Monday, December 12, 2011

Essential oils: Orange in surfactant based products

I love using orange essential oil in my rinse off products, especially shampoo, because it's a fantastic essential oil for degreasing oily hair and skin. But it is really awesome for hand cleansers, especially when we've been making products and need to get the oils off our skin!

I tend to use my orange essential oil with vanilla - 1:2 ratio orange to vanilla, which smells like Creamsicles!- or in my oily hair essential oil blend - equal parts sage, rosemary, cedarwood, and a citrus like lemon or lime - in my shampoo or body wash at up to 2% in the cool down phase.

Always check the suggested usage or restrictions on every essential oil before using. In the case of orange essential oil, 1% is just fine, but I want my hands to smell like Creamsicles, so I'll use 1% of that blend in the product (1 part orange, 2 parts vanilla by weight). This means I only have 0.33% in my product, which falls within the limits on the essential oil, so it's all good!

This is my favourite hand cleanser recipe, and I've modified it to include some orange essential oil. I've also included neroli hydrosol - it's not necessary, although it's nice for degreasing, so feel free to use other hydrosols or just use water. As for the surfactants, I suggest keep the cocamidopropyl betaine for mildness and thickenening and the SCI for the thickening and pearlizing, but you can use any combination that leaves your hands feeling soft. (If you'd like to see why I'm using the ingredients I'm using, click on the link above!)

10% cocamidopropyl betaine
11% polyglucose/lactylate blend
10% SCI
2% glycol distearate

33.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% orange hydrosol
3% PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate
3% glycerin

3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance
Crothix (optional)

And here's a modification if you want to make it with ACI liquid! 

Weigh the first heated phase into heatproof container and heat in your double boiler until the SCI and glycol distearate has melted. Weigh the second heated phase into a heatproof container and heat until the SCI has melted in the other container. Remove both from the heat and add the second heated phase slowly, stirring as you go, until it is well incorporated. You may want to heat it a little longer to ensure it is well incorporated.

When the temperature reaches 45˚C to 50˚C, add the cool down phase BUT DON'T ADD THE CROTHIX! (Read more about Crothix here if you've never used it before.) I didn't need Crothix in mine, but that will vary given the modifications to ingredients and fragrance you choose.

When the mixture has reached room temperature or has sat for at least four hours, test the viscosity. Add 1% Crothix, and mix very well. If you want it a bit thicker, add another 0.5% and stir well. Repeat until you get the viscosity you want.

If you like foamer bottles, consider making a hand soap for your kids in Creamsicle or orange! They'll love it! Click here for a recipe!

Join me tomorrow for more essential oil fun!


Robert said...

You mention, Susan, that orange and vanilla is one of your favorite combinations for surfactant-based products.

Have you, or your readers, ever noticed any color instability when using vanilla in various products?

This may be a topic worth investigating and writing about.

Kathy said...

Susan - what surfactants would you suggest substituting for the polyglucose/lactylate blend, as I don't have this on hand?

Lise M Andersen said...

How much do I love your description of vanilla and orange as creamsicles? THAT MUCH. :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Robert. I've written about this quite a few times in the past, but not as a specific post. In fact, I've found that orange and other oils will affect the colour as well!

Hi Kathy. You can use any anionic surfactant you have handy - just make sure it's something that leaves your hands feeling soft after washing! I like something like C14-16 olefin sulfonate or a baby blend.

Hi Lise! It is Creamsicles!! Smell it! You'll agree! (Did I mention I'm a foodie?)