Monday, January 7, 2013

Formulating on a budget: What ingredients to buy? Anhydrous products

I addressed this a bit in this newbie Tuesday post, but I thought I'd expand on it slightly and ask you for your opinions. 

If you're just starting out, the first thing you'll want to know is this - which ingredients should I buy? The answer depends upon your chosen product. Read the recipe and the instructions carefully!

33% beeswax
33% shea butter
33% liquid oil
1% fragrance or essential oil

Combine the first three ingredients in a heatproof container and either heat in the microwave until melted or heat in a pan on the stove or a double boiler. Remove from the heat and add your fragrance oil. Pour into a mould, place in the fridge or freezer, and wait until set. Remove and rejoice!

What do you need for this recipe? Ingredients, a heat proof container, a mould, and a scale. The nice thing is that we can generally get the beeswax, cocoa butter, and oil from a local health food store or grocery store, so we can see this recipe today and make it the next!

If you have these ingredients, you can make lip balm and whipped butter as well! 

80% shea butter
19% oil
1% fragrance or essential oil

If you're using a softer shea butter, you may be able to whip it without melting. If not, weigh into a heatproof container and heat until melted in a double boiler, a pot on the stove, or in a microwave. Put into the fridge or freezer until it it is slightly set. Add the fragrance or essential oil. Put your whisk attachment on your mixer and whip until it is lovely and fluffy. Remove and put into a container. If you want to make it fancy, put it into a piping bag with a 1M tip and pipe into the container.

We know from this the ingredients, what equipment we'll need, and extras, like the container. If you want to add the 1M tip and piping bag, visit your local cake decorating shop or even grocery stores in the baking section.

Oh wait, we can make a balm as well using a few ingredients!


20% beeswax or soy wax
25% shea or mango butter
54% liquid oil
1% fragrance or essential oil

Weigh the wax, butter, and oil in a heatproof container and put into a double boiler. Melt until the solids are liquid. Remove and let cool to 45˚C before adding your fragrance or essential oil. Pour into your container or let sit in the Pyrex jug until cooled, then spoon into your container. Rejoice.

If you want to use cocoa butter, you'll want to reduce the beeswax to about 15% and up the liquid oil amount by 5%. If you want to use oils with a 6 months or less shelf life, add up to 1% Vitamin E.

If we have beeswax (or another wax, if you have issues with beeswax), a butter, and a liquid oil, we can make a ton of things! Lip balm, whipped butter, lotion bar, and balm recipe, to name a few things. Pretty awesome, eh?

Shopping list...

  • beeswax
  • shea, cocoa, or mango butter
  • liquid oil of choice
  • digital scale
  • Pyrex jug
  • fragrance or essential oil
  • mould (for lotion bar)
  • container of choice (for whipped butter, lip balm, and balm)

The next question is which oil should you choose...well, that's the fun part! Visit the emollients section and learn more about what oils you'd like to try!

Please share your thoughts on what supplies and equipment you've found helpful for making anhydrous products! We all benefit from your experience!

1 comment:

Mychelle said...

I got my first book on cosmetic crafting from the library in 1998. I was so excited and wanted to go buy all if the ingredients. I was so sad when I couldn't. My good friend said buy a few things at a time and build slowly. Wise words. I started with lip balm and all these years later I have a pantry with ingredients in bulk and make every toiletry in our house. Start slow and build, you will get there. :)