Monday, April 15, 2013

Newbie Tuesday (on Monday!): What did you learn about skin feel of your oils?

I'm thrilled by all the responses to this series on the skin feel of our oils - I guess doing my disappointed face worked, eh? - so let's take a look at a few things we've learned so far and how we can modify our products to get a different skin feel.

If you want to play along, here are the posts so far...
Newbie Tuesday: Learning about oils & butters - an introduction
Newbie Tuesday: Testing the skin feel of our oils
Newbie Tuesday: Creating a body oil
Newbie Tuesday: Pushing the schedule back - more thoughts on skin feel of our oils

I really encourage you to visit those posts and read the comments. There are some interesting thoughts about the skin feel of various oils, and I always love to compare those things I love with those you love! It seems like a lot of you really like jojoba oil, reporting that it feels silky or non-greasy. And it seems like a lot of you favour the less greasy feeling of avocado, hazelnut, macadamia nut, and grapeseed oils.

Let's say you made a body oil with sunflower, soy bean, and rice bran oils (33% each) and you're finding it too greasy, what could you do? You could replace any of these oils with one of those less greasy oils and see a difference pretty darn quickly. Substitute all the sunflower or soy bean oil with something like hazelnut or macadamia nut and you'd still have a light feeling body oil. Substitute either with avocado oil, and you'll have a less greasy feeling but heavier feeling oil. You could replace all those oils with less greasy ones. Or you could use smaller amounts of the greasier feeling ones - let's say you love the idea of lots of linoleic acid to help speed up our skin's barrier repair mechanisms or the phytosterols from a specific oil - with larger amounts of the less greasy or lighter feeling oils.

For instance, let's say you really want the phytosterol, linoleic acid, and Vitamin E properties of soy bean oil without the greasiness. Consider combining it with some less greasy feeling - say 25% soy bean oil with 75% hazelnut oil - or using it at a smaller amount, like 10%. (Or do a bit of research and find out which oils might offer similar levels of those properties! I always consider rice bran oil or sesame oil a good substitute for soy bean oil.)

33% sunflower oil
33% rice bran oil
33% soy bean oil
1% fragrance or essential oil

10% sunflower oil
10% rice bran oil
10% soy bean oil
69% hazelnut oil
1% fragrance or essential oil

Here's what you can take away from this series so far...You can create any combination of oils you want providing you are using the oil within the safe usage amounts. (Having said that, the only oils that I've seen suggested usage rates for tend to be things like arnica or comfrey oils, not our carrier oils. And be careful with coloured oils, like sea buckthorn oil.) If you like 50% evening primrose and 50% rosehip oil, have at it! If you want to use 80% kukui nut oil, 10% olive oil, and 10% sunflower oil, enjoy! If you want to make something with 5% this and 5% that and 2.5% of another thing and so on, then make it! Just remember to write everything down so you know how to make it again. And make things in smaller amounts - don't make a 500 gram or 12 ounce batch of a body oil you've never tried before. Try making 50 grams or 2 ounces (by weight)!

I'm surprised I don't see more kukui nut enthusiasts as I think it's a really lovely oil offering the perfect balance of greasy and dry feeling with that silkiness that feels just awesome. Kukui nut oil - part one and part two. And what about babassu oil? I realize we're not using solid oils yet, but it feels amazing! If you feel like splurging, I really do suggest trying these oils! Sorry, I promised myself I wouldn't interfere...but they are lovely! 

As an aside...Organa noted she tried a body oil with esters, something I love! If you are finding your body oil is feeling quite greasy, you could consider using esters in place of some of the oils. Esters tend to feel less greasy than oils, and they can make our products feel less greasy by including them at as low as 3%. Consider the ingredients isopropyl myristate (IPM) or isopropyl palmitate (IPP) for that purpose. Or consider esters like cetearyl ethylhexanoate (my favourite, use at up to 25%) or C12-15 alkyl benzoate for a very dry feeling, almost non-greasy, silky feeling product.

Related posts:
Esters: A body oil spray!
Emollients - oils, butters & esters

What do you do with the oils you find a bit greasy? Use them! Oils will feel different in other products. Soy bean oil might feel super mega greasy in a body oil, but it might be ideal for a lotion at 8% to 10%. Coconut oil might feel just awful on your skin, but it's great for your hair. All of these things are fantastic in an emulsified scrub! Or use it for making soap - sorry, I can't offer any recipes as I don't make it - or bath bombs as your emollient.

What if you hate the smell? Add some fragrance or essential oil, or use less! I hate earthy smells - avocado butter nearly sent me over the edge! - but I can mask them quite easily using fragrance oils. Clementine Cupcake avocado oil! Yum!

What if you really hate the oil? Get rid of it. We seem to want to work really hard to avoid "wasting" supplies or money, but it's part of the reality of making products. Compare this to other crafts, like sewing. If you hate a fabric, would you make a pair of pants out of it anyway because you spent the money on it? Give the oil to someone else, throw it away, use it for cooking (if it's food safe)...just don't use it in products! (Again I suggest buying small amounts of oil if you don't know if you'll like it or not.)

I think of an experience Raymond had with a trainer. If the white board pen squeaked, he threw it in the garbage immediately. It shocked Raymond, but he realized the guy was onto something. How many pens do you have that don't work? Why did you put them back when you realized they were out of ink or the clicker had broken? 

If you really love an oil, do a little research on it. I'm not saying you have to spend hours reading about it, but maybe reading something like a post you might find on my blog could help? There is a lot of misinformation about our oils and butters, and some are ascribed almost mystical qualities at times. I started this blog because I started doing research on our ingredients and really couldn't believe the difference between "what is known" and what is really known. I created this section - Emollients: Oils, butters & esters - to share with you what I've learned, and I encourage you to visit those posts! If you have contradictory information, please share it with me. I can only read so much, and your ideas, links, and information help me make this blog better!

I'm a big fan of coconut oil for our hair, but is it really that great nutritionally? Do a little research and you'll see the difference between what is written in the media and what the studies offer. 

And a few people asked if they could include glycerin in the body oil. Always ask yourself why you want to do what you want to do. What is the purpose of adding glycerin to a body oil? What will it bring to the party? And are the benefits outweighed by the amount of work we have to do to make the product work? And no, you can't, unless you want to include an emulsifier or solublizer of some sort, and most of these - like Cromollient SCE, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, Caprol Micro Express, or polysorbate 80 - are intended to help us mix oil soluble things into water soluble things, not the other way around. I would encourage you to save the glycerin for a water soluble product you could apply as a toner type thing, and apply the body oil on top of it. (Do a search for "toner" and you'll find a ton of choices. You could do something as simple as up to 5% glycerin, 0.5% to 1% preservative, and the rest water for a toner, then apply your body oil on top. It will be much easier than messing about with solublizers!)

Related posts:
Humectants - the section of the blog

In light of all of this, which three oils do you think you want to make your standard oils? Which ones will you splurge on and which ones will you give a miss? Which do you want to try based on what others have said? Which ones will you not bother with? Which would you recommend to others and why? And which ones surprised you? What did you like that you thought you wouldn't and what didn't you like that you thought you would?

It is interesting to see the trends in oils. When I first started writing the blog, it was all about hemp seed oil. Then grapeseed oil. Now it's coconut oil and argan oil. 

Join us tomorrow as we look at created whipped butters!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I'm still testing my 3-4 oil combinations. I really hoped I would be making a 'body oil spray' emphasis on spray. None of my oil combinations actually 'spray'. I made sure the 'spray' bottles I purchase from Voyageur are indeed spray bottles but my oil only squirts. Is it that my oils are too heavy or am I supposed to add something to dilute the mixture. Hope I'm not being too picky

Mommysoaper said...

Thanks for all of the valuable information included in your blog! SO excited to start exploring whipped body butters!

alex Le said...

Hello Susan

I've recently been using natural products on my skin particularly sunflower oil as olive oil and shea butter where very heavy and broke me out, I must say with sunflower oil my skin is very smooth and glowing! the only issue I have is can you wear it in sunny weather? Would it not intensify the suns rays? the reason I ask is that since wearing sunflower oil my skin had tanned rapidly! (though the weather has not changed nor my time in the sun) I don't actually want my skin tanned and I certainly don't want sun damaged skin as my skin is very sensitive to sun light! I haven't experienced any sun damage but like I said my skin is definitely darker, members of my family have asked me if i'd been using sun beds (something I would never do)

would just be good to know if its safe? especially in sunny weather


katherine said...

I just have to comment because I absolutely LOVE kukui oil. Love it. :) I haven't got a whole lot of oils, but I have tried all the normal ones (except rice I think) and kukui beats them all hands down. I would make my products all kukui, but I have been balancing it with heavier oils because the main thing I make, a semi-thin lotion for eczema, needs to have barrier properties. I have also tried adding tamanu, argan, emu (ooh...close second for good skin feel), and avocado to "up" the potential for skin healing.

IrishMolly said...

Hello Susan!
I live in Florida (it’s always humid and muggy) and I had a question about Body Butters and Humectants. As your previous blogs stated "...glycerin...can leave skin with a sticky feel in humid environments..." You also stated that for glycerin to be effective one needed to add an occlusive with it. I read you said to add polysorbate 80 if it the glycerin was going to be added to oil. The base butters such as Shea, Cocoa, Mango, or pumpkin seed act as the occlusive and if I add 3% glycerin or even 2% due to how humid it is I already have a working system in place correct? Due to the sun damage I have sustained over the years I need a formula that works as an occlusive, humectant, and reparative body butter. I was thinking of the percentages and what “they add to the party”. I would do Cocoa butter at 30% (my skin loves it) 20% Shea butter and 15% Mango butter (UV blocking power but leaves a slightly tacky feel even after 3 hours) all are chosen for skin their skin regeneration ability’s and soothing quality’s. I would add 15% pumpkin butter to aid in skin regeneration which would give me a total of 80% butters. Because Florida is so hot and inside it is 80 degrees I was hoping Cocoa butter would help keep the whipped consistency. The rest would be 15% oils and 2% glycerin 2% polysorbate 80 and 1% essential oils. I know you said you had to play around with the polysorbate 80 but what ratio would you use for glycerin in whipped body butters?

IrishMolly said...

Oh! btw I didn't mean tweak my Theory Recipe, I just want to know if I am grasping this correctly. I've read a lot of the blog, taken notes and done extensive research. I am going to make the body butter tonight (so excited!!) but i just meant if I am totally off the path of understanding could you just say "go back and read more". Thank you for the lovely e-mail and I cannot wait to read more posts!
- Cait