Friday, November 29, 2013

(Early) Weekend Wonderings: Substitutions for mango butter,

Happy Black Friday! And thanks for your lovely Thanksgiving wishes, but I'm Canadian, and our holiday is the second Monday of October. But I'll always happily accept good wishes and blessings any time of the year! I'm not going near the shops today because I don't really do crowds, so let's spend some time looking at the comments we've seen in the last few weeks!

In this post with the anhydrous primer recipe, Jing Yi Kenny Tan asks: It's difficult to get mango butter where I'm from. If I were to replace it, do you recommend shea butter or cocoa butter? (I live where it's summer the whole year.)

Eek! My most hated season all year round! Why is there nowhere where it's early spring or late fall all year 'round? (I get the physical reasons about the earth going around the sun and the angle at which we're tilted, but that doesn't mean I have to accept it!)

It's hard to make a blanket substitution for our butters as it depends upon the application. In the case of the anhydrous primer, the goal is to create a solid stick that offers low greasiness and high whiteness to create a blank canvas for our eye shadow. Shea butter probably wouldn't be a good choice for that as it is a greasy, less stiff feeling butter than mango. Cocoa butter would be a better choice as it's less greasy feeling than shea butter and will give the stick some stiffness. You might have to play around with the proportions in the recipe as cocoa butter is harder than mango. So you could put in less cocoa butter or less beeswax. Don't make a lot of this - say a 50 gram batch - and play around with that a little bit.

If you were to ask this question about a whipped butter, a product in which scooping a product from the container is one of the goals, you'd want to consider using mango butter because it's less stiff than cocoa butter. If we were talking about a lotion bar, either would be an acceptable substitution, depending upon the skin feel you wanted. If you wanted something slightly greasier, use shea butter and up the beeswax slightly. If you wanted something less greasy than shea butter, use cocoa butter and decrease the beeswax slightly.

When you're substituting one ingredient for another, always keep the goal in mind. For the most part, you can substitute one butter for another, but remember that you'll be changing the skin feel and you could change the viscosity or stiffness of the product, so choose it with those factors in mind.

Eeting mentioned in this post that she added the oil to the water phase very slowly, over 10 minutes. Please don't do this. Just pour the oil into the water phase (or the water into the oil phase) at a normal rate, then mix. There's no value in doing it really slowly!

In this post on the pumpkin seed lotion, Marjo asks: I loved this cream! Used grapeseedoil for I like the skin feel. It is very fluffy, if I'd turn it into a salve sudocrem alike would I get that stiffness by incorporating stearic acid into the recipe? 

I have no idea what sudocrem is, but you can substitute cetyl alcohol and stearic acid for the other in most recipes to change the thickness. Cetyl alcohol offers more glide and is thinner and silkier feeling than stearic acid, which tends to be thicker and stiffer with more drag. (Sarah once coined the rhyme, "Cetyl is slick while stearic is thick!" which is a great description.)

Related posts:
Why include stearic acid?

Join me tomorrow as I catch up on comments and take a look at what you want to know! (I am working on comments from mid-month. It's been a busy couple of weeks!)

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