Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Zinc oxide cream

I realized I hadn't offered many ideas lately about how to formulate with some of the more recent oils I've written about, so here are a few recipes I hope you'll enjoy!

Zinc oxide cream is intended to create a barrier between the outside world and the damaged skin, so we want something that is going to penetrate our skin as well as forming an occlusive barrier. We want to include some oils that will soothe inflamed skin and others that will help with barrier repair - so we want something very thick, like castor oil, and something that will help heal skin, like sea buckthorn. A humectant would be very nice - castor acts as a humectant and we'll add a little glycerin, sodium lactate, or honeyquat to the mix - and panthenol would be a good addition as it can heal inflammation and wounds. I'm adding a hydrolyzed protein to the mix - silk would be a good choice as it has a low molecular weight and can penetrate skin - and a cationic polymer like honeyquat (although if you've used it as your humectant, don't double up!) because it will increase the moisture uptake ability of our skin, and this product is all about moisturizing and healing (you can use another cationic polymer like Celquat or polyquat 7 - condition-eze 7 - if you wish. If you use Celquat, your mixture will be a little thicker, so only use 0.5% of it!)

As with all the products we make, do not make any claims about the ability of zinc oxide to cure anything! We all know it works very well with chapped skin and we've chosen our ingredients to maximize the healing process, but we cannot make any claims without testing this cream, and I certainly don't have the money or energy to prove that! So please don't make claims you can't support!


5% emulsifying wax
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
10% castor oil
5% sea buckthorn oil

66% distilled water - you can use up to 10% aloe vera or a lovely hydrosol here
3% humectant of choice - honeyquat, glycerin, hydrovance (if you're using sodium lactate, use 2% and up the water by 1%)
2% cationic polymer (for Celquat, use 0.5% and if you're using honeyquat as your humectant, leave this out and up the water by 2%)
2% hydrolyzed silk (or other hydrolyzed protein)

1% Vitamin E
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice (I use 0.5% Germall Plus)

20% oil or water soluble zinc oxide (add all the ingredients, and when you've added the cool down phase mix it well, then add the zinc oxide until it is well blended!)

(Yes, I know this doesn't add up to 100% but 120% - that's because I didn't factor in the zinc oxide. I realize it's my mistake...)

If you want a very thick cream that stays on very well, use stearic acid. If you are more worried about glide, then use cetyl alcohol. I tend to use stearic acid for this recipe.

If you are well versed in using essential oils, you could add some healing type oils to this zinc oxide cream at safe levels.

This zinc oxide recipe can be used as a mineral make-up eye shadow primer. I love this stuff for that purpose! You can switch out the sea buckthorn for fractionated coconut oil - it's lighter - and add a little IPM (2%, oil phase, remove 2% from water phase) to make it feel a little less greasy. I also add hydrolyzed silk protein for extra glide! I know it sounds weird to use it for that purpose, but try it, you will love it!

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun!


madpiano said...

would that work as a nappy rash cream ? Or would it need something thicker ?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

This is exactly like the diaper rash creams you would find in the stores - the ones that contain water, anyway. It's very thick and has worked well for adult rashes and chafing for me.

I'm a little uncomfortable making the suggestion that someone use this on a child's very sore bum because I don't know what they might do in their workshops/labs/soaping rooms (like leave out preservatives or use tap water, for instance, as I've seen on other sites!) If you follow good manufacturing practices (using preservatives, distilled water, and so on) and are confident in the products you make, then feel free to use it as a diaper rash cream (I've used it with a group of young parents and they loved it!)

Jessica said...

Susan, firstly love your work.

When I had my first baby a couple of months ago I found a recipe from a soap supplies company to make diaper cream. It is made with:

22% Shea nut butter, 22% zinc, 21% pure soy wax, 21% rice bran oil, 6% sunflower oil, 6% oat meal powder, 1% Vit E, .5 Rosemary extract and .5% essential oils.

It makes up ok, just a wierd thing is after a few days it changes from a white color to a blue tone. Is this something caused by zinc?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jessica. I have thought about this and I don't know. Is your zinc oxide water or oil soluble? I think the oatmeal powder might be an issue. And I worry about the essential oils for a baby. I'm not an expert on this topic, but I'm always wary of essential oils on tender skin! What kind of rosemary extract are you using?

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for getting back to me. The zinc in oil soluble, although it doesn't actually dissolve fully - beating it helps with this.

I have made the recipe without the oatmeal before and the results were the same. With no zinc the color is normal, but with zinc the color starts white then slowly changes.

The rosemary is Rosemary Oleoresin Extract.

This has left me very stuck.

Oh and my husband has made a donation today as thanks.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jessica. I'm going to make your recipe this week and see what happens. I'm leaving out the oat meal powder because I don't have it, but otherwise I will use the same stuff. I'm sure it's the zinc oxide, but I'm so curious about this now!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, were you able to replicate my issue?

Thanks Jessica

Rachel said...

Hi Susan! I love your blog and I've been trying a lot of your recipes, but I have a question:
I'd like to make a heavy duty zinc ointment for my babies, but your posts on sunscreens has me well and truly freaked out about chemical interactions involving sunscreen ingredients. Are all of these cationic additives and thickeners going to nullify the benefits of the zinc?
I'd love to make something thicker and cheaper than drugstore butt paste but I don't want to ruin a whole batch if the zinc reacts badly.

Thanks so much! It's been great reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

HI susan,

I love your blog and how informative it is for newbies. I posted another comment on another post. Found this one after and realized this post might help me a bit more. I've read all your stuff about what to put in etc. I want to make my own diaper cream and found a recipe but doesn't have zinc oxide which I would like to add. And I don't see a preservative that you listed. So would this recipe only last a few months?
16 oz Sweet Almond Oil
8 oz Shea Butter
8 oz Jojoba Oil
4.5 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
4.5 oz Beeswax
2 Drops Calendula Absolut

What is calendula absolut used for ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
Sorry I wanted to make a correction to my previous post because it sort of didn't make sense. sorry :(
I found out today that I don't need a preservative because there is no water part to this recipe. But rather antioxidants. And I read that calendula is used as an anti oxidant.
Also, I read another blog you posted about calculations and converting to a percentage but I really don't think I know what Im doing. Here is what I did:

16 oz Sweet Almond Oil (454gr) 16/41 = .40
8 oz Shea Butter (227 gr) 8/41 = .20
8 oz Jojoba Oil (227 gr) 8/41 = .20
4.5 oz Virgin Coconut Oil (128 gr) 4.5/41 = .11
4.5 oz Beeswax (128 gr) 4.5/41 = .11
2 Drops Calendula Absolute
= 102 %

I want to add zinc oxide. From reading your post I don't think I quite understood how much to put in. 1% ? Then in the recipe directions it suggested to Add 1% Tea Tree, Lavender and Chamomile essential oils (combined volume). Does this mean add 1% like how you calculate the recipes? Or diluted to 1%? Any help would be sooo appreciated! I just cant wait to start.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Erinwray2. Here's a link to my eye shadow primer recipe, an anhydrous recipe that contains zinc oxide to give you an idea of how much to use. Read this post again, then that one, and you can figure it out easily!

Two drops of something won't make a huge difference in that much product. Read the posts I've written on calendula oil and see how much you think you'd like to add once you have. You'll see that two drops is pointless!

As for percentages, I encourge you to read this post on calculating percentages to get more information. You total up the weight in the product - so in your case, it'd be 41 ounces, then divide by that number. You've done that, but you've added 2% at the end. (I think I'll use this comment as an example of how to do the math this weekend!)

Please do not make a product that large. That's a huge amount and you will regret it. Divide everything by 10 and make 4 ounces at the most!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your help.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks again for your help. I made up my diaper cream and just love it. Everything worked out great.

This evening I made a lotion as well with humectants (honey and glycerin in the water phase) I really like your recipe it worked out great. Now I'm trying to make up my own recipe to help my daughter with her eczema. I found some findings at a university experiment that beeswax, raw honey, olive oil/ or coconut oil mixed together helped heal eczema suffers. So I made up a bunch for her to test out and it works wonders! better than the medicated stuff I spent $100 on. Now my question for you is do you have any posts on adding beeswax to lotions? I saw that it can be added as a thickener right? But wouldn't know how to add it to a recipe. I like the 'modified first lotion recipe with humectants because I use the raw honey in that and then the oils in the oil phase. So I just need to add my beeswax but don't know where to start. Any suggestions on a post. Thanks again!!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Erin! Thanks for the kind words about the recipe. I'm glad I could help. I answered your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that you can remove whatever you want from the oil phase - oils, butters, fatty alcohols - and add that much beeswax. I wouldn't go over 3%, though.

Mandy said...

Hi there. Im a newbie and loving your blog. I have been making a diaper cream from the wellness mama sight. You use a double boiler for infusing chamomile and calendula into coconut oil then blend raw shae and zinc after. It comes up lovely but after a time it develops a stronger smell. I believe no preservative is necessary as there is no water, but does infusing herbs change this rule? Has my product been damaged by the heat of summer or is the changing smell ok? Mandy

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mandy. Infusing oils is a tricky thing and something I've not tried doing for fear of contamination. A changing smell is a sign of some reaction happening, but it's hard to know what it means.

Here's a post I wrote on the topic - Infusions, teas, and using vinegar as a preservative found in the FAQ.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! It's me again . After making that one recipe I mentioned earlier I decided to modify it and use your recipe and use some of my ingredients along with the ones mentioned here. I'm having the same issue as Jessica mine turns a light creamy colour the day after. Maybe I should be using more zinc? I use sesame oil, olive oil and coconut oil. My zinc is at 15%. The type from voyageur. Just wondering if when you duplicated Jessica's recipe if yours changed colour? I love the cream though. I use a small % of chamomile like .2% I'm wondering if that's changing it.

PS I enjoyed reading ur recent post how you started ! I would have thought you were a very experienced chemist!

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I wonder if they are changing blue tone due to essential oils used? If you use German Chamomile it will turn your product because of the chamomile. My diaper rash cream ends up with a greenish hue to it from the Azul energy in this essential oil