Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Creating a body butter for the colder, drier winter months
If you've never made a body butter, check out this Newbie Tuesday post on making one with a recipe and process!
The goal of a body butter is to be thick and luxurious with loads of moisturizing and hydrating ingredients. My first thought is to include at least two humectants to draw water from the atmosphere to the skin. My choices were sodium lactate at 2% and glycerin at 2%. I could have chosen others, but these are handy, inexpensive, and effective. You could include something else, like hyaluronic acid at a lower rate - say 0.5% - or honeyquat in the cool down phase at up to 3% (and this would substitute for the polyquat 7, too). I'm adding panthenol to the cool down phase to help with wound healing and improving skin's barrier mechanisms.
I'm adding chamomile hydrosol and aloe vera to the mix as they both offer great soothing and moisturizing properties, as well as anti-itching properties.
In a product like this, I want a good barrier ingredient. The approved ones are cocoa butter, dimethicone, and allantoin. I wanted to use shea butter in this product because I like the features it offers - increased softening of the skin, increased wound healing, reduced irritation - so cocoa butter doesn't really have a place. I mentioned that I substituted the dimethicone I would normally use with the bamboo isoflavones, so there's no place for dimethicone here. I will keep my allantoin, though, because it offers so much for such a tiny amount!
I thought I'd try using baobab oil, a new oil they're carrying at Voyageur Soap & Candle, and bamboo isoflavones, which is a substitute for dimethicone.
Bamboo isoflavones* (INCI: Lactobacillus/Arundinaria gigantea Leaf Ferment Filtrate) is considered a natural substitute for dimethicone as well as an anti-oxidant. It is added to the cool down phase to products with a pH of 4 to 7, so it is suitable for our lotions, moisturizers, and hair care products. Bamboo isoflavones are water soluble, so you can add this to products like toners or cleansers where you don't want to include an emulsifier, but want the silky smoothness of dimethicone! Substitute it 1:1 for dimethicone.
One down side I noted - the colour was strong enough to make my body butter a slight shade of beige. I don't mind much, but some might want a whiter product! You can see this in the picture above. Again, not a big deal, but something to think about when you're worried about appearances.
Baobab oil contains a lot of unsaponifiables, which is where we find our lovely phytosterols. They behave as anti-inflammatories, something I really like to have in a body butter for my husband's itchy skin. It contains squalane, which our skin recognizes as being something it contains, so it's absorbed quickly. It's a thicker feeling oil, which is something I don't mind in a body butter.
BODY BUTTER FOR MY ITCHY HUSBAND
22.5% distilled water
11% aloe vera
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% liquid cucumber extract
2% sodium lactate
2% oat extract beta (protein)
10% shea butter
10% baobab oil
3% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
5% bamboo isoflavones
2% polyquat 7
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil
Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.
As usual, if you don't want to use the hydrosols, just switch them out for distilled water. If you want to learn more about how to modify this recipe, please click here for the Newbie Tuesday post on body butters.
Raymond reports that he really likes it. It isn't too greasy, and feels nice. He does note that he can still get itchy in the night, something he didn't feel happened when I was using the hand protectant on him. (He also notes, though, that it's really hard to scratch when he's covered in the hand protectant because it is so occlusive!) I think next time I need to up the shea butter to 15% (and alter the emulsifier accordingly) and think of a few more ingredients to help with itching. Maybe more humectants? Hmm...
There is one down side to this recipe - it goes on quite white and stays that way for a few minutes. This is called the soaping effect, and the normal way to get rid of it is to include dimethicone. If you really dislike this feature, then substitute the bamboo isoflavones for dimethicone in the cool down phase.
Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!