Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fun with hydrolyzed oat protein

Oats are also called "avena sativa" - look for this ingredient on labels of your favourite products.

I love hydrolyzed oat protein - I put it in nearly everything! Although the suggested usage is 1 to 5%, I tend to use about 2% due to cost. It is a humectant, so I use it for both that purpose and the silky feeling it offers to hair care products. It's soluble in water, glycerin, and surfactants, but not alcohol or oils, so save it for your water based products like lotions and hair or body care products. Oat protein tends to be a higher molecular weight, so it's not going to be as penetrative as something like silk or or phytokeratin (coming up soon!), so it is better for film forming and conditioning than those other proteins.

If you've read any of the recipes I've posted, you'll see I put it in simply everything - yes, I love it that much! I especially love it for my leave in conditioner - it's substantive, it's a humectant, it makes my hair feel silky - and my liquid conditioner. But you can use it in lotions as well, like facial moisturizers (the anti-irritating and moisturizing effects are wonderful!) and body butters.

Let's include it in the body butter now! (Original post can be found here with instructions...)


58% water (reduced by 2% to include oat protein)
2% sodium lactate or glycerin
2% hydrolyzed oat protein (added to water phase to heat and hold it)

10% oils (4% light, 4% medium, 2% heavy, or just 10% of the oil of your choice)
15% shea butter (or butter of choice)
6% emulsifier*
3% cetyl alcohol

0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

So we've included the oat protein in this recipe to give the feeling of silkiness, and increase conditioning and moisturizing. But what if we want something more conditioning? We'll need a protein with a lower molecular Phytokeratin and silk!


Julie van Oosten said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful information. I am really interested how to use silk powder and how to apply it to lotions shampoo and conditioner how much to use. Thanks for your wonderful blog and great recipes, Julie Australia

Aesthete said...

Hi Susan, I tried this recipe and loved it. Was wondering if adding Lecithin to body butters or creams would be a good idea. Are there any benefits or drawbacks to that?

Thanks in advance.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Lecithin is a lowish (4) to medium (7 or 9.4) HLB emulsifier, so it will offer some stability to the emulsion. Or you could use is as your emulsifier with a higher HLB emulsifier and get it to do double duty (for fun with the HLB system, check out the posts here and here for information on the body butter. You'd have to figure out the HLB of the lecithin you have from your supplier.

Lecithin is an emollient and humectant, so you'd be adding moisturizing and hygroscopic features to the body butter.

I've never used it myself, so I'm not sure how it would feel, but from a chemistry perspective it looks interesting! Let us know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! I was wondering about the smell of hydrolysed oat protein? Whenever I use it in anything I have to hold my nose till the stench disapears (fortunately it evaporates) I bought it at the Herbarie and am wondering if I may have gotten a bad batch for no one else seems to mind it?

Thanks! Just love your site!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Some people are sensitive to the smell of hydrolyzed proteins (especially oat) - I've seen it happen in my craft group when one of the girls staggers back after smelling it when the rest don't notice - and I think it's just you. (That sounded awful...what I mean is that you're sensitive to it.) It's like BTMS-50 - some people can smell a fishy odour no matter what they do with it, while others don't even know it's there. I'm sorry you're one of the sensitive ones. Perhaps switching to another protein?

Helen Cattanach said...

You are such a wealth of knowledge and feel so lucky to have found your site. I purchased you lotoin making booklet a while ago. Well worth it, highly recommended. My Q I have followed a few butter recipes similar to the one above and want to avoid Cetyl alcohol, as its palm derived. I just upped my Emulsifer O to 8% but there was little glide or silkiness to the product. What could I use as a palm free, natural alternative?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Helen. I'm dying to know why you'd avoid palm oil as it's a very natural ingredient. I know there's some concern about its sustainability, but eliminating palm from your products is going to result in a lot of work for you.

I don't have an answer for you because I have a feeling everything I would suggest - cetyl esters, cetearyl alcohol, silicones - contains palm oil as it is a primary raw material for cosmetic ingredients. You could try using greasier oils or try using greasier butters, but it's hard to duplicate the awesome glide cetyl alcohol offers.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, but I can't think of a good substitute for cetyl alcohol because there really isn't one. It's very inexpensive, easy to use, and non-controversial and we don't tend to get substitutes for ingredients of that nature.

Helen Cattanach said...

Thanks Susan,

It appears I am in for a hard road. I am avoiding Palm derived products for green issues and you can read more about it here

thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
Helen x

Anonymous said...

I just bought some hydrolysed oats and am very excited! But would I need to use a preservative if I was to mix it in with green tea extract and distilled water to make a hair spray? I don't use preservatives if my homemade skincare.



Anonymous said...

Will this work for oat or does it require to be protein?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Olivia. We always use preservatives in our products that contain water.

Hi Anonymous. Read the INCI of the product to which you've linked. It's hydrolyzed oat protein. This is one of the reasons I always suggest knowing the INCI for all our products - if you bought this and Cromoist from Voyageur and hydrolyzed oat protein from somewhere else, you'd have three bottles of hydrolyzed oat protein and feel silly for having bought three of the same thing!

Marjo said...

I love the benefits described and tried today a testbatch.. But indeed i have real issue with the smell too... Wow it is really smelly! I think i will stick to silk and elastine

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Marjo! Thanks for the great thoughts! Look for the Weekend Wonderings for Sunday, February 10 post with your comments!

seventh77 said...

Hi Susan,

I recently posted a similar comment, but after reading this post I found myself with more questions.

I'm trying to determine the difference between hydrolyzed oat *flour* and hydrolyzed oat *protein*. I've read that oat flour is simply ground up whole oats, and that hydrolyzed oat protein comes from whole oats. So if hydrolyzed oat flour comes from hydrolyzing ground up oats, I don't understand how that is different from hydrolyzing whole oats to make hydrolyzed oat protein. Does the structure of the oat really make that much of a difference in the outcome of the hydrolyzing process?

A few haircare forums I've been to explain that hydrolyzed oat flour isn't a protein, whereas hydrolyzed oat protein is, and they explain this by stating that hydrolyzed oat flour is mainly made up of carbohydrates, whereas the other version is made up of hydrolyzed proteins.

Which made sense to me, until I read Croda's hydrolyzed oat protein composition and found out that it is only 3% protein, with the rest being carbohydrates.

So if both versions are mostly made up of carbohydrates, what's the difference?

Also, how does using either version differ from using regular finely ground oats in a lotion?

Anna said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you for such a wonderful blog! I´m writing you from Sweden and wonder if you know how to make hydrolyzed oat protein?

It seems to be difficult to find hydrolyzed oat protein near Sweden and it would also be fun to make at home if it isn´t too complicated.

Thanks again!

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

Hello Susan, being allergic as I am to gluten I cannot apply any cereal on my skin. What other extract substitute would you recommend for oily and acne prone skin? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nannita. I'm afraid to suggest anything if you are allergic because I don't know what qualifies as a cereal and what doesn't for your allergies. You'll have to do research to figure out what works for you. Probably silk?

Pam said...

Hi Susan I Love your blog! I made some lotion today. I didn't make much but, I added hydrolyzed oat protein. I add it to everything. But, I have been adding it to my cool down phase. This is going to change but, should I get rid of the lotions that I made today? As far as I know, nothing has ever happened because I didn't add it at the right time. I don't sell my products so I never make too much!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pam! No, don't worry about it. If you're using small amounts - say 2% to 3% - you're fine if you are heating and holding and using preservatives. It's just that adding it in the heated water phase adds a little more protection than using it in the cool down phase. I'm glad you're worried about these things! It's good to see such a dedication to safety!