Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG

Let's take another look at a six ingredient lotion we could make! We've already made a rice bran oil & mango butter body butter and a rice bran oil & mango butter body lotion...what should we do next?

What's a six ingredient lotion? It's one that contains six ingredients not including the water, preservative, and fragrance or essential oil. It helps us get back to the basics when it's so easy to go nuts including every ingredient we have in the workshop!

Let's take a look at my favourite oil and butter combination - kukui nut oil and babassu oil. Kukui nut oil is a light, non-greasy feeling oil with an amazingly silky after feel. And babassu oil is a lot like coconut oil, only it's not as thick with a less greasy feeling that feels silky after a minute or so. It won't add a ton of viscosity to a product, so if you want something thick, you'll have to add something like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid to get some serious thickening. This is a great combination with any emulsifying wax, but I really like it with Ritamulse SCG, which will keep that drier feeling and increase the viscosity.

Do I want to thicken this lotion further? No, probably not. If I were to make this with Polawax or e-wax, I'd probably add cetyl alcohol or stearic acid or another thickener, but Ritamulse SCG already makes thicker lotions than other emulsifiers.

So I have three ingredients - Ritamulse SCG, kukui nut oil, and babassu oil. What's next? I really like allantoin, so I'm going to include that at 0.5% as an occlusive ingredient. We can get our occlusion through using dimethicone, cocoa butter, or allantoin. Since I already have my oil phase complete, allantoin seems to be the best choice.

I do love humectants. I think I'm going with 3% glycerin here as it's simply a great humectant that offers all around awesomeness to the lotion.

So one ingredient left. Hmm, what to use? What skin type am I making this for? I'm making it for my slightly oily skin that gets quite dry in the summer when it's less humid. I have a humectant - could I use another one? I could. Sodium lactate is a great choice, but at more than 3%, it can make you sun sensitive and I'm already not a sun lover as it is! I think honeyquat would be a lovely choice. It's a skin conditioning agent and a humectant that can go into the cool down phase. I think I'll use that one.

I'm going to base my recipe on this one, my mom's favourite lotion, only we'll modify it keeping in mind that we can only use six ingredients!

60% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

8% Ritamulse SCG
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

What do you do if you don't have Ritamulse SCG but want to make this product? Why you tune in tomorrow to see how we could make this with Polawax!

**NOTE: I have mentioned in the past that Ritamulse SCG doesn't like cationic ingredients. Honeyquat is a cationic ingredient. However, I've made this lotion and it is holding up well, so it looks like they can be combined. But I'm not going to recommend it for everyone as I would hate for you to have an epic lotion fail and have it be my fault. Instead, think about using 2% sodium lactate in the heated water phase, or another lovely ingredient that isn't positively charged in place of the honeyquat. Thank you for my lovely readers for remembering this when I didn't. This is what I mean about the heat of the workshop! When you're in the moment and surrounded by lovely ingredients, your best recollections can go out the window when faced by an awesome product like Honeyquat!


Megan Johnson said...


I recently purchased a quantity of Kukui nut oil on sale from Mountain Rose Herbs, so I definitely might try this recipe and/or the one previously posted! But since I haven't got the allantoin (yet) or the Incroquat (yet), are there any substitutions you recommend? I'm working with a generic E-wax, so I'll probably have to tweak my emulsifier % just a bit.

Also, have you noticed that Kukui nut oil has a bit of a weird fishy smell to it? Maybe that's why mine was on sale? I notice the smell directly out of the bottle, though it seems to dissipate after applying it to skin. It has a smell similar to linseed, which can sometimes be funky, too. (I also paint, thus my familiarity with linseed odors.)

Hope you're having fun camping!

~ Megan

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Is Ritamulse compatible with cationic ingredients?



Marg said...

Hi Susan

I followed the link to your Mom's favourite lotion, and noticed that in that post you decided not to use honeyquat because Ritamulse doesn't like carbonic ingredients, but you have used it here. Has the formulation of one of the ingredients changed thereby allowing them to be used together?



Marg said...

Ok that should say cationic not carbonic!

Megan Johnson said...

And, oops, I meant to type "honeyquat" instead of "Incroquat" in my original comment. Sorry...it was late and I was sleepy!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Megan. Great question. You know, in all honesty I had forgotten about that when I created this recipe. It's doing well and I haven't had any problems with it, but I'm going to modify the recipe to reflect that we shouldn't combine the two. Thanks for the catch!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Susan. I have a question about substituting ingredients in a conditioner recipe. What do you do if you don't use/have ingredients such as panthenol, cones, and proteins. Do I increase the amount of water and leave those items out?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Elizabeth. Yes!

Pierre said...

Hi Megan,

I haven't noticed the fishy smell with kukui nut oil, but definitely notice it with rosehip to the point where it's too pungent for me to use (tried different suppliers). Others have told me it smells earthy, but I always smell fish!

Shawn said...

Hi Susan

This doesn't really count as a modified version of this recipe, but I recently purchased Ritamulse, and have learned that it's not a simple matter of substituting it for my usual emulsifier, changing the water amount and ending up with a nice cream. As I use cetyl alcohol and stearic acid, I ended up with a really thick, waxy product. So I was playing around with my cetyl and stearic amounts, and it wasn't improving. This post made me realize I needed to go back to basics. So this is where I started from:

67% Water
8% Ritamulse
20% Macadamia Nut Oil
4% Macadamia Butter
1% Geogard

OK, nice and rich and creamy. But I know I don't need that much oil, and the butter amount is too high for my oily skin (in my opinion). So I made some adjustments:

77% Water
8% Ritamulse
12% Macadamia Nut Oil
2% Macadamia Butter
1% Geogard

OK, still nice, but I want it a bit thinner. I also want some 'bounce' to it, so now is the time to include Xanthan Gum.

79.8% Water
.2% Xanthan Gum
8% Ritamulse
10% Macadamia Nut Oil
1% Macadamia Butter
1% Geogard

OK, this I'm not loving. I've lost the nice glide, so now I'm going to include cetyl alcohol. Did that and now it's too thick again. What to do? I can't lower my Ritamulse amount. Can I? Well, I came across a supplier whose example recipes call for 7% Ritamulse. So I'm going to give that a shot. I already have Xanthan Gum in there, so that'll give it added stability.

80.8% Water
.2% Xanthan Gum
7% Ritamulse
10% Macadamia Nut Oil
1% Macadamia Butter
1% Geogard

Perfect! I have the bounce I like in a cream, the nice glide when you apply it, and a wonderful silky, talc finish. So I'll add all my other goodies to it, and see what happens.

65.60% Water
4% Niacinamide
.5% Allantoin
.2% Hyaluronic Acid
.2% Xanthan Gum

10% Macadamia Nut Oil
7% Ritamulse
1% Macadamia Butter
1% Cetyl Alcohol

2% Panthenol
1% Aspen Bark Extract
1% Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
1% Vitamin E
1% Geogard
.5% Resveratrol

3% Propanediol
1% EOs

Perfect Perfect Perfect! It looks and feels like the benchmark cream I was using, but not trying to duplicate. The real test now, of course, is to use it and see if I like how it feels and how it works.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Marian Mikkelsen said...

Hallo Susan
Back to base, what a good idea.
Just like you, I've got many things to choose from. Maybe a little too many.
So thank you for this post. There do not need to be many ingredients in a good cream.
Kind regards
Marian Mikkelsen, Denmark