adding 3% of a fatty alcohol or fatty acid (like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid) could change the thickness of our lotion, and I'm sometimes surprised at how adding a titch of something can change a lotion so much! So I thought we'd take a look at how a small change can make a big difference. (For the purposes of this post, I'm considering 3% or lower as a small change.)
If we take a look at the water and cool down phases, there are all kinds of small changes we can make to our lotions to make a big difference! Consider humectants. I consider humectants essential to all lotions because they add extra moisturization very easily and they're generally pretty inexpensive. I've found a huge difference in lotions that don't contain a humectant - I live in a humid area, and adding up to 3% glycerin, honeyquat, sodium lactate or sodium PCA offers enough hygroscopic power to keep my skin feeling moisturized all day! You can combine humectants to offer more moisturizing power if you want. You could use 2.5% sodium lactate with 3% glycerin and 3% honeyquat (the latter in the cool down phase) for a very humectanty product.
Or consider hydrolyzed proteins. You can up to 2% of silk, soy, oat, or mixed proteins to your water phase to increase the film forming and moisturizing qualities of your product.
Or consider your extracts. We add these at up to 0.5% in the cool down phase, but they can offer a lot of anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, and astringent qualities to our products! Consider salicylic acid (used at up to 2% in our products) or AHAs (used at up to 2%) and the benefits those two ingredients can offer in small quantities.
Think about ingredients like panthenol (used at 1% to 5%) or allantoin (used at up to 0.5%), which offer all kinds of great benefits to our skin, like increased wound healing and barrier protection. I like to use panthenol around 2% in the cool down phase, and allantoin at 0.5% in the heated water phase (although it can be used in the cool down phase - the key is to include before your mixture gets to 25˚C, which generally well after the cool down phase).
And consider things like fragrance or essential oils. At 0.5% to 1% in the cool down phase, they make a huge difference! Or preservatives. We don't need much, generally 0.5% to 1.5%, but they make a world of difference!
There are some ingredients I would never use in small amounts. Ingredients like aloe vera and hydrosols are best used at 10% and over, although looking at commercial products, you'd think 2% would be okay!
So if we take a look at the 62% water shea, soybean, and sesame seed oil recipe, we can do a lot of tweaking to get some interesting effects! And remember, every change you to make to the water phase or cool down phase should be removed from the water amount!
So let's add 0.5% allantoin, 2% hydrolyzed oat protein, and 2.5% sodium PCA to the water phase, and add 2% panthenol and 0.5% chamomile extract to this lotion recipe. This means we need to remove 7.5% from the water amount to compensate for our new additions (change in water amount noted in bold).
SIX INGREDIENT LOTION WITH SHEA, SOY BEAN, AND SESAME OIL (modified to include some small changes)
HEATED WATER PHASE
20% aloe vera
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
2.5% sodium PCA
HEATED OIL PHASE
10% refined shea butter
10% soy bean oil
10% sesame oil
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
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!
Join me tomorrow for making small changes to the oil phase!