I love the linoleic acid in sunflower oil in a cream intended for helping repair skin's barrier mechanisms and helping prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL), two things we need for areas that might be chapped or sore. I love the phytosterols we can find in sunflower oil as they will help with reducing inflammation and itching as well as reducing TEWL.
Remember that we are making cosmetics, not drugs, so we can't make claims that something will heal or treat an ailment. We can make choices about the oils and extracts based on what studies have shown they can offer our skin, but we can't write "Treats eczema" or "Great for wind chapping" on our products!
occlusive and barrier ingredients - cocoa butter, allantoin, or dimethicone. I quite honestly didn't even think of using dimethicone - not really sure why as I love the stuff! - so my barrier ingredient will be allantoin at 0.5% in the heated water phase.
I'm using chamomile hydrosol, my favourite soothing hydrosol, aloe vera, and witch hazel to offer anti-inflammatory properties. If you don't have these things, you could use distilled water in their place or something like 0.5% powdered chamomile extract in the cool down phase.
I'm using glycerin as my humectant because it not only draws water from the atmosphere to our skin, but it also restores normal hydration in the stratum corneum, increases skin elasticity, and improves impaired barrier recovery. All of these things are great for skin that might be chapped or damaged in some way.
I'm using hydrolyzed silk protein because its low molecular weight means it will penetrate the skin and behave as a humectant. I'm using polyquat 44 as my cationic polymer because it offers skin conditioning and moisturizing at a level of 0.5%, which is pretty awesome! Feel free to substitute this for another cationic polymer like polyquat 7, or leave it out and replace that 0.5% with more distilled water.
Vitamin E in my lotion as both an anti-oxidant and a skin softener at 1% in the cool down phase. And I have to include panthenol at 2% in the cool down phase because it improves stratum corneum hydration, reduces redness and inflammation, increases wound healing by stimulating skin epithelialization, improves skin barrier mechanism repair, mitigates itching and soothes irritation, and behaves as a humectant. How can you not want to include this?
And finally we need our preservative. I'm choosing to use liquid Germall Plus because it's my favourite. I can use it at up to 0.5% in the cool down phase. You can choose another suitable broad spectrum preservative you prefer.
Remember - you can substitute sunflower oil for any liquid oil you find in any recipe at the same rate as the original. It may change the viscosity or skin feel of the lotion, but it shouldn't mess with the chemistry of emulsification.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM SUNFLOWER OIL LOTION WITH NO BUTTERS
HEATED WATER PHASE
28% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
10% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
0.5% polyquat 44
2% silk protein
HEATED OIL PHASE
3% cetyl alcohol
19% pumpkin seed oil
COOL DOWN PHASE
1% Vitamin E
0.5% liquid Germall Plus (or preservative of choice)
1. Weigh your water phase into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.
1a. Weigh your total water phase on a scale - jug and all - so we can compensate for the lost water before mixing. And set some water in a separate container to heat. A pot with water on the stove or boiling up the kettle works well. You don't need to boil it the whole time - bring it to boiling now and you'll have some less-than-boiling water for step 3a.
2. Weigh your oil phase into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.
3. Heat both phases to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. This is to kill any nasties that might be in any of our ingredients, as well ensuring both phases are the same temperature when we mix them together. (This is part of the emulsification process - the heating part of emulsification.)
3a. Remember how we measured the water phase in step 1a? Measure it again - zero your scale and measure the jug and all. Add enough of the warm water to get you to the total weight from step 1a.
4. When both phases reach 70˚C, pour the water phase into the oil phase and mix very well with a stick blender or hand mixer (or Kitchenaid if you're a lucky person!). Mix periodically as the temperature drops.
5. When you reach 45˚C, add your cool down ingredients and mix very well.
6. Allow the lotion to come to room temperature before bottling. If you are using jars, just glop in what you have made. If it's a lighter lotion, you could probably pour it into the bottle with a funnel. For thicker lotions, I have found using a piping bag (disposable, from the cake or chocolate decorating store) is the easiest way to get things into bags.
If you're a more visual learner, check out my SnapGuide on making an oil-in-water lotion!
Feel free to try this recipe with another emulsifier if you don't have or aren't a fan of Polawax!
How to modify with emulsifying wax?
How to modify with Ritamulse SCG?
How to modify with Incroquat BTMS-50?
How to modify with Lotionpro 165?
You can do this with any recipe. Add 1% to 20% zinc oxide in the cool down phase and mix well. It can be a body butter, heavy cream, light lotion, regular lotion, etc. Add some zinc oxide and you have a zinc oxide cream!
Why did I include zinc oxide? It's not because it's a sunscreen - because we don't make those!!! - but because it can help with soothing skin. Click here to see the post in which I originally added zinc oxide to this lotion for more information!
Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in body oils
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in blooming or dispersing bath oils
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in lotion bars
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in emulsified scrubs
Join me Monday as we have more fun making products with sunflower oil when we take a look at making whipped butters!