Behentrimonium Methosulfate/Cetyl Alcohol/1,3- Butylene Glycol or BTMS 50 is a vegetable based conditioning emulsifier. BTMS-50 adds a silky feel to lotions and hair care products. Product with BTMS-50 incorporated tend to have a light, whipped appearance. It adds a silky feel to lotions and hair care products. Product with BTMS-50 incorporated tend to have a light, whipped appearance. Light odor that fades in product. It contains 50% of the active ingredients, Behentrimonium Methosulfate.
Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetyl Alcohol (and) Butylene Glycol
Small white waxy beads
1–15% of the overall product; ~25% of of the oil phase to emulsify.
[Usage Level: Creams: 10-15%, Lotions: 1-8%, Hair Care: 1-8%]
Lotions, emulsified scrubs, creams hair conditioners, detanglers, deep conditioning relaxers, and many other popular personal care products.
|Approximate Melting Point||
5–7 (2% solution)
Can be a bit fishy, but this usually doesn’t come through in finished products if used below 10–15%.
|Why do we use it in formulations?||
It gives our products the most luxurious, wonderful skin feel and leaves hair feeling stunning—easy to comb through and all kinds of silky. It also functions as a complete emulsifying wax.
|Do you need it?||
If you want to make hair care products, definitely yes. It is also wonderful as the emulsifier in lotions and as a conditioning add-in for body butters and balms!
Absolutely unbeatable conditioning skin and hair feel. I also find it’s typically one of the easier to acquire conditioning emulsifying waxes.
|Alternatives & Substitutions||
Non-cationic emulsifying waxes (Polawax, Emulsifying Wax NF, Olivem 1000, Ritamulse, etc.) are not good alternatives for BTMS-50 as they are not going to bring that conditioning element to your formulation. They’ll emulsify the product, but that’s it. This is likely not going to ruin the product, but it will definitely negatively impact the performance. If it’s a hair conditioner you will definitely notice a decline in detangling and the silkiness of the hair. If it’s a conditioning body butter, there’s really no reason to use something Polawax in place of the BTMS-50; the BTMS-50 was included primarily for the conditioning element, not the emulsifying element, so using a non-cationic emulsifying wax in its place is somewhat useless.
In an anhydrous application can probably try replacing BTMS with 50% cetyl or cetearyl alcohol and 50% soft or liquid oil (more of whatever is in the recipe).
You would likely be better off looking for a body butter recipe that doesn’t use BTMS.
You could try incorporating a different cationic ingredient like a polyquaternarium into your formulation to replace the conditioning part of the BTMS-50, and then using a non-cationic emulsifying wax. You will need to watch solubility and usage rates, though.
|How to Work with It||
Melt in the heated oil phase.
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||
BTMS-50 can be a bit stubborn about melting in a water bath, so you might need to give your heated oil phase a quick burst in the microwave to get it to melt fully.