Emulsification of Hand and Body Lotions
The manufacture of lotion emulsions can be rather complex. The oils and waxes commonly found in hand and body lotions are hydrophobic and don’t stay in suspension for very long. Emulsifying agents and other additives are used to help form stable emulsions, but these can be costly and manufacturers want to use them sparingly.
In a typical factory setup, an oil phase and a water phase are produced in separate vessels at high temperatures then slowly merged into a single vessel. The mixture is then agitated and cooled over a lengthy time, as much 5-10 hours, until the emulsion is fully formed. This is an inefficient process because:
- It requires that both tanks have heating capabilities
- Both phases need to be at elevated temperature
- The emulsion takes time to form
- Cooling times are very lengthy