Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: Are bath melts safe for a baby? Why would we find sodium hydroxide in a lotion?

In this post Weekend Wonderings, Rosi asks: I just found the bath melt and I was wondering if it is suitable for babies because I would like to make some and give away to a friend who will soon be a mom. My concern is the baking soda and citric acid.

When in doubt, leave it out. I really can't stress this enough. Baby's skin is sensitive because they haven't had time to develop all the great things our skin does for us, such as keeping things out or being able to respond quickly when irritated or injured, and I think it's always wise to put as little on or near babies as possible. I don't think the bath melt will be harmful for the baby, to be honest, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Why not make some bath melts without baking soda and citric acid instead?

As for mom, it's fine for her skin!

As a note, I have a series on babies' and children's skin coming up shortly. It's really quite a fascinating topic! 

In this post, What do you want to know? Making toner with quats, Rosi asks: I have some body lotion from the store and there is sodium hydroxide on the ingredient list, what does it bring to the lotion?

Sodium hydroxide could do one of three things in a lotion...
1. It could help the carbomer turn into a gel;
2. It could be helping adjust the pH to a more alkaline one; or
3. It could be turning something into a soap to behave as an emulsifier.

To turn a carbomer turn into a gel, we use an alkaline ingredient - in this case it would be something like an 18% solution of sodium hydroxide - to turn it from the flaky gel stuff into the gooey gel stuff. To adjust the pH, we would use a dilute solution of sodium hydroxide to raise the pH to become more alkaline. To use it as a soap as an emulsifier, we would be turning an oil or triglyceride into a soap through the process of saponification. (I know very little about this concept, to be honest...)

Related posts:
Chemistry Thursday: Chemical reactions
Gels: Formulating eye gels - more ideas (loads of links in this post on gels)


Elise said...

How great a baby series is coming up as my sigter is pregnant I really want to make some products for her and baby. I'm looking forward to it. :)

I have a whole other question I hope you can answer. I want to make a face cleanser with clay as the cleansing ingredient as my skin seems to like that. I want to use rhassoul clay. I have looked some of your recipes with clays to see when to add it. I add it at the last stage, but do I add it dry or can I take some of the water out of the heated water stage and make it wet, and then add the clay to the cleanser?

Anonymous said...

Thank Susan for answering and for coming up with kids/baies series, as i am a mom of a 6 and 4 years old girls i want to have good and safe stuff on the skin and hair. Thanks for answer on Sodium hydroxide as well. I wonder if you have ever made soap, i have made twice and i just love it. I bet the kids at your youth library group would love it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, i saw you have made melt and pour soap, but my previous comment was about cold process soap.

alex said...

its been used in exfoliate creams

izoui said...

Hi Susan,
I am so thankful for all the RIGHT informations you are giving. Just finished your book on anhydrous products, it is so complete and helpful. I don't know if I will ever make it to the water base products world but you definitely made my experience with the anhydrous products safe and easy. I just wanted to say how excited I was when you mentioned making a baby/kid series as my boys (with eczema) are the reason I jump into this adventure. Looking forward to read you.