Saturday, January 1, 2011

Iron Chemist results: Sodium lactate

So this week's Iron Chemist challenge was to make at least two products with sodium lactate. I admit this was a very hard ingredient to use because I use it in just about everything, so how am I to come up with some new ways of using it? I can't use it in a rinse off product - well, I can, but it's kind of pointless as it will rinse off your skin - and I can't use it in a lotion, because I've done that a hundred times. But I think I finally came up with two recipes with sodium lactate that are new and different!

5.4% lecithin
2.1% sodium lactate
20% beeswax
25% aloe butter
21% rice bran oil
26.5% fractionated coconut oil

Mix lecithin and sodium lactate together first until well incorporated. Then weigh out the other ingredients into the same container and heat in a double boiler until melted. Pour into lip balm tubes and rejoice.

For this first recipe, I thought it would be nice to have a humectant in a lip balm. I figured I could use the emulsifying power of lecithin to emulsify the tiny amount of sodium lactate I'd be using in the balm.

So far the sodium lactate has not wept out of the lip balm, so I'm considering this a success. It feels nice on my lips, and I'm finding the extra humectant in the lip balm is making my lips feel nice and smooth. Remember not to go over 3% with the sodium lactate or it will make you sun sensitive.

5% sodium lactate
56.5% water
20% peppermint hydrosol
10% aloe vera
0.5% allantoin
2% Phytokeratin

2% panthenol
1% Germaben II
3 to 4% xanthan gum

I heated up the heated phase in a double boiler and dispersed the allantoin into it, stirring really well. When the mixture had heated and held at 70˚C for 20 minutes, I removed it from the double boiler and let it cool. I added the panthenol and Germaben II (used because I have some hard to preserve things like xanthan gum in this recipe) and added 2% xanthan gum. It wasn't thick enough, so I added 1% more. And it gelled!

I chose xanthan gum for this project because I couldn't find my Amaze XT and I really wanted to make a gel. I do have a lot of sodium lactate in this recipe, but I figured since your feet aren't going to be exposed to the sun, it would be okay. At this level, sodium lactate is an exfoliant, and that's always a good thing for a foot product.

You could use this as a facial gel - I did, and quite liked it - but you'd want to reduce the sodium lactate to 2.5% or lower so you don't get sun sensitivity. And you might not want peppermint on your face.

If you wanted to add some essential or fragrance oils to this product, mix 1% polysorbate 20 or another solubilizer with 1% fragrance or essential oil in a separate container, then add it to the gel during the cool down phase. It won't be clear, but this mixture wasn't all that clear either. (I left it in the beaker for the pictures, because you can't really see it in the jar, it's a gel!)

The one down side of this product - when you wet it, it gets a bit slimy. If I were to make it again - and I probably will because it does feel nice on my feet - I might reduce the xanthan gum to 2% or use the Amaze XT as I don't get that feeling from that product.

Join me tomorrow for our newest challenge ingredient, then next Saturday for the results!


Anonymous said...

looks great! How did you add the xanthan? It appears you added to the oil/heated phase then, while stirring? Or did it incorporate ok with no lumps or any challenges? I have always thought it to be added to water phase with agitation. Please share!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I heated everything up, then added the xanthan gum at the end by stirring the heck out of it (it was newly out of the double boiler, so it was still around 70˚C). I made sure I sifted it well so there were no lumps, then I used my whisk attachment on my mixer (I couldn't find my regular beat attachment and I was being lazy) and whisked it for a bit. I didn't think it was thick enough, so I added a little bit more. It's holding up well, so I call it a success!

I admit I'm not a fan of xanthan gum as an ingredient. It's hard to preserve and it's a bit sticky. But it worked in this application!

yaababy2 said...

Thank you Susan for this challenge, i would have never thought of using Nal in this way, it's very exciting and inspiring. more grease to your elbows- no pun intended. Can i ask is the soduim lactate powder or liquid?.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I should have clarified this - I use liquid sodium lactate. Some people comment that they like the powdered stuff because why pay for shipping water, but I buy mine locally, so I'm not worried about shipping!

p said...

Hi Susan,

This is OT, but... Do you have a ingredient post up about beeswax, its constituents and its properties? I tried looking but didn't find one. I'd love to get a better handle on why one batch of beeswax can harden up a balm so differently than another. I'd also love to know what goodies unbleached, golden beeswax has that bleached beeswax lacks - and I'd love to know how beeswax compares to some of our vegan waxes, e.g. candelilla and caranuba. Yikes, another laundry list of requests for you! :)


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi p. I did write up a post on waxes a while ago, but I think it's time for an update and more about beeswax. Great suggestion! I've put it into my things-to-research book for later this week!

p said...

Awesome, thank you!!

Tara said...

If this worked with sodium lactate, is there a reason it can't work for honey? I've heard a lot of people have problems incorporating honey into their balms. MMS suggsts the use of lanolin to emulsify and I've seen other suggestions of using e-wax on The Dish.
I have used lecithin to incorporate water-soluble ingredients before, namely this recipe:
but eventually it turns soggy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I really like the idea of using the foot gel as a face gel. I was thinking maybe leaving the Sodium lactate as is and using sunblock when I'm outdoors. Would this amount of Sodium Lactate produce a "mini peel" kind of effect if used on a daily basis? I found a recipe for an exfoliating face lotion on SpecialChem4Cosmetics
It uses 14.35% sodium lactate, I think it's too high, but I'm not as knowledgeable as you are and have a difficult time grasping chemistry. I was wondering what you think about it..
Thank You

Mark Kang said...

Hi Susan! Thank you for this post! I have been looking for more information about sodium lactate :) So helpful. I was wondering if there would be any problem in case where you need to use sodium lactate with cationic surfactants in skin care formula. I would assume the negative charge on lactate can react with + charge?

Mirror_Sound said...

Hi Sasan, this is a very interesting experiment! I'm excited to see how you emulsified a small amount of sodium lactate (which I assume has water in it) without the combination of emulsifiers in regards to HLB. The Lecithin I have is HLB 4, has it been possible to create a water in oil emulsion this whole time with the use lecithin?

Say for instance I wanted to add Allantoin 0.5% mixed with a bit of water, and used lecithin to emulsify into an anhydrous body butter. Is this possible? If so at what ratio of water should I use.

Thanks again (:

Eye km said...

Hello Susan! I have been messing around with some balms and have been trying to incorporate some water soluble powders using lecithin as the emulsifier. (Similar to what you've done with the sodium lactate) Do you have any advice for incorporating water soluble powders in balms? Should I dissolve the powders in water before incorporating with lecithin? (I have included preservatives in this formulation.)

By the way, I'd just like to extend my gratitude to you and your amazing blog. It's helped me a lot! Much love from Malaysia

x, km