Friday, April 3, 2009

Lotions: Body butter creams

So what makes a body butter cream different than a foot cream?
  • We want the same thickness, but we're going to be adding more light oils so it's not as heavy.
  • And let's change the stearic acid to cetyl alcohol so we can get something more glidy.
  • And we're going to increase our butters to make it thicker and give it more stay-on-ability (I can't think of the word I want to use there...)
In the last two recipes, we chose a single oil and worked with it so you could get a sense of what the oil brought to the lotion. In this recipe, I'd like to choose a combination of oils to achieve my goals of a moisturizing body butter. I like to mix a light, medium, and thick oil together for body butters. I'm actually going to reduce the oils and increase the butters for a very thick cream. So let's use our oils at 10% in this recipe, choosing 4% light, 4% medium and 2% heavy.

Light - sunflower oil is very emollient and inexpensive. It's great for aging skin. You could use fractionated coconut oil if you want something very light or soy bean oil for a light feeling with great emolliency.

Medium - rice bran is my usual choice for a medium oil. It's got a great shelf life and it feels wonderful. Shea oil would work well here, but it is going to be greasier.

Heavy - you guessed it, olive oil. You could use avocado oil here for very dry skin.

And we're going to adjust our butters. Believe it or not, I'm going to increase them as I want something very smooth and emollient, so I'm upping our butters to 15%. I'm going to use shea here, but you can use mango or aloe or other butter of your choice.

60% water
2% sodium lactate or glycerin

10% oils (4% light, 4% medium, 2% heavy, or just 10% of the oil of your choice)
15% shea butter (or butter of choice)
6% emulsifier*
3% cetyl alcohol

0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend

**Note the increase in emulsifier...I have a total of 28% oils (oils, butter, cetyl alcohol), so I'm going to use 25% of that total amount (rounded up) so 6% would be suitable for Polawax or BTMS here.**

1. Weigh out your water phase in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

2. Weigh out your oil phase in a heat proof container and put into your double boiler.

3. When both containers have reached 70C, weigh out your water again, then add it to your oil container.

4. Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender for at least 3 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you would like until the temperature reaches 45C. (Again, I'm a fanatic mixing fool, so I like to mix a lot!)

5. Let cool to 45C, then add your fragrance or essential oil and preservative. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.

6. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature (a few hours), spoon into a jar and let set before using.

This is going to be a thick, emollient cream that is a little oily (way too oily for your hands!) Maybe you're not an oily person - what can you do? You can choose lighter or drier oils (like hazelnut or grapeseed - shelf life 3 months!) or you can reduce the shea butter to 10% and increase the light oils by 5%. You could use BTMS as your emulsifier, which will leave a powdery feeling behind.

Or you could add some IPM to increase absorbency and add cyclomethicone to give it a powdery after feel. If this sounds like crazy talk to you, then tune in tomorrow to learn all about other ingredients you can add to your lotions to increase glide, reduce greasiness, and increase awesomeness!


Anonymous said...

Thank for the formulation am going to try it right now!

tessa mabanta said...

Why is glycerin part of the water phase and not of the oil phase? What happens if I increase the percentage of glycerin?

If I'm going to make castor oil and mineral oil , vitamin E and titanium dioxide part of the recipe, in which phase do I add it in?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tessa. Welcome to the blog. I've answered your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer - glycerin is water soluble, not oil soluble, so it goes into the water phase. Check out that post for more details. (I also encourage you to check out the before you write to me, read this post re-posted today as you will find all the information you need to do searches and find ingredients on the blog here.

If you're trying to come up with a recipe and you've never made one before, I really encourage you not to do this. Find a recipe that works well and you know works and use that instead. Please don't make your own as you can't possibly know all you need to know to make something work well, and you'll get frustrated and annoyed and might never want to make something again. I suggest this to make this a more enjoyable and fun experience!

Creme Chemist said...

Hi Susan,
I dont quite understand the math:
In your post you stated that since you are using 28% oil/butters/cetyl alcohol and need to use 25% of this as emulsifier. You came up with 6% rounding up, and I came up with 7%. Please explain.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I made a mistake.

maxine moore-thomas said...

hi susan regarding your basic body butter recipe what do you mean when you say "water" phase? i didnt knot know u used water when making a body butter i tght that was reserved for lotions. i never use water in my butters, i just use shea butter mango butter coco butter avacado butter (not necessarily all together but ths are my base butters) i use rice bran oil sunflower oil macademia nut oil jojoba oil olive oil coconut oil apricot kernel oil etc. and some vitamin e and a lil cornstarch and it seems fine the only problems i haveis that it will melt a bit in my hot climate ( i live injamaica) and sometimes my scents dnt stay (i use fragrance from brambleberry.) thanks again

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Maxine. There isn't a definition of a body butter, so it can be something with water or without. This post makes a body butter that contains water. If you'd like to learn more about making lotions, check out the post on making lotions under the bath & body ingredients section of the blog.

cest cheese said...

Ok, this post is a response to the products we made ourselves-how, what did we like, do again, etc?

I played around with the basic body butter recipe, but wanted to add a bunch of oils, different thickeners and try a different emulsifier, barrier products to try and influence the end feel. I read lots of your posts on these different ingredients and tried to make up my own product.

I wanted a not-too-thin, but not uber thick product with nice glide, emollient properties without greasiness, but also that didn't dry immediately on touch.

I don't really have a handle on what I'm doing yet, but this is what I did and how it turned out. I over-poured in some areas, so this is how the recipe ended up.

Heated water
46% H20
14% rosewater
15% allantoin
3% propylene glycol

Heated oil
11% hemp oil
6% mango butter
7% aloe vera oil
3% stearic acid

Cool down
1% honeysuckle essential oil
1% vitamin E
1% liquid germal plus
3% dimethicone

I heated up the oils and waters in one huge saucepan of water using 2 glass, 2-cup measuring cups. I used a digital thermometer, but had trouble getting both the containers to heat to the same temp and hold. The oil seemed to heat faster and keep rising while the water stayed more even.

I noticed when I poured the oil ingredients into the water after the 20-min. hold, that the cloudiness seemed "thick." I used a stick blender to blend for 1-minute in 15-sec intervals.

I poured the cream in plastic jars and put a paper towel over the top until cool enough to put a lid on.

The product looked like it had a waxy sheen on the surface and was grainy to the touch even after a few days, so I reheated the product in the microwave and blended again, but it made no difference.

The scent was very subtle and probably wouldn't hold for very long. For this scent, I'd add more next time.

I don't know if it was technique, products I chose to blend, measurements or all three that resulted in an undesirable lotion!

Not something I'd do again, until I can determine what and where I went wrong.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Traci. Did you use 15% allantoin???

cest cheese said...


Sorry, I was in a hurry when I read my lotion notes.

I used .5% allantoin in the recipe.


Nanci Nix said...

Could goats milk be used instead of water?