Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Deodorant stick lotion bar for pain

I've been having a lot of problems with my shoulder, as has my mom, my best friend, my best friend's husband, and my aunt, so I thought I'd try using the pain relief blend of essential oils and oils I made up a while ago in a deodorant container. (What's going on here? It's not like we had a moving party and we all picked up large objects!) My logic was threefold - you can use the container to massage in the product, it keeps it off your hands, and you could carry it around with you during the day.

10% emu oil
15% arnica oil
10% calendula oil
10% comfrey oil
30% beeswax
23% babassu oil

2% dimethicone
3% pain relief essential oil blend

Weigh the heated oil phase into a heatproof container and put into a double boiler until all ingredients have melted. Remove from the heat and add the dimethicone and essential oils. Pour into a mould or deodorant type container and let set.

So why did I use these ingredients? Emu oil is supposed to penetrate skin smoothly, bringing the active ingredients into your skin better. Comfrey, calendula, and arnica oil are good anti-inflammatory ingredients. Babassu oil is solid at room temperature, but it will melt on contact with your skin, and it's moisturizing and could behave as an anti-inflammatory. The beeswax solidifies the bar. And the dimethicone is to make it glide better on your skin. (Click on the links for more information.)

Feel free to leave out the dimethicone and up the comfrey or calendula oils. Don't increase the arnica as there's already enough, and don't increase the beeswax as it will get too draggy! Or you could use one of the lovely glidy esters like C12-15 alkyl benzoate or cetearyl ethylhexanoate.

I used this combination of essential oils - 2 parts peppermint, 2 parts spearmint, 1 part cinnamon, 1 part clove bud - and I used 3% of this mixture in this stick. I find this is a tingly, cooling, slightly warm combination that helps my pain feel less intense. You can try other things in a blend of this nature, but I'm a novice at essential oil blends, so you'll have to refer to another resource for that. (Try this link or this oneHere's one about blending them for fragrances. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!) I do like to include ginger sometimes, other times camphor or menthol, and there are loads of different ways to make pain blends. (Here are some ideas on how to make a Tiger Balm like blend.)

Please do not use this product on anyone with broken skin. It will hurt like heck, and they will curse you for it! And before you go using essential oils, please learn more about them. Do not use on pregnant or nursing women, and don't be using things like this on a heating pad or with someone who is bedbound. In short, learn about these ingredients! 

Here's a whipped butter version of this product along with a body butter version of it, and here's a whipped butter and lotion bar version using different essential oils.

How does it feel? I really like this product, although my back is breaking out from the constant application of oils (I do have acne prone skin, after all). I find it really easy to apply without help, although Raymond will come help massage it in. (Did I mention my husband is amazing?) I'm using the container as the massage tool, but I don't need to put a ton of pressure on it to get the lotion-y goodness on my skin. My mom is enjoying it, and the other people haven't received their sticks yet, so I have no comment from them.

It is greasy - it's a lotion bar after all - and I'm going to work on making it a little less greasy. It isn't leaving stains on my new lovely pillowcases or clothes, so you can use it during the day at work or play!

As a note, I made these in small containers - a 100 gram batch made 8 containers, so about 12.5 grams in each - and I've used half of the container this week alone. I'm off to buy some larger deodorant containers because I want it to last longer!

If you don't have a container, you could put it in a mould and make a massage bar out of it. One of those moulds with the bumps would be awesome!


melian1 said...

lavender is a great analgesic eo, as well as lemon eucylaptus. and i add ipm to my arnica stick which helps it seem a little less greasy.

tho i haven't tried all these ingredients, a commercial pain relief balm that works well has got hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel), (which makes me wonder if making a lotion type thing including witch hazel might be a good thing to try out doing), bellis perennis (daisy), echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leaved purple coneflower), echinacea
purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower or Purple coneflower), & millefolium (yarrow). many of these are available to us and could be infused into the oil perhaps. i haven't run across any oils of them or essential oil of them.

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Thank you very much for sharing your expertise so generously.

The Tiger Balm knockoff recipe seems to have been taken down.

I am interested in making an analgesic lotion or lotion bar with essential oils like peppermint, cajeput, lavender and camphor, maybe clove and cinnamon, plus something to keep from smelling like a walking medicine chest. It would be great to include capsaicin but am unsure what form to use: the extracts online seem to be either dietary supplements or additives for hot sauces marketed as thrill sports - meaning they talk up the strength and put skulls and crossbones on the label but rarely give the potency in Scoville units. A few experiments with cayenne were grainy and less than effective, even when the powder was soaked in oil and strained out. I am open to buying fresh habanero and steeping it in alcohol or oil, or even to rigging up a small still, but the strength would be unregulated.

Do you recommend a particular standardized commercial capsaicin formulation? At what percentage?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Hettie. As someone who considers mild salsa too spicy, I have absolutely no experience with spicy ingredients in food or cosmetics. Sorry I can't be more helpful....

Kate Tanabe said...

Susan - I'm assuming you used arnica "infused" oil for this recipe. I picked up some arnica essential oil - any idea on how much to use opposed to the infusion?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Sorry, Kate, I've never heard of arnica essential oil. I would use it as you would use any essential oil - use at less than 1% or according to the supplier's suggested usage. Visit your supplier and ask him/her for more information.

Kate Tanabe said...

Anonymous - I have found capsaicin essential oil online and have used it in my pain balm at .05% and it resulted in a nice warming sensation that lasted longer than I expected.

Moxie said...

I love the blog, so much that it's inspiring me to want to try and make all sorts of things!

My stepmom has arthritis in both hands, and I was thinking about making her something. I'm worried that a deodorant stick would be hard for her to hold. I was thinking that something like a body butter or salve consistency might be good for her.

Have you thought about combining emu oil and MSM? Supposedly those both work great for pain and arthritis, but I haven't found any recipes. I'd love your thoughts and recommendations.

Thank you!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Moxie! Mwa ha ha! It's working! I mean, I'm glad you're here! Making our own things is so great!

MSM is water soluble, which is why you don't see that combination.

Jaslyn Begni said...

Hi Susan

Have you ever tried Magnesium oil for pain relief? I lent my bottle to my elderly and rather sceptical neighbours and after 3 days they asked me to order some. It relieves pain which helps them fall asleep. I keep mine next to the couch. Great for muscle pain, headaches, cramp etc. I'm sure you'll do your own research. It really is wonderful stuff. The purest supplier is Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil.

Jaslyn Begni said...

Hi Susan

I was quite excited to see you included micellar water for your facial series... then sadly they never appeared. Do I need to buy one of your E-books to see the formulations? Are you still planning on posting some recipes, I hope so?

Here is one I put together


70.20 % Water
0.20 % Aloe Vera Powder 100 x
20 % Lavender Hydrosol
3 % Glycerin
2 % Butylene Glycol
0.50 % Panthenol
0.20 % Allantoin
0.20 % Cetac
0.20 % Vit C ( Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate)
0.50 % Chamomile
2 % Cocamidpropyl Betaine
1 % Germaben 11

Mixed Phase A ingredients together, then added phase B. PH 4.8 for older skin. Bottled in a Spray bottle, sprays onto cottonwool pads. So easy to use.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jaslyn,
I’ve been posting formulas for years, and if you read posts far more recent than this, you’ll see I have written about magnesium chloride. Could you please post your comments in a relevant post? This isn’t a post about micellar water, so no one interested in this topic will read it. Thanks.