Monday, January 3, 2011

Challenge: Six ingredient lotion with shea, soy bean & sesame oil

As I've mentioned in the past, my husband has vitiligo, and his legs get very itchy during the winter (too dry) and the summer (exposure), so I'm always thinking of ways to create products to stop him from scratching and to help heal the wounds. (Not making any claims here, just going on what the ingredients bring to the mix.)

39.5% water
20% aloe vera
3% glycerin

10% refined shea butter
10% soy bean oil
10% sesame oil
6% BTMS-50

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (Clementine Cupcake)

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 liquid Germall Plus, and fragrance and mix well. Bottle, and rejoice!

For longer lotion making instructions, click here.

So why did I pick each ingredient? I started with soy bean oil because it's high in linoleic acid, tocopherols, and phytosterols that work for reducing inflammation and itching, and increase softening and moisturizing. I chose sesame seed oil because it's also high in linoleic acid, tocopherols, and phytosterols that help with reducing inflammation and itching, but it's a slightly more viscous oil than soybean oil, and I knew I didn't want to use a thickener in this lotion, so I thought it would help thicken it. Plus, it contains more oleic acid, which I wanted to help moisturize and regenerate his skin.

I chose shea butter because it's high in stearic acid, which will thicken the lotion well without adding another thickener (like cetyl alcohol and stearic acid) and because it can act as an occlusive in the product.

Because I'm choosing very greasy feeling oils and butters, I thought I'd use BTMS-50 as my emulsifier because it will give it a drier feeling. Plus, it'll offer some conditioning to his skin, which is always a bonus. (This is one of the reasons I'm not using 25% of oil phase as the emulsifier amount. That "rule" is for Polawax, not for BTMS-50.)

I chose glycerin because it's a fantastic humectant and it won't feel sticky at 3% in this product. I didn't want to use sodium lactate or sodium PCA because I wanted to use more than 2.5%. It has been shown to accelerate the recovery of skin's barrier functions after damage, and that's what his skin needs right now! (And the combination with linoleic acid will create - I hope - a super skin barrier recovery lotion!)

And I chose aloe vera (liquid, not gel) because it offers great moisturization qualities as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

And I chose Clementine Cupcake for a lotion for my husband because he loves the smell!

How does it feel? Raymond likes it. It's a medium weight lotion. He says it feels like it should be greasy, but it's not, and it's not too heavy for his legs (remembering that as a man he has hairy legs, and he doesn't want a feeling of greasy leg hair!) He's pleased with it, so I consider it a success. There is a little bit of whiteness as you apply it - from the stearic acid in the shea butter - but it goes away very quickly. The play time is about average - you have time to rub it in, but it's not like 2 minutes later you can keep rubbing it like yesterday's lotion. And there's not a lot of drag, which is a great thing!

What would I change? I really like this lotion, and Raymond is enjoying it, so I wouldn't necessarily change anything. But if you wanted, some evening primrose oil or borage oil would be fantastic in this recipe, but I didn't have either in the workshop so I chose the soy bean and sesame seed oil. (The cost of the product would increase quite a bit using those exotic oils, and I'm trying to be thrifty and use what I have in the workshop this year!) Using either of those oils will make it feel drier than the version I've made here. If you want to make it a lot drier, then you could switch out the shea butter for mango and go with drier oils.

You can add a thickener to this mixture - cetyl alcohol would make it quite glidy, which is really what you'd want in a lotion to put on a man's legs, but stearic acid would make it very thick and creamy.

If you're interested in making this for very dry skin, increase the glycerin to 5% and decrease the water by 2%. If don't want to use aloe vera, then you could leave it out or substitute another hydrosol that offers soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

If I hadn't been limited by the six ingredients, I think a barrier ingredient - cocoa butter, dimethicone, or allantoin - would be a good choice if this were intended for the summer. Allantoin or dimethicone are my favourites for lotions for Raymond as the cocoa butter is a bit much for the summer time. And I'd throw in a hydrolyzed protein - he likes Phytokeratin - at 2%.

As a note, I've put "anti-itch lotion" on the label so I know what kind of lotion this is because it's kinda hard to tell by texture and fragrance (especially because I tend to use the same fragrances in everything!) - please do not consider this a medical claim or promise! If you were to make this and sell it, the last thing you'd want to do is call it anti-itch because that's a claim that you can't completely guarantee without testing. As I don't sell my products and I make them for family and friends, I can call them what I want and tell them that there's no guarantee. I also don't have the ingredient list on the label because they can ask me and I'll tell them what I put it it! 


Anonymous said...

Can I use Ale Vera Juice instead of Aloe Vera Gel and deduct the Juice from the water?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm using aloe vera juice in this recipe - maybe I should clarify that. So you don't need to change anything!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Susan :) That is what I thought with a 20% gel it would be too thick. As an almost beginner I wanted to make sure


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violette said...

Hello, I read your blog very often, I am subscribed for several months now and I am really very glad to have found you ^ _ ^ I "fell" on this recipe and I read that you heat the 2 phase 70 ° for at least 20 minutes and ac surprises me a lot and as I do not understand is what you could explain why you heat up so long? I go through a taducteur so sorry if the translation is not very good.
else how to let you cool your formula? is what you leave to cool naturally or is what you accelerate cooling with a cold water bath? oh je suis francaise ^_^