Let's take a look at a recipe from Voyageur (scroll down a bit). This is a very nice lotion, but let's tweak it!
HYDRATING HEMP HAND & BODY LOTION
6.5% Hemp Seed Oil
5.5% Sunflower Oil
2.0% Avocado Oil
2.5% Stearic Acid
74% Purified Water
Fragrance to desired level.
What can we tell about this formula? There are no butters, so it won't be a very thick lotion. It does have 14% oils, so this won't be a very light lotion but a lightish lotion. The stearic acid will make it more creamy than lotion-y, and it has a 3 to 6 month shelf life, thanks to the hemp seed oil. This will be a not-too-greasy, not-too-dry lotion because of the mix of hempseed and sunflower with avocado.
Let's say you want to increase the shelf life. Switch out the lowest shelf life oil for something that oxidizes less slowly, like borage or evening primrose for the GLA or wheat germ oil for a similar fatty acid profile. The avocado has a shelf life of 1 year, sunflower 6 months if you're not using the high linoleic version. So this version would give you a shelf life of 6 months. Switch out the sunflower oil for soy bean oil (1 year) and the hemp for cranberry oil (2 years) or rice bran oil and you have a lotion with a 1 year life span.
As a note, the oils aren't the only consideration for shelf life. You have to consider your additives like glycerin, hydrolyzed proteins, and so on. Please check out this post for more information.
Let's say you want to make this less greasy. Switch the hempseed oil for a drier oil with high linoleic acid levels - evening primrose, borage, rosehip, grapeseed - and the sunflower oil with similar oils, and use BTMS instead of Polawax, and add 2% IPM and you've got a more powdery lotion.
Let's say you want this thicker. Keep the stearic acid and add a little butter in place of one of the oils. How about 2% shea butter instead of avocado oil. It'll add a little thickening, but it will be a little greasier. Or 2% mango butter instead of avocado oil. Or 2% avocado butter to keep the avocado-y goodness in there. I'll try aloe butter because I have it in the house and I like aloe!
For the glycerin, consider another humectant like sodium lactate, sodium PCA, honeyquat, or hydrovance. Adding honeyquat will keep the thickness of the glycerin in; the others will reduce the thickness slightly as they are much more watery!
If you want this more glidy, then switch the cetyl alcohol for the stearic acid. Add 1 to 2% cyclomethicone.
So let's take a look at what I have in the workshop and modify this to be a lotion with a one year life span!
MODIFIED HYDRATING HEMP HAND AND BODY LOTION
6.5% rice bran oil
5.5% soybean oil
2.0% aloe butter
2.5% sodium lactate
2.5% cetyl alcohol
10% aloe vera
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
Okay, so you can't call it hemp hand & body lotion - you'll have to find another name for it! - but you've altered this recipe so you have a slightly more glidy lotion with a one year life span!
Join me tomorrow with more fun tweaking recipes!