Monday, September 10, 2012

Why did I buy that again? Cera bellina - a gel with shea butter

I'm still experimenting with cera bellina, and I thought I'd try this recipe I found on the translated site of the Aroma Zone and I thought I'd try it. It goes like this....

10% shea butter
13% cera bellina
76.50% macadamia nut oil
0.5% fragrance oil

I decided to make a half version of this product...

5 grams ultra refined shea butter
6.5 grams cera bellina
38 grams macadamia nut oil

I put all the ingredients into a heat proof container and put it into the double boiler. As cera bellina has a melting point of 63˚C to 73˚C, I made a point of heating it to 75˚C and I held it for a bit to make sure and holding it at 75˚C for a bit to ensure it all melted. Then I popped it into the freezer for about 20 minutes - it could have been a bit longer as I was doing an inventory of ingredients, but no more than 30 minutes - then I tried to whip it. It really didn't want to whip!

It ended up having a quite liquidy consistency, so I bottled it and used it as a body oil after my shower last night. I quite liked it - it was very glidy and felt kinda velvety, if that makes sense. I admit I was a bit surprised that 13% cera bellina was still a liquidy oily gel that I could squish out of a small bottle with a disc cap! Which really just goes to show you that you have to play with this ingredient to see how it works with various oils and butters!

If you want to make something like this, I definitely recommend that you use a dry feeling oil like hazelnut oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia nut oil, or perhaps an ester. I can't imagine how greasy it'd feel with something like soy bean or sunflower oil, but I don't think it would be as nice as the dry feeling oils.

Join me tomorrow as we use the cera bellina to make a velvety feeling oily gel for our eyes!


Anonymous said...

Im guessing regular beeswax would not work for something like this? I wonder what it would do.

Julie said...

Hey Susan!

I just found this on Lotion Crafter and thought this might be helpful!

The % of Cera Bellina needed to gel specific oils will vary, depending on the oil. Some examples:
Avocado Oil 8.0%
Castor Oil 6.5%
Sweet Almond Oil 9.0%
Olive Oil 9.1%
Jojoba Oil 12.3%
IPM 25.0%
Phenyl Trimethicone 29.0%

Julie said...

oooh the phenyl trimethicone just made me think of how awesome an oily dimethicone gel would be! I may have to purchase some Cera Bellina now

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

shea is too heavy for me, but it can be nice for my heels!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. You can try using regular beeswax in these kinds of recipes, but 10% would make it quite stiff as opposed to creating a gel.

Hi Julie. It's an interesting chart, isn't it? I'm curious why the differences. I'm guessing it's a fatty acid thing, but which ones?

Hi Sanziene! This is a very light product and the shea isn't really noticeable, only as a thickener. Having said that, I couldn't use it on my face!

Birgit said...

I made this recipe with 15% cera bellina and cocoa butter, frac coconut, hazelnut and jojoba oil, and 5% esters. It ended up with Vaseline-y texture that has a skin feel somewhere in between waxy and oily. Not sure what I think of it. I think I'll do half the cera bellina next time and see what it looks and feels like then.