Welcome to the Saturday edition of Weekend Wonderings! There are a lot of wonderings to ponder this weekend, so let's get right to it!
this post on stearic acid, Charbel asks: Do you know what else I can add to a homemade deodorant that uses extra virgin coconut oil (38% of total ingredients), sodium bicarbonate (58% of total ingredients) and stearic acid (4% of total ingredients) to make it creamier? The problem I had before adding stearic acid was that it would melt in the summer, now it is kind of hard but it doesn't melt. I'm looking for another ingredient to make it creamier without having to add water... What can I do? Thanks.
Can I ask a question without sounding mean? How is a product like this considered a deodorant? Is the definition purely about neutralizing odours or is there something more? And how does it feel under your arms? Doesn't it stain your clothes? I'm asking out of curiosity because I'm seeing products like this out there and I honestly can't imagine putting a lotion bar under my arms!
Back to the question at hand. I think the key here is to choose ingredients that will melt at slightly around your body body temperature so they glide on nicely, but remain solid in warmer months or conditions. Coconut oil is not a good choice for anything you want to stay solid over 76˚F or 24.4˚C. It's way too easy to get to that temperature in your purse, car, or house in the summer months, and you're asking for a melted deodorant if you make this your main ingredient You want to choose a butter that has a higher melting point, like cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, or pretty much any other butter, or you want to increase the melting point of the product. Your body temperature is 98.6˚F or 37˚C, so you can choose a butter with a melting point closer to that.
You can do this by adding a wax - like one of the waxes - or a fatty alcohol - like cetyl alcohol - or a fatty acid - like stearic acid. Which one of these will help? Any of them. So the question becomes about skin feel. What is the final skin feel you want on this product? For me, it would be all about the non-greasy skin feel with low drag that has a melting point around body temperature. My first choice would be mango butter (less greasy feeling) and a fatty alcohol (more slip and glide, offers hardening to the bar). I wouldn't want stearic acid as it might make the product more solid, but it adds slip and drag to the product. Any of these ingredients will help keep the product on your skin rather than turning to a liquid and melting away, but you have to figure out which one offers the skin feel you want!
Coconut oil? Coconut oil!
A quick note on coconut oil and hot temperatures!
the same post on stearic acid, Izzie asks: You said that cetyl alcohol gives slip, and that stearic acid gives more thickness. So If I am making a foot cream, shouldn't I use more stearic? The blog seems to say otherwise, unless I am so tired from my work week.
Stearic acid is always my first choice for a foot lotion or cream! It adds thickeness and tenacity. I find a foot lotion made with stearic feels thicker and stays on longer, often well into the next morning. If there is a place on the blog where I suggest cetyl alcohol instead of stearic acid for a foot or elbow cream, please let me know and I shall fix it immediately!
Dove's beauty bar, Deidre asks: Did you ever try making cold process soap? I'm a relatively new reader of your site, but browsing through, I haven't seen any posts about it in the last couple of years. As a soap-making addict, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I didn't. I have all these great plans, but I only get so much workshop time and I generally use those moments to replenish my products bin or try new things for the blog! As much as I love CP soap, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. Thank goodness it's farmer market season and I can stock up on lovely local stuff!
Quick aside: I can't find the name of the makers of this soap! If you recognize it, please let me know so I can put up a link to your shop! Or send me a picture of your lovely food looking - cupcakes, cakes, ice cream, and so on - soap with your link so I can use it in future posts!
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