If you've never made a lotion bar, please consult this post...
Here's a basic recipe for a lotion bar...
1% fragrance or essential oil
Melt the beeswax, oil, and butter in a heat proof container in a double boiler. Once melted, add the fragrance or essential oil and mix well. Pour into molds or deodorant containers. Use and enjoy.
Let's say you want to create something for your very dry feet. You've been walking around this summer on sand and concrete. They are chapped, calloused, and very very dry. Start by choosing your butter...(You can find a comparison chart about the butters here...)
- Cocoa butter is the hardest butter, so a lotion bar with this butter will be very hard. It is approved by the FDA as an occlusive ingredient.
- Shea butter is a medium butter, so it will be less hard than a cocoa butter bar. It contains allantoin, approved as an occlusive ingredient, and cinnamic acid esters, which can reduce redness and irritation, and behave as a sunscreen.
- Mango butter is a medium hardness butter, so it will be less hard than a cocoa butter bar. It contains mangiferin, which is a great anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory ingredient. Caffeic acid is one of the strongest anti-oxidants available in oils and butter, and reduces redness. It is a dry feeling butter.
Let's choose shea butter as our primary butter. Yes, it's greasy feeling, but we don't really mind that on our elbows or feet. (If you have issues with greasiness, then try mango or cocoa butter. Avocado butter - which I haven't really discussed - is very dry!)
What are our goals?
- Softening - vitamin E and oleic acid
- Moisturizing - oleic acid,
- Skin barrier repair - linoleic acid, GLA,
- Water retention - linoleic acid, GLA
- Reduce itching - phytosterols, oleic acid
The shea butter will offer softening and moisturizing and could heal wounds through the allantoin contained in the butter. We could choose an oil like sesame oil that has a lot of Vitamin E (up to 1095 ppm) or rice bran oil (400 ppm), both of which have a nice balance of oleic and linoleic fatty acids. Linoleic acid will help restore our skin's barrier function and reduce itchiness. Oleic acid is very moisturizing and regenerating to skin cells. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory and sinks into skin well.
Rice bran oil contains oryzanol, which offers moisturizing, softening, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains squalene, which is great for moisturizing and softening.
Sesame oil is incredibly high in phytosterols, which behave like cortisone, offering anti-inflammatory features with a reduction in redness and itching. Plus it has the added bonus of not staining fabric or sheets, so if you want to go sockless, you won't ruin your good linens!
So which do I choose? But wait! Do we have any exotic oils we could add that would fulfill some of the features?
Borage oil is very high in GLA, and it will help with an increase in skin hydration and skin flexibility, as well as reducing redness. The ferulic acid soothes and moisturizes skin, as well as reducing itching and inflammation. It contains about 400 ppm Vitamin E, which is nice, and a goodly amount of ß-sitosterol, which will reduce redness and provide anti-inflammatory properties. It contains ellagic acid, which can increase the regeneration of skin cells and thicken the skin. It is a dry feeling oil.
Evening primrose is also high in GLA, so it will help increase skin hydration and flexibility, as well as reducing redness. It doesn't contain a lot of Vitamin E - 221 ppm - but the gallic acid has been demonstrated to be a wound healer, so it will help with cracks and scrapes on your skin. It also has a nice amount of phytosterols to help provide anti-inflammatory properties. It is a dry feeling oil.
Pomegranate oil is interesting in that is filled with punicic acid, which offers cell regenerating, anti-inflammatory properties. It can help repair sun or weather damaged skin. Ellagic acid can increase the regeneration of skin cells and thicken the skin. And the gallic acid is a wound and burn healer. The phytosterols are very high, so you will get more anti-inflammatory properties as well as more properties to reduce redness or itchiness.
So which one to choose? Since I'm only using 10 grams of oil of exotic oils, cost isn't a huge concern. If I consider what's in my workshop, I'd go with sesame seed oil at 23% - high in Vitamin E and phytosterols - and borage oil at 10% - GLA, ferulic acid, and ellagic acid. The shea butter, Vitamin E, and oleic fatty acids will soften my skin; the GLA will ensure my skin's barrier repair features are restored; and the phytosterols will make my skin feel less itchy and red; and the polphenols will help thicken the skin on my feet.
SUMMER TIME FOOT CARE LOTION BAR
(okay, it's a terrible name, but I'm not great with names for products!)
23% sesame oil
10% borage oil
33% shea butter
1% fragrance or essential oil
Join me tomorrow to take a look at formulating for a winter facial lotion bar...