Thursday, August 5, 2010

The chemistry of our nails: Oil based scrubs

There are a million ways you could make an oil based manicure scrub. I like to make mine with a combination of different weights and greasiness levels - avocado (heavy, dry), sunflower (light, greasy), fractionated coconut oil (very light, dryish), and jojoba oil (heavy, dry) - because each offers a different property. In the end, I want something mostly dryish with some good oil properties. The sunflower might seem like a weird addition as it is very greasy, but I want the linoleic acid it contains. You could include rice bran oil or soy bean oil for the linoleic acid as well. I also add orange essential oil in mine - it's a degreaser, so we get some of the oils off our hands, but there's still some left behind.

If you are interested in making a manicure scrub without lanolin and lecithin, please click here for the post on the topic. And click here for all the posts on butters and oils

I'm making an oil based scrub incorporating the oils and butters we know are good for our nails. I want to use the lecithin and lanolin in lower amounts - some will stay behind when we wash off the scrub, but it won't be too greasy. I'll be using mostly dry feeling oils because the lanolin will provide more than enough greasiness! Because this is intended to be used for my hands as well as my nails, I'll include some lovely oils with great moisturizing qualities - I want some linoleic acid for moisturizing and skin barrier damage repair, and oleic acid for great moisturizing. I could go with rice bran oil (both), avocado oil (oleic acid), camellia oil (dry, oleic acid, lighter than avocado oil), sesame oil (medium, dryish, contains both)

30% rice bran or sesame seed oil
30% hazelnut oil
15% camellia oil, fractionated coconut oil, or other light oil
10% lanolin
10% lecithin
2% IPM
1% orange or other citrus essential oil
1% mint based essential oil
1% Phenonip or other oil soluble preservative

Weigh all the ingredients except the essential oils into a heatproof container and put into a double boiler. Heat until the lanolin has melted. Get a 125 ml clean jar, add 100 grams of salt, then pour over the amount of oil you want into the container. Mix as you add - you can stop and mix, then add more. Rejoice for you are done!

You can use esters for the 16% camellia or FCO. Something like ethylhexyl ethanoate would feel just gorgeous here!

When it comes to the salts, I like to use 20% Dead Sea salts and 80% fine sea salts. Don't use all Dead Sea salts as they are hygroscopic and will draw water to your container if you leave it open, which can result in a block of salts in your scrub. Not nice.

As a note, the first picture contains 56 grams of oil and 100 grams of salt in a 125 ml jar. You would want to mix this every time to use it as the oil will eventually migrate to the top of the jar. The second picture contains 37 grams of oil and 100 grams of salt. The oil will still migrate to the top of the jar, but less so and will require less mixing. You could go as low as 25 grams of oil to 100 grams of salts if you want to make something that requires little to no mixing. It's up to you. So if you make up 100 grams of the manicure oils you'll get anything from 2 to 4 jars of manicure scrub! Not bad, eh?

As usual, feel free to leave out the lanolin and lecithin and replace them with other oils. And if you want to leave out the IPM, increase one of the other oil amounts by 2%.

You can also choose whichever fragrances you want - I like a combination of orange and spearmint or peppermint essential oils because they smell lovely together, very fresh! You could add tea tree oil for anti-bacterial properties or another citrus oil (I'm having a love affair with key lime right now - add a titch of vanilla for a key lime pie!). You can also add fragrance oils - you know I'm a foodie, so cream cheese frosting or wedding cake would smell gorgeous, but I think something citrus-y and uplifting might be nice like Jewelled Citrus or Hello Sweet Thing!

Join me tomorrow for...

1 comment:

Angela McGuire said...

What plant derived oils would be best to replace the lecthicin and lanolin. Including soy lecthicin?