Thursday, August 12, 2010

Esters: Whipped butters and esters

I think the best way to try a new ingredient is to take an easy-to-make product you know and love - let's say a whipped butter - and tweak it using the new ingredient. In this case, I'm using C12-15 alkyl benzoate with soy butter.

I haven't used soy butter in a while as I couldn't find it locally, but Creations from Eden (Edmonton) has it on clearance, so I had to stock up! Oh, I missed the clearance on aloe butter! 

Get your new ingredient - in this case, the C12-15 alkyl benzoate - and test it out on your arm. Note the way it spreads, how hard or easy it is to spread on your skin, how it feels immediately, then how it feels a few minutes later and a later in the day. If you can, have someone else give it a feel and get their opinion. (This is a great way to make friends - Can you feel my arm?) Make your notes. Now do the same for the old ingredient - in this case, soy butter - so you can get an immediate reaction to it. Yeah, you might remember how it felt, but things could be different today - different weather, different humidity, and perhaps even your skin is different from last time (if it's been a day since you used your butter, this probably isn't necessary).

Please note, some ingredients can't be used neat on your skin like essential oils, so don't do this with every ingredient you get. This is mostly for oils and butters. 

The C12-15 alkyl benzoate rubs in well and easy to spread. It feels dryish on my skin but emollient. (Yes, I know I normally go on about how I like things greasy, and this ester is just greasy enough for my tastes!) The soy butter melts on contact with my skin, feels greasy, and is harder to spread.

80% soy butter
20% C12-15 alkyl benzoate

I didn't bother melting the soy butter so I just measured it all out and whipped it together. It feels really nice on my skin - melts easily and rubs in well.

But I wanted it a little less greasy, so I added 2% IPM, nother dry feeling ester. And I needed a fragrance, so I added 1% Clementine Cupcake (from Brambleberry) to it (so good!!!). Then I whipped it again.

That 2% IPM made a nice difference in making it slightly less greasy and it didn't change how the butter rubbed into my skin. This is a really light whipped butter - in fact, I wouldn't call it a whipped butter because it won't really hold its shape (as you can see from the picture, it looks more like an emulsified body butter) but as it is a butter whipped with something else, I guess the name stands.

80 grams soy butter
20 grams C12-15 alkyl benzoate
2 grams IPM
1 grams fragrance oil

I chose a whipped butter because I didn't need to melt then re-melt the product to try something new in it the way I would have done with a lotion bar or balm. You can use esters in any place you might use an oil, but this is a good demonstration of how an ester can make your product feel less greasy.

As an aside, I had forgotten how much I love soy butter. It's got all the goodness of soybean oil with great Vitamin E levels and phytosterols, and it whips up so light and fluffy. Using the esters or light oils (like fractionated coconut oil) make it feel really light, and it is so much like an emulsified body butter, but I got there with a lot less effort than it is to make a lotion! I forget how much I really like these hydrogenated oil butters - ones like aloe butter (not shea aloe) or green tea matcha - in place of some of the true butters like cocoa, shea, and mango sometimes!

Join me tomorrow for fun with cetearyl ethylhexanoate!


Anonymous said...

Hello Swift,

I'am a diy girl from Holland and I just discovered your crafting blog.

And I really love it! So much knowledge and recipes.

I'm really excited to try to make the conditioner, and make it just the way my hair likes it.

But I've got a question about the cetrimonium chloride.

Can I just add some (like 2%) to my existing shampoo?

These are the ingredients of the shampoo (Urtekram):

International list of ingredients (INCI): Aqua, aloe barbadensis gel*, cocamidopropyl betaine, coco-glucoside, sodium coco-sulfate, glycerin, sodium cocoyl glutamate, hydroxyprepyl guar hydroxypropylbimonium chloride, citric acid, pelargonium gravedens oil* (aroma"), rosa damascena extract*, jasminum officinale extract, citral citronellol, linalool, geraniol, limonene.

Because I want to give this shampoo a bit of detangling power, because when I wash my hair with this I get a lot of tangles.

And do you know something about putting vit c and green tea in a serum, and then putting in tetrasodium EDTA so this two ingredients (vit c and green tea)

can stay stable together? (something with metals and vit c turning into a free radical)

Is it wise to put some tetrasodium EDTA in all the stuff that you make, so things can stay more stable?

I don't know if I explained well what my questions are, this is because my english isn't that good...

I wish you good luck with your wonderfull blog!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tessa. I wouldn't add anything to a commercial product as you might mess with the preserving system. I realize that 2% might not seem like a big deal, but if you have a shampoo like this - one that doesn't seem to include a preservative - there's always the possibility of contamination. Why not try making your own shampoo if you're not happy with this one?

Here's a link to my post on EDTA and chelating. It is a good idea to include it in all your products, if possible, because it does a great job of retarding rancidity through oxidation. As for using it with green tea and Vitamin C, both of these are water soluble anti-oxidants, and I think they'd all help to slow down oxidation. Are you making an oil based serum? If so, none of these ingredients are appropriate as they're all water soluble.

nennycakes said...

Hi Susan. Where would you get soy butter? I tried the usual places (Brambleberry, LotionCrafters, TPM, FSS). A google search only brings up edibles. Thank you!