Monday, April 6, 2009

Lotions: Make a light lotion

We've made a regular lotion (about 70% water) and we've made a thick cream (about 60% water), so let's take a look at light lotions. They are great for body and face - you might call them a moisturizing milk or a facial moisturizer. They're fine for bottling in non-pump bottles as they are quite thin and will flow nicely.

A light lotion would be around 80% water, so we need to pack as many goodies as we can in a small oil and cool down phase. We're going to maximize our water phase by using aloe vera, hydrosols, and humectants, and we're going to leave out the butters and stearic acid in favour of light oils, esters (like IPM or cetyl esters), and cetyl alcohol. We're going to want maximum glide and emolliency.

We'll make a light body lotion today and a facial moisturizer tomorrow. These are very different products, although they'll have the same basic formulation - 80% water phase, 0.5% to 1% preservative, and 19% oil phase and cool down ingredients. We won't be using fragrances in our facial moisturizer, although there are some great essential oils we might want to consider.

  • Water phase - 58% water, 10% aloe vera, 10% lavender or rose hydrosol, 2% sodium lactate or other humectant
  • Oil phase(18% to 18.5%) - oils, emulsifier, cetyl alcohol, IPM.
  • Cool down phase - 0.5% to 1% preservative, 1% fragrance, 2 to 4% silicones, proteins, and panthenol.
We know we are going to need about 4% emulsifier and 2 to 3% cetyl alcohol, so we can use about 11% oils in here. I like to include 2% IPM in everything - it's a light, emollient ester that increases skin absorption time - so that leaves us with 9%.

For the oils, choose what you like. If I'm making something I want to use as a spray lotion for a camping trip, I'm going to choose fractionated coconut oil. If I'm making something for the winter months, I want olive oil to do double duty as emollient and humectant. If I'm making something for general use that I'm going to put into a pump, then I'll probably use an extra light and light oil combination - something like fractionated coconut oil and sunflower, safflower, soy bean, or sweet almond oil. I could include rice bran oil here, or I could be really decadent and use an exotic oil (this is a great thing for a facial moisturizer...)

As you know, I'm a huge fan of the olive oil - humectant-y goodness - and fractionated coconut oil, so I'm going to use those in this lotion. This is something I want to have on my upcoming road trip/honeymoon in May, so I figure these are two oils that my skin loves and I can keep it in my purse for a quick application. (I always seem to get dry skin on road trips - probably the combination of the air conditioning and being in less humid climates like Idaho!)

WATER PHASE (you can use 78% water if you don't have the hydrosols!)
58% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender water
2% sodium lactate

4% fractionated coconut oil
4% olive oil
2% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM
4% emulsifier (25% of my oil phase)

0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

1. Weigh out your water phase in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

2. Weigh out your oil phase in a heat proof container and put into your double boiler.

3. When both containers have reached 70C, weigh out your water again, then add it to your oil container.

4. Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender for at least 3 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you would like until the temperature reaches 45C.

5. Let cool to 45C, then add your fragrance or essential oil and preservative. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.

6. When the mixture has cooled, pour into a bottle - you don't need a pump for this one - and let set a few hours.

Yay! You've made a light lotion. As with other lotions, if you change the emulsifier or oils, it will change the consistency, so play around with this and see what you can make!

Join us tomorrow for making your own facial moisturizer! If you haven't tweaked a recipe yet, you're going to want to tweak this one!


Ebonyeyed said...

Dear Susan,

Why do we need the cetyl alcohol in this recipe? And what does IPM stand for?

Thanks for your time!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ebonyeyed! I covered the topics of thickeners the other day - click here - and you don't have to include cetyl alcohol in this recipe if you don't want to do so. It will thicken it up and add some emolliency. Feel free to leave it out or substitute it for another fatty alcohol or fatty acid or thickener of your choice.

IPM stands for isopropyl myristate, an ester that we include to reduce the feeling of greasiness in our products. You can find out more about it here or look to the right hand side of the blog to see the "bath and body guides to ingredients" to see detailed listings of all the ingredients I use.

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, to date, this lotion is my ALL TIME favourite. I guess it's my current favourite because I've received a lot of good feedback from family and friends on both the lovely feel and finish of the lotion - light, easy to absorb, dry finish, and because of the herbal oil infusions, it is soothing for dry skin and psoriasis. And for the most part, because of the ingredients, it probably can be labelled as a "natural:" product, but I'm not marketing the product and still at the hobby stage in my exploring and testing. A couple friends with psoriasis tell me the lotion is the best they have tried for their conditions.

Here is the recipe I used and would not change anything. And because I only had .5% IPM remaining, I could easily omit the IPM in future recipes.

I started with your light lotion recipe, as below and did some substituting.

WATER PHASE (you can use 78% water if you don't have the hydrosols!)
58% water - (I used no water)
10% aloe vera - (I used 50% aloe vera)
10% lavender water - (I used 26% lavender)
2% sodium lactate - OK

4% fractionated coconut oil ( I made my own oil infusion for dry skin using Gilead buds, pine buds, rose hips in rice bran and apricot kernel oil) - I upped the oil to 5.5 to make up for the lack of IPM

4% olive oil - (I used sesame oil)
2% cetyl alcohol - (OK)
2% IPM - (only had .5% on hand)
4% emulsifier (25% of my oil phase) - used Polawax)

0.5% to 1% preservative (I used Phytocide Elderberry)
1% fragrance - (OK)
2% hydrolyzed oat protein - I used 1% HOP; and I added a couple Croda actives totalling 4%.

So, my total cool down was over by 2.5%, but worked perfect!!

Robin said...

Love all the recipes I have made from your Lotion E Book.

Is this recipe thin enough to us as a spray lotion.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Robin. It might be, depending upon the ingredients you choose!

Katerina Tsichla said...

I made the following recipe, which was ment to be a spray lotion, but I noticed that as the lotion was cooling down part of the water seperated!I shook it and seemed ok but I bet it's seperated again!
Please give me some help!Thanks in advance!
the recipe--->
40gr sweet almond oil
40gr Grapeseed Oil
40gr apricot kernel oil
24gr emulsifying wax
12gr stearic acid
1gr citric acid
800gr water
232gr Witch Hazel Hydrolat
40gr glycerin
7gr vitamin E
13gr Preservative 12 (Phenoxyethanol)
35gr ethernal oils of choice

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Katerina. Could you please convert this recipe into percentages? As well, I need to know your exact process. Finally, what emulsifying wax are you using?

Katerina Tsichla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katerina Tsichla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katerina Tsichla said...

dear Susan thank you for the answer!!!!
this is what I did
3,12% sweet almond oil
3,12% Grapeseed Oil
3,12% apricot kernel oil
----------->9,36% oils
1,87% Emulsifying Wax NF (that's what is says on the box)
0,93% stearic acid
0,08% citric acid
62,31% water
18,07% Witch Hazel Hydrolat
3,12% glycerin
0,55% vitamin E
1,01% preservative 12
2,73% ethernal oils

the process I follow is this
-heat the oils, the polawax and srearic acid to 70 C
-heat the water to 70 C , add the citric acid and mix well
-add water to the oils and mix well with mixer for about 5 minutes on heat.
-remove from heat and stir for about 5 more minutes.add the Witch Hazel Hydrolat and stir a little bit more
-whrn the temperature is 30 C I add the vitamin the preservative and ethernal oils and stir very well
tones of thanks again!!!!

Katerina Tsichla said...

I just realized that EWAX is what they name Polawax here in Greece!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Katerina! You don't have enough emulsifier and you need to hear and hold. Check out the newbies section of the blog for the tutorial on making lotions for instructions on heating and holding!

Katerina Tsichla said...

thank you very much!!!

A Fajardo said...

Hi Susan, I just want to ask regarding the aloe vera ingredient. Is it the juice or the gel? Thanks!

Tess said...

Hi Susan!
I'd like to try and make this light lotion and use as a make up remover, as suggested in your oil based make up remover post.
I have a couple of questions:
Could I leave out the IPM? Should I add 2% water or oils to make up for it?
Could I use Olivem1000 instead of ewax or polawax? (Just because I have lots of it and would like to use it up)
What can I use to help preserve the oils and prevent them from going rancid? BHT?

Thanks again!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tess! I suggest you take a look at the let's make a lotion tutorial in the Newbie section as I address some of your questions there.

If you leave out an oil, replace it with another oil. Do a search for substituting oils or something of that nature. I address it quite a bit in the formulating series.

No, you can't just use Olivem 1000 instead of my suggestions as it follows different rules. Check out the post on Olivem 1000 on the blog (or do a search for "olivem 1000" on the blog).

I always use a preservative in my product - liquid Germall Plus, usually - which will keep the product from contamination. Rancidity is another issue. Please check out the newbie section for more information on anti-oxidants versus preservatives.

Have fun formulating!

Tess said...

I will check it out right away! Thanks a bunch :)