Thursday, August 19, 2010

Esters: Using ethylhexyl palmitate in your creations!

I've said it a hundred times so far, but esters are a great way of increasing the feeling of dryness or reducing the feeling of greasiness, increasing the lightness and spreadability, and decreasing the thickness of your lotions or butters.

So let's take a look at a really greasy product - body butter with shea and other oils intended for oily skin - and use some of our new esterific friends to make it lighter and less greasy!

MODIFIED BODY BUTTER FOR OILY SKIN
WATER PHASE
30% aloe vera liquid or water
15.5% hydrosol of choice (chamomile or lavender are very nice!)
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA or honeyquat
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed proteins of choice (I like oat protein)
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
20% oils - soy bean oil
5% shea butter (or butter of choice)
8.5% emulsifier (e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS)
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% extract of choice
0.5% extract of choice
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
1% Vitamin E
1% fragrance or essential oil

In this recipe, I'm going to substitute the silicones with 2% ethylhexyl palmitate because it's very similar to dimethicone, but I'll move it to the oil phase. I'll keep the IPM - you can use IPP instead, if you want - and I'll substitute half the oils with ethylhexyl palmitate and keep 10% of the soy bean oil as I really like what it offers my skin. So I need a total of 12% ethylhexyl palmitate, 10% soy bean oil, and 2% IPP (already included in the recipe). I could use cetearyl ethylhexanoate or C12-15 alkyl benzoate, but I really want to use a cupcake-y kind of fragrance oil and we know the former doesn't play well with vanilla! 

Because I'm keeping my oil phase the same, I don't have to change the emulsifier amount. I'm using Polawax here, but you can use e-wax or BTMS-50 if you want. 

I think I'll play with my cetyl esters instead of cetyl alcohol - use cetyl alcohol if you don't like or don't have cetyl esters - and I'm keeping the cyclomethicone because I don't have a substitute for it. 

As for extracts, I really like chamomile for my reddened skin and since I just bought wheat grass extract, I think I'll use that. (It's supposed to help "soothe, moisturize and revitalize the appearance of dry, cracked or raw skin" and that's always a good thing if I'm using it on my trashed elbows! Look for a post on this extract shortly!) 

Okay, so let's take a look at our modified recipe...

BODY BUTTER FOR OILY SKIN WITH ESTERS
WATER PHASE
30% aloe vera liquid or water
15.5% hydrosol of choice (chamomile or lavender are very nice!)
2% sodium lactate or sodium PCA or honeyquat
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed proteins of choice (I like oat protein)
0.5% allantoin

OIL PHASE
22% oils - 10% soy bean oil, 12% ethylhexyl palmitate
5% shea butter (or butter of choice)
8.5% emulsifier (e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS)
3% cetyl alcohol or cetyl esters
2% IPM

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% extract of choice (chamomile)
0.5% extract of choice (wheat grass)
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% preservative (liquid Germall Plus)
1% Vitamin E
1% fragrance or essential oil (I'm using Clementine Cupcake from Brambleberry!)

As you can see, it's really easy to switch oils for esters and vice versa - you don't need to change your emulsifier or change the amounts you're using - but they will make a big difference in the skin feel of the lotion. 

Join me tomorrow for fun with cetyl esters! 

2 comments:

blackform said...

Hi,

Could you use esters in a lotion bar to reduce the greasy feel?

Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Yes. I've written a few posts on the topic - you can find one of them here.