Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why did my lotion fail? Heating and holding

I see recipes all over the web for lotions that forget something very very important: Heating and holding. This process is not optional: It's essential. And it's the other major reason lotions fail.

The summary of heating and holding is this...We heat and hold our separate heated water phase and heated oil phase for 20 minutes at 70˚C/158˚F. Remove the containers from the heat, combine, then mix well with either a mixer or a stick blender.

Why do we do this? To make the emulsion work better. If we heat and hold our ingredients at 70˚C for 20 minutes, we are assured that our emulsifier will be very oil soluble, which means it will create a water-in-oil emulsion that will eventually become an oil-in-water emulsion, which is very stable. We are assured our micelles will be a nice size, and we have eliminated most of the nasty contaminants that could ruin our lotion. In short, by heating and holding, we are ensuring we have a stable lotion that will remain emulsified and bug-free for a very long time!

When I teach classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle, we don't have a water bath to create a double boiler, so we can't heat and hold. We warm our water in the kettle and heat the oils in the microwaves. We use recipes I know will work well, but we still get failures. Why? Because we aren't heating and holding.

There is no reason not to heat and hold. It's an easy process that ensures that you will make an awesome lotion!

Related posts:
Why we heat & hold our ingredients!
Why we heat & hold our ingredients separately
Weekend Wonderings: Heating & holding
Creating products: Heating & holding
What if you go over 70˚C when heating & holding?
How to heat & hold over a stove?
Does heating and holding damage our oils?


Susanna Originals said...

Susan, one of your other commenters mentioned holding the heat in the oven. Is that okay? It would be so much easier for me.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Sure! As long as you can heat and hold, it's all good!

Anonymous said...

If using goat's milk, can you heat and hold in the oven too? Also, I am wanting to make lotion with magnesium, can you still heat and hold the water/magnesium mixture?


Paula Taylor said...

Hi Susan, that Is my comment above and I neglected to put my name there. Sorry!

Thanks for any advice you can offer. :)


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Paula. I'm afraid I don't like goat's milk and don't use it, so I can't comment about it. I also don't know how you're using the magnesium, so I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest there either.

Paula Taylor said...

Thank you. :)