Friday, July 11, 2014

One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in a zinc oxide cream

Sunflower oil is a great inclusion in any lotion or cream you might be making to help with broken skin thanks to all that lovely Vitamin E and linoleic acid, so I'm including it in my zinc oxide lotion. My lotion is based on this one - a light lotion with pumpkin seed oil - and the big modification is to include zinc oxide, which will make it much thicker.

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! 

When I'm looking at a protecting lotion, I always turn to the big three approved occlusive and barrier ingredients - cocoa butterallantoin, 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 hydrosolaloe 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.

In my heated oil phase, I'm using 24% oils and no butters as I know that'll make a light to medium weight lotion With Polawax, you want to use 25% of the total oil phase in emulsifier, so 24 * 0.25 = 6%.

I want to include 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.

28% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
10% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
3% glycerin
0.5% polyquat 44
2% silk protein
0.5% allantoin

6% Polawax
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM
19% pumpkin seed oil

1% Vitamin E
2% panthenol
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?

How do we modify this recipe to include zinc oxide? Add 10% to 20% in the cool down phase of the recipe and mix well. (I like 20%.) Yes, that really is it. 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!


Anonymous said...

Susan, you're adding Zinc Oxide to this product, but you don't really explain why. Most DYI lotions that include zinc oxide are trying to make a DIY sunscreen, but I know you don't recommend this (I agree). So what was the point of the zinc oxide?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi milesawayfarm! I forgot to put in the link to the original lotion with zinc oxide where I go into more detail about why you'd want to use it. Thanks for letting me know I forgot to do that!

Zinc oxide is approved for use as an anti-chafing and soothing ingredient (in the U.S. it is classified under category 1, skin protectant). It is slightly astringent, so it is great for oily or inflamed skin. It is anti-septic, anti-microbial, and fungicidal, so it can act as a treatment for annoyed skin as well. And finally, it's good for relieving the prickly feeling and irritation of heat, so it's a good choice for summer products.

Carolyn Ray said...

Hi, Susan, here. I recently read everything regarding cosmetics regulations that I could find on the FDA web site. Then a re-read, and re-re-read them. I don't know the laws in Canada, but in the US, products we make for ourselves or our friends are specifically excluded from regulations regarding health claims, whether on the product itself or on a web site discussing it. As far as I can tell, diy-ers can say whatever they want, wherever they want. For people selling their stuff, though, the rules are quite repressive. If you are listing, e.g., zinc oxide as an active ingredient, then the presumption is that your product has actually undergone testing and FDA approval--not the ingredient, your product. If you have not done that testing and gotten FDA approval, it's illegal to list it as an active ingredient, AND it is illegal to make any health claims whatsoever. If we analyze your comment of July 13 (10:35AM), if you were *selling* your zinc oxide cream, the FDA would send you a warning about almost every clause in that comment, as every one is a health claim. The only two claims that are allowed, as I understand the law, would be "zinc oxide is approved for use as and anti-chafing and soothing protectant", and
"it's slightly astringent". The first is a statement paraphrased from the FDA, so that one is ok--but unless your product is FDA-approved as a drug, then you have to also say "These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA" on the product, because making the claim without the disclaimer implies that the product IS an approved drug. "It's astringent" is just a statement about the chemical properties of zinc, so that one is ok.

I can undestand the motivation to never under any circumstances state anything that you realize might be interpreted as a health claim, just to be safe. People can be knuckleheads, and it might be best to set an overly-conservative model for the knuckleheads who are selling their products without knowing the law. But, then you'd have to delete pretty much your whole comment here. :)

I've mostly been reading your books and blog as though it's all just a private community where products are not being sold. What makes your work so unique is that you seem to be the only person who is pulling together knowledge of chemistry, health effects, and formulating in a place where one can access it without getting a couple of college degrees. If you got rid of the health information, it would be a lot less valuable. My understanding is that the US FDA allows you to say anything you want on your web site, including stuff about sunscreens, as long as you aren't selling what you make.

Someone correct me if I am wrong about the FDA requirements. I believe that I understand them, but if not I want to know.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Carolyn. I have read the Health Canada stuff, but it's not locked in my brain as I don't need to use it on a daily basis as I don't sell and don't plan to sell.

DIY-ers might be allowed to say what they want, but should they? Is it okay for someone to say to a friend, "This'll cure your (something)!" when they can't prove it? It's one step from there to selling something to a friend with the same claim. And then you're into problematic territory.

If I might be picky for a moment, I don't make a claim about a product in the comment, I make a claim about the ingredient zinc oxide!

As an aside, this is what we see a lot of companies doing these days. They tell you all about an ingredient, then show you a product with that ingredient and let you make up your own mind.

Carolyn Ray said...

For your blog, again, it doesn't matter what you say. You can talk about ingredients, and you can talk about finished products. I hope that you continue to do so.

For labeling a product for sale, though, your distinction does not matter to the FDA: neither the label nor any advertising media for the product (blog, video, live spokesperson) can make health claims about the product OR its ingredients. The FDA worries that the consumer will do exactly what you have said here: read the claims about the ingredient, then make up her own mind.

I wrote up a long comment on this explaining all the details and distinctions and including examples, but I decided to first just post this short summary. The main point is that you can discuss health claims as much as you want. The people reading your blog and selling their products absolutely cannot use your blog as an example--no discussion of health claims, whether about the finished product or about the ingredient.

Happy to post my longer comment if people are interested. Bye,

MK said...

Hi Susan, I'm ready to move past these previous comments, aren't you? I know I can speak for your readership at large and say we are GRATEFUL for all the knowledge you share with us!
Question about the Zinc Oxide:
Since it's being put in to the product once cooled, does this mean we could also incorporate it in to a cooled anhydrous product too? For instance, that whipped sunflower butter?

Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Merilyn! Thanks for the kind words. It's so lovely to know that what I'm writing is useful to others! You can incorporate the zinc oxide into something like a whipped butter easily! I've done it before - not posted to the blog - and it's lovely! With a whipped butter, though, make sure you add a little more oil than normal as it will get very very thick!

Hi Carolyn. Thanks again for your insight. This is a topic we've discussed many times in the past on the blog - see a few posts below - and it's nice to hear your thoughts on the topic.

As you may know from reading the blog, I don't talk a lot about how to sell products and I don't assume people will sell the products they make, so my emphasis is on homecrafters who will share their products with others for free. So I write the blog and the e-books that way.

Question: Why can't we make claims?
A few thoughts about claims
Thinking about claims
And so on.