Sunday, May 12, 2013

Back to basics Weekend Wonderings: Can you turn a lotion bar into a scrub bar? and why did it take ages to get to 70˚C?

In this post, Back to the very basics: Defining terms for anhydrous products, Karen asks: I want to ask, is there a reason why a person can't just add exfoiliates to a lotion bar recipe and have a shower scrub bar? And for the scrub bar, can I substitute stearic acid for the cetyl alcohol? Can you adapt a recipe that can be used on the face?

You can add any exfoliants you want to a lotion bar and turn it into a scrub bar, but I do prefer the idea of an emulsified scrub bar rather than a lotion bar with scrubbies in it. An oil based scrub is great, but when you add an emulsifier to the product, it will rinse cleaner than one without. It's a personal preference, and I encourage you to read the posts below about creating facial scrubs.

Yes, if your skin can handle it, you can use anything you might use on your body on your face. There's no way I could do that, but many can. You'll have to keep some good notes to see how the oils affect your skin.

And you can substitute stearic acid for cetyl alcohol in a bar.They do similar things in a bar - they both harden it - but stearic acid will create a grabbier, less glidy product than cetyl alcohol (or any of the other alcohols), which isn't great for your face. We want something that will glide nicely over our skin, and stearic isn't the best ingredient for that application. As with anything, though, try it and see what you think. Make a small batch. You might love it!

As a note, we'll be making lotion bars next week, on May 21st, so watch out for that! And modifying them into solid scrub bars a few weeks later for the Newbie Tuesday series

Related posts - lotion bars:
Visual tutorial I wrote on Snapguide for lotion bars

Related posts:
Facial scrubs: Creating the base of an oil based scrub
Facial scrubs: Creating the base of an oil based scrub - for normal to dry skin
Facial scrubs: Creating the base of an oil based scrub - for oily or acne prone skin
Facial scrubs: Adding exfoliants to the oil based scrub
Facial scrubs: Adding essential oils

In this post Back to the very basics: Defining terms for lotions, Carol asks: I used the Basic First Lotion recipe. First, let me say how absolutely impressed I was at how so few ingredients can produce such an amazing product. I used sunflower oil, mango butter, BTMS 50, cetyl alcohol, Optiphen Plus, and Neroli Oil for fragrance. Wow, the skin feel is fantastic. Absorbed quickly. At first it went on a little white but I read that this is called "soaping effect', not a big deal as it disappeared as I rubbed it in. My only concern is with the method - it took forever to reach 70˚C. Water in double boiler was boiling, I sat my 1 cup pyrex cups with their respective ingredients into the double boilers. I also made sure my thermometer was calibrated before use. I use the same thermometer as in your picture. Is it because of the small quantity not enough of the thermometer was able to be immersed into the ingredients? 

It's pretty amazing how a basic recipe can feel amazing, eh? I went back to basics for my six ingredient lotions - shea, soy bean, and sesame oil lotion and my cooca butter and cetearyl ethylhexanoate lotion - and it's amazing how wonderful those lotions turned out! But I digress...

It can be due to small quantities, or it could be due to the ingredients being cold and taking a while. it could be thanks to plastic containers, which don't conduct heat as well as glass containers, or it could be your thermometer was faulty. It's hard to say what can cause something like that, but I'm leaning towards the small quantities. Having said that, when I use small quantities, I find the thermometer touches the bottom of the container and gives me the reading of the container, not the ingredients. So honestly...I'm not really sure.

Do you, my wonderful readers, have any suggestions? Share your thoughts! 

Have a Weekend Wondering? Then visit this post and make a comment! I read all the published comments, but I check there first!


Diane said...

I think those last few degrees are the hardest (isn't that always the way?). A true professional once told me that about 165 F would do, and so when I take the temp anything really clear of 160 on the oil mix starts the 20 minutes for me. The oil is always last to make it, and what I have devised is a double boiler, 2 or 3 Corelle cups (Sometimes water part will take 2 cups) upon which those Ball jar size lids will sit nicely. I cover the cup with the oil part with the lid, then mostly cover the whole works, which seems to hasten the process - I can cool the water part a bit with pouring so that all are about the same temp at the end but it's right where it should be in about 15 mins.
This is just what I am doing this afternoon =)

Mychelle said...

I bring my water phase to temp in the microwave and hold in a warm oven. Works beautifully every time. I melt my oil phase more slowly on the double boiler and stick that in the oven as well. Easy & reliable, and frees up room for other projects.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my question! I will definitely try and find the correct ingredient.

Right now my kitchen is overloaded with things, I would love to see a blog post on your lab and how you organize ingredients!


Pam said...

I am all the time going through old posts. If I see something I have to say-I do. Even if it was written years ago! I use a laser thermometer. I can't get a true reading. I made lotion last night. After the heat & hold, I read the temp. It said 106F. Yeah right!! I had to stir it a bit because it was reading the temp of the bubbles w/ air in them. I should of written this on the post you did today-Congratulations Susan on getting your article published. Like many others, this is the 1st place I go when I have a question about my lotion ingredients.