Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin seed oil: A whipped butter

I love whipped butters and I love pumpkin seed oil, so it's a natural progression to combine the two in an awesome product designed to help with any dry skin issues that might arise for me during the autumn and winter. This is a dry feeling butter that completely melts on skin contact. It feels very thin and greasy when you put it on, but within minutes the greasiness is gone and you're left with a nice feeling of moisturization.

I thought I'd modify my whipped babassu, hemp seed, and sal butter recipe to include pumpkin seed oil, only to find out that Voyageur Soap & Candle stopped carrying sal butter! Oh no, what shall I do? I'll make a substitution!

What does sal butter bring to the mix? Sal butter (INCI: Shorea robusta) has a melting point on par with cocoa butter at 34˚C to 38˚C - but the fatty acid profile is different. With 2% to 8% palmitic acid (C16), 35% to 48% stearic acid (C18), 35 to 42% oleic acid (C18:1), and 2% to 3% linoleic acid (C18:2), it has a fatty acid profile closest to kokum or shea butter. Sal butter also contains 6% to 11% arachidic acid (C20, also known as eicosanoic acid), which you'll also find in coconut and sesame seed oils to far lesser extents.

So it sounds like I could substitute cocoa butter for the sal butter in this mix if I wanted a similar melting point and skin feel. Is there anything else? Kokum butter (INCI: Garcinia indica) has a higher melting point, but it seems more like sal butter than cocoa butter, so perhaps I'll try that here. This butter has a much high melting point than other butters - 38˚C to 40˚C - and will make your lotions or other creations much thicker than with other butters. The fatty acid profile is similar to the other butters - 5 to 8% palmitic acid (C16), 40 to 45% stearic acid (C18), 40 to 50% oleic acid (C18:1), and 2 to 4% linoleic acid (C18:2) - but it is considered an astringent butter, on par with mango butter. Its shelf life is listed as between 1 to 2 years.

I bought the kokum butter because I thougt it would be neat to see what would happen, but you can substitute cocoa butter for that ingredient in this product. As usual, when substituting remember that you'll end up with a different skin feel and melting point than the product I make, but you haven't tried my product, so you probably won't notice much of a difference! :-)

The babassu oil, however, isn't optional in this product. It's essential to the melty-ness of the product. This will melt on your skin on contact, and that's because of the babassu oil. It's fairly rare that I will say this but you need to spend your money on getting some babassu oil. It is a really unique ingredient that you will enjoy!

Its fatty acid profile is interesting. With 42% lauric acid (C12), 17% myristic acid (C14), 10% palmitic acid (C16), 4% stearic acid (C18), 15% oleic acid (C18:1), and about 3% linoleic acid (C18:2), it covers the range of fatty acids with a little bit of everything. Stearic acid is a great moisturizing fatty acid. Oleic acid is a great moisturizing and possible anti-inflammatory. And linoleic acid can help restore skin's barrier functions and reduce trans-epidermal water loss. Because of this higher level of unsaturated fatty acids, babassu has a shelf life of about one year - but I don't think anyone could leave it on the shelf that long!

Babassu is considered a great replacement for coconut oil. Coconut oil is generally considered a greasy oil, so if you substitute it, you will find your creation is more astringent. Here are a few ideas on formulating with babassu oil (substitute it for the coconut oil in the recipe). But be warned - this stuff feels amazing, and you might find yourself taking out a mortgage to get more!

If you don't have babassu oil, there are other butters you can use like shea butter or mango butter. I don't recommend making a body butter from coconut oil as it'll melt when the temperature gets a little warmer, which is something entirely plausible in the winter when everyone goes about cranking up the heat until it's impossible to breathe, like they couldn't put on a sweater or something instead...but I digress. Check out this Newbie Tuesday post on making whipped butters with those butters! Here's the post about choosing your butters. 

Please note, you cannot make this product with all kokum butter as it will be a big block of kokum butter that won't come out of the container. And you don't really want to make it with all babassu oil as it will melt when the temperature gets a little high. The balance between the babassu oil and the harder butter is essential to keep its shape.

48% babassu oil
32% pumpkin seed oil
20% kokum butter

Melt all the ingredients in a double boiler until they are just melted, then pop into the fridge or freezer until they are sludgy and thick. Add up to 1% fragrance or essential oil - check your chosen ingredient's usage suggestions - then whip with a whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy. Put into jars or metal containers and enjoy often!

I love this product. I seriously cannot say enough about how lovely this whipped butter feels on my skin, melting on contact and leaving a less greasy feeling and moisturized feeling. I love this on my feet and elbows to help with areas that get pretty trashed as I tend to wear short sleeved shirts and shoes without socks during the colder months, but it also feels fantastic on my arms and legs. My husband has been using it on his hands before he puts on his gloves for work at night. In short, we use this for everything!

Consider using a pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice fragrance for this product to make it very autumnal!

Join me Monday as we enjoy more products using pumpkin seed oil, including a pumpkin seed butter using Lipidthix before we add it to my favourite cuticle balm and a modified version of my favourite emulsified sugar scrub on Tuesday!


Lise M Andersen said...

ok I'm convinced. Ordering babassu oil immediately because now I HAVE to try it!

Bunny said...

Interesting! I've never used kokum butter before... does it smell at all? Some comments around the internet suggest it has a slight earthy/gamey scent, which both you and I have an intense dislike for.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bunny. If I consider deodorized cocoa butter as having a smell of 1 and avocado butter as having a 5 on the earthy scale - so cocoa butter has no earthy smell and avocado has 5 - I would say it's a 1.5. I can smell a little bit of something, but it's not in the final product. Having said this, I'm only able to judge that used by Voyageur Soap & Candle as that's where I bought it, and different suppliers could have different versions!

Hi Lise. I'm having that effect on people lately! Babassu really is amazing on your skin!

Miri Pardo said...

I know the point was to use pumpkin seed oil, but I didn't have any, so I used apricot kernel oil instead. Oh, wow! Made some for a friend whose newborn has a little rash after I told her not to use Vaseline. She took it for herself! Can't wait to try it after a shower!

Bunny said...

Okay, so thanks to your comment I did buy Kokum butter, and now it's REVIEW TIME! :)

20% kokum butter
43% babassu oil
5% lanolin
3% glycerin
10% macadamia nut oil
19% rice bran oil
A few drops of FCF bergamot for scent

SO in another comment I asked how I could work a water soluble like glycerin into a butter, and you suggested adding it to some lanolin... which works really well! Melt the butters and oils, and mix the lanolin and glycerin separately together and then into the butter/oil. I did it while hot so it all melted, but it might be better as a cool-down type addition.

My thoughts on this: amazing. Thanks to probably the lanolin it's a little heavy/sticky, but I put it on before bed and my feet have never been so smooth and lovely! It was a wonderfully whippy cream all winter that just meeelted on your skin... but in the summer heat it got kind of sludge-y half-melted. It still works the same, it's just... not as decadent as before...? I think for my next jar I'll up the kokum butter a bit and remove some babassu.

Thanks for the inspiration and help!

Melanie Stock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie Stock said...

Followed the recipe exactly...why is it not whipping with my stick blender? It's just staying a thin opaque lotion consistency and I've whipped for forever. What am I doing wrong? Had solidified on top when I took it out of the freezer.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Melanie! Can you please post your exact recipe and the exact process you followed? It sounds like something is off, but I need way more information to help!

Melanie Stock said...

I think I figured out that it's my stick blender: Cuisinart CSB-75 Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, White
I Google'd around and some said that this type of blender can't whip well because it heats up the oils too much, preventing it from fluffing up. I felt the metal attachment and it was indeed getting hot. Sucks because I specifically bought this hand blender for making skincare. Guess I need an electric whisk or a milk frother for it to stay cool and emit more air into the product. My recipe was identical to yours, did a 100 gram batch, and followed your instructions exactly. Did not even deviate the tiniest.

Adela said...

Hi! This is my favorite body butter, but I saw that in time (after 2 weeks of use) it turned it's color from light green (due to the pumpkin seed oil which was unrefined cold pressed) to a more brownish color, which I don't like. What can be the cause? Oxidation or the temperature (which was above 20 Celsius degree in the room I kept it)? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Adela! Great question and thought. I'm answering this as best I can on Thursday, December 1st's Weekday Wonderings. The short answer is yes, it's probably the oil and oxidation. The longer answer? Check out the post to read more!