‘top five’ list of awesome suppliers so please do look them up if you can.

Anyway, the emulsifier is Emulsence SC:  Brassicyl Isoleucinate Esylate,. Brassica Glycerides, Brassica Alcohol

There is also a hair version which is great for a palm free conditioner base.

I was really surprised at how thick this cream got compared with the ones I made with the Glyceryl Stearate Citrate.  It felt good even with this pretty simple emulsion and seems very stable after surviving my stability boot camp regimen of freeze/thaw, centrifuge and heat pressure test.  The skin feel is pretty good, you can feel the cationic ‘stick’ which I actually like and the base is not that smelly once it is formed – the emulsifier does have a very strong aroma alone.  Overall I love this ingredient and will be using it more I think.  For those interested the price point is also do-able which is always a bonus!

Palm Free Emulsion Formula

Palm Free Emulsion Formula

There is quite a bit more information on this ingredient available online. I have popped a link to their In Cosmetic presentation here.   Also you could visit their website here.   I hope I’ve given you enough info to give this a try. The manufacturing method is very simple and similar to most oil in water emulsions.  Heat oil phase and water phase separately to around 75% with mixing, combine oil into water with mixing again.  Add phase C when the mix has cooled to below 50C then homogenise.

One thing that I did find interesting was the effect that gums have on this emulsifier. Usually I add a bit of gum to the water phase to help with stability and I did that when I was working on auto-pilot the other day.  The resulting cream was underwhelming to say the least – some how a weird polymerisation had occured. Maybe it will take over the world, who knows.  I will not be doing that again as it was a pig to get out of my homogeniser!

failed palm free cream

Just one final comment – Inolex do say that this works really well with glycerin and I am sure it does. However, I wanted to make sure it was completely palm free so opted for honey as my humectant.  If honey is an issue for you (with the bee thing) then you could always go for betaine, sorbitol or another humectant.  There are lots of options out there!

Well that is enough from me. I hope that those of you that need this sort of help find it and enjoy the formula and I hope those readers that don’t really care about making their own creams at least have a better appreciation of the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Happy mixing people and remember, sustainability will only work if we work globally with all the wisdom and insight that a  mature market facilitates.

Amanda x


4 Comments leave one →
  1. RealizeBeautyEd permalink
    August 21, 2013 10:01 am

    I realised the other day that I’d gone and popped a glycerine based extract in at the final stage. This is not a great idea as the glycerine may be palm derived and just serves to remind me of how easy it is to do that when your attention is elsewhere. It can be swapped for an alcohol based extract, a hydrosol or a decoction or even another active entirely depending on what you want from the formula. Just be sure to do your stability testing as some actives do mess with the emulsion structure and some knock out preservatives. Thanks

  2. Kelly Wee permalink
    May 10, 2016 3:21 pm

    Hi, where can I pruchase the Emulsense HC in small quantity. Can you tell me any other suppliers or Inolex in USA sell in small packaging. Thank you,

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      May 13, 2016 8:23 am

      I am really not sure about that. You could talk to Brambleberry about possibly stocking it as I know that they do small packs. There is also the Formulator Shop. I’m based in Australia and can’t get small packs, we have to buy the full drum which is 22Kg ish.


  1. Free Formulation – Palm Free Moisturiser with 1 year real-time stability. | Realize Beauty

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