Friday, June 1, 2012
Emulsifiers: Making a natural lotion with Ritamulse SCG
What is Ecocert? It's a certification process that assures that the ingredients we use are 95% natural and 10% organic, and that they are made using sustainable processes. Check out this link and this one or do a search on this topic. As a note, the requirements can vary from country to country, so check your local requirements.
The first thing I have to consider is my preservative because that tends to be the hardest ingredient to find as organic or natural. I could use Leucidal preservative, but not Advanced Aloe Leucidal as the latter is incompatible with Ritamulse SCG. I'll use the Leucidal at 2% in the cool down phase, ensuring that we are well within 40˚C to ensure we don't get curdling. I don't want to use NatraPres because it isn't a broad spectrum preservative and I don't want the hassle of having to add another preservative in the mix. As well, Leucidal is good for pH levels up to 9, so it will work well with Ritamulse SCG. (Leucidal has to be below pH 6, and Ritamulse is used for pH 5 to 7.5, which means we have a very small window in which both will be effective!)
So we have an Ecocert preservative, what else must we consider? What is considered a natural ingredient? I think oils, butters, hydrosols (although most have preservatives that we don't think about much), essential oils, extracts, and other things made from botanical ingredients would be considered natural. (I don't count a lot of "derived from" products as being natural, because I've seen someone describe silicones as being "derived from sand" and I've seen so many surfactants as "derived from coconut oil". Ridiculous!) If I want an occlusive ingredient, I'll have to go with cocoa butter or allantoin. If I want a humectant, I could use honey. (Is glycerin considered natural? How about sodium lactate? These are questions I cannot answer as they tend to be a matter of opinion.) If I want an emollient, I'll go with my lovely oils and leave out my esters.
Consider this...If you want to make an organic product, you can't use water. It's not considered organic. If you want a 95% organic lotion, you can't use water as your water part of the product. But you can infuse something into the water and call that organic. So we could use a hydrosol or infuse something into the water that is organic, and we meet that requirement. I believe this to be quite silly because how can you have non-organic water? But put 0.1% of some herb into it, and you've got yourself organic water. Really? If we have to play these kinds of games to be called organic, can we trust that designation?
I'm going to turn this over to you, my wonderful readers. What can we include that is considered to be all natural or Ecocert? I'd like to include some cetyl alcohol, oils, butters, a protein of some sort (silk or oat), a humectant, and some hydrosols. Is cetyl alcohol considered natural? What about hydrolyzed silk or oat protein. Panthenol? Allantoin? Have your say and we can make something really awesome!
As a note, I really do need your input as to which ingredients will be acceptable to whichever certification process you use or to your philosophy. I'm finding it a little frustrating that those of you who have been asking for or berating me for not having natural lotions haven't offered your valuable input. I don't plan to write up this recipe without a great deal of information as to what might be acceptable or not, so please offer your two cents to the comments section!
Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with Ritamulse!