Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Do we need to use Vitamin E? Is the preservative and fragrance part of the 100%?

In this post, Lotions: A basic recipe, Helga asks: 1) does lotion need vitamin E? 2) is the percentage of preservative and fragrance based on the absolute total produced with those included or of the foundation of the recipe without those? 

I include Vitamin E for two reasons. The first is because it's lovely for your skin. Vitamin E moisturizes and softens skin well. The second is because it acts like an anti-oxidant. But only certain types behave as anti-oxidants. For instance, I use this T-50 anti-oxidant tocopherol blend from Voyageur Soap & Candle as an anti-oxidant. For this ingredient, I could use it as low as 0.05% to retard rancidity in the oils. (Tocopherol acetate is used for moisturizing, not as an anti-oxidant.)

So to answer the question - no, your lotion doesn't need Vitamin E, but it's a nice addition to either soften skin or retard rancidity in your oils.

The second question is one I've seen around quite a bit lately. Every ingredient in a lotion is to be part of the 100% total. So if we have a recipe that looks like this...

BASIC FIRST LOTION RECIPE
70.5% water
15% oil (sunflower, soy bean, rice bran, or olive oil)
5% shea or mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
5% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

...you'll notice the preservative and fragrance oil/essential oil are in the the 100% total of the recipe. There's no reason to add either of these things on top of the 100%; they are included.

BASIC FIRST LOTION RECIPE
71.5% water
15% oil (sunflower, soy bean, rice bran, or olive oil)
5% shea or mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
5% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Let's say you want to add essential oil at 1% to the second version of this lotion. How do we do that and keep it at 100%? You would remove 1% from the water phase - making it 70.5% water - and add your essential oil at 1% to keep the total at 100%.

To summarize this question: You include every ingredient you are using in the 100%.

Related posts:
Adding and removing from the water amount

Side note: I thought I'd share this lip gloss recipe from Adventures with the Sage with you! Someone asked about lip gloss the other day, and I thought this looked like a nice one!

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