thicken lotion thin cream DIY how to video instructions step by step

How to Thicken Up or Thin Down Lotions, Creams, and Conditioners

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There are many reasons you might want to adjust the viscosity of a product, and this blog discusses how to both thin down and thicken up products like lotions, creams, and conditioners. One of the main differences between creams and lotions is the viscosity so it’s relatively easy transitioning a lotion to a cream, or the reverse.

If you’d like some guidance on how to fix the viscosity of a body wash or shampoo, check out these instructions.

Or for more on natural thickeners, check out this blog.

Follow along with Teeneke in this video or follow the written instructions below! We have all the ingredients you need linked in the instructions.

How to Thicken Up a Lotion, Cream, or Conditioner

To fix a thin lotion, cream, or conditioner, the easiest and most efficient method is to add Xanthan Gum slowly until you reach the desired viscosity.

Follow this methodology for adding xanthan gum:

1. Weigh and record the estimated amount of xanthan gum you think you will need
2. Weigh your lotion or cream and record the weight
3. Grab your stick blender and begin mixing your lotion or cream
4. Slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum into your lotion or cream while mixing. (you may need to adjust the speed once the gum starts to thicken your product)
5. Once you have achieved the desired viscosity, weigh what is left of the xanthan gum.
6. Record the weight of how much xanthan you added. (simply take the weight of what you started with and subtract the weight of what was left after adding to your product.)
7. The amount of Xanthan Gum used to the amount of lotion or cream will be your ratio going forward if you need to thicken the same product again. If you are formulating from scratch, add the amount of xanthan gum used to your formula.

How to Thin Down a Lotion, Cream, or Conditioner

To fix a thick lotion, cream, or thin conditioner, the easiest method is to add preserved Deionized Water or a distillate of your choice. It’s important to ensure that your product remains safely preserved when adding water. Distillates are already preserved so no additional preservative is required if you choose to add a distillate. Think of adding cucumber distillate, rose distillate, or a luxurious orange blossom (neroli) distillate.

If you choose to add water it’s important to add Deionized water to ensure the stability of your lotion or cream and it’s important to preserve the water to maintain the integrity of the preservation system.
To preserve Deionized Water add 1% Phenoxyethanol and 0.5% Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate and mix thoroughly.

Follow this methodology for adding preserved deionized water or distillate:

1. Weigh and record the estimated amount of water or distillate you think you will need
2. Weigh your lotion or cream and record the weight
3. Grab your stick blender and begin mixing your lotion or cream
4. Slowly add water or distillate into your lotion or cream while mixing.
5. Once you have achieved the desired viscosity, weigh what is left of the water or distillate.
6. Record the weight of how much water or distillate you added. (simply take the weight of what you started with and subtract the weight of what was left after adding to your product.)
7. The amount of water or distillate used to the amount of lotion or cream will be your ratio going forward if you need to thin the same product again. If you are formulating from scratch, add the amount of water or distillate used to your formula.

Check out our great stock creams, lotions, and conditioners! We love knowing how you alter and customize our bases to suit your brand.

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