What does it mean to be a skin protectant? It means it is an occlusive ingredient prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from our skin. We want to trap in that water and prevent it from evaporating from our skin, and protect our skin from further damage while it repairs itself from physical assaults of the day. Barrier ingredients set up a barrier between your skin and the outside world. You can use them to help prevent wind or cold chapping, and to protect skin so it can heal from the assaults of the day. Dimethicone is one of three of these barrier ingredients approved by the FDA. (The others are cocoa butter and allantoin.)
If you'd like to learn more about making body butters, please check out this post here - Newbie Tuesday: Let's make body butter!
I like my body butters to have loads of humectants to draw water to my skin, lovely butters and oils to help moisturize, and great occlusive ingredients to trap it all in. You can modify this water amount as you wish, adding aloe vera or chamomile hydrosol or any distillate or floral water. I don't recommend going over 20% non-water ingredients as it can start to feel sticky and because it can be harder to preserve. Remember, when you add something to a recipe, you need to take the equal amount out of the distilled water portion. So if you add 10% aloe vera, remove 10% water. If you add 0.5% powdered extract, remove 0.5% water. We always want our lotion percentages to total 100%.
borage oil as it contains a load of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), a fatty acid that can help speed up skin's barrier repair mechanisms, which can be an issue for dry or chapped skin. You could substitute any oil for this one, including evening primrose oil, which also contains GLA. I'm using cocoa butter because it is another barrier ingredient, and shea butter because I like the greasier feeling it brings. You can make this recipe with all one butter or another, and substitute any butter you wish. As a note, changing the butter may change the skin feel and viscosity, which isn't really a big deal!
Again, if you want to alter things in this recipe, I can't stress enough how much visiting the Newbie Tuesday post on body butters will help!
In the water phase, I'm using chamomile hydrosol because it will offer some soothing and reduction of redness and inflammation. I could use a powdered extract at 0.5% in the cool down phase, but this will add a little yellow or beige tinge to the final product. Not a huge deal, but some people might worry about this. You could also use up to 1% chamomile essential oil in the cool down phase. I don't like the smell, so that's not an option for me. I'm adding both sodium lactate and glycerin as my humectants as I like to have loads of hydrating ingredients in my body butters. You could use all glycerin if you want. I find it feels a bit sticky at over 3% for me, so the sodium lactate is a way of getting a little extra humectant in without that feeling. And finally, I'm using allantoin because it's another approved barrier protectant that can speed up skin's barrier repair mechanisms and increase its water content.
I like to add a hydrolyzed protein as a film former and hydrator, and I could choose from a number of them. As I'm designing this recipe for dry skin, I think hydrolyzed silk protein would be a nice inclusion.
CHAMOMILE, BORAGE, AND COCOA BUTTER BODY BUTTER
HEATED WATER PHASE
42.5% distilled water
10% chamomile hydrosol
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
HEATED OIL PHASE
10% borage oil
5% cocoa butter
8% shea butter (or other butter of choice)
3% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil
Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.
As a note, I know that according to the 25% rule for Polawax, I should have 6.5% Polawax in this recipe. I didn't feel like working in small percentages, and it doesn't make a real difference in the skin feel.
Do you like the idea of this recipe but have another emulsifier? Check out this body butter post using Lotionpro 165, or this base recipe using Incroquat BTMS-50!
Join me tomorrow for more fun with dimethicone in facial care products!