Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Question: Can you use green tea powder in lotion bar recipes?

In this post, Aicha asks: I love matcha green tea powder! Can this be used in lotion bar recipes?

The short answer...no. The long answer...yes, but not the powder.

Green tea powder is a fantastic addition to our products (click here for the PDF on the topic!). It's full of catechins, anti-oxidants, caffeine, proanthocyanidins, and more, which are great for our skin! Green tea powder can be used at up to 0.5% in the cool down phase of our products - it's heat sensitive - and I like to keep a little warm water from the heated water phase to help it dissolve before adding (it's also water soluble). In our emulsified products, though, it can cause a redox reaction, which can cause all kinds of weird things to happen in our lotions, the main annoying one being separation. This doesn't always happen, but it can, and that's annoying.

This is when we turn to liquid green tea extract, which won't cause some of those problems. (Here's where I found it at The Personal Formulator, and here's an Ecocert version at Lotioncrafter.) Liquid green tea extract is water soluble - as is green tea powder - so it's a great addition to any product in which you might like to include green tea. I tend to use it at 5% in my cool down phase in place of the 0.5% powdered extract. Although the Personal Formulator picture shows a brown coloured liquid, the version I have is clear, so I like to use this in things like facial cleansers or toners, where clarity is an issue. (In this cleanser - which I've only just realized I haven't posted, so look for that in the next few days - I'm using a bunch of extracts that are very dark coloured. I don't mind, but your friends and family or customers might!)

But you can't include that in a lotion bar, facial serum, body oil spray, or in any other oil based product without an emulsifier. For that we need an oil soluble green tea extract, something I found at Brambleberry recently! The INCI is Capric Triglycerides, Camellia Sinesnsis Leaf Extract. We know the latter is green tea extract, but what the heck is capric triglycerides? It's a fraction of coconut oil (fractionated coconut oil has an INCI of caprylic/capric triglycerides), so it's a very light emollient, like fractionated coconut oil without the caprylic triglycerides. So what we have here is a very light oil with green tea extract in it. Brambleberry recommends its use at up to 6% and I'm going to suggest we reserve it for the cool down phase because green tea extract is heat sensitive.

Join me tomorrow for a few ideas on how to use oil soluble green tea in our products!

And note: I'm not affiliated with any supplier or manufacturer, so my links are suggestions for where I found the product. I pay for all my ingredients myself, unless otherwise noted! 


zaczarowany pierniczek said...

Very interesting post!
Can you write more about redox reaction in emulsions. How it work, what exactly happens and why. I belive extract's antioxidant acts as an electron donor, but what compound in emulsion accepts this electron and why and how it affects an emulsion?

Crombie said...

I have mixed small amounts of Matcha green tea powder with my melted butters/oils and then strained and it has worked fine in my final product. Could you explain in more detail why I should not be doing this?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Crombie. Because you can have things growing in the green tea powder, things like bacteria and mold and yeast and other things that can make your product awful. Which preservative are you using?

jowdjbrown said...

Cardamom powder is used for many Indian sweets like payasam, burfi, kheers and Indian bakes like Cardamom cake, Nankhatai to name a few.​buy matcha powder perth

Paulo said...

How can I avoid Redox reaction to happen using green tea extract? Thank you :)