Sunday, January 2, 2011

Challenge: Six ingredient lotion - hand lotion with cetearyl ethylhexanoate & cocoa butter

So here's my first entry into the six ingredient challenge. I debated many oils while making this first one...did I want something with loads of linoleic acid for the winter time or did I want something with occlusiveness? What did I want as a humectant? Did I want to spend an ingredient on an extract or hydrosol? In the end, I went with this recipe (rationale for each ingredient after the recipe!).

39% water
20% lavender hydrosol

20% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
6% cocoa butter
3% cetyl alcohol
7.5% Polawax

3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil - Clementine Cupcake from Brambleberry

Weigh the heated water phase in a heatproof container and put into a double boiler. Weigh the heated oil phase in a heatproof container and put into a double boiler. Heat both phases until both reach 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and mix. When the lotion reaches about 45˚C, add the honeyquat, liquid Germall Plus, and fragrance and mix well. Bottle, and rejoice!

(For longer instructions on lotion making, click here.)

So why these ingredients? I had planned to use chamomile hydrosol for the soothing qualities, but I'm out of it, so I chose lavender hydrosol as it has similar properties.

I chose the cetearyl ethylhexanoate because I wanted to include a very light, non-greasy ester to compensate for the cocoa butter that I wanted to use because it's a barrier and occlusive ingredient. Normally, I'd use IPM to reduce the greasiness, but I didn't want to spend an ingredient on that, hence the use of another ester. I chose cetyl alcohol to make it feel glidy and to thicken it up, and I used honeyquat as my humectant because it would act as both a humectant and skin conditioner.

How does it feel? It's got a lot of play time (meaning it has loads of time to rub it into your skin) and I didn't feel any drag or see any white streaks putting it on. It's a bit waxy feeling, which is what I was going for, but only at first. A few minutes after application, it feels dryish on my palms, which is a good thing.

I think using stearic acid instead of cetyl alcohol would make this a more tenacious lotion but would make it more draggy.

Update: After more than two weeks of using this lotion, I'd have to say I'm loving it. It's just occlusive enough for the winter and it feels great going on my hands! 

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