Saturday, June 15, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: Creating a creamier lotion bar/deodorant, using stearic acid in a foot cream, and making CP soap.

Welcome to the Saturday edition of Weekend Wonderings! There are a lot of wonderings to ponder this weekend, so let's get right to it!

In this post on stearic acid, Charbel asks: Do you know what else I can add to a homemade deodorant that uses extra virgin coconut oil (38% of total ingredients), sodium bicarbonate (58% of total ingredients) and stearic acid (4% of total ingredients) to make it creamier? The problem I had before adding stearic acid was that it would melt in the summer, now it is kind of hard but it doesn't melt. I'm looking for another ingredient to make it creamier without having to add water... What can I do? Thanks. 

Can I ask a question without sounding mean? How is a product like this considered a deodorant? Is the definition purely about neutralizing odours or is there something more? And how does it feel under your arms? Doesn't it stain your clothes? I'm asking out of curiosity because I'm seeing products like this out there and I honestly can't imagine putting a lotion bar under my arms!

Back to the question at hand. I think the key here is to choose ingredients that will melt at slightly around your body body temperature so they glide on nicely, but remain solid in warmer months or conditions. Coconut oil is not a good choice for anything you want to stay solid over 76˚F or 24.4˚C. It's way too easy to get to that temperature in your purse, car, or house in the summer months, and you're asking for a melted deodorant if you make this your main ingredient You want to choose a butter that has a higher melting point, like cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, or pretty much any other butter, or you want to increase the melting point of the product. Your body temperature is 98.6˚F or 37˚C, so you can choose a butter with a melting point closer to that.

You can do this by adding a wax - like one of the waxes - or a fatty alcohol - like cetyl alcohol - or a fatty acid - like stearic acid. Which one of these will help? Any of them. So the question becomes about skin feel. What is the final skin feel you want on this product? For me, it would be all about the non-greasy skin feel with low drag that has a melting point around body temperature. My first choice would be mango butter (less greasy feeling) and a fatty alcohol (more slip and glide, offers hardening to the bar). I wouldn't want stearic acid as it might make the product more solid, but it adds slip and drag to the product. Any of these ingredients will help keep the product on your skin rather than turning to a liquid and melting away, but you have to figure out which one offers the skin feel you want!

Related posts:
Coconut oil 
Coconut oil? Coconut oil! 
A quick note on coconut oil and hot temperatures!

In the same post on stearic acid, Izzie asks: You said that cetyl alcohol gives slip, and that stearic acid gives more thickness. So If I am making a foot cream, shouldn't I use more stearic? The blog seems to say otherwise, unless I am so tired from my work week.

Stearic acid is always my first choice for a foot lotion or cream! It adds thickeness and tenacity. I find a foot lotion made with stearic feels thicker and stays on longer, often well into the next morning. If there is a place on the blog where I suggest cetyl alcohol instead of stearic acid for a foot or elbow cream, please let me know and I shall fix it immediately!

In this post on Dove's beauty bar, Deidre asks: Did you ever try making cold process soap? I'm a relatively new reader of your site, but browsing through, I haven't seen any posts about it in the last couple of years. As a soap-making addict, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I didn't. I have all these great plans, but I only get so much workshop time and I generally use those moments to replenish my products bin or try new things for the blog! As much as I love CP soap, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. Thank goodness it's farmer market season and I can stock up on lovely local stuff!

Quick aside: I can't find the name of the makers of this soap! If you recognize it, please let me know so I can put up a link to your shop! Or send me a picture of your lovely food looking - cupcakes, cakes, ice cream, and so on - soap with your link so I can use it in future posts!

Have a Wondering? Visit the Weekend Wonderings main post and comment or leave a comment on any post on the blog! Please make sure you leave your name. Anonymous posts without a name in the body of the comment will be deleted and won't be answered. See the side bar for more information! 


melian1 said...

on the dish, one of the members (liz) once posted this formula for figuring out exactly where the melting point of a product would be. i thought that might be helpful in trying to formulate the deodorant so that it melts under the arms but not sitting on the counter in a warm house. The formula is:

Fa + F'b / a+b = MP of total mixture

Where F & F' are individual melting points of 2 ingredients and a + b are the quantities used


4 parts paraffin with MP 55C
2 parts paraffin with MP 49C

4 x 55 + 2 x 49/ 4 + 2 = 220 + 98/6 = 53C

The total mixture will have a MP of 53C

So of course you can use this formula for more than 2 ingredients.

melian1 said...

i also thought it might be good to share the list of melting points of various things:
Castor wax 188.6F (87C)
Carnuaba 180-187F
Sunflower Wax 160-170F (74-77C)
stearic acid 156F (69 ºC) ( )
ozokerite wax 152F-162F
Candellila 152-161F
Cera Bellina (INCI: Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax) is 145F- 163F (63-73C)
Beeswax 142-147F
Soy Wax 113-122F
Cetyl Alcohol 129F 49C ( )
Palm Oil hydrogenated 106-110F
Palm Oil rbd kosher 100-108F (33-39C)
Virgin Palm Oil (Red Palm Oil) 84-93F (29-34C) ( )
Kokum 97-99F (mountain rose herbs)
Mango Butter 101-102F
Cocoa Butter 93-100F
Shea Butter 89-95F
PKO 73-84F (23–29C)

lauric acid 113F (45 ºC)
myristic acid 131F (55 ºC)
palmitic acid 145F (63 ºC)
arachidic acid 168F (76 ºC)
melting piont of various fatty acids:

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi melian! Awesome awesome awesome! Nothing more to say! Awesome!

Lissy said...

Hi Susan,

I have been playing around with the following for a solid deodorant:

- coconut oil (for anti-microbial qualities)
- cocoa butter
- macadamia wax
- mango butter
- zinc oxide
- white kaolin clay
- silica
- essential oils with both deodorant, antiperspirant and anti-microbial qualities (am a qualified aromatherapist so feel confident in this area)

Like you I was reluctant to try a solid deodorant having been quite attached to my spray deodorant for more than half a lifetime. But I was compelled to develop something because my eleven year old son was desperately in need of a deodorant, but it felt wrong to hand him the Lynx or other commercial brands out there. So it seemed only fair for me to swap as well!

I have been really pleasantly surprised by how effective it is! And the clay, zinc and silica seem to keep it under the arms and away from staining the clothes.

I'l be interested to see if anyone else has tried and succeeded (or failed so we can learn) in this area.

Thanks for posting on this topic Susan.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Susan - I had to comment on something Charbel wrote about her deodorant recipe. There is a whopping 58% baking soda in it. This is a recipe for itching, burning armpits. Over the past year and a half, I have received thousands of direct communications from people who made and tried DIY baking soda deodorant with disasterous results. It's incredibly worrying to see how many are experimenting with their own health in an attempt to find 'natural' and 'chemical free' alternatives to commercial deodorants.

Lissy's deodorant ingredients (here in the comments) look like a MUCH safer choice.

I wouldn't mind hearing your take on this..

Ok, end of speech from this old mother hen..

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Great points, Lissy and Lise! I've put together a post on deodorants for later this week - find it here on Friday, June 21st - with your points about the baking soda in there!

Mychelle said...

Agreed Melian, awesome! Susan consider giving cp a try one of these days! I just recently jumped into soap making after crafting bath & body products for many years. I was always too scared of the lye and the fussiness. It turns out I love it! It's such an artistic hobby and actually I find the process very relaxing. You're the busiest lady on Earth but one day give it a go. It's quite gratifying. :)

Judy said...

Dear Susan,
Regarding predicting the melting point of a fatty acid mixture:
Where is the published research which validates this simple formula that merely takes the ratio of a substance and calculates a weighted average?
A quick calculation using cocoa butter shows that this formula does not work:
Cocoa Butter (MP~38C) (details using composition percentages from the November 17, 2009 blog & melting points from the July 18, 2010 blog):
28% Palmitic Acid 63 C
33% Stearic Acid 69 C
35% Oleic Acid 13 C
3% Linoleic Acid -5 C
Cocoa Butter MP = .28*63 + .33*69 + .35*13 + .03*(-5) = 46 C
Sorry to be a nudge… but when posts with inaccurate data are not refuted it compromises the integrity of all the other data on this site. Your site is so incredible… you have a responsibility to ensure the data integrity. (Hmmm… “With great power comes great responsibility”; where have I heard that before? )
Also, the July 18, 2010 blog post says: “A combination of unsaturated, lower molecular weight fatty acids and saturated, higher molecular weight fatty acids will produce a butter with an unpredictable melting point - one with a higher melting point than the unsaturated fatty acids but lower than the saturated fatty acids.” This statement is right on the money!
I sincerely hope this post helps prevent someone from formulating using that incorrect formula and wasting their time and money.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Judy. Melian's comment isn't about something like cocoa butter, but about combining ingredients in a product. You can't use that formula for something like cocoa butter as evidenced by the post you quote aka out uncertain melting temperatures. It isn't inaccurate as it simply doesn't apply to the example you give.

I interpret the posting of fatty acids as being about adding things like stearic acid or palmitic acid, not about being in butters.

Can I just put this out there? I've mentioned this before, but comments similar to "if this is wrong, what else is wrong?" bother me as there is the implication that making a mistake is a bad thing, and that making one mistake means you're somehow wrong about everything. I prefer the idea that mistakes are something we make as we learn and we need to be able to make them in a safe environment so we can be open to learning more instead of feeling attacked or put down. I find that if I am approached in a way that seeks to share information, I am more agreeable to looking alternatives. I think everyone wins that way.

Judy said...

Hi Susan,
You say, “Melian's comment isn't about something like cocoa butter, but about combining ingredients in a product.” What is the definition of “ingredient”? Does this mean that the formula works to predict the melting point when one combines equal amounts of cocoa butter (MP~38C) and Stearic Acid (MP~69C)? If so, the resulting solid will have a melting point of 53.5C. Or, does this apply when one combines equal amounts of cocoa butter (MP~38C) and Cera Bellina (MP~70C)? If so, the resulting solid will have a melting point of 54C. Does anyone have an example how to use the formula in a real recipe?
(I really want to know if this formula works as it would be so helpful in my formulations – and eliminate the trial and error part. I have just spent hours researching “predicting melting point of mixtures” along with other key words, e.g., fatty acid, lipids, etc. and I can’t find anything that supports the existence of Melian’s reference to that simple equation.)
Also, I totally agree that it is not a bad thing to make a mistake and I think that your blog is a great forum for ideas and experimentation. And, I think you are brilliant! Just wanting to get the facts straight!
Thank you, Judy :-)

Goya & Fig said...

Hello Susan!

Just to respond to your request that we let you know if you suggested cetyl alcohol instead of stearic acid for a foot cream - you did so in your recipe MODIFIED BODY BUTTER RECIPE FOR REALLY TRASHED FEET! I am going to be making some of this tomorrow and will let you know what I think afterwards!