Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Newbie Tuesday: It's time to make lotion
Sorry I didn't have a video ready - it's been hovering around 0˚C in my workshop and the heater only brought it to 9˚C on a good day! I'll try for the next recipe!
Download a PDF of this post here!
BASIC FIRST LOTION RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE
HEATED OIL PHASE
15% oil (sunflower, soy bean, rice bran, or olive oil)
5% shea or mango butter
3% cetyl alcohol
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)
COOL DOWN PHASE
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
(This doesn't total 100% because of the difference in preservatives!)
Note: I've changed the emulsifier to be 6% - it should be 5.75% if I'm using Polawax, but I considered that you might be using all kinds of weird and wonderful emulsifiers, and 6% will cover those of you using Polawax, BTMS-50, and e-wax very well. I've reduced the water to 69% to compensate.
Secondary note: Check your preservative's suggested usage rate to ensure you're putting it in the right phase. Most will go into the cool down phase, but some won't! (Click here for the list.)
You can do this! It's not rocket science - it's cosmetic science, which much more awesome and useful in your daily life! You will not pre-suck! (We define this in craft group as saying you suck before you've even started so when you fail, you can say "I told you so", and not lose face. Or saying "I'm not good at this new thing", and you won't be, because it's something new and we're not going to be perfect the first time out!)
Just think...in about an hour, you can say you've made a lotion and have something to show for your hard work and research. (Take a picture of it and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can see what you've made! I'm quite excited by all of this!)
Ensure that your space is clean and tidy. Make sure all your containers, utensils, and everything else have been cleaned well. (Click here for related link.) Get a bottle (or two) ready for your lotion. (You don't need to clean your bottle. If you bought it from your supplier, then it's assumed to be clean!)
If you're making the recipe I mentioned in the first Newbie Tuesday post, then you'll make about 3 ounces or 90 ml of lotion, which will require a 2 ounce bottle with a little left over or a 4 ounce bottle with some head space at the top.
Put your Pyrex jug on the scale. Now weigh out your heated water phase - just the water in this recipe - into your heatproof container.
Weigh your container - hit tare on the scale (zero out the number) so you can get the "before" weight of your heated water phase. (We need this number to know how much water evaporates during the heated water phase so we can compensate for it before we combine the two phases). Now put this container into your double boiler.
I forgot to take a picture of this container on the scale, but this is what your heated oil phase will look like - some oils with the pellets of emulsifier and flakes of cetyl alcohol sinking to the bottom or maybe floating around the top. Depending upon the butter you use, it may or may not be showing as large chunks in the container.
When the temperature of both phases reaches 70˚C or 158˚F, start your timer for 20 minutes. The containers should heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70˚C or 158˚F. (The temperature might fluctuate and get up as high as 85˚C. That's okay, as long as the temperatures of both containers are over 70˚C and relatively the same when you combine them.)
In the meantime, while you're waiting for the heat and hold phase to come to an end, you can fill up a kettle or another container for heating water and heat some water. You'll add some of this to the heated water phase just before your combine the two to ensure you have a water phase of 70%.
When you've heated and held both phases at 70˚C/158˚F for 20 minutes, remove just the water container from the heat and measure it. How much water did you lose? Add up to the amount you should have had originally. Let's say you measured 500 grams for your container and water phase - if your container now reads 475, add 25 grams from the water you boiled up separately. (It is okay if the water in the kettle is a little hotter than the water phase, as long as it doesn't make the water phase 85˚C or 100˚C while your oil phase is around 70˚C. This is unlikely to happen with so little water and your water phase being over 70˚C, so don't worry!)
And yes, it's okay to have a stir with a clean spoon while you're waiting for it to cool down. See how the viscosity changes as the product gets closer to 45˚C. It can take up to three days for a lotion to come to its final viscosity, so don't worry that you are currently seeing something with the consistency of slightly thickened milk!
When the product reaches 45˚C or 113˚F, add your cool down ingredients. In this lotion, that would be your fragrance/essential oil and preservative (I use liquid Germall Plus, which goes into the cool down phase. Your preservative may vary. Check before you start making the lotion!) Mix again. Maybe 2 or 3 minutes? Now leave it alone. You're done. We're just waiting for it to get cool enough to bottle.
If you're going to put this in a jar, you can do that right away and let the product cool in the jar. Do not put the lid on the product - we don't want condensation! Cover the jar(s) with a paper towel until cooled.
If you're putting this into any other kind of bottle, put a clean cloth or paper towel over the top of the container, and let it cool down to where the jug isn't warm to the touch any more (room temperature - around 20˚C or 68˚F). You can try using a funnel to get your product into the bottle, but I prefer to use a piping bag (that you'd use for icing - find them in the cake decorating section of your favourite craft store or Daiso!). Some people suggest using a plastic bag with the corner cut off - for some reason, I can't make this work for me and end up with lotion everywhere.
And now you're done! Rejoice! Do a happy dance to celebrate the making of the lotion! You've done it!
The next part of lotion making? Making cute labels. Marching around the house with the bottle in your hand saying, "I made lotion! I made lotion!" E-mailing your friends and family (and tutor - email@example.com) and telling them tales with attached pictures! And generally rejoicing in the fact that you set out to accomplish something and did it! You're walking on sunshine, and don't it feel good? Indeed!
Please write your comments in the section below to inspire others to give it a try! (Can we try to keep all the newbie lotion making comments in this post and keep all the comments in this post about first time lotion making?) Next week's Newbie Tuesday post will be the troubleshooting and sharing part of the process, so please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment below and let me know how it went for you. I want others to learn from your experiences, but I also need to know if this tutorial was helpful! If you encounter a problem - like a lotion fail, for instance - please write out your recipe and process, letting me know about any changes (for instance, type of oil and butter), so we can trouble shoot it next week! Please send pictures and let me know if it's okay to use your experience and photos in the post next week. (And let me know what screen name you want!)
Congratulations! You did it! Now use it all up very quickly so you have a cheap excuse to make another one!