Thursday, July 17, 2014

One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in balms

Why should you choose sunflower oil for an oil based balm? Because...oh, I'll just let you read this post on sunflower oil to find out more as I'm sure you're sick of hearing me go on about the linoleic acid, oleic acid, and phytosterols already!

What is a balm? (From this post: Back to Basics: Balms) It is a "medicated topical preparation for application to the skin...(that is) rubbed in" (from Wikipedia). Obviously I won't be making any claims for the products we'll be making - we make cosmetic products, not drugs around here! - but we can consider a balm to be a product that includes ingredients we have chosen to change the appearance of our skin or hair, and that might help with a specific condition that's bugging us. Conditions like dry, itchy, sun exposed, or annoyed skin might be helped with a balm we might make. (A lip balm is intended to moisturize dry lips or provide sun protection, so it falls into this category.)

Balms can come in a variety of containers - deodorant sticks, lip balm tubes, tins, plastic containers, and so on. Because they don't contain water, you can put them in metal containers. (There are some really cute ones, like these sliding containers from Voyageur Soap & Candle!) You'll have to test your version to see which container works best!

20% beeswax or soy wax
25% shea or mango butter
54% liquid oil
1% fragrance or essential oil

Weigh the wax, butter, and oil in a heatproof container and put into a double boiler. Melt until the solids are liquid. Remove and let cool to 45˚C before adding your fragrance or essential oil. Pour into your container or let sit in the Pyrex jug until cooled, then spoon into your container. Rejoice.

If you want to use cocoa butter, you'll want to reduce the beeswax to about 15% and up the liquid oil amount by 5%. If you want to use oils with a 6 months or less shelf life, add up to 1% Vitamin E.

My favourite recipe for balms is my manicure balm with lanolin and lecithin. Substitute the sunflower oil for the soy bean oil and you've got yourself a lovely balm for your fingers and nails! I cannot stress enough how much I love this balm!!! Give it a try!

Related posts:
Balms: Choosing the oils and butters
Balms: A new recipe idea
Balms: Tweaking the new recipe idea
Balms: Let's get complicated
Chemistry of our nails: A manicure balm

Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in body oils
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in blooming or dispersing bath oils
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in lotion bars
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in emulsified scrubs
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in a zinc oxide cream
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in a whipped butter
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in an oil based scrub
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in a body butter

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with sunflower oil! Two products to go!


Debbie said...

Hi Susan. What are your thoughts on using bee pollen gradual in lotion & how would you incorporate it into lotions?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone get shrinkage of their anhydrous balm products? If so, how long does it take and what % wax are you using? Thanks Susan.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Debbie. I've never used bee pollen and I haven't researched it, so I don't know anything about it. Have you tried it? What are your thoughts?

Hi Rachel. Can you describe what you mean by shrinkage? In containers or not?