Monday, November 26, 2012
Newbie Tuesday: Creating Christmas presents - whipped butters
I've already written a really detailed post on making whipped butters so I won't go into the greatest of detail here before suggesting you click on the link...but I do have a few helpful hints!
When it comes to choosing a butter, you really have two main choices - shea butter or mango butter. You can use cocoa butter, but you'll make a very very stiff butter that will have to be removed from the container with your nails! And you can use other butters, but why go stampeding for the more expensive ingredients if you're never used the staples? And they're staples for a good reason! Shea and mango butter feel quite lovely on our skin, but they are quite different in what they bring to your product.
Shea butter has a more greasy feel than mango butter, but it seems to be softer when whipped. Mango butter will feel less greasy, but it will create a stiffer product. Try the butter on your hand and see if you think it to be too greasy. If you do, choose a drier feeling oil like hazelnut, fractionated coconut oil, or macadamia nut oil.
When making products for the winter, my first choice is always a shea butter and soy bean oil combination. This is quite a greasy feeling whipped butter, but I love what it does for my elbows and legs in the colder months!
I get the cute swirl on my whipped butters by putting it into a piping bag with a 1M icing tip! I love the 1M icing tip! I use it for so many things!
I encourage you to bookmark the Emollients - oils, butters & esters section of the blog if you're interested in learning more about oils and butters. Read a bit, then try the oil on your hand neat. Notice the skin feel, the viscosity, the smell of the oil. Write down your thoughts. Try another one, and so on. Eventually you'll learn what you like and don't like in an emollient!
As a final note, learn all about the shelf lives of the oils you use. If you go with shea butter, it has a two year life span from when you opened it! (Always write the date of opening on the container!) If you choose something like rice bran oil, you'll get a shelf life as long as the rice bran oil, up to one year. If you choose grapeseed, you will have 3 months or less. Make sure you put the suggested expiry date on your products!
Please choose your fragrances carefully. I know we all like essential oils, but they need to be treated with the utmost respect. Citrus based essential oils have the potential to increase sun sensitivity and minty oils probably aren't the best choice for products that go near mucous membranes like bath products. Make sure you are using them at safe usage levels. If in doubt, use fragrance oils instead. (Click here for the section of the blog about essential oils.)
*I know I talk a lot about honing your craft, learning all you can before selling, then I go and say that making whipped butters is easy. If you have a good recipe, it is easy. Melt slightly, put in freezer, take out, whip, package, rejoice. Creating a recipe from scratch, then tweaking it, is the hard work. You can find a recipe and make it, but what happens when you run out of that oil. The craftsmanship comes when we know how we can alter a recipe without actually trying it or being able to figure out what each oil brings to the party and so on.
Previous Newbie Tuesday Christmas present posts....
Newbie Tuesday: Creating Christmas presents - helpful hints
Newbie Tuesday: Creating Christmas presents - bath salts