Thursday, January 21, 2010

Body butter becomes foot cream

This is a bit of a cheating example because I've already formulated something from the body butter that I think would work great for really damaged husband's very itchy body butter recipe. Many of the issues I addressed in that post would work wonders for Wanda's feet (don't you love a good alliteration?), but let's formulate something from scratch!

60% water
2% sodium lactate or glycerin

10% oils
15% shea butter
6% emulsifier
3% cetyl alcohol

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

Okay, first things first - I want that 3% menthol in there, as well as the 0.5% each of camphor and eucalyptus because Wanda loves those. And I'll need more humectants in there. I need to take a look at the oils and butters to see if they work well, and I want to add some goodies to the water and cool down phase.

Humectants: Need more! So let's add 3% glycerin to this mix. I'll 2% sodium lactate as well because I like it, and I'm not worried about sun sensitizing for a foot lotion.

Allantoin: I like it at 0.5% for barrier protection.

Hydrolyzed protein: Again, I like this at 2% for film forming and moisturizing. I think I'll go with silk amino acids since I have some and since they will actually penetrate skin.

Panthenol: Love this stuff and it works well for damaged skin. 2% in the cool down phase for sure!

Water phase: I like aloe and lavender in a foot care product. Since I won't have a huge water phase, I think I'll leave the water out entirely and just go with equal parts of these liquids instead. I can't decide on the amounts until I see what my oil phase let's move on for a moment.

Oils and butters: I've been going with rice bran oil and mango butter, but would something else work? What about calendula oil? It has good levels of linoleic acid (27.5%) but contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is fantastic for reducing inflammation. It is also anti-septic, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial, with healing properties for wounds. It's a light dry oil, and might be a good addition. Cranberry oil might be a fine choice with the nice levels of linoleic acid, good Vitamin E levels, and tons of phytosterols that will help reduce inflammation, redness, and itching? Or pomegranate oil with the punicic acid that offers cell regenerating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties? It increases skin elasticity, as well. And the the other polyphenols can help with wound and burn healing, increase skin regeneration, thicken the skin, and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Or sea buckthorn oil with its high levels of Vitamin E, palmitoleic acid that can help with wounds and scratches, and high phytosterol levels to help with anti-inflammatory benefits?

Okay, let's back up a second. Which butter should I choose? If I go with mango butter, I might consider using greasier oils. If I go with shea butter, dryness might be a bonus. Hmm, which one works well? Let's be honest...either are great choices. I think I'll go with mango butter because I do have a ton of it in the house and it does offer anti-fungicidal and anti-microbial properties. Although shea does contain allantoin - bonus! - I'm adding it to the water phase any way, so let's choose mango butter.

We have our butter. Does this change our oil choice? Possibly. Let's take a look at some carrier oils we could use first, then add exotic oils if we feel like it. (I feel a bit like John Cleese yelling at his students in the "Meaning of Life"! Do we need to go stampeding towards the exotic oils when we have less expensive but similarly awesome carrier oils at our disposal?)

What about avocado oil? It's a heavier feeling dry oil with all kinds of wonderful phytosterols to help with moisturizing and inflammation, and it is well absorbed by the skin. It is a high oleic oil, so we'd want something with linoleic oil to help with barrier protection. Sunflower oil is a light, greasy feeling oil with high levels of linoleic acid - this might be a great choice - or soy bean oil with a longer shelf life and nice levels of phytosterols for moisturizing and anti-inflammation. (We could also use all sesame or rice bran oil for a nice balance of fatty acids!)

I think I'll go with a mixture of mango butter, avocado oil, and soybean oil for this application. Let's leave the exotic oils for another time. In the original version of this body butter we used 10% oils and 15% butters. I really want the linoleic acid contribution of the soybean oil for repairing the skin's barrier protection, so I think I'll switch those amounts around and use 15% oils (10% soy bean oil, 5% avocado oil) and 10% butters.

Silicones: 2% dimethicone offers good barrier protection, so that's going into the cool down phase.

Emulsifiers: Our oil phase is now 32% of our recipe - 25% oils and butters, 2% dimethicone, 3% menthol, and 1% essential oils. I want to include some cetyl alcohol in here for the thickening and glide, so let's do that at 3%. Our total is now 35% oil phase. At 1/4 for Polawax, we need to use 8.75% emulsifier. Round it up to 9% (I'm not a fan of fractions!) and we have our emulsifier amount.

Okay, so what do we have so far? Our ingredients make up 53%!
Water phase - 7.5% of the recipe
Oil phase - 40.0% of the recipe
Cool down phase - 5.5% of the recipe
We'll go with 30% aloe vera, 23% lavender hydrosol for this application and leave out the water entirely!

30% aloe vera
23% lavender hydrosol
3% glycerin
2% sodium lactate
0.5% allantoin
2% silk amino acids

10% soybean oil
5% avocado oil
10% mango butter
3% menthol
9% emulsifier
3% cetyl alcohol

2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% camphor essential oil
0.5% eucalyptus essential oil

So we have a lovely foot lotion to soothe the dry skin of my bestest friend made with all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff. How is this different than modifying a lotion? Honestly, not a lot different. If you compare yesterday's post and today's post, you'll see we end up at almost the same point. Part of this are my preferences as a formulator, part of this is because there are only so many variations on lotions you can make!

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun!


Kat said...

Swift - just wondering about the Eucalyptus amount here. On another page on your site, you mention not going over 1% ( ). Is that specifically for anhydrous products only? Is it really okay to go up to 3% here? Just checking! Thanks :-)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kat. My suggestion is that we use 3% menthol, 0.5% eucalyptus, and 0.5% camphor. I didn't suggest we use 3% eucalyptus. Could you be thinking about another post you read? Although having said that, I wouldn't suggest going over 1% because it's not a good idea.

Kat said...

I'm so sorry - my mistake. Somehow, I was substituting words in my mind. Thanks for the clarification - and for all you do on your site!

MicheleJ said...

Hi Sue! Are you using powdered or liquid Panthenol? I have powdered only so do I need to change the formula to us it in place of liquid? Thanks! Michele

Anamaria said...

Hi Susan, first of all, thank you for such a wonderful blog, I'm starting to open my eyes to a the cosmetic world which was so unknown to me. I have a question about glycerin, where I live there are two kinds, one that's edible and the other one is sold at pharmacies, which one do you use in your formulas? Or is it just a marketing strategy? Thank you

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anamaria. Thank you for your kind words. I doubt there's a difference. One is probably pharmaceutical grade, the other food grade. We want to use cosmetic grade, but we can use the others. I pay $7 a litre for glycerin. I have a feeling the others are much more expensive.

Sun Island said...

Hi, I realize this is an older post but I'm confused with the math. When I add up all the phases I get 106%. Not sure where to remove the extra 6% from - water phase is only 60.5% but oil phase is 40% and cool down is 5.5%. Since I'm going to use Polawax I was going to decrease that to maybe 5.5% (it works between 2 to 10%). That takes me down to 102.5%. Would it be best to split that by taking maybe 1 % from water phase and 1.5 from oil phase? Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sun Island. Just make the recipe the way it is written at 106%, or do whatever you wish with it. It's not the end of the world if the recipe isn't exactly 100%. (I'm afraid I have some rather life or death matters on my mind right now, so I can't take the time to re-write it.)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

That last comment isn't intended to be sarcastic. I mean that with sincerity - the recipe, as written, works. There's no need to alter it to be 100%. You can if you wish. Or you can re-calculate it to be 100% by dividing everything by 106, but it seems like too much work!