Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back to basics: Lotion bars - let's get complicated!

I'm definitely the type of person who likes to experiment - and that's one of the more obvious things I've said today -  so you know I had to take the lotion bar a little bit further and try something new and more complicated! I rummaged through my box o' stuff and incorporated a few of those esters and other oil soluble ingredients into a lotion bar.

25% beeswax
5% cetyl esters
30% shea butter
18% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
2% isopropyl palmitate
15% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
1% fragrance oil

Weigh everything except the silicones and fragrance oil into a heatproof container and heat until melted. Add the silicones and fragrance oil, mix well, then pour into your container or mould and let sit until set. Use. Rejoice.

This will produce a hard bar that feels light on your skin. (It will become creamy coloured when it solidifies. It is still liquidy in the picture above!)

So why use all these things? Because I can! The shea butter is quite a greasy feeling butter, and I'm countering that with the isopropyl palmitate (like isopropyl myristate or IPM, an ester that can reduce the feeling of greasiness in products) and the esters, which tend to feel less greasy on our skin. The silicones offer slip and glide to counter the beeswax.

So why add the cetyl esters? Cetyl esters are like cetyl alcohol, offering emolliency, glide, and a creamy feeling to the bar. As well, it will offer some stiffness and hardness to the bar, so I can reduce the beeswax, which will reduce the dragginess.

For more information on each of these ingredients, please click here

If you wanted to replicate a bar like this - a lotion bar with shea butter that feels less greasy - but don't want to order a ton of ingredients, you could try something like this...

25% beeswax
5% cetyl alcohol
25% shea butter
37% fractionated coconut oil
2% IPM
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% fragrance oils

Join me for a wrap-up and link-o-rama on lotion bars tomorrow!


Marisol said...

Hi Susan. I love everything you post and I'm forever thankful for your advise to us. Now, I want to make a lotion bar containing magnesium chloride flakes and those need to be "melted" in water. Even a little bit but need to use water never the less . . Is there any way to incorporate a bit of water in a lotion bar? Maybe adding some preservative and emulsifying wax? What do you think?
Maybe melting the mag in the hot oils??
I sure appreciate any thought on this.
Very best regards to you,

Melanie said...

I'm having difficulties with the silicones in these bars. The first time I added the silicones, I guess it was still too hot and it "cooked" the silicone into a rubbery mass that wouldn't stir in. But if I wait until it is 120 degrees or less, the bar has started to harden and becomes a lumpy mess in the mold. Do you know how hot I can add the silicones without them solidifying?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Marisol. What is the purpose of using magnesium chloride in the product? What will it bring to a lotion bar?

Hi Melanie. Hmm, I'm not sure what to suggest, to be honest. I just add the cyclomethicone when it reaches about 50˚C, which is around 130F, I think, and mix it well. I will have to make these again shortly and report back on my results step by step because I've never had it turn into a rubbery mass. Sorry I can't be more helpful at the moment.

Robin said...

I made the lotion bar with dimethicone, IPM and cyclomethicone. It appears marbled throughout the bar as if the silicones would not incorporate. Suggestions. Unsure if that is the issue but the colr is not consistent. Marbled is my impression of the appearance.

Robin said...

Made this recipe again. Same outcome. Horrible. Tried a third time omitting the silicones. Increased IPM to 5% and adjusting oils a bit. Turned out perfect. Silicones do not mix well in my opinion with all oil recipe. Started to gel during coolndown after adding silicones. Tried at hotter temp and the too of the bar was marbled and blotchy with the appearance of not all coming together. The sad part is I made a 400 gram batch and cannot be repaired. Very disappointed. Again the batch with only IPM was great.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Robyn. It's too bad you didn't like the recipe. These are some of my favourites, and I make them regularly without problems including the silicones, so I'm not sure what to say.

I think you mentioned in another comment somewhere that you made a larger batch of this product and were frustrated by that. This is why I suggest making small batches of 100 grams or less when trying a product. You also mentioned somewhere that you were trying to sell them. I don't suggest selling a product until you've been making it and tracking its progress for at least a year so you can see how the product changes over time, how the preservatives or anti-oxidants stand up, how the fragrance morphs, and so on. Just a few thoughts...

As a quick aside, if you could confine your comments to one post, it would be easier to track your train of thoughts. I see you've commented on at least two different posts and have written to me privately, and it's hard to keep track of all the information.