Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Weekday Wonderings: How can we heat proof an anhydrous butter?

In this post, Adapting your products for summer, Taryn asked: I make body products and this will be my first summer. What can I do to better safeguard my products from turning into liquid pools while at markets and in the mail? I am just starting out and I am worrying that I may have to take a few months off. I don't think that would be good for my business. I was hoping you would have some tips to help.

Tracy added: I second that question! I have tried experimenting with different butters (i.e. sal) but still can't get the proportions just right, especially if I know I will have products out at a farmer's market or in the heat for any extended period of time. Thank you!

Depending upon where you live, you could reach temperatures as high as 49˚C this summer, so there's no easy way to make these changes without changing the stiffness and skin feel of your product.

One solution is to change the butters in your products for those with higher melting points. Cocoa butter has a melting point of 38˚C, which is pretty high, but we can attain those temperatures easily in a parked car for even a short period of time.

The problem here is that cocoa butter is really stiff stuff. The first anhydrous butter I made was part cocoa butter, part mango butter, and I had to dig it out of the container with my nails. It felt nice when I rubbed it in, but it didn't melt right away, which is a feature I wanted when I made it.

Mango butter has a melting point of 34˚C to 38˚C, which is lower than cocoa butter, but it's still really stiff in a product.

Kokum butter has a higher melting point than cocoa butter at 38˚C to 40˚C, but it's stiff stuff. I find it quite draggy on my skin, and wouldn't really like it as the basis of a whipped butter.

The second thought is to avoid any solid oils that have low melting points, like coconut oil or babassu oil that melt at 24˚C or 76˚F.

Another thought is to try adding other ingredients that could alter the melting point. I did some experiments a few years ago making butters with shea oil and tried using cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol, which will bring the melting point up to around 49˚C, and another version with stearic acid. (I did a version with cetearyl alcohol and esters, if that interests you, too.)

Another thought is to make a body butter lotion as these won't melt in the summer sun! I love this one I have in the newbie section of the blog!

Or maybe have a giant cooler of ice at the market so you can store them that way?

Wonderful readers, what have you done that worked for your products? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

1 comment:

Sabrina K. said...

Hi there!

In whipped body butters I add cocoa and mango butters and it does work, but our summers here in Montreal are not that bad. I also make a butter / solid lotion that I simply pour in a deodorant tube, with 1,5% beeswax, cocoa, shea and mango butters + oat oil and a little almond oil and chamomille Co2 extract and lavender essential oil. No greasy fingers and happy skin :)