How to make a Shaving Cream with Plantasens HE20

Organic Shaving Cream

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to make an Organic Shaving Cream using an emulsifier called Plantasens HE20. We recently wrote an article on the difference between hot process, cold process and hot cold process emulsification in which we discussed Plantasens HE20 as a hot cold process emulsifier.

Quick Introduction to Plantasens HE20

Plantasens HE20 (INCI: Cetearyl Glucoside & Sorbitan Olivate) is an example of a hot cold process emulsifier. It’s a versatile emulsifier that allows you to work with a broad range of oil phases. You can use it in very low oil phase concentrations (cleansing creams) or with a 20-40% oil phase concentration with varying concentrations of emulsifier between 4.0 – 8.0%.

How it works:

  • Blend Plantasens HE20 with a part of the water phase (35-45%).
  • Heat this phase to 65-70 oC.
  • Plantasens HE20 swells to a gel like-consistency in water.
  • Blend the oil phase in another beaker.
  • Stop heating.
  • Add the oil phase to the water phase and homogenize.
  • Add the rest of the water phase.
  • Add the gum.
  • Continue stirring.
  • Add the rest of the additives (in this case surfactant phase), the essential oil and the preservative and adjust the pH.


Our Organic Shaving Cream

In this sample formulation, we’ll show you how to make an organic Shaving Cream using hemp seed oil.


Phase A

  • Freshly boiled distilled water 40.0%
  • Plantasens HE20 6.0%

Phase B

  • Organic hemp seed oil 8.0%
  • Tocopherol 0.5%
  • Organic rosemary CO2 extract 0.1%
  • Antibacterial plant extract 0.1%
  • Organic chamomile CO2 extract 0.2% 

Phase C

  • Freshly boiled and cooled distilled water 28.1%
  • Panthenol 1.0%
  • Dermofeel PA-3 0.1%
  • Sodium lactate 1.0%

Phase D

  • Solagum AX 0.4%
  • Organic glycerine 4.0%

Phase E

  • Coco glucoside, glyceryl oleate 2.0%
  • Sucrose cocoate 2.0%
  • Coco glucoside 5.0%

Phase F

  • Euxyl K903 1.0%
  • Organic lime essential oil 0.5%



Follow the steps below to create our organic Shaving Cream using hemp seed oil:

  • Heat phase A in a water bath to 65-70 o C. Plantasens HE20 will now swell to a gel-like structure. You need to completely blend this phase to a gel before adding other ingredients.
  • Blend phase B, C, D and E separately at room temperature. Don’t add them to each other yet.
  • After phase A is blended into a homogeneous gel-like texture, stop heating and first add phase B to A while stirring. A nice pre-emulsion with a high viscosity forms.
  • Add phase C (the rest of the water phase) to the pre-emulsion and blend.
  • Homogenize for a few minutes.
  • Add the gum phase and homogenize for a few seconds
  • Continue stirring for a while as the emulsion cools down (this happens rapidly because we’ve only heated a part of the water phase and the rest was added at room temperature).
  • Slowly and gradually, add the surfactant phase to the emulsion. Here you need to blend the mix together very slowly and gently with a spatula. Do not use any blender with high agitation to avoid excessive foaming.
  • Add the essential oil.
  • Prepare a 10% dilution of the emulsion in distilled water and measure the pH. In our case, the pH was about 6.5 and by adding the preservative it dropped to 5.5 which is exactly in the range we need. If you are working with another preservative, you need to adjust the pH according to your preservative system.
  • After you’ve created your organic shaving cream, take a micro-kit sample to check its current microbial stability and fill in a suitable bottle with a suitable dispenser.


Organic Shaving Cream


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Want to learn more about natural and organic emulsification? Read our other blog posts:


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