Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The chemistry of our nails: Lotion bars with lecithin and lanolin

Using a cuticle balm in a stick format is a super easy way to get the goodness of all those wonderful ingredients without having to get your hands completely messy. So let's take a look at formulating a lotion bar in a tube using lecithin and lanolin.

28% beeswax
30% mango butter
10% lanolin
10% lecithin
20% oils of choice - hazelnut or soy bean are good choices
1% Vitamin E (optional)
1% fragrance or essential oil

Melt everything except the Vitamin E and fragrance or essential oil in a heat proof container in a double boiler. When the ingredients have melted, remove from the heat and add the Vitamin E and fragrance oil. Pour into mold or container and let set. Rejoice.

If you want to reduce the greasiness of this recipe, you can add 2% IPM and take 2% out of the oil amount. Using hazelnut will produce a less greasy bar, using soy bean will produce a more greasy bar. You can also substitute the butter for shea (more greasy) or cocoa (about the same). If you have some green tea butter or other exotic butter like shea aloe, you can use that for up to 15% of the mango butter - it's really soft, so you can't replace all of it - and that will make it feel drier. If you don't wish to use the lanolin and/or lecithin, then substitute oils of your choice. (Click here for the oil and butter posts!)

Join me tomorrow as we make an oil based manicure scrub! 


Soap By The Slice said...

Fantastic recipe!! What am I saying?? FANTASTIC blog!!
If I can find the lecathin here in the UK, I might just have to try this! Thanks Susan!!

Kat said...

Susan, How do I know whether to use HLB 7 or HLB 4 lecithin in a recipe? Thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kat. It's not relevant for this recipe as we aren't using it as an emulsifier, we're using it as an emollient. In any recipe in which it isn't the emulsifier - even in a lotion if it's being added as an emollient - we don't have to worry about that. If you want to use it as an emulsifier, you'll have to ask your supply shop for the HLB value of their specific product. They should have that information available.

Bay said...

I would love to use lanolin in a lotion bar, as i have really badly cracked and almost bleeding fingers. I will definitely update after i make some. Thank you for the wonderful blog :)

Laura Lisauskas said...

What can I substitute lecithin with?
Beeswax, more lanolin, exotic butter (which sounds fantastic for my 'gardening without gloves' hands? ;)
Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Laura! I've written a few thoughts about your comment in Saturday's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that you can substitute another liquid oil of your choice. The long answer is in the post!