Monday, April 9, 2012

Question: Can we use lanolin as a substitute? And how do we know how much to use?

In this post, Anonymous asked: Hi Susan. I am wondering if just a bit of lanolin oil would be okay to add to the drier feeling after shave lotion for its healing properties...what is the minimum percentage to add to be effective? Which leads me to an overall question - is there a rule of thumb for knowing the minimum percentage to add for our oils in order for their special properties to be effective? TIA

Lanolin is an awesome inclusion in lotions, but some people shy away from it because it comes from animals (although the sheep aren't hurt in the gathering of the lanolin) and the perception that we are all sensitive or allergic to it! It would be a great addition to this product, but remember when we change the oils, we change the skin feel, so there's no guarantee this lotion will remain light or dry feeling after using lanolin (depending upon how much you use).

To address the second question, generally the supplier from whom you buy your ingredients should have a suggested usage rate. For most oils, I find that 10% is about right, but sometimes you'll use less - for instance, with something like calendula oil - or more - for instance, 10% borage oil is suggested as a minimum. I'm not sure about lanolin - I really should read more research on this oil - but I think 5% to 10% should be just about right. Try it and see what you think!

All the posts I've written on any oils, butters, exotic oils, and esters can be found in the emollients section of the blog! 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Susan,
Have you had any experience in distilling your own hydrosols for use in lotions and such? I just got a distillery set and can't wait to make some. I live in Oregon and have access to so many plants. I can't wait to try adding some of my own hydrosol to my favorite lotion recipe!
Cora

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't mean to post this here.
Cora

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Cora. No, I've never distilled hydrosols, but it sounds very interesting! Let us know when you've made some so you can share your experience with the readers of the blog. Which plants do you have in mind for your first experiment and what kind of distillery set do you have?

Anonymous said...

I ordered the Mountain Home Biological essential oil steam distiller online. It's a pretty basic set up, I'm just waiting for my hot plate which should be here on Friday. My first attempt will be distilling thyme and then rosemary. I also have tons of douglas fir, pine and well...the list goes on. Soooo excited!
Cora