Friday, January 15, 2010

Tweaking lotions continued...

Let's say you're looking for an "all natural" lotion. What exactly does this mean? You cannot have a 100% natural lotion because everything we use has been processed in some way. So perhaps we can define it as a lotion created using minimally processed ingredients? I have to use preservative, emulsifier, and thickeners, so right there we have at least 10% of our recipe that is processed. But we can have some fun with the other 90%!

My goals remain the same for a summer time lotion - to include oils good for during and post-sun exposure, reducing ingredients that could make you sun sensitive, reducing the feeling of oiliness, and increasing barrier protection without being too heavy. I need an oil, a humectant, a greasiness reducer, and a barrier ingredient.

We can use honey as a humectant, include aloe and hydrosols in our water phase, and use our oils. Because I don't have silicones as a barrier ingredient and honeyquat or hydrolyzed proteins as film formers, I'm going to include cocoa butter and allantoin as barrier ingredients.

I think I'll include witch hazel in this lotion as is good for sprains and bruises and insect bites. It's astringent, so it will act as the ingredient to make the lotion less greasy, in the place of IPM or Dry-flo. I could choose drier oils or butters, but I like the ones I have so I'll reduce the greasiness elsewhere.

In the water phase, I can substitute many things for the water. I'll have 10% witch hazel to reduce the greasiness, 10% aloe vera for sun exposure, and 10% hydrosol - chamomile is nice - to help with soothing. I could use apple cider vinegar or other liquids, but I don't have any in the house and this will be a nice combination.

42.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
3% honey
0.5% allantoin

15% oils - 7.5% sesame oil, 7.5% wheat germ oil
5% cocoa butter
3% cetyl alcohol
6% Polawax or other emulsifier of choice

0.5% preservative
0.5% fragrance or essential oils

Let's check out oils phase - 23%, so we need about 6% emulsifier, so no changes there. We have upped the water phase because we took out other ingredients, so we're using a total of 72.5% water in this lotion. This would have been a lighter lotion than the other versions, but we've added the butter back to the mix, so we should see some thickening there. And we've achieved our goals yet again - we have a lotion with some sun exposure ingredients (the oils, aloe, butter), a humectant (honey), and a barrier ingredient (cocoa butter, allantoin) that shouldn't be too greasy (witch hazel).

Join me tomorrow for more fun with lotions!


andreja said...

I can use honey in lotions? Wohooo!

Aesthete said...

Hi Susan,

I've read lotions containing honey are difficult to preserve.
Do you think using two different types of preservative would keep it from spoiling? or is that overkill??

Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aesthete. A lot of honey can be a problem, but I've found 3% is a good level that hasn't posed a challenge for me so far. It depends where you get your honey - if you get it from a reputable honey seller (beekeeper, grocery store, etc.) and it is clean, you can use it. If it has bee bits in it, I'd stay away.

You can use two types of preservatives - I've done that with liquid Germall Plus and Germaben II for strawberry powders - but I don't think you need to worry about it for 3% honey. It is relatively self-preserving, and if you've used distilled water and the heat and hold method, you should be just fine.

Aesthete said...

Hi Susan!

I was just wondering if any of the lotions you've made with honey change slightly in color? I made one with 3% honey about 3 months ago. It turned out a lovely light yellow. About a week ago I noticed a streak of white in it. Do you think it's due to the honey? or maybe the oils have gone rancid? I tried testing with a home micro lab kit and have not seen any signs of mold or bacteria growth....


Thank you in advance for sharing!

Katalin Michaels said...

Susan - I know this is an old post, but I have to ask (and maybe I'm just losing my mind) - did you leave out the emulsifier? I assume you did, but perhaps there's something in this string of posts that explains the method to your madness?!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Wow, that was one heck of a mistake. I mention in the post it should be 6%, and I need to update that. Thanks for catching that!