Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Formulating with oils - hand lotion.

Yesterday we took a look at a post sun, summer time hand lotion - let's take a look at some winter hand lotion oil combinations!

What are my winter-y needs? I kinda sorta forget to wear gloves and coats and sweaters and things of that nature this time of year. I get warm really easily, so I don't bother wearing bulky things in buildings or in the car. This does mean I am exposed to the elements now and then, and my skin does enjoy the dryness of low humidity and central heating. (I also have dry hands because of the crafting I do - I'm always finding cuts and scrapes and burns from Xacto knives or needles or irons, so I need something for wound healing!)

What's the goal here? To create a hand lotion that will moisturize well, increase skin's barrier repair and wound healing abilities, and feel nice going on and staying on.

70% water
15% oil
5% butter
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
5% emulsifier of some kind
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservatives

My usual hand lotion oil combination choice is sunflower, rice bran, and fractionated coconut oil. I like a greasy hand lotion, something that feels like it's doing me some good! Sunflower oil brings linoleic acid - good for skin's barrier repair - and Vitamin E to the mix, as well as great phytosterols to help with anti-inflammation and itching. Rice bran oil brings some oleic acid - moisturizing and softening - great anti-oxidants, and squalene, which is very moisturizing and softening. And fractionated coconut oil feels very light and offers moisturizing.

If I wanted to get fancy, I could use squalane - although it's a tad expensive, it's a well absorbed oil that offers great moisturizing and softening to weather damaged, chapped, and cracked skin - and evening primrose or borage oil for the GLA to help with skin barrier damage repair. Pomegranate would be a good inclusion for someone like me who is always wounding or damaging her hands crafting as the punicic acid helps with weather damaged skin and the gallic acid is a burn and wound healer. (Anyone else think it ironic I'm trashing my hands to make manicure scrubs and hand lotions?)

How to choose? What feels nice? I love my sunflower, rice bran, and fractionated coconut oil combination and it offers qualities I want in a hand lotion. It softens, moisturizes, helps reduce inflammation and redness, helps with chapped and damaged skin, and feels nice when it's on. So I'll use that combination for this recipe.

What about the butter choice? If I'm going for maximum occlusion and barrier ingredients, then cocoa butter would be my best choice. If I want good occlusion, softening, moisturizing, and barrier ingredients, then shea butter might be the better choice. (It contains allantoin, so I could leave it out of the recipe below.) I'm going with shea butter here because I want lots of moisturizing with a good level of barrier ingredients.

As I am someone who doesn't tend to remember gloves when I'm going out, my hands are also trashed by the elements. I'll include 0.5% allantoin into the water phase because I need a barrier ingredient, and allantoin feels less greasy than something like cocoa butter. I'll use aloe vera and a hydrosol for extra healing and soothing for my hands.

As for the humectants, although I really like sodium lactate and sodium PCA, they do wash off in water. I'll include 2% because I tend to use this recipe at night, so washing off isn't an issue. Glycerin, hydrovance, or a cationic polymer will all work here at up to 3%. I think I'll include both humectants - I need all the moisturizing I can get! I like a film former, so the hydrolyzed protein has to be there! And I need panthenol. As I'm creating something to help with my chapped and burned hands, the panthenol will offer some great qualities without adding greasiness. I could include some dimethicone here for emolliency and barrier protection, and cyclomethicone for glide and slip. I think I'll do that, too!

Why am I using stearic acid in a hand lotion instead of cetyl alcohol? Although I do like the glidiness of cetyl alcohol, I want more of a lotion than a cream, something that might stay on through the day longer and possibly through hand washings, so I'm going with stearic acid. This will make this feel like a thicker recipe than if I used cetyl alcohol. You can substitute cetyl in this recipe at the same amount of stearic acid.

Check your emulsifier! Our oil phase is 30% (oils, butter, stearic acid, IPM, silicones, fragrance oil) so I need 7.5% emulsifying wax or BTMS.

HAND LOTION RECIPE, modified for winter
30.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender or chamomile hydrosol
3% glycerin or other humectant
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein - I like hydrolyzed oat protein
0.5% allantoin

15% oil combination of choice
5% shea or mango butter
3% stearic acid
7.5% emulsifier (I like Polawax in this recipe)
2% IPM

2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

1. Weigh out your water phase in a heat proof container and place it in a double boiler. Sprinkle the allantoin into the water and mix well until it dissolves.

2. Weigh out your oil phase in a heat proof container and place it in a double boiler.

3. Heat and hold both containers at 70C for at least 20 minutes. When you've done this, pour the water phase into the oil phase and blend incredibly well to help with emulsification.

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, cyclomethicone, and preservative. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.

6. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature (a few hours), put into a pump bottle or malibu/tottle bottle and use!

So how is this different from yesterday's lotion? Most of the ingredients are the same, but we have different oils and butters to serve different roles. Today's lotion is about occlusion and protection; yesterday's lotion was about soothing and moisturizing.

But there's more than one way to soothe and moisturizing. Join me tomorrow for a more powdery version of this lotion!


Anonymous said...

Another wonderful blog entry. Your descriptions are so easy to understand (ever thought of writing a book?).

A question. Have you noticed that commercial products- lotions use zea mays / corn oil? It's never crossed my mind to look at corn oil for a facial product.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the kind words! And yes, I am considering writing a book on lotions and other creations (I did have a book published a few years ago, and it was such great fun!)

I have noticed corn oil in a few things. I should look into it a little bit more! Good idea - I'll put it on the list of things to do!

Brandi Yates said...

I just made this hand cream. I really love it. It is creamy and goes on very smooth. I used olive oil and shea butter. I used everyone of the ingredients listed. After I put it on, my hands are not greasy at all. I can feel they are softer. Ive never made hand lotion but this is going to be my go to recipe :)

Brandi Yates said...

I used the recipe for winter. My skin also feels like there is a protective layer.

Yulia said...

Do I need to change percentages if I don't use methicones?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Yulia. Yes, you do. Our recipes should total 100%.

Yulia said...

Hi, am I understanding this right : if in water phase I remove one ingredient and increase other/s so that water phase percentage doesn't change, is that correct? Same for oil phase?
Thanks (never done a cream in my life and still have a ton to learn, but have made whipped butters)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Yulia. I have written about this many times on the blog - find those things in the FAQ and the newbie section - but I'm writing about it again on Tuesday, January 27th if you want more information on this topic.

SarahB said...

This recipe is great! I've tried a lot of hand/cuticle commercial products and this was better than any of them. I did have to modify it because it's quite difficult to get ingredients where I live.

HAND LOTION RECIPE, modified for winter
30.5% water
(had to replace the aloe, oat protein, allantoin and hydrosol with another 22.5% water because I can't get those ingredients)
3% glycerin
2% sodium lactate

15% sunflower oil
5% mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
7.5% BTMS-50
(I can't get IPM - I replaced this with another 2% water, although that was probably a mistake because it was in the oil phase...)

2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
(Cyclomethicone replaced with another 2% water)
1% frankincense essential oil
0.5% to 1% Germaben.

The result was very thick and creamy, with a slight waxy feel, not too greasy, smells lovely and is a bright white color. Hours later my hands have a nice texture. I don't need it for winter temperatures, but to repair cracked and peeling skin. It's much better than the Aveeno brand 'Intense Moisture" hand lotion I've been buying. In the whole recipe process the main problem has been getting the $%#! stuff into a pump container with a pastry tube. I tried to get it into a tube and failed.

I watched an online basic chemistry lecture series and then some organic chemistry lectures after reading your blog. I'm hoping to learn a little organic chemistry. Thank you for your inspiration Susan! - SarahB

Brandi Yates said...

Im about to make this again. I just bought aloe vera liquid with 10X concentration for cosmetic use. Does this mean I should only use it at 1% in my recipes?

Magdalena Keating said...

Hi Susan,

I want to make my hubby a nourishing hand cream. It is winter here and he works outside. His hands are dry and rough. I don't have IPM and am new the world of esters but wondered whether I could use arrowroot powder to absorb some of the greasiness? I am trying to adapt your recipe with whatever ingredients I do have. If I can use arrowroot, would you suggest I add it in the cool down phase? How much would you recommend?

Thank you for your time :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Magdalena! I have dozens of hand lotions on this blog, so if you don't have the ingredients for one of them, check out another one. I don't like to use powders in products as they can get clumpy and weird, so you can just leave out the IPM and use more oil instead. Or check out my products in the men's products section as they are less greasy.

I personally love my hand protectant recipe for people who are outside in the winter. Do a search and see what you find!