Compendium

ECOmulse | What is ECOmulse? and 10 BEST FAQs

March 22, 2021

What is ECOmulse ?

ECOmulse (INCI name: Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearyl Lactylate) is a natural wax derived from coconut oils used for its emulsifying, cleansing, and moisturizing properties. Also known as Emulsimulse, Natramulse, VE Emulse, and Ritamulse SCG, it is certified by Ecocert, one of the largest organic certification organizations, for use in all-natural and organic products. Not only is it completely vegan, it is GMO free and contains no ethoxylated ingredients. As brands relabel and sell it under many different names, always check the INCI name to ensure that you have the correct substance.

ecomulse
Product made from ECOmulse

Physical Properties of ECOmulse ?

It comes in the form of thin, off-white, waxy flakes. It has no discernable scent and will not affect the final odor of the product. It melts at 81º C or 178º F. It is only soluble in oil. Formulations containing ECOmulse should have a final pH of 5.0 to 7.5 to ensure stability. Products outside of this range will fail and begin to separate.

Chemical Structure of ECOmulse ?

            Chemically speaking, ECOmulse is a mixture of glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, and sodium stearyl lactylate. While it is an anionically (negatively) charged substance, it is not soluble in water. Instead, it is only soluble in oil. It has ingredients that are hydrophobic (repelled by water) and ingredients that are hydrophilic (attracted to water). This makes it an excellent surfactant and emulsifier, as it weakens the barriers between oil and water. It is based on acyl lactylates, which are a group of chemicals known for their moisturizing and softening properties. Unlike other cosmetic ingredients, ECOmulse is actually a blend of several components. These are glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, and sodium stearoyl lactylate.

            The HLB scale measures the solubility of a surfactant or emulsifier on a range of zero to twenty. Substances with an HLB value from zero to six are hydrophobic and only soluble in oils. Components with a value of six to nine are water dispersible. Finally, ingredients with a value of nine to twenty are hydrophilic and only soluble in water. Cetearyl alcohol and sodium stearoyl lactate are both high HLB surfactants with values of 15.5 and 14.0 respectively. Glyceryl stearate, on the other hand, is a low HLB surfactant with a value of 3.0. Given the ratios in which they appear, ECOmulse has an HLB value of 8.1, meaning it is theoretically water dispersible. However, ECOmulse does not completely conform to the HLB system due to its anionic properties and behaves as if it has a value of 4. This value means that it is only soluble in oil.

Origins of ECOmulse ?

            ECOmulse is naturally derived from coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernels. All ingredients are vegan, gluten free, and GMO-free. Products made using ECOmulse can be considered organic. ECOmulse is a mixture of compounds. Produced from the reaction of lactic acid and alkyl group of fatty acids, it is composed of 60% glyceryl stearate, 30% cetearyl alcohol, and 10% sodium stearoyl lactate. It contains no ethoxylates, a class of dangerous carcinogens.

Uses of ECOmulse ?

            ECOmulse is used in hair relaxers, conditioners, detangling products, face creams, lotions, cleansing oils, and balms. Unlike other synthetic emulsifiers with similar properties, ECOmulse is Ecocert certified for use in organic products. When used in lotions and creams, it functions not only as an emulsifier, but a thickener as well. It also has exceptional hydrating and moisturizing properties. Be careful though, as products made with ECOmulse tend to be thicker than similar formulations. Like other self-emulsifying ingredients, the percentage of ECOmulse used determines the thickness of the final product. For a silky smooth lotion, lower percentages should be used while heavy cooling creams require higher percentages. It should be used at a rate of two to ten percent, depending on the formulation. ECOmulse is suitable for products with an oil phase of up to 25% and a final pH range of 5.0 to 7.5 to ensure maximum stability. Again, final pH values outside this range will cause the product to separate into its components. Add it in the heated oil phase, as it must be in liquid form to mix in. As an anion, it should not be used with cationically (positively) charged ingredients as the final result will be unstable and separate.

Substitutes for ECOmulse ?

            Olivem 1000 (INCI: Cetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan Olivate) is the easiest and most popular substitute for ECOmulse as it creates similar formulations with a luxurious, thick, fluffy feel. As a bonus, it is also Ecocert-certified for use in organic products. As the name suggests, Olivem 1000 is derived naturally from olives. Finally, Olivem 1000 is non-ionic and stable in a wide range of pH values – 3.0 to 12.0 – making it perfect for all kinds of projects. Emulsifying Wax NF (INCI: Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Polysorbate 60) is another good substitute. Xyliance (INCI: Cetearyl Wheat Straw Glycosides (and) cetearyl alcohol) is also Ecocert certified organic and consists of cetearyl alcohol and cetearyl glycocides. Montanov 68 (INCI: Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Cetearyl Glucoside) is an excellent emulsifier that comes from palm or coconut oils. It has wonderful hydrating and moisturizing properties without requiring tons of effort to incorporate it into the oil phase. Note that solubilizers like polysorbate 80 or true waxes such as beeswax are not acceptable substitutes and will result in different properties in the products as they have different chemical structures.

Safety and Storage of ECOmulse ?

It is extremely mild and non-irritating to the skin. It is in wax form and does not produce vapors, dust, or debris that can be inhaled. If ingested, do not induce vomiting. Instead, call the nearest poison control center for instructions. It is slightly flammable. Keep away from direct heat sources and open flames. ECOmulse should be stored in a tightly sealed container away from direct sunlight and humidity, preferably at a temperature of 24º C or 75º F. Avoid freezing temperatures or temperatures above 40º C or 104º F as these may result in destabilization. When properly stored, it will keep for up to two years (24 months).

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