Thursday, April 1, 2010

Getting out of your comfort zone as a formulator...

I ended this body butter post by saying there aren't many variations on lotions, which might seem like a bizarre statement considered the probably millions of recipes you see on suppliers' sites, manufacturers' sites, blogs, and forums (that should be fora, right?). The basics of every lotion are oil, water, emulsifier, and preservative, but it's how we combine them that makes them awesome. I have my basic lotion recipe - click here - and everything I do is modified from that.

I have my preferences - I like using aloe and hydrosols, while others like apple cider vinegar or teas of some sort - and I have what's available to me, so the recipes you see on this blog reflect that. Some people hate silicones and leave them out; I include them in almost everything. You might love stearic acid, while I prefer cetyl alcohol. And don't get me started on emulsifier choices!

So I'm going to step out of my comfort zone for a minute, and use my basic lotion recipe to create a product using ingredients I have rarely used but have in my workshop!

What's my goal? I think I'd like a lighter lotion for the work day that won't be too occlusive - I tend to get warm very easily - and spreads well.

SWIFT'S BASIC LOTION FORMULA (modified to include humectants)
67% water
3% humectant of choice
15% oil
5% butter
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
5% emulsifier of some kind
1% fragrance oil
0.5% to 1% preservatives

I haven't used a lot of the ingredients I ordered from the Personal Formulator (What's in the box?), so let's use some of that stuff!

Humectant: I have propylene glycol and hexylene glycol. Let's add 3% propylene glycol and see what I think of it. And I'll throw in 2% sodium PCA because I do like my humectants. Plus I usually increase the humectants when I'm using fewer oils.

Oils: I want something light and not very occlusive, so do I want to include an butter? (This means dimethicone is right out as well.) I bought a few interesting new light oils, so I think I'll include the C12-15 alkyl benzoate at 8% or so to give me a light feeling lotion. Unfortunately, it doesn't have all those lovely polyphenols, phytosterols, and vitamins like a regular carrier oil, so I'll include wheat germ oil. It has great levels of Vitamin E, linoleic acid, and phytosterols to help with inflammation, so I'll include it at 6%.

Honestly, I had thought to divide the 20% oils into 7% C12-15 alkyl benzoate, 7% wheat germ oil, and 6% matcha green tea butter, but I wasn't paying close attention when I was pouring the C12-15 alkyl benzoate and ended up with the 8%! So that's why you see the numbers you see.

Because these are both very light to light oils, I really should include a butter. I just bought some matcha green tea butter from Soapcraft, and I think this would be lovely (although it is very green and makes the lotion also very green!)

Green tea extract. It's filled with great polyphenols, so I can use those to increase the polyphenols and anti-oxidants in my lotion. I bought the liquid kind, which I can use at up to 5%, so I'm going to use at that amount in my cool down phase. (I could use other powdered extracts, but I'm using new things!) Click here for information on using liquid green tea extract. This butter, coupled with my new and exciting butter, will offer some great anti-oxidizing benefits!

Emulsifiers and thickeners: I'll use Polawax as normal here, but I think I'll try using cetearyl alcohol or cetyl esters in the lotion to see how they feel. I think I'll go with cetyl esters this time - it is supposed to offer a nice creamy feeling - at 3%. I can't figure out my emulsifier amount yet, so let's move on...

Water phase: I always use aloe vera and lavender hydrosol, but what about chamomile hydrosol? It's relatively new to me. I think I'll include that at 10% for soothing and reducing redness (a big issue for me!) I did consider using apple cider vinegar, but I don't really like the smell and it can mess with pH in a lotion, so I won't try it again. Oh, what about rosemary hydrosol? It is supposed to be good for oily skin. But I'm not really worried about oily skin on my body, so let's save that for my face and hair. 10% chamomile it is!

Hydrolyzed protein: I do like my hydrolyzed protein, and I don't have anything new in the box, but I think I'll try phytokeratin at 2% in this mixture (I haven't used it often!). There are some small molecules in this protein to penetrate my skin, but some will remain as a film former.

Ethylhexyl palmitate: This is an ester to be used in place of IPM. I was debating including this in this lotion, but considering this should be quite light and dry in the first place, I'm not sure if I want it here. I think I'll leave it out this time, and try it in the next version once I have a sense of what the other ingredients bring to the party!

Okay, so we have 20% oils, 3% cetyl esters for a total of 23% oil phase. We need 25% of this in Polawax, so we'll need 6% emulsifying wax.

Even thought we have a ton of it in the wheat germ oil, et's add Vitamin E at 1% in the cool down phase. (That brings our oil phase to 24%, so 6% is perfect!)

So what do we need for water? Total it all up and we have 51.5% so we need 46.5% water to make a 100% recipe.

TRYING NEW THINGS OUT LOTION
WATER PHASE
46.5% water
10% chamomile hydrosol
3% propylene glycol
2% sodium PCA
2% phytokeratin

OIL PHASE
20% oils - 8% C12-15 alkyl benzoate, 6% wheat germ oil, and 6% matcha green tea butter
6% Polawax
3% cetyl esters

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance oil (Cream cheese frosting from Brambleberry, as usual!)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% Vitamin E
5% liquid green tea extract

So what do I think? It's an interesting lotion. It's quite a light lotion with a very nice glide. It is a little waxier than I would have expected, but I'm so accustomed to including IPM, dimethicone, and cyclomethicone in my products that I think that's what is missing. It is a nice light green/yellow colour, which could be off-putting to some, but I really quite like it!

What would I change? Nothing so far. I quite like it - it feels occlusive but not over the top occlusive like a body butter might feel. I'm going to use it for a few more days to see how well it performs over time!

Sorry for the lack of a picture, but I put these into opaque malibu/tottles, so there's nothing to see!

I'm formulating a ton of stuff this week - I had another Botox treatment, so the headaches, neck pain, and shoulder aches are gone for at least another four weeks. Yay! So join me tomorrow for a few other things I've been playing with this week (and tomorrow's Good Friday, so I have all day to play!)

1 comment:

Topcat said...

Wow, that seems quite a departure for you based on my reading of your wonderful blog....I am guessing you will tweak this? I would love to hear what you end up with and why.

Thanks again for sharing! :)