Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Learning to formulate: Let's go back to 70% lotions

After looking through the posts, I felt that I hadn't written enough on formulating our less watery lotions before delving into lighter lotions and moisturizers, so let's step back to those for a few more posts before moving on to facial products.

BASIC LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE (69.5% of the lotion)
69.5% water

HEATED OIL PHASE (29% of the lotion)
15% oil
5% butter
3% thickener
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)

COOL DOWN PHASE (1.5% of the lotion)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)
(This doesn't total 100% because of the difference in preservatives!)

With a 70% lotion, we can use ingredients like stearic acid, beeswax, and butters to make it a very thick lotion or leave those out and use lighter oils to make it a thinner lotion. So let's say you want to make a hand lotion. Let's take a look at a tweaking this product to suit your skin feel preferences!

Version #1: Very occlusive, greasy feeling, thick. 
I'd use 0.5% allantoin in the water phase, 5% cocoa butter in the oil phase, and 2% dimethicone in the cool down phase. I'd use 3% stearic acid as my thickener to make it more like a cream consistency, and 2% beeswax to make it longer lasting after washing. So this leaves us with 11% oils (less 2% for the dimethicone). I think I'll use a medium weight oil here like sesame seed or rice bran oil, both of which have great levels of linoleic acid and phytosterols at 11%. (I can combine them in any ratio to make this 11% or just use one of them.)

Version #2: Occlusive, less greasy feeling, thick. 
I'd use 0.5% allantoin in the water phase, 5% mango butter in the oil phase, and 2% dimethicone in the cool down phase. I'd use 3% stearic acid as my thickener and 2% beeswax. I'd use 2% IPM, and a less greasy feeling oil like macadamia nut or hazelnut at 9%. You could change your emulsifier from emulsifying wax to Incroquat BTMS-50 for a drier feeling product. You could use 2% cyclomethicone in the cool down phase (remove 2% from the oil amount) to create a product with a more powdery skin feel.

Version #3: Occlusive, less greasy feeling, thinner. 
I'd use 0.5% allantoin in the water phase, 5% mango butter in the oil phase, and 2% dimethicone in the cool down phase. I'd use 3% cetyl alcohol as my thickener and 2% beeswax. I'd use 2% IPM, and an ester like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or ethylhexyl palmitate at 11%. You could also use 2% cyclomethicone here, which means you need to reduce your ester to 9%. Again, you can switch your emulsifier to BTMS-50 for an even drier version.

Version #4: Minimally processed version - greasier version, a little thicker
I'd use 0.5% allantoin in the water phase and 5% cocoa butter in the oil phase. I'd use 2% beeswax to make it more tenacious, and 16% rice bran, sesame seed, or soybean oils (for the nice levels of linoleic acid, although any oil will work here). I'm not sure if cetyl alcohol or stearic acid count as natural ingredients, so it's up to you if you want to use it. Use 3% stearic to make a thicker lotion, 3% cetyl alcohol to make a thicker and glidy lotion.

Version #5: Minimally processed version - less greasy, less occlusive
I'd use 0.5% allantoin in the water phase and 5% mango butter in the oil phase. I'd use 2% beeswax to make it more tenacious, and 16% hazelnut, macadamia nut, or avocado oil in the oil phase.

Version #6: Occlusive, less greasy, no liquid emollients 
I'd use 0.5% allantoin in the water phase and 5% cocoa butter in oil phase. I'd use 2% beeswax to make it more tenacious and 3% cetyl alcohol as a thickener and emollient. I'm going to use 5% mango butter and 5% shea butter to make this a very thick product, and I'm throwing in 3% cetearyl alcohol to make this a more waxy feeling product. This will be a very thick lotion with all these butters, and very occlusive.

For the water phase of a hand lotion, I like to include a humectant - glycerin, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, honeyquat, all of which work well, although I find glycerin can get a bit sticky, so if you want something really hygroscopic, use about 2% to 3% glycerin along with another humectant. I like to include aloe vera and a hydrosol, and some protein along with panthenol.

So let's take a look at what version #1 could look like with a modified water phase as well.

VERSION #1 HAND LOTION: VERY OCCLUSIVE, THICK, GREASY
HEATED WATER PHASE
40% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol
2.5% sodium lactate
2.5% glycerin
0.5% allantoin
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

HEATED OIL PHASE
11% rice bran oil
5% cocoa butter
3% stearic acid
2% beeswax
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus)
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol

So there you have a number of different versions of a hand lotion, and there are hundreds more! Join me tomorrow as I answer a few questions that have been posed lately, then we'll move on to moisturizers! 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This post is great timing, I have been wondering how to make lotions thinner. Could you elaborate on the "process"? Like how to stick blend? LOL I mean, how long, how often, what speed, what temperature, etc. My lotions always come out thick, so I am assuming I am blending for way too long but would love your input. TIA.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm wondering if this post answers your questions - scroll down to see the basic instructions for lotion making. As for making lotions too thick, which thickeners, emulsifiers, waxes, and butters are you using? I wrote about a few <a href="http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2011/02/learning-to-formulate-more-fun-with.html>in this post</a>, and I wonder if reducing or removing the thickening agent altogether might not help.

Yvon said...

Review Hand Lotion: Occlusive, Less Greasy (version #2)

The hand lotion feels great! It’s spreading ability is perfect, it sinks in fast and leaves almost no residue. Makes your hands feel soft with a smooth almost non-noticable barrier without giving greasy fingers. My colleagues (all working in healthcare) LOVE it! We have to wash or disinfect our hands dozens of times a day so we really have to take care of our skin, and this lotion is a true relief and completely incorporable in our work field. I think that says a lot.
I added 1% alpha-bisabolol to the recipe (cool down phase) and 0,5% essential oils* for scent. (When I make this lotion for men I leave out the essential oils). I first used the beeswax according to the recipe but I didn’t like the film it left behind on my hands; it felt a bit non-slippery (I can’t find a better translation). I wanted something softer (more slippery) so I switched to cocoa butter. Now I think it’s perfect!
I mixed everything by hand; my batches are too small for a mixer and I never had a problem this way. I put it in airless dispensers of 30 and 50 ml; quick and easily dispensable, easy to take with you and of course to keep it from going bad as long as possible.
Needless to say, I will keep making this product again and again.

*Combinations I used (found it somewhere on the internet):
- 4x Camomile, 2x jasminum, 2x origanum, 3x mandarin (in weight)
- 4x Rose, 2x common jupiner, 2x geranium, 2x mandarin, 2x lemon, 2x bergamot, 2x ylang ylang (in weight)

Yvon