Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blast from the past: Adapting your products for summer

One of the things I think is great about making our products is the ability to modify our products not only to our personal preferences but to the weather, season, and specific climate in which we live. (I've long thought this should be a selling point for our products - specially formulated for your town or region!) I have my rainy day conditioner (fewer humectants, more silicones), which I alternate with the arid conditioner (more humectants, slightly fewer silicones). I have camping lotions (thinner and filled with humectants) and around the house in the winter lotions (much thicker and filled with everything in the workshop!) Let's take a look at how we might re-formulate a beloved product for the season! 

Let's re-formulate our body butter to make a very moisturizing, less occlusive, more soothing moisturizer suitable for making our sun parched skin happy during the summer months! We're not changing the purpose of the body butter - to moisturize our skin and make it feel good - but we will switch out a few ingredients to maximize its benefits for this time of year.

So what am I changing?

Water: I'm removing the water entirely and replacing all of it with half aloe vera, half lavender or rose hydrosol. Feel free to use all hydrosol or aloe vera here. Aloe vera is great for sun or wind chapped skin, and lavender or rose hydrosol will soothe inflamed skin. Feel free to use the hydrosols of your choice or just use all water. It's up to you...I'm also removing 5% of the water phase to increase my hydrolyzed proteins (2%) and humectants (3%).

Humectants: I want more of them, but I don't want to increase the sodium lactate above 2% as it can be sun sensitizing at 3%. So I'm including 3% humectant or cationic polymer.

Oils: Normally I'd use fractionated coconut oil (very light), sunflower (light), rice bran (medium), and olive oil (heavy) as my oils. I'm taking out the rice bran and sunflower oils for the summer. I like the olive oil in the summer as it's a humectant, so I'm going to with 3% olive oil, 7% fractionated coconut oil. You might prefer to go with all light oils to make it feel less heavy on your skin. If you want, try a few esters to make it even lighter!  

Butters: Aloe and shea all the way! I love aloe butter - again, for me in the summer, the more the better - and shea is a wonderful moisturizing butter. It's a little heavy, but it's so moisturizing, I don't mind. You can use any butters you is always nice.

Hydrolyzed proteins: I love oat protein, but the others will do the same job of film forming.

The rest of the ingredients are pretty much the same as I want the IPM to offer a less greasy feeling, I need the emulsifiers and thickeners to do their job, and the preservative is always essential!

SUMMER MODIFIED BODY BUTTER (the changes are listed in green)
55% aloe vera and/or hydrosols
2% sodium lactate
3% cationic polymer (condition-eze 7, honeyquat) or other humectant (glycerin, hydrovance, propylene glycol)
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice

10% oils (3% olive oil, 7% fractionated coconut oil)
15% butter of choice
6% BTMS, Polawax OR Emulsifying wax NF
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM

0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone

1. Weigh out your water phase in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

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

3. When both containers have reached 70C, weigh out your water again (and add more hot water to compensate for any evaporation), then add it to your oil container.

4. Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender for at least 3 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you would like until the temperature reaches 45C.

5. Let cool to 45C, then add your cool down phase ingredients. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.

6. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature (a few hours), spoon into a jar and let set before using.

Feel free to modify your creations to fit the weather! Have a good summer...I'm going to get into my air conditioned car to drive to my poorly air conditioned office and think about vegging on the couch at home in our air conditioned room! (Yes, I'm not very environmentally friendly during the summer, but it's not very Swift friendly!)

I think I've said it before (yep, I have!) but it bears repeating - you can use any oil and butter combination you want in a lotion as long as you check your emulsifier amount (or re-calculate the HLB value).

Here's an exercise to consider - visit a few sites or scour your files and write down your favourite lotion recipes or ones you want to try. Make up a chart with each ingredient listed - water, humectant, oils, butters, and so on - and see what the differences might be. I think you'll be surprised at how similar the recipes are: A lot of the changes are suggestions in which oils or butters to use, which additives to include, and how to mix it, for instance, making it very fluffy. (Here are a few ideas for substitutions in your lotions and creams...)

Here's an example chart with the three lotions I've made. It's easy to see where I made changes and what the differences are, especially with the oils and butters. I use charts like this to see what ingredients bring what to the party. I can see quite clearly in the non-greasy formula why it's a non-greasy formula - BTMS instead of polawax, no dimethicone, very dry butters and oils - and I can play with those ingredients if I want it a bit greasier.

Making charts can be quite useful to see what ingredients you might want to include in your workshop. If you have only one recipe calling for Hydrovance, check to see what you could substitute so you don't have to order that ingredient for one product.

Let's take a look at how I could have formulated the summer lotion differently while achieving my goals...My goals were including oils good for during and post-sun exposure, reducing ingredients that could make you sun sensitive, reducing the feeling of oiliness, and increasing barrier protection without being too heavy. I need an oil, a humectant, a greasiness reducer, and a barrier ingredient.

For the oils, sesame and wheat germ looked nice - high levels of phytosterols and Vitamin E, so let's use those at 10% each. For the humectant, I can't use sodium lactate or sodium PCA, so I think I'll use Hydrovance at 3%. For the film former, I'll try honeyquat. And for reducing greasiness, I'll try 3% Dry-flo in the water phase.

62% water
3% Hydrovance
2% honeyquat - humectant, conditioner, and film former
20% oils - 10% sea buckthorn, 10% rice bran oil
6% emulsifier - Polawax or BTMS or other emulsifier
3% cetyl alcohol
3% Dry-flo - to reduce greasiness without using IPM
0.5% preservative
0.5% fragrance oil

Take a look at the oil phase - we only have 23.5% oils (oils, cetyl alcohol, fragrance oil), which means we need 1/4 the amount of emulsifying wax. 1/4 of 24% is 6%, so we have the right amount. But I need more water to make up 100% - I only have 94% so far - so I'll add 6% to the water phase, for a total water amount of 62%.

This lotion will feel different from the summer time lotion I posted the other day, but it achieves our goals...success!


Let's say you're looking for an "all natural" lotion. What exactly does this mean? You cannot have a 100% natural lotion because everything we use has been processed in some way. So perhaps we can define it as a lotion created using minimally processed ingredients? I have to use preservative, emulsifier, and thickeners, so right there we have at least 10% of our recipe that is processed. But we can have some fun with the other 90%!

My goals remain the same for a summer time lotion - to include oils good for during and post-sun exposure, reducing ingredients that could make you sun sensitive, reducing the feeling of oiliness, and increasing barrier protection without being too heavy. I need an oil, a humectant, a greasiness reducer, and a barrier ingredient.

We can use honey as a humectant, include aloe and hydrosols in our water phase, and use our oils. Because I don't have silicones as a barrier ingredient and honeyquat or hydrolyzed proteins as film formers, I'm going to include cocoa butter and allantoin as barrier ingredients.

I think I'll include witch hazel in this lotion as is good for sprains and bruises and insect bites. It's astringent, so it will act as the ingredient to make the lotion less greasy, in the place of IPM or Dry-flo. I could choose drier oils or butters, but I like the ones I have so I'll reduce the greasiness elsewhere.

In the water phase, I can substitute many things for the water. I'll have 10% witch hazel to reduce the greasiness, 10% aloe vera for sun exposure, and 10% hydrosol - chamomile is nice - to help with soothing. I could use apple cider vinegar or other liquids, but I don't have any in the house and this will be a nice combination.

42.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
3% honey
0.5% allantoin

15% oils - 7.5% sesame oil, 7.5% wheat germ oil
5% cocoa butter
3% cetyl alcohol

0.5% preservative
0.5% fragrance or essential oils

Let's check out our oils phase - 23%, so we need about 6% emulsifier, so no changes there. We have upped the water phase because we took out other ingredients, so we're using a total of 72.5% water in this lotion. This would have been a lighter lotion than the other versions, but we've added the butter back to the mix, so we should see some thickening there. And we've achieved our goals yet again - we have a lotion with some sun exposure ingredients (the oils, aloe, butter), a humectant (honey), and a barrier ingredient (cocoa butter, allantoin) that shouldn't be too greasy (witch hazel).

Join me tomorrow for fun more fun from the past! 

1 comment:

Mychelle said...

Thank you for re-posting this Susan! I was just thinking that my favorite body butter will be too heavy once the weather really warms up here. This gets me motivated to start working on my summer skin regime.