Base Troubleshoot

Troubleshooting our Personal Care Bases is a topic brought up often when we talk here at Essentials. We are always looking for the things that made a particular batch turn out the way it did. There are always factors that need to be considered when working with our bases, for example, too much Fragrance or additional Oils can effect the stability of our Bases. The weather can have an effect on the consistency as well.

Here are some frequently asked questions and concerns about working with our Bases, and some solutions for them. If you have any other questions about working bases that weren’t listed below, leave us a comment at the bottom.


Melt and Pour Bases

The soap is too soft because of too much fragrance.

Problem: My Melt & Pour our Soap came out sticky and soft, what happened?

Solutions: Melt & Pour Bars can come out of the molds when too much fragrance is added. It can also happen if too much additives are put into the base. First try cutting down on the fragrance, then the additives.

If you want a harder bar, add 1-5% stearic acid during the melting process.

Body Frosting with Butters

Base Troubleshoot
Cold Weather Effecting Body Frosting

Problem: Mixing Fragrance into our Body Frosting can be difficult in cold weather. It gets chunky and doesn’t incorporate properly.

Solutions: The cold season makes certain bases thicken up to where it affects the mixing process. This product contains a high percentage of butters, which are affected by temperature. Imagine a stick of cow butter. In the fridge, it is hard. Room temp, it softens. Really warm and it will melt. Expect the same changes due to temperature with our frosting with butters. If it is cold where you keep your gallons, then move them into a warmer room. Or lightly heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds. The same process goes for the Sugar & Shea Body Polish.


Left: Vanilla Stabilizer used. Right: No Vanilla Stabilizer used after 4 days.

Problem: I added Pink Sugar Fragrance to the Back to Basics Lotion, it discolored; how can this be avoided?

Solutions: Always check your Fragrance for its Vanilla content. Vanillin, the primary, naturally occurring component of a Vanilla Bean, causes many lotions and some other Personal Care Bases to darken over time. This darkening may range from a very pale tan to a dark caramel color, depending on the amount of vanillin in the fragrance. Each of our Fragrance Oils has a Vanilla Content(V) notice and many also include the vanillin percentage(%) information.

A great solution is to use a Vanilla Stabilizer to slow the darkening effect of the vanillin. Add Vanilla Stabilizer at 2:1 ratio. For example, if you are using 1 ounce of Fragrance, use 1/2 ounce of Vanilla Stabilizer. To use, first mix your Fragrance and Stabilizer in a small container, then mix it into the Lotion Base.

Hydrating Botanical Mist

Base Troubleshoot
Essential Oil Mixed Without Poly 20

Problem: I added an Essential Oil straight into our Hydrating Botanical Mist, and it sank to the bottom. Why isn’t the fragrance mixing into the Base?

Solutions: First of all, when adding Oil to our Hydrating Botanical Mist it first needs Poly 20. It is a solubilizer that allows water and oil to mix. Mix the Fragrance or Essential Oil into the solubilizer, and then pour them into the Hydrating Botanical Mist, shake vigorously.

Problem: I added my Fragrance with the solublizer and it came cloudy, what happened?

Some fragrances just react differently in bases. That is why it is so important to test your fragrances in the base in small batches before making a big one.

Shower gel

Problem: My Luxurious Shower Gel is too thin, what can be done?

Solutions: How much Fragrance Oil was added? We recommend a maximum of 1% Fragrance load for this Base. Adding more could make your Shower Gel Base runny and watery. Shower Gel often goes runny because too much Fragrance Oil was added, an easy solution is to add more unscented base to dilute the fragrance. For those who absolutely want a higher fragrance load, Crothix Liquid can be added to the base. Start at 0.5% then work your way up until you are satisfied with the consistency, however the maximum that can be added is 8%.

Are you in a hot and humid climate? Customers that are will, at times, experience a runny Shower Gel Base, even at low or no Fragrance Load. When this happens, you can add salt to the Shower Gel Base. Start by slowly adding about 1 teaspoon per gallon. However, don’t go above 1%, doing so will break down the base and make it go completely watery. Always test in small batches to get your percentages right.

Preservatives and Additives

Problem: How much of my own ingredients(additives) can I add to your bases without loosing Preservative strength?

Solutions: Our bases are preserved enough to fight off up to 10% introduced ingredients(Additives). If you plan to add more than 10%, you need to add preservative to the ingredients you are introducing. It is important to add the preservative to the new ingredients first, before adding them to the Base. This ensures no contamination enters the Base.

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