Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: Let's make a thick cream!

If you've never made a product before, welcome to Newbie Tuesday! If this is your third product from the Newbie Tuesday series, then get ready for more fun! You learned how to make lotion and body butter earlier this year, and making a cream is much like making those two products!

If you need some information on what supplies and ingredients you'll need, click here for the first post on making creams! (And click on the label "newbie" to see the other 12 posts on making your first lotion or body butter!)

If this is your first time making a lotion, please follow the instructions below! (If you need some idea on what equipment and supplies you might need, click here!) And when you're done, please e-mail me at sjbarclay@telus.net or comment below to share your adventures and photos with everyone for next week and the week after! (Everyone who comments or e-mails about their adventures in product making will get their name entered to win one of my e-books!)

59% water
3% glycerin or other humectant of choice

15% oils
10% butters
7% Polawax or BTMS-50 (8% e-wax NF)
3% stearic acid

0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

Note: Check your preservative's suggested usage rate to ensure you're putting it in the right phase. Most will go into the cool down phase, but some won't! (Click here for the list.) 

You can do this! It's not rocket science - it's cosmetic science, which much more awesome and useful in your daily life! You will not pre-suck! (We define this in craft group as saying you suck before you've even started so when you fail, you can say "I told you so", and not lose face. Or saying "I'm not good at this new thing", and you won't be, because it's something new and we're not going to be perfect the first time out!)

Just think...in about an hour, you can say you've made a cream and have something to show for your hard work and research. (Take a picture of it and send it to me at sjbarclay@telus.net so I can see what you've made! I'm quite excited by all of this!)

Ensure that your space is clean and tidy. Make sure all your containers, utensils, and everything else have been cleaned well. (Click here for related link.) Get a jar (or two) ready for your lotion. (You don't need to clean your jar. If you bought it from your supplier, then it's assumed to be clean!)

This recipe will make a little under a 4 ounce jar of cream - I got a little more than 3/4 of a jar out of this recipe.

First, turn on your double boiler apparatus (or turn on the burner on the stove) and get the water in the double boiler warming. I'm not sure of the exact amount of water you should add to your specific double boiler: Add enough that the tops of containers aren't covered by the water and it won't spill into the containers if the water accidentally starts boiling. I generally find that getting the water half way to 3/4 of the way up the side of my Pyrex jug should take me through to the end of the heating and holding phase. You can boil up the water in a kettle or pot before using it in the double boiler, if you like.

Next, get your supplies and equipment ready. You'll be using a scale for all the measuring, so make sure it has a prominent place on the counter top. You need two heat proof containers (Pyrex jugs, for instance) - one for the heated water phase, one for the heated oil phase. And you'll need a spoon for each container because you won't be able to resist having a stir as they heat!

Have your notebook beside you with the recipe printed in quite large font and a pen or pencil at the ready. Writing notes is vital to make sure you know what you did this time and what to do (or not to do) next time!

Put your Pyrex jug on the scale. Now weigh out your heated water phase
into your heatproof container.

Weigh your container - hit tare on the scale (zero out the number) so you can get the "before" weight of your heated water phase. (We need this number to know how much water evaporates during the heated water phase so we can compensate for it before we combine the two phases). Now put this container into your double boiler.

Put the second Pyrex jug on the scale. Weigh out everything from the heated oil phase - your oil, butter, emulsifier, and stearic - into the jug, then put the jug into the double boiler.

I forgot to take a picture of this container on the scale, but this is what your heated oil phase will look like - some oils with the pellets of emulsifier and flakes of stearic acid sinking to the bottom or maybe floating around the top. Depending upon the butter you use, it may or may not be showing as large chunks in the container.

Monitor your containers. Use your thermometer regularly. (If you're using glass containers, try not to let the thermometer hit the floor of the container or you'll be taking its temperature, not your product!)

When the temperature of both phases reaches 70˚C or 158˚F, start your timer for 20 minutes. The containers should heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70˚C or 158˚F. (The temperature might fluctuate and get up as high as 85˚C. That's okay, as long as the temperatures of both containers are over 70˚C and relatively the same when you combine them.)

In the meantime, while you're waiting for the heat and hold phase to come to an end, you can fill up a kettle or another container for heating water and heat some water. You'll add some of this to the heated water phase just before your combine the two to ensure you have a water phase of 70%.

If you haven't written any notes yet, write them now! What oil did you use? Which butter? Did you go a little over the suggested amount for anything? How long did it take for the phases to get to 70˚C? And so on. Also while you're waiting, put away the things you don't need and get out those things you do need like your jar, a spoon to get the product into the jar, perhaps a label, and definitely your cool down phase ingredients. Check on the water in your double boiler and make sure you have enough so you won't run dry before the 20 minutes is up. Maybe do a little air guitar, or check your e-mail on your smart phone. Twenty minutes isn't that long, but it might feel that way when you're excited to see your lotion finish!

When you've heated and held both phases at 70˚C/158˚F for 20 minutes, remove just the water container from the heat and measure it. How much water did you lose? Add up to the amount you should have had originally. Let's say you measured 500 grams for your container and water phase - if your container now reads 475, add 25 grams from the water you boiled up separately. (It is okay if the water in the kettle is a little hotter than the water phase, as long as it doesn't make the water phase 85˚C or 100˚C while your oil phase is around 70˚C. This is unlikely to happen with so little water and your water phase being over 70˚C, so don't worry!)

Add the oil phase to the water phase and watch the emulsification happen. Isn't it awesome? The way the everything the oil touches turns into milky white without you having to do anything! This is chemical emulsification and it's awesome! (I remember the first time I saw emulsification - I was so excited! I love it when the kids in my craft group see it for the first time - it really is quite awesome!)

This is the part of lotion making where we mix. I like to use my hand mixer on setting 1 or 2 using the beater attachment and mix for a few minutes - maybe 4 minutes or so? Then I set it aside and let it cool down. Put a thermometer in the container and wait a bit. The temperature of the room is important here. If you have an unheated workshop like mine, it can take a really short period of time to cool down - maybe 10 to 15 minutes. If you have a warm room, it might take longer. Some people use an ice bath to cool it down. I guess you could do that if you really wanted it to cool down quickly - I've never tried it because it never seems to take very long to cool in my house!

And yes, it's okay to have a stir with a clean spoon while you're waiting for it to cool down. See how the viscosity changes as the product gets closer to 45˚C. It can take up to three days for a lotion to come to its final viscosity, so don't worry that you are currently seeing something with the consistency of slightly thickened milk!

When the product reaches 45˚C or 113˚F, add your cool down ingredients. In this lotion, that would be your fragrance/essential oil and preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus, which goes into the cool down phase. Your preservative may vary. Check before you start making the lotion!) Mix again. Maybe 2 or 3 minutes? Now leave it alone. You're done. We're just waiting for it to get cool enough to bottle.

If you're going to put this in a jar, you can do that right away and let the product cool in the jar. Do not put the lid on the product - we don't want condensation! Cover the jar(s) with a paper towel until cooled. (I do not suggest putting this into a bottle as it simply won't come out!)

Put a clean cloth or paper towel over the top of the container, and let it cool down to where the jug isn't warm to the touch any more (room temperature - around 20˚C or 68˚F). You really don't want to put this product into anything other than a jar as it isn't meant for pumping or pouring - this is a scoopin' lotion!

Get a clean spoon and spoon it into the jar. Bang the jar now and then to make sure you're getting it all into the container. Close jar. You're done.

And now you're done! Rejoice! Do a happy dance to celebrate the making of the lotion! You've done it!

The next part of lotion making? Making cute labels. Marching around the house with the jar in your hand saying, "I made cream! I made cream!" E-mailing your friends and family (and tutor - sjbarclay@telus.net) and telling them tales with attached pictures! And generally rejoicing in the fact that you set out to accomplish something and did it! You're walking on sunshine, and don't it feel good? Indeed!

Please write your comments in the section below to inspire others to give it a try! Next week's Newbie Tuesday post will be the troubleshooting and sharing part of the process, so please e-mail me (sjbarclay@telus.net) or comment below and let me know how it went for you. I want others to learn from your experiences, but I also need to know if this tutorial was helpful! If you encounter a problem - like a lotion fail, for instance - please write out your recipe and process, letting me know about any changes (for instance, type of oil and butter), so we can trouble shoot it next week! Please send pictures and let me know if it's okay to use your experience and photos in the post next week. (And let me know what screen name you want!)

Congratulations! You did it! Now use it all up very quickly so you have a cheap excuse to make those tweaks and changes you think would make this product even more awesome!


Foodie said...

You are spot on with the emulsification and the amazement when everything turns super white. It's hard to describe the feeling, but it makes you smile when it happens.

Nancy C said...

Question re
When you've heated and held both phases at 70˚C/158˚F for 20 minutes, remove just the water container from the heat and measure it.

Why do we hold the phases at the temps for 20 minutes?
I learn so much from your instructions. Thanks, Nancy

Nedeia said...

@nancy - do a search on the blog, there's a post on "why do we heat and hold". :)

Anonymous said...

I just discover your site and I think I'm falling in love with ya. LOL, can't wait to get my supplies to try making my ow product.

Becca said...

I'm getting closer.... I've played around with several recipes but keep having one problem- when rubbing on my lotions they turn white and seem hard to rub in. Any ideas what might cause that? Or is that normal?

Becca said...

I should add - here's the recipe I used - this is for a pump lotion:

56% Distilled water
10% Aloe

15% Sweet Almond Oil
5% Shea Butter
3% Cetyl Alcohol
6% BTMS-50

1% F.O.
.5% Germaben II
.5% Vitamin E
3% Dimethicone

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Becca. Can you post your recipe and process so it's easier to figure out what is happening with your product?

Having said that, it sounds to me like you're using a lot of stearic acid in your lotions, whether through using stearic acid or butters that contain a lot of it, like shea or mango butter. Try leaving it out next time or using cetyl alcohol in its place. It's called the soaping effect.

You can find out about things like heating & holding, white lotions, and more in the frequently asked questions section of the blog!

Becca said...

Thanks! I did some searches on the Dish forum - I should have done that first...but my first few google searches didn't turn up much - I should know by now to just go to the Dish first:)

So I looked at the recipe and realized my emulsifiers are almost double what they should be. Guessing that's causing some of the problems.

I'm going to sub out Mango butter for the shea and drop the emulsifiers down to just 5%.

I am learning stuff every day - never thought about saponification happening with lotion!

Becca said...

Sorry for all the posts...but I was looking at my cream lotion - which I love, but it's saponifying on me too..

Water phase:
50.5% Water
3% Honeyquat
5% dl Panthenol

Oil Phase:
5% Avocado Oil
3% Jojoba oil
7% Kukui Oil
5% Mowrah butter
5% Mango butter
7% BTMS-50
3% Cetyl Alcohol

Cool Down:
.75% Germaben
1% F.O.
1% Cyclomethicone
3% Dimethicone (was using Raspberry Dimethicone but I don't like the odor)
0.5% Vitamin E
0.25% GuarSilk (which I'm still learning to use - the first time I used it I didn't hydrate it first, now I know better)

This one has glide, but still goes on white and takes a little muscle to rub in. Are my percentages off again?

รชต ไกรกังวาร said...

Hello, I would love to ask if i still keep using a this 1 kg formula.

oil 20g
shea butter 10g
steric acid 40g
cetyl 20g
e-wax 30g
tween20 30g
IPM 20g
cyclomethicone 20g

but i will double AQUA from 750 to be 1500. I will try to put more steric acid to keep a lotion more creamy.

Is it possible??