Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back to basics: Dispersing bath oils

A dispersing bath oil is a liquid version of the bath melt - you bottle it, and add it to your bath as you need it. We add the emulsifier to the oils to help them disperse through the water, rather than floating in a greasy mess on top of the water. There are a few different types of solubilizing type emulsifiers you could use for this recipe - Cromollient, polysorbate 80, or other liquid emulsifiers - but I'm choosing polysorbate 80 as it's inexpensive and easy for me to find at my local suppliers.

This recipe is rated E for everyone, and is fantastic for beginners, those who don't wish to use preservatives, or those who are seeking an all natural product. The shelf life of this product is dependent upon the shelf life of your oils.

78% oils of choice
20% polysorbate 80 (emulsifier)
2% fragrance or essential oil

Mix your oils together, add the polysorbate 80. Add 2% fragrance or essential oil. If you are using oils with a 6 month or less shelf life, please add 0.5% to 1% Vitamin E to the bath oil.

Your oil choices will depend upon what kinds of oils you have and like in your workshop. This blend is a combination of avocado oil (dryish feeling), sesame oil (medium weight, greasy, non-staining to fabrics), and olive oil (medium to heavy weight, greasy) because those are the oils I had and I liked the idea of having a heavy weight, moisturizing bath oil with a vanilla scent. These oils have nice long shelf lives, so the bath oil should be good for up to 9 months or so.

18% avocado oil
30% sesame oil
30% olive oil
20% polysorbate 80
2% vanilla fragrance oil

Mix the oils together, add the polysorbate 80 and fragrance oil. Pour into bottle. Rejoice!

Bath oils offer a great chance to play with some awesome fragrance or essential oils. Try citrus for an uplifting bath, lavender and rosemary for calming and relaxing, cream cheese frosting or pink sugar fragrance oils for a really girly bath, and so on! Mint is not a good choice for in-the-bath products - the tingle is great for some products, but not for a soaking blend!

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating oil based body sprays!


Lissa said...

Love a bloming bath oil. After much experimenting I've found a combination of oil that my skin likes. With ALL the information you've shared.
Thank you for all you hard work

Alex said...

Can soy lecithin be used as the emulsifier?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Alex. You can try it - I've never used lecithin as an emulsifier in this product, but try making up a 100 gram batch and see if it works! Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

p said...

Would this bath oil work as a cleansing oil for removing make-up (as long as you choose the EO or FO with care)? I've been trying to make a makeup-removing cleansing oil that you apply to skin before getting your face wet, gently massage to dissolve makeup, then rinse off with warm water (the oil dissolving the makeup, and the oil dissolving/dispersing in the warm water). I tried something similar with polysorbate 20 (15% polysorbate 20, remaining oils + eo) and it works pretty well, but I find that the oils & make-up don't rinse off as easily as I'd like. Do you think 20% polysorbate 80 would work, as in your bath oil recipe? Thanks!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi p. I'm not sure, but I can't see the harm in trying it. Polysorbate 80 will emulsify sebum on our skin, so it makes sense to use it in an oil cleansing type product, and they're non-comedogenic, so they would be a good choice for a facial product.

Here's my latest post on the polysorbates.

MICHELA said...

Hi there,

so I am enjoying your weekly newsletter and as I am new to all of this I tried to do this simple bath oil.
I used the following ingredients:

Sunflower oil gr. 70
caprylyl/capryl glucoside gr 20
glicolic extract of Betula Alba (Birch bark extract) gr. 5
Essential oils for total gr. 15:
Grapefruit, juniper, eucalypt, lemongrass, fennel, sweet orange and rosehip.

The smell is very good and my skin after had the bath was perfectly moisturized!

I definitely love and this will be the first of a series of experiments!


BLOG mik youatyourbest

C Grant said...

I just made a blooming bath oil using 78% vegetable oils (Almond, Sunflower and Jojoba) 2% essential oils and 20% polysorbate 80. It keeps separating so the oil is on the top. Is this normal? How do get it to stop separating?

Thanks, Claire