Friday, October 8, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Whipped shea without butter - cetearyl alcohol

So let's try experiment number three with cetearyl alcohol.

For this experiment I used 10% cetearyl alcohol and 90% shea oil from Soapcraft (the less creamy looking one). I weighed both ingredients in a Pyrex jug and heated it until the ingredients melted. I popped the container into the freezer for about 30 minutes. When I remove it, it was hard, so I started whipping it.

It whipped very well, and maintained its shape well. I did fragrance it with 1% oatmeal, milk & honey fragrance oil from Brambleberry (via Soapcraft).

This one did not separate! Hooray! It is quite occlusive and thick on my skin, although it does melt on contact. About 30 minutes after application, it still feels very occlusive and thick, which makes me think this should be a winter time product for sure! About an hour after application, it still feels occlusive on my skin, but not unpleasantly. It does resist washing off, so it would be a great choice for an outdoor winter time product.

So why did this one work and the others failed? I thought it had something to do with the heat in the workshop, but I think it's more about the emulsification process for the product as cetearyl alcohol's melting point is around the same point as cetyl alcohol (about 48˚C). I realize this is an anhydrous product that shouldn't separate, but believe me, it did!

Okay, so this product worked but it wasn't really as lovely feeling as actual shea butter...but that's not the point of this experimentation. The point was to see if I could thicken oils to be more like butters. Probably not a big deal for something like shea oil, which is fractionated from the butter, but what about something like rice bran oil butter or hazelnut oil butter or another oil that you really like in a butter?

Join me tomorrow for one more try at this product - the complicated shea and ester butter!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I was wondering if I could try this with Cetyl alcohol as well? or if it only works with cetaryl alcohol?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hit "newer post" or "older post" to see the experiments I did with cetyl alcohol!