If you want to play along, but are just joining us, here are the previous Newbie Tuesday posts...
Newbie Tuesday: Learning about oils & butters - an introduction
Newbie Tuesday: Testing the skin feel of our oils
Newbie Tuesday: Creating a body oil
Newbie Tuesday: Pushing the schedule back - more thoughts on skin feel of our oils
Newbie Tuesday: What did you learn about the skin feel of your oils?
Emollients - oils, butters & esters
19% oil of some sort
1% fragrance or essential oil
and sometimes an anti-oxidant like Vitamin E if I think I might have it for a while.
You do not need to add a preservative to a whipped butter as it doesn't contain water. An anti-oxidant like Vitamin E at 0.5% is a good idea if you've used some very short lived oils - like grapeseed or hemp seed - or if you are making a large batch that you might have longer than six months. Since I tend to coat myself in the stuff and rarely have a 4 ounce/120 ml container last more than four weeks, I tend to leave the anti-oxidants out.
shea butter because cocoa butter turns solid after whipping - and it's not fun to have to dig your nails into a container to get some loveliness out - and mango butter can get a bit dry and crumbly. This isn't to say that you can't use these butters - remember, the beauty of making our own bath and body products is that we can make whatever choices we wish - but we generally don't use them as the main butter in a product. Coconut oil is not suitable for this application as it melts at 76˚F (24.4˚C) and it won't hold its shape for very long, and I've found babassu oil can melt at lower temperatures, too. There are other butters you can choose - click here for those butter descriptions - but it seems like shea butter is the best place to start if you've never made a whipped butter before.
When it comes to the oils, it's all about the skin feel you want. Shea butter is generally very greasy feeling - the more refined it is, the greasier it seems to feel - so you'll have to do some experimenting to figure out the precise skin feel you want without compromising the whippiness of the product. As we saw in the previous posts about oils and skin feel, you tend to like things that feel less greasy, so the key to making an awesome whipped butter is to figure out which one will offer that less greasy feeling.
When considering the oil you like, consider what you learned about oils when you made your body oil. If you didn't like sunflower then, you're not going to like it now!
If you find your shea butter is grainy, we need to temper it first. Don't count on those grains going away without tempering it. (It might, but don't count on it!) Why does it get grainy? Because at some point the shea butter melted slightly and cooled down very slowly. Some of the fatty acids solidified into crystals, and others didn't. If we temper the shea butter, we make it less likely we'll get grains in the final product. (If you don't have grains, you don't have to worry about this process. And the less refined, the more likely it is you'll get grains. I use ultra refined and I have never had grains with it!)
Look at the different types of shea butter you can get! The first picture is of refined, the second of raw gold shea butter, (which I bought from Creations from Eden, before you ask!), and the third of organic unrefined. You can see there are some serious differences, eh?
My first whipped butter was a cocoa butter whipped butter and it felt really lovely, but it was a serious pain to get out of the jar and I had to dig into it with my nails to get some out. I used 20% oil, 20% mango, and 60% cocoa butter for the second batch, and it was still really really hard, but I loved the skin feel after getting it out of the container, so I didn't mind.
Now that you've introduced yourself to your butters, think about a few questions that will help you decide which butter will be the star of your lovely whippiness...
- Is this a greasy or dry feeling butter? Did it melt upon skin contact? Is it silky? Did it feel draggy (meaning did you have to put some effort into rubbing it into your skin)?
- Is it soft or brittle or somewhere in between?
- How did the butter look?
- How did it smell? Did you like the smell? Will you have cover it up with a fragrance or could you leave it unscented?
- How easy was it to get out of the container?
- Was it grainy? Did you have to temper it?
- How does it feel when applying it? After 5 minutes? After 10 minutes? After 30 minutes? After two hours?
As I mentioned before, cocoa butter isn't the best choice for a whipped butter. It'll keep its shape well, but it's hard to get out of the container. By all means try it, but be aware that it will be quite hard. I suggest trying it at up to 30% with another butter...but that's just my opinion. We're here to help you develop what you like, so try what you want here!
If you find it is greasy feeling, you can reduce that by adding a less greasy feeling oil. If you find it's too dry, add a greasier feeling oil. If it feels heavy, add a lighter feeling oil.
Lipidthix. You can use this butter to your heart's content, but check that it can be melted well. Sometimes these things come apart when you melt them, something I found with soy butter and shea-aloe butter.
Wow, that was a long post! Let's take today to think about what oils we might like to add to our whipped butters and reconvene here tomorrow around the same time to make our whipped butter!