As I've said in the past, I'm going to consider the word natural to mean minimally processed because everything we use is processed in some way. So I'm going to make something with tons of botanical and minimally processed ingredients that offer great benefits to our skin! We will be using Polawax in this recipe, but feel free to use the emulsifier of your choice and modify it accordingly. (Note: This won't translate for an emulsifier like Sucragel, but if you're using something different, you probably know how to modify a lotion for that emulsifier already!) And we will be using a preservative. This will make up around 7% of the recipe, so you can make a 93% minimally processed lotion easily. This recipe is suitable for vegans (although most, if not all, of my recipes are vegan friendly, except those with beeswax and silk).
I'm going to use the six ingredient recipe with shea, soybean, and sesame oil as the basis for this recipe because I've been using it throughout the last week or so and I figure we might as well be consistent in our tweaking! You can apply this to any of the base recipes we've used in the series so far or any other recipe you like (I'd suggest using the 60% water recipe here.)
WATER SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS
If you really want to use a tea or infusion in a lotion, please don't unless you're really experienced at this kind of thing. Instead, choose powdered extracts or hydrosols from reputable suppliers who preserve the product well.
Please don't use all aloe vera as your liquid. It can get kind of sticky. There is a good reason to use water in our products and that's mainly because it's a good hydrator. It's not there as filler; it's there to offer water to our skin. You can use all aloe and hydrosols and other liquids as your main liquid, but don't discount the value of nice, pure water.
So let's say we want to make a lotion for chapped or very dry skin. What can we use? I'd go with lavender hydrosol, chamomile hydrosol or extract, or rosemary hydrosol or extract. (Click here for extract information.) If you want something cooling, consider using peppermint hydrosol as well. So let's choose lavender and peppermint hydrosol with rosemary extract and chamomile extract. We'll use 20% of each hydrosol and 0.5% of each extract. (You could also use rosemary essential oil, but that might be much on your skin. Although lavender-rosemary is a really nice combination.) And make up the rest with aloe vera (18%). Remove 1% one of the water phase ingredients for the extracts.
What can we use as a humectant? We could use glycerin, tamarind seed extract, and other ingredients. I'm going with glycerin - vegetable glycerin, although I have no idea where you'd get non-vegetable glycerin.
And you can include allantoin if you want a barrier ingredient in there at 0.5% in either the heated water phase or the cool down phase.
OIL SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS
Our oil are easily considered natural or minimally processed. So choose what you like here. As I've said a hundred times this week, if you want a less greasy lotion, choose drier feeling oils and butters. If you want a greasy feeling lotion, choose greasier feeling oils and butters. You can keep the shea, sesame, and soybean oil for a greasier feeling lotion and something like hazelnut, macadamia nut, and mango for a drier feeling product. If you want a barrier ingredient in there, choose cocoa butter for this product.
Because we can't rely on esters like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or IPM/IPP to reduce our greasiness, we have to rely on choosing our oils well to get our skin feel. Please remember as well, what we consider greasy in a commercial lotion isn't the same as what we consider greasy in a homemade lotion. Even with tons of shea butter, I have yet to find a lotion that is as greasy as something like Jergen's (click here for a post on this topic). So really think about the end skin feel you want as you review the emollients you have in your workshop.
I'm not sure if cetyl alcohol or stearic acid or any of our other fatty alcohols or acids are considered minimally processed or natural, so if you want to include any of those at 3%, feel free to remove 3% from the butter and add it to the mix.
So our oil soluble phase remains the same, although you can tweak it with whatever oils and butters you like.
COOL DOWN PHASE
I know liquid Germall Plus probably isn't considered natural, so you might want to consider another preservative for this product. Citric acid and Vitamin E are not preservatives; they're anti-oxidants. Grapefruit seed extract is not a preservative (see this post), and using something like potassium sorbate alone is not a broad spectrum preservative. I know preservatives are a hot topic in the natural community, so if you don't want to make a water based product with a preservative, then please consider making an anhydrous or without water product instead. You really need a preservative in anything that contains water as you will attract beasties to your product. You're only using 0.5% to 1.5% in this lotion, so please don't make anything without a preservative. I'll get off my soapbox now...
This is where we include our extracts. You can combine extracts in all kinds of ways, but make sure you aren't combining two exfoliating extracts (click here for my warning about combining extracts).
And consider your essential oils wisely. Although something like lime eucalyptus (50-50) smells awesome, too much can make you sun sensitive (as can most, if not all, of the citrus essential oils). You aren't necessarily using them at 1% each as we would with a fragrance oil, so consult some good references on essential oils and blending them before adding them willy-nilly to your products. I like a combination of lime and vanilla (75% vanilla - 25% lime) for a lovely key lime pie type smell.
So here's an idea for an oilier version of a botanical recipe.
BOTANICAL LOTION - 92% MINIMALLY PROCESSED INGREDIENTS
MORE OILY VERSION
HEATED WATER PHASE
20% lavender hydrosol
20% peppermint hydrosol
17% aloe vera
HEATED OIL PHASE
10% refined shea butter
10% soy bean oil
10% sesame oil
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% powdered rosemary extract
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% essential oil
As a note, I've increased the emulsifier to 7.5% to make up 25% of the oil phase as I'm using Polawax here. If I were to use BTMS-50 as in the original recipe, I could keep it at 6% as it requires less to emulsify. The change has nothing to do with the botanical nature of this recipe.
Join me tomorrow as we explore a few more ideas for minimally processed ingredient recipes.