Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Body lotion becomes foot lotion

My best friend shows off her exciting foot operation. When the bandages came off, we realized she needed something pretty intense for her feet!

We saw the differences between a hand lotion and body lotion, now let's make a foot lotion! We'll base it on the body lotion from the other day.

We can keep the water amounts relatively the same, although I wonder if I shouldn't leave in the hydrosol or aloe, or should we go for straight water? Lavender hydrosol can soothe irritation and redness, and we saw the wonderful things aloe vera can do the other day, so I'm going to leave it in. I could go with some peppermint hydrosol - it's new at Voyageur, so you know I have to play with it! - as it will impart a cooling feeling. Hmm, I'm not sure which one I'll use yet!

During the winter, feet don't tend to be exposed to the air or sun much, so we don't have to worry about our humectants causing sun sensitivity. Because I want something very moisturizing, I'm going to increase the humectants in this recipe - I want 2% sodium PCA or up 3% sodium lactate - and I'll include glycerin at 3% as well, because I don't mind if it is sticky or not. (The sodium lactate will improve the barrier properties of our skin by stimulating ceramide synthesis and increases the plasticity of our skin, as well as being a good, inexpensive humectant.) You can use hydrovance as a humectant or even throw in a little cationic polymer, if you like.

I'll keep the allantoin - it protects and softens skin, both of which are great for foot products! - and the hydrolyzed protein - I think I'll use silk amino acids here as it will penetrate the skin to offer extra moisturizing - at the same levels.

For the oil phase...well, this is the fun stuff, isn't it? Do I want a butter in here? A resounding yes! Mango butter is a great addition for a foot cream. Mangiferin and caffeic acid are effective anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory ingredients. The palmitic acid will help form a barrier, and the stearic and oleic acids are very moisturizing and softening.

Which oils would go nicely with mango butter? For feet, we want oils that soften, protect, and increase water retention. Because we don't have a lot of Vitamin E in the butter, ideally we'd choose something with some lovely levels of tocopherols and tocotrienols. We could also consider some oils with high levels of phytosterols to help with inflammation and reddening, if these are issues.

Avocado oil might be a very nice choice here as it is absorbed by our skin and contains a lot of phytosterols. Castor oil might be an interesting choice - it is very thick, but it contains ricinoleic acid, which is a humectant that offers anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and analgesic properties. Macadamia nut oil might be a great choice with the palmitoleic acid that can help heal scratches, burns, and wounds - if you have chapped feet, you have wounds! - and it is anti-microbial.

Unfortunately, none of the oils above have great levels of Vitamin E. You can add it yourself at 1% in the cool down phase, if you wish. And all of the above oils are considered dry. Couple this with mango butter, and you'll have quite a dryish feeling foot lotion.

So what could we add that isn't a drying oil? Hempseed oil contains GLA, which would be great for barrier repair and moisturizing benefits, but the short shelf life could be an issue if you are gifting this to someone. Rice bran oil contains a nice level of Vitamin E - 400 ppm - with ferulic acid - an anti-oxidant - and oryzanol, which is is a great softening, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory phytosterol. It also contains squalane, which is a fantastic softening ingredient. As usual, sunflower, sesame seed, and soybean oil would be great additions for the linoleic acid and Vitamin E content, but they also contain a ton of phytosterols that would help with inflammation and itching.

So what to choose? If you wanted to include rice bran oil alone, you'd have a great combination of all the various things we seek in an oil - Vitamin E, squalane, linoleic and oleic acids, phytosterols, and polyphenols. It's a medium weight oil, and it would go nicely with the dryness of the mango butter. I think I might try formulating with just the one oil today!

I'll switch to stearic acid as I want this to be a thick cream and quite tenacious!

As for cool down phase, I'll keep the dimethicone, panthenol, and preservative the same. I don't really need the cyclomethicone right now - this will be a thick cream, so 1% isn't going to make a huge difference to the spreading or detackification features. For the fragrance oil, however, I'll use 3% menthol in the oil phase with 0.5% eucalyptus and 0.5% camphor in the cool down phase.

Oh, and I think I'll go with peppermint hydrosol because it's new to me and because it will add some lovely cooling to this mixture. Honestly, I don't think I need any more cooling because I have 3% menthol, but I figure why not? If you don't have the hydrosols and aloe, just use distilled water.

Oh, and as a last check - my emulsifier? My oil phase is 26% (the oil phase, plus the dimethicone and essential oils), so my Polawax should be at 25% that amount, meaning I need 6.5% emulsifier. Check!

35.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% peppermint hydrosol
3% glycerin
2% sodium lactate, sodium PCA, hydrovance
2% hydrolyzed silk protein
0.5% allantoin

15% rice bran oil
5% mango butter
3% stearic acid
6.5% emulsifier (I like Polawax in this recipe)
3% menthol

2% panthenol
2% dimethicone
0.5% eucalyptus essential oil
0.5% camphor essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% Vitamin E

1. Weigh your water phase into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. Sprinkle the allantoin into the water as it heats, and mix until it is fully dissolved.

2. Weigh your oil phase into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

3. Heat both phases to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes.

4. When both phases reach 70˚C, pour the water phase into the oil phase and mix very well with a stick blender or hand mixer Mix periodically as it cools.

5. When you reach 45˚C, add your cool down ingredients and mix very well.

6. Allow the lotion to come to room temperature before bottling. I have found a pump or a tottle bottle works best for this lotion.

Join me tomorrow for more tweaking foot lotions!

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