Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: You made body butter (with a few questions)!

Congratulations! You made a body butter! (Click here for more details about this project on Newbie Tuesday!) If you haven't already done so, pat yourself on the back joyously and moisturize yourself well with the product! (And I still haven't finished the video. I used to be good at this, but I'm having to learn iMovie all over again!)

What did others have to say about this project?

Sciaretta Farms says: I did it! My second ever batch of lotion!

Yay! Great job!

Holly writes: Susan, I jumped the gun! I made the tomorrow's project already. I just used the same technique as for the lotion, and it came out great! I used cocoa butter and peppermint oil and my body butter smells just like a York Peppermint Pattie. (My husband asked if he could eat it.) I think it's time to break out of the box, and I'm ready to do some customizing when I make the cream. I need to explore your blog some more, but I definitely plan on including honey or beeswax.

I don't think I'm the only one envious of your packaging! Lovely! And thank goodness you also have a smart husband who might want to eat it, but knows enough not to eat it (or at least ask - my husband included that bit)! Smart husbands rock! 

And Alex writes: made my body butter and i love it!!to thicken it up would you just increase the amount of butter and decrease the amount of water? or would you be better off using a harder butter? and yes, my first lotion from a couple of weeks ago is all used up!! i've been scouring your facial products posts because i want to make a face moisturizer next!! :-D

And there's the first question...

If you want your body butter to be thicker, what could you do? (There are a few ideas after the recipe, but I'd love to hear your suggestions!) 

59% water
2% sodium lactate or glycerin (optional)

10% oils
15% butter
3% cetyl alcohol
7% Polawax (e-wax)

0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil
  • You could reduce your oils by 5% and use 20% butter, 5% oils. 
  • You could reduce your oils completely by 10% and have 25% butter.
  • You could change the type of butter you're using. Mango butter seems to thicken more than shea butter, and cocoa butter thickens more than both of them. 
  • You can use an exotic butter - kokum butter, for instance - that will thicken it even more. 
  • You can switch cetyl alcohol for another thickener - stearic acid, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl esters, and so on (click here for that link).
  • You can add more butters and oils, but this requires a modification of your oil phase - click here for a post on that topic. So increase your butters to make up 30% of the recipe, increase the emulsifier to be 25% of the oil phase (I'll let you do the math), then reduce your water by the increased oil/butter and emulsifier amount. (Definitely read the post on the topic if this is what you want to do!)
And Will asks: How do you make a small amount of cream, such as an "eye cream" that you're going to dump expensive actives into, where your total desired quantity is about an ounce? I'm guessing the answer is to make ten and share, but just in case it's not....

In all honestly, that's what I would do. I'd make my 100 gram batch - about 3.5 ounces - and give the extras to the people whose opinions matter to me. I don't like making things smaller than 100 grams because I could slip my hand just slightly and that 1% becomes 1.9% and that's a big difference in a small amount of product. But you don't want to make a lot, so making a small batch might be a good idea! 

Get yourself an epoxy scale or a scale that measures down to the 0.1 gram, and make yourself a smaller batch. The down side to this is that it doesn't take much to have too much of something. If you scale everything down to make a 30 gram batch - 1 ounce - then you'd be using 0.15 grams of preservative. How do you measure the 0.05 part of this? You could measure 0.1 grams and be happy with it, but there will be a lot of 0.0# grams in the mix. Make sure you are really picky about measuring everything, and make sure you take lots of notes so you can replicate it in a larger size. 

What's next? We're making a cream on February 21st! This means we'll be playing with stearic acid, so if you don't have any yet, you'll want to get some before that date! 

Related posts: 


Sciarretta Farms said...

I love the feel of this body butter but how can I make it more moisturizing? It doesn't really help much as it is, even with the oil being olive oil and the butter shea butter. Pretty please?

Alex said...

awesome! thanks for the info, susan! i will definitely be experimenting with your suggestions this week!
totally envious of holly's beautiful labeling as well! nice job!


Will said...

I think I like the idea of making a bigger batch. I'm thinking that what I'll do is find the max usage for the active (or two), then build my other stuff around it. I don't like working with little quantities and the goodwill that results in even my worst product gifted is great.

Unrelated... my trademark - a dumb question (in a lot of words, naturally). Over time I've had several lotions (really creams as everything I make always turns out thicker than planned) that have grown green fur, much to my ocd dismay.

I do the heat and hold thing, I "disinfect" everything with alcohol that contacts the material (stickblender to any spoons/etc), and I use a new "large won-ton soup container" (which is my fav mixing container that I also sterilize with alcohol).

I use liquid germall plus, probably even a smidge higher than recommended.

Anyhow, when I'm making things I sort of have two routes. My first is a test route for a ratio or ingredient, where I'm sometimes even a bit careless, and these stupid things last forever with no fur.

My second route is my deluxe route. This is the way I go when I think I actually have a nice formula. I'm crazy careful and always add reconstituted aloe juice.

Here's Part A of my question, does using aloe juice make a product more likely to go bad? Part B is should I just leave the stuff out aka is it really much more than label appeal (but I like the smell)? Part C is can I add a second preservative besides LG+ to work tag team against the nasties?

As always, thanks. Will

ebuzzle said...

ok, i'm excited to play. what's the difference between a cream and a body butter? just the emulsifiers...stearic vs e-wax? ;D

Leman said...

Hi Susan,

I made last week's recipe successfully! I used 4% sunflower oil, 4% rice bran oil and 2% olive oil for the oils and 10% shea butter, 5% cocoa butter. In the water phase I used sodium lactate. I like it as a foot or hand cream but not much as a body cream. It has a bit of drag to it. I like the Body Shop consistency body butters. I like it to spread effortlessly and I like my body butters quite oily but also moisturising at the same time. Any suggestions?