Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in blooming or dispersing bath oils

Sunflower oil is a great oil for a blooming or dispersing bath oil as it is light, has a decent shelf life, and is inexpensive. Oleic acid softens and moisturizes our skin while the linoleic acid helps speed up skin's barrier repair functions.

A dispersing bath oil is a liquid version of the bath melt - you bottle it, and add it to your bath as you need it. We add the emulsifier to the oils to help them disperse through the water, rather than floating in a greasy mess on top of the water. There are a few different types of solubilizing type emulsifiers you could use for this recipe - Cromollient SCE, polysorbate 80, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, Caprol Micro Express, or other liquid emulsifiers - but I'm choosing polysorbate 80 as it's inexpensive and easy for me to find at my local suppliers.

This recipe is rated E for everyone, and is fantastic for beginners and those who don't wish to use preservatives. The shelf life of this product is dependent upon the shelf life of your oils.

78% oils of choice
20% polysorbate 80 (emulsifier)
2% fragrance or essential oil

Mix your oils together, add the polysorbate 80. Add 2% fragrance or essential oil. If you are using oils with a 6 month or less shelf life, please add 0.5% to 1% Vitamin E to the bath oil.

If you want to make dispersing bath oils, you can use Cromollient SCE at 10% as your emulsifier and an additional emollient. Here's a variation on my favourite bath oil using this ingredient. You can use any combination of oils in this recipe - these are just what I like to use!

78% oils
10% Cromollient SCE
2% fragrance or essential oil*

*Check the suggested usage rates for your essential oils before using them at 2%.

Mix the oils together, add the Cromollient SCE and fragrance oil. Pour into bottle. Rejoice!

If you're a fan of PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, you could use in this product as well. I haven't tried it yet, but I would start with 20% PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil - doesn't this ingredient have an abbreviation??? - and 80% oils and see if it works well for you. I'd suggest 5 grams PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil to 20 grams oil of your choice and see how it works. Why start with a large batch when a small one would work as well?

Here's a neat variation on the dispersing bath oil - it's a powdered bath oil!

50% Natrasorb bath
20% carrier oils of choice
29% Epsom salts
1% fragrance or essential oil
colouring (optional)

Mix the Natrasorb bath and the carrier and fragrance oil together until it is powdery. Mix in the salts. Package and rejoice!

Related posts:
Bath oil and after bath moisturizers
Back to basics: Dispersing bath oils 
Esters: Using Cromollient SCE in other products
Esters: Using polysorbates in your products

Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil in body oils

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with sunflower oil as we make lotion bars!


Clive said...

So it's only necessary to use 20% of polysorbate 80 to emulsify oils?

Bonnie in SJ said...

Am I the only one who sees Cromollient and thinks, "That's a perfectly cromulent emulsifier"?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Clive. In this recipe, yes. I've tried up to 50%, and 20% seems to be the level that best solubilizes the oils in the water in a bathtub.

Hi Bonnie! I love that word! And I not only use embiggen in my usual language, but we've coined ensmallen as well! Simpsons rule!

Clive said...

Thanks! I found that to emulsify silicones for a conditioner, I had to use 50-50 Polysorbate-80, so I had assumed the same for oils. Appreciate the info.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Clive. Why are you using polysorbate 80 to emulsify silicones in a conditioner? Doesn't your cationic quaternary compound emulsify silicones? BTMS-50, for instance, is formulated to be able to emulsify a large amount of silicones!

Clive said...

Thanks very much for helping!
Unfortunately I don't have access to some of the components that you use a lot, like BTMS-50 or Incroquat. I use cetrimonium chloride as the detangler, and quite a lot of polars such as shea butter and jojoba oil, so the emulsifier mix is glyceryl monostearate + polysorbate 80 calculated according to the 3-D HLB method.
I had trouble with separation. Finally I discovered that the separation was caused by the silicone content (dimethicone petrolatum and cyclopentasiloxane) and I made an experiment, using different %'s of polysorbate, that showed that the amount that separated was directly proportional to the % of polysorbate; it ended up as 50-50 polysorbate to silicone... it's a very popular product but it has been the most difficult to design.

Clive said...

sorry - I should have said NON polars :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan
I tried this recipe just recently. I don't know why I never tried it sooner but I am really impressed.
I love a nice silky bath but I really don't like it when all the oil floats on top.
I used Calendula Oil and Pumpkin Seed Oil.
This will be such a great thing come winter time. I will try with some OS extracts next time.
Such a simple recipe with only a few ingredients yet it produces a wonderful product.
Thank you for the idea as I never would have thought of this on my own.
Beth D.