in this post on recipes: I have created this recipe and have made it before. There were moments that it worked and moments that it didn't. So after finding your blog a short time ago, I finally have the courage to ask about my recipe.
shea butter 40g
sweet almond 52.5g
vit e 30 drops
The first thing we need to do is work on the math for this recipe and put it into a percentage so we can see if we have the right amount of various things. How do we do that? Add up all the numbers we have - the water is 300 grams, the e-wax 25 grams, and so on (leave out the Vitamin E as it's hard to know the weight of 30 drops), and figure out if we have enough of each ingredient in the mix.
The ingredients in this lotion total 472.5 grams, so this recipe ends up being...
8.5% shea butter
11% sweet almond oil
11% jojoba oil
0.2% Vitamin E (I had 0.2% left over with the rounding, so I figured I would put it in the Vitamin E)
What can we tell about this lotion now? It's a high oil lotion - 63.5% water phase with 30.5% oil phase - and it needs more emulsifier. If we use the 25% rule from Polawax (we use 25% of the oil phase in our emulsifier), we should be using 7.625% emulsifier in the lotion to make sure it's emulsified well. (It's recommended for some emulsifying waxes NF that aren't Polawax that you use 1% more in a lotion, so really, you want to use 8.625% e-wax in the recipe). So the first problem here is that we aren't using enough emulsifier. (And this would explain why it failed. Sometimes
My second suggestion is to add a thickener. Some people call cetyl alcohol (or any fatty alcohol) or stearic acid a co-emulsifier - that's not really true, but it will help keep the product emulsified. And it will thicken it up, which is a bonus! I'd remove 3% from the oil phase and add 3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid. Which one you use depends upon your goal for this product. If you want a foot cream or body butter that stays on a long time, I'd go with stearic acid. If this is a body lotion or hand lotion that you want to glide on easily, cetyl alcohol. I've removed 3% from the sweet almond oil to make up for the 3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid, but you could reduce the jojoba or the shea butter instead.
You have the preservative at the right level if you're using something like liquid Germall Plus, at the low end for something like Germaben II, and too low for Optiphen. (Check out the chart for more information on preservative suggested usage levels).
Why did the recipe work some times, but not others? Because Jenna likely had the two other types of emulsification - heat, mechanical, and chemical - going for her, even when the chemical emulsification didn't work!
Let's re-write this recipe!
JENNA'S LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE
HEATED OIL PHASE
8.5% emulsifying wax
8.4% shea butter
8% sweet almond oil
11% jojoba oil
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.2% Vitamin E
Here you go, Jenna! Let us know how it worked!
Calculating percentages from weight.
Convert recipes from percentages to weight.
Why do we weigh our ingredients?
Troubleshooting an epic lotion fail!