As we know, lecithin is a great inclusion in a nail care product as it contains a ton of those wonderful phospholipids, and lanolin is a great barrier ingredient that can repel water. So let's take a look at formulating a cuticle and nail balm using these ingredients.
This recipe is rated E for everyone, and is fantastic for beginners, those who don't wish to use preservatives, or those who are seeking an all natural product. The shelf life of this product is dependent upon the shelf life of your oils.
LANOLIN & LECITHIN CUTICLE BALM
12% hazelnut or soy bean oil
37% mango or green tea butter
1% fragrance or essential oil
Weigh all the ingredients, except the fragrance or essential oil, into a heatproof container and place in a double boiler. When melted, remove and add your fragrance or essential oil. Pour into your container. Rejoice.
As a quick point of interest, I've been using this as a lip balm and it feels just lovely. Quite greasy - definitely a night time application kind of product - but it doesn't bother my lips the way ones with more wax usually does for me. I find lip balm sticks feel like they're drying my lips out - I have no idea why - but this one doesn't! If you want to use it for this application, add only lip friendly essential oils and leave out the fragrance oils. It doesn't taste like anything, so you don't really need a flavour, but you can add up to 3% flavour oils if you want!
This balm will have a slightly liquidy consistency - it won't come out of your container, but it will melt easily when you touch it. The yellow colour comes from the lanolin (yellow-brown) and the lecithin (very brown). It is sticky and greasy feeling, but it really does make your cuticles feel very moisturized!
The reason for my ingredients? We know the lanolin is very moisturizing and offers water repelling properties. The lecithin offers the wonderful phospholipids along with great moisturizing, as do the hazelnut and soy bean oils. I chose to use green tea butter because I had it in the house and I figured it would be a nice inclusion - all those lovely tannins and anti-oxidants will make it feel a little drier, and that's a good thing with the greasiness of the lanolin. And the beeswax was to make it more water repellant and stiffer.
If you aren't a fan of using lanolin, then consider using something like babassu oil, coconut or virgin coconut oil, or shea butter in its place. (Click here for those links.) And if you consider this too greasy, consider adding 2% IPM to the mixture, or substituting some of the oils for lighter ones like fractionated coconut oil or some esters like C12-15 alkyl benzoate. I wouldn't suggest switching the lecithin - this is vital ingredient in this recipe.
If you're on the fence about making this product, my mom says it's the nicest thing for her nails I've ever made. She has very brittle nails, easily broken or split, with cuticles that are torn and ripped. She uses loads of different hand lotions (most of them not mine - what's up with that?) and she uses nail hardeners to try to keep her nails from cracking and splitting. In a few days she said she noticed a huge difference, and feels her nails are more flexible after using this balm at night before bed! Wow! I'm so glad I found something that worked for her!
Join me tomorrow for a variation on this recipe that can be used as a whipped butter!