Fixing Yesterday’s Emulsification Problem

Yesterday I made a cleansing balm that included Liquid Silk. I didn’t realize until I mixed the ingredients together that Liquid Silk is a water-based ingredient and would not combine with the oils in the balm without an emulsifier of some sort.

What to do? Come up with an emulsifier to use, of course.

I chose Sunflower Lecithin, which is oil soluble and works as a weak emulsifier. It is frequently used in culinary applications to emulsify sauces and the like. (Another neat use for Sunflower Lecithin is to help disperse oils into bath water from your bath bombs, tub melts, and bath oils.)

Because there is a water-based ingredient in the blend, I’ll include a little bit of a preservative as well, just to stay on the safe side.

The only changes I made to the formula from yesterday was to add 2% Sunflower Lecithin, subtracting that amount from the Handcrafted Shea Butter, and adding Liquid Germall Plus at 0.1%, subtracting that amount from the Babassu Oil.

Making this with me?

What You’ll Need


Babassu Oil
Castor Oil
Aloe Butter
Handcrafted Shea Butter
Squalane Butter
Sunflower Lecithin
Mint Essential Oil
Lemon Balm Leaf Extract
Liquid Silk
Liquid Germall Plus


Microwave-safe container
Stick Blender
Silicone Spatula
Jars and Lids or Tins


55.4% Babassu Oil
10% Castor Oil
8% Aloe Butter
5% Squalane Butter
13% Handcrafted Shea Butter
2% Sunflower Lecithin
0.5% Mint Essential Oil
4% Lemon Balm Extract
2% Liquid Silk
0.1% Liquid Germall Plus

100-gram Test Batch

55.4 grams Babassu Oil
10 grams Castor Oil
8 grams Aloe Butter
5 grams Squalane Butter
13 grams Handcrafted Shea Butter
2 grams Sunflower Lecithin
0.5 gram Mint Essential Oil
4 grams Lemon Balm Extract
2 grams Liquid Silk
0.1 gram Liquid Germall Plus


Weigh oils and butters and Sunflower Lecithin into a microwave-safe container. Heat gently using short time bursts until all oils are melted. You can do this in a double boiler if desired.

Once the oils are liquid, blend with a stick blender, then check the temperature. You want to wait until the mixture has cooled to at least 120ºF before adding the rest of the ingredients.

When the mixture has fallen below 120ºF, stir in essential oil, extract, Liquid Silk, and preservative.

Pour into low profile jars or tins and allow the balm to harden before adding lids.

Ingredients before melting.

Pouring into jars.


I was so surprised at how much of a difference the small changes made in the final formula. This second balm is more watery than the first one, and it got pretty foamy when being mixed, which was a surprise. The Sunflower Lecithin turned it a golden color. But the emulsification worked and held, so I’m happy with the changes made!

To use, scoop out a small amount of cleansing balm and rub it all over your face. Massage into the skin for two minutes at least, then rinse with very warm water and a clean washcloth.

You could also use this in the shower, but take care that you don’t make the floor of your tub or shower too slippery with the oils. The emulsifier will help the water wash the oils away.

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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