In this post on the oil cleansing method, Carol asks: Your comment "Although I imagine it might make a nice body oil!" has encouraged me to ask this question...to make a body oil would you change the percentages or oils used in anyway? Following your suggestion for normal/dry skin - I used 25% castor oil, 65% sunflower oil & 10% evening primrose oil - it works great on my face for the OCM. I tried it as a body oil & it doesn't spread on the skin, it would take a ton of it to coat the whole body. I found a body oil product I LOVE & I'm interested to reverse engineer it - any guesses on percentages here or suggestions? Ingredient List - Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter & Meadowfoam seed oil extract, sunflower oil, avocado, fractionated coconut & hemp oils, lavendar EO, vit E, rosemary extract. (This is directly from the company site, so not sure if it is suppose to be avocado oil & it is a misprint? Thank you!
One of the reasons I suggest learning the skin feel of your oils is so you can figure out what's important in an anhydrous or non-water containing product. For instance, you note that you love your oil blend for oil cleansing but can't spread it well on your skin, and if we know the skin feel of our oils, we can figure out what is causing that and what we could use instead. (I'm sure you've figured out it's the castor oil as it's a sticky, medium to heavy weight oil...)
Looking at this list, we can break down how each ingredient would feel on the skin and what each brings to the party. It's hard to know how much of each oil to use just from thinking about it, but that's part of the fun of workshop time, right?
- Sweet almond oil - a light feeling, medium greasiness oil that spreads well.
- Shea butter - a heavy feeling, heavy greasiness butter that might spread well, but it adds viscosity and thickness to a product. (Perhaps they are talking about fractionated shea oil?)
- Meadowfoam seed oil - a very light feeling, low greasiness oil that spreads well.
- Sunflower oil - a light feeling, heavy greasiness oil that spreads well.
- Avocado oil - a medium feeling oil with medium greasiness that spreads relatively well.
- Fractionated coconut oil - a very light feeling, low to medium greasiness oil that spreads well.
- Hempseed oil - a light feeling, low to medium greasiness oil that spreads well. (The lower the refinement, the thicker oil will feel, so this could be a medium weight oil...)
- Lavender EO - an essential oil. No effect on skin feel due to low level of usage.
- Vitamin E - an anti-oxidant. No effect on skin feel due to low level of usage.
- Rosemary extract - an anti-oxidant. No effect on skin feel due to low level of usage.
I really hope it's a misprint 'cause other wise this product would be a green sludge plus oils if you used a real avocado. Its shelf life would be a day or so!
You'll choose the oils in this blend depending upon the skin feel. If the list is the right order, we know there should be more sweet almond oil and less hempseed oil with the others coming in the middle. As I mention repeatedly in the Newbie Tuesday series on skin feel of our oils, try each oil on your skin individually to get to know it better. If this product feels like a light weight product with loads of greasy skin feel, odds are pretty good you're using a lot of sweet almond oil. If this product feeling a medium weight oil with medium greasiness, you're probably using quite a bit of fractionated shea oil and avocado oil. And so on.
I don't duplicate products any more, but I'm not considering this a duplication but more of an example of how we might think about the skin feel of a product and how we might get said skin feel.
Newbie Tuesday: Making a body oil
Back to basics: Making a body oil spray
Duplicating products: Neutragena's body oil
Esters: A body oil spray
Kukui nut oil: An anhydrous spray
In the post What do you want to know? Is water a filler? Sara asks: Can you replace all of the water in the water phase with a hydrosol? Like rose water? Or is it still important to have distilled water?
You can replace the water phase with any other watery thing like a hydrosol or an extract, but I've found that you end up with something that might be stickier or more fragrant than you expected. The biggest thing I've noticed is that it can change the pH of the product. I had a rosemary hydrosol that had a pH around 4.6. If I used that as 70% of the water phase, it would have offered quite a rosemary smell and would have thrown the pH out of whack. The same amount of distilled water would have a pH of 7 and would have offered no smell.
So the short answer is that you can subsitute all the water in something with a hydrosol or extract or other infusion, but there are good reasons not to...
In the same post, Bunny asks: Is there any way you can include a more traditional humectant in an anhydrous product? Or if I have a water-soluble extract that I want to add to a body butter... so in both cases, adding a very small amount of a water-based product into a mostly anhydrous product? Would there be any way to emulsify this, maybe?
You can see in this post on using sodium lactate in a lip balm, I managed to get a water soluble thing into an anhydrous or non-water containing product using lecithin, which isn't an emulsifier but an ingredient that can help incorporate water soluble ingredients.
I need to clarify something about lecithin. It can be what is called an HLB emulsifier with an HLB value of 4 or 7 or 10. We would combine it with another emulsifier to create what is called a complete emulsifier, something we could use to emulsify oil and water together to create a lotion. Without that other HLB emulsifier, it isn't a complete emulsifier and couldn't be the sole emulsifier in a lotion that you expect to work. It can take on water, but it isn't emulsifying it. If you're interested in learning more, check out this post I wrote on solubilizers.
lanolin can take on almost its own weight in water, so you could use this to take on a bit of glycerin or water soluble green tea extract or whatever you want.
Solubilizers like PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil are generally used to allow you to add something oil based into a water based product, not the other way around, so really the only way to add something water based into an oil based product at home is to use an emulsifier. You might notice that I'm able to add water soluble ingredients like hydrolyzed proteins or panthenol into my conditioner bars, which are by definition anhydrous or non-water containing, or to a solid scrub bar filled with lovely oils and butters. That's thanks to the emulsifying power of Incroquat BTMS-50 or one of the other cationic quaternary compounds that are emulsifiers. You could add just a little emulsifier to your anhydrous product to help add a little water soluble ingredient, but remember that this could change the skin feel to be a little more waxy or a little more dry feeling.
Join me next weekend for more Weekend Wonderings and tomorrow for more fun with simplifying recipes!
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