Saturday, October 9, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Whipped shea without butter - complicated with esters version

I know the cetearyl alcohol will keep my oils whippy, light, and not separating, so I think I'll try a version with esters to make it feel less occlusive and less thick. I'm using my favourite ester, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, to make the product feel very light and non-greasy, and the IPM (or IPP) to increase the feeling of non-greasiness. I'm using coco caprylate/caprate as this is an ester I've been meaning to use for a while, but it gets pushed aside in favour of C12-15 alkyl benzoate every time!

Think of coco caprylate/caprate as an esterified version of coconut oil in that it's much thicker than the other esters we've used, with a high spreading value and thicker feeling on your skin. I'm using it to be a thicker ester - on par with a medium weight oil like rice bran oil - which, combined with the shea - thick oil - and cetearyl ethylhexanoate - light oil - should create a really lovely butter that has different levels of moisturizing.

20% cetearyl alcohol
20% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
20% coco caprylate/caprate
37% shea oil (Soapcraft version)
2% IPM
1% fragrance oil (Brown Sugar Pecan - yum!) 

Heat all the ingredients, except the fragrance oil, in a heat proof container in a double boiler until all have melted. Put into the freezer for as long as it takes for the product to harden. Remove, whip, and rejoice. 

This is definitely an occlusive product that melts on contact with your skin. It feels very thick and rich, but spreads incredibly well and doesn't feel draggy at all. After about 30 minutes, it starts to feel a little drier than it did on first application, and an hour later I would describe the feeling as being silky and emollient. This is a strange product - I didn't think it would make it to the silky stage at all! 

Ten days later, it's completely stable and showing no signs of separating! I think I might finally put this in a container and label it! 

Summary: I think the cetearyl alcohol worked best - it was the only one that didn't separate with just an oil and with the esters- and it would be cool to be able to make whipped butters with oils we don't normally see in a butter format, but I think this experiment was kind of a bust. It's probably easier just to get a butter and whip that with some kind of lovely oil, but it was interesting to see how it would turn out!

Join me tomorrow as I do a little experimenting with cationic polymers in intense conditioners! 


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Anonymous said...

Hi Swift! Based on your experience with Coco-Caprylate Caprate, how is it compared to C12-15 alkyl benzoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate and dimethicone? Occlusive? Spreading? After-feel? Is it commedogenic?
Thanks for the info!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aesthete! I'm working on this comparison. Look for it later in the week. (I'll come back and post a link to the new post here.) So far I've compared coco-caprylate caprate with FCO, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, and cetearyl ethylhexanoate. Next up, your suggestions for dimethicone and ethylhexyl palmitate. Thanks for the great suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Oh Cool!, I'm totally looking forward to it! I'm trying to figure out which ingredients to purchase next and you've made that process waaaaay easier. Thank you so very much!

Michael said...

Hi Susan!

My name is Michael and I have 2 questions:

1) Where do you purchase coco caprylate? I'm having a hard time locating it outside of bulk and I'd really like to purchase some.

2) Do you actually post about monkeys? Cause I'd love to know your thoughts on them too ;)

Thanks for your great work!

Cynthia Scott said...


You just said some very magic words to me. That you will bottle and label it now? I have been wasting containers left and right thinking everything must be in a bottle or jar in order for it jto be considered safe manufacturing, so I've thrown away at least idk 15-25? Bottles/jars!!! I have stopped experimenting well at least slowed down dramatically because it's actually painful to pay for then throw away all these containers!! And while I make better hair conditioner than I can buy I cannot for the life of me make a decent lotion. It makes no sense but that is the situation. I am bound and determined to come up with not just a lotion but a decent facial lotion but it will take a very long time if I have to wait til I have money all the time to buy containers just in order to practice/experiment!!! So what pray tell are you doing with your creations (how are you storing them) before you put them in an appropriate container????!!!! Please it would help me sooooo much to know!!!! You can't be keeping them in Tupperware so what then?? (In my experience buying new Tupperware for each creation would be almost as expensive but still slightly less and I'm chagrined that it didn't occur to me to do that. Well and I didn't know it was safe to be moving around products from container to container and obviously you'd need a new one for each formulation as I read on here that you cannot reuse containers so I've been careful not to.). Please, please respond to this.

Thanks so much!!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm sorry, Cynthia, I"m afraid I don't quite understand what you are asking, and it doesn't seem to relate to this post. Could I ask you to find a related post on which you might comment and ask a simpler version of your question there?

I think you're asking how I make my products and store them before packaging? If this is the case, check out the newbie section and take a look at the posts on making products and packaging to see the equipment I use.

Roberta said...

Hello Susan,
Last month I visited New Orleans and bought some pecan oil. I had never heard of it before. Voyageur doesn't sell it. I made a very nice body butter using shea butter, vitamin E, pecan oil (15%), plus the usual suspects. Now that I am finished and happy with the result, I must ask: is pecan oil a good ingredient for creams and butters? what is the shelf life? Best, Roberta