Experiment Guide - Access Nano Home

By Paula Perez,2014-05-12 02:57
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Experiment Guide - Access Nano Home

Personal Care Products

Guide Experiment 1

Making Cream

Guide Experiment 1: Making cream


    In this activity students will investigate the properties of an emulsion by firstly making a basic cream and then identifying the basic ingredients which are ….

    Students should define emulsions and distinguish between an O/W and W/O

SAFETY Precautions = Wear safety glasses.


    To make a basic cream (an emulsion)

Materials and Equipment

    ? 25 mL beaker

    ? measuring cylinder

    ? tripod

    ? gauze mat

    ? Bunsen burner

    ? stirring rod

    ? measuring spoon (5mL medicine spoon)

    ? 50 mL paraffin oil

    ? 20mL water (distilled)

    ? few drops of perfume (lavender oil , rose oil etc)

    ? lux flakes


    1. Place the beaker containing 20mL of water and one spoon full of lux flakes on the gauze mat over a low flame.

    2. Heat until the soap flakes have melted. DO NOT OVER HEAT.

    3. Turn off the burner, leaving the beaker on the hot gauze.

    4. Add 50mL of paraffin oil very slowly, stirring the mixture continuously. 5. Remove the beaker to the bench and stir rapidly until the mixture is cool. 6. A glossy white cream will form if you continue to stir until the mixture is cool. 7. Optional - Add a couple of drops of perfume and food colour


    Complete a labelled diagram to explain how a basic cream is made.

    Describe the consistency of the cream. Does it spread easily on the skin? It is an emulsion- water in oil therefore slightly oily, very smooth and should spread very easily.


    1. What is a cream?

    It is an emulsion - a mixture in which two immiscible substances, like oil and water, stay mixed together thanks to a third substance called an emulsifier. The emulsifier is usually something like a soap, whose molecules have a water-soluble end and an organic-soluble end. The soap molecules form little balls called micelles, in which the water-soluble ends point out into the water, and the organic-soluble ends point into the inside of the ball. The oil is stabilized in the water by hiding in the center of the micelle. Thus the water and oil stay mixed

    2. Use the internet to find the MSDS for paraffin oil and list safety precautions that need to be taken when handling this chemical

    The MSDs can be found at

    3. What is the function of the LUX flakes? What is the special molecule called? The lux flakes act as the emulsifier. It is a surfactant.

    4. What are the three main ingredients in this emulsion? Is it a water in oil or oil in water emulsion?

    Water, paraffin oil and lux flakes. It is a water in oil emulsion.

5. What is the function of a cream?

    It is a medium to add active ingredients that have a specific function

    6. Look up the labels of 5 creams (moisturisers, hand creams, basic hair creams etc) what do they have in common?

7. What are active ingredients?

    Produce the desired effect for giving the product its main characteristic. The active ingredient is not necessarily the most common ingredient in a product.

8. What is the function of a moisturizer?

    Moisturiser is a ubiquitous term that has lost meaning over the years. With all the anti-aging, anti-wrinkling, lifting, firming, nourishing, organic, works-like-Botox, eye cream, and throat cream products touting their miracle formulations, it's hard to know where moisturisers fit into the picture. In actuality, regardless of the name or claim, "moisturisers," whether they are in cream, lotion, serum, or even liquid form, must supply the skin with ingredients that maintain its structure, reduce free-radical damage (environmental assaults on the skin from sun, pollution, and air), and help cells function more normally. When moisturisers contain the well-researched, effective groups of ingredients that can do these things, they are as close to "anti-aging" and repairing as any skin-care product can get. “ Paul Begoun”

9. What active ingredients would you find in

Sunscreens- zinc oxide is one of many active ingredients used in sun screens.

acne cream- there are quite a number of ingredients used in many products, some

    of which are: alcohol and acetone, benzoyl peroxide, herbal, organic and natural products, resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfur

    shampoos- a detergent -ammonium laureth sulfate is the most commonly used

fake tan- dihydroxyacetone (DHA) The DHA is absorbed into the upper epidermis of

    your skin, it then interacts with your skins amino acids and produces the natural

    tanned look.

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