Saturday, August 7, 2010

The chemistry of our nails: Modifying yesterday's product

Although I really like yesterday's recipe - it's great as a light lotion without having to go to the effort of using emulsifiers and water - I really wanted a balm. What do I need to change?

I realized I'd left out the cetyl alcohol or stearic acid, so I added 6% cetyl esters (again, having a love affair with esters right now...) I wanted it to be thicker, but I didn't want to add a wax, so I added mango butter at 20% and kokum butter at 10% to thicken it. (I have no issues with wax, but I like figuring out other ways to do things...) I'm trying to keep this at a low greasiness level, hence those choices, and I threw in another 10% babassu oil because I figured that might help as well (and you know I love that stuff!)

CUTICLE AND NAIL BALM WITH WATER SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS, MODIFIED
(note this is in grams, not percentages because I didn't want to re-calculate it here - total: 137 grams)

WATER SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS
3 grams panthenol
3 grams protein
4 grams honeyquat
2 grams sodium lactate
0.5 grams rosemary extract

OIL BASED INGREDIENTS
12 grams lanolin
10 grams lecithin
1 grams Vitamin E
40 grams babassu oil
16.5 grams aloe vera oil
16 grams ethylhexyl palmitate
2 grams fragrance or essential oil
1 grams Phenonip

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS (38 grams extra)
6 grams cetyl esters (you can use cetyl alcohol or stearic here)
2 grams IPM
20 grams mango butter
10 grams kokum butter

I put the original recipe in the fridge while I melted the additional ingredients. You could melt all the oil based ingredients - except the lanolin and lecithin - at the same time. I added the melted ingredients and mixed like silly. And it seems to have become lighter and more whippy! It's nice as a mousse, but not remotely close to being a balm!

To balm this up, I could add some waxes to this. Something like 15% to 20% beeswax would make it more balmy in nature (see the complicated balm) with the water soluble ingredients.

I can't ask you to join me tomorrow to see what happens as I think I'm done with this recipe. It doesn't seem like there's a load of interest in this series and I'm really eager to post the results of my recent experiments with esters. If you make this and add the wax, let me know what you think. Personally, I'm really enjoying the mousse like, less greasy feeling of this mousse, so I will encourage you to try it! I will be playing more in the near future with incorporating water soluble ingredients by using lanolin because this is a really neat way to use those ingredients and without all the work of making a lotion, but for now I'm off to play with more esters.

Join me tomorrow for a wrap up for the short series on nails and the start of the esters series!

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