Stearic acid is a natural inclusion in a cream. In fact, you can thicken any basic lotion into a cream by adding some stearic acid. We took a look at a hand lotion yesterday. Let's take a look at a cream today.
Actually, let's back up a second. What's the difference between a cream and a lotion? Or an emulsified body butter and moisturizer and creme and... There are no definitions for anything other than a lotion, which is a product that uses an emulsifier to bring together oil and water. You can call a thick, rich cream a facial moisturizer and a thin, sprayable lotion a body butter. There are no definitions for it. We have an idea of what it means when someone says a product is a cream versus a moisturizer, but that isn't necessarily so.
In this case, what I mean by a cream is a product that is quite thick and should be pumped out of a bottle or scooped out of a jar. For this product, I definitely recommend a nice, sturdy pump, not a teeny tiny treatment pump you'd use for a thinner lotion, like a moisturizer.
I'm basing this cream off the recipe you can find as a newbie recipe in this post, but we'll make some modifications. I want to use this as a foot cream, so there are some things I can change to ensure it'll be a nice lotion!
When I'm making a foot cream, I'm thinking greasy and thick. I want something that goes on well and moisturizes even better. I want something that will help my completely trashed heels feel softer and hydrate dry skin. And I don't want to use fancy and expensive oils here. This isn't some frou-frou moisturizer with live plankton and seaweed extract that comes in a 30 ml shiny glass bottle. Nope, this is a thick, buttery cream you can make by the bucketload intended to be slathered on your feet and covered up with your very thickest socks!
humectants into the mix to draw water from the atmosphere to my skin. I'll include glycerin at 3% and sodium lactate at 2% to get the most hydration possible. You could use something like hyaluronic acid at 1%, but why would you use something expensive and decadent like that on your feet? You probably don't mind the slight stickiness of glycerin on your feet all that much, and it's a great humectant.
As a note, I once made a foot lotion that was 25% glycerin! I know, right? Sounds insane, but it was totally awesome. I can't share the recipe here as it wasn't my original creation, but I can suggest that you could substitute 25% glycerin for 25% water in this recipe and see what you think. It will make your feet feel quite cold, so be aware of that, and you may even have pruny toes in the morning as it's quite hydrating!
When I make foot creams, I generally include an oil that contains a lot of Vitamin E, which softens skin, and linoleic acid, which will help speed up skin's barrier repair mechanisms. My first choice is generally soy bean oil because it's got a lot of both, and has a one year shelf life. It's a greasy feeling oil, but do you care that much about greasiness when you've got a lovely pair of socks on? Rice bran oil is another lovely choice, and has a shelf life of about a year. It's less greasy feeling than soy bean oil. I'm actually going with rice bran oil as I'm out of soy bean oil, but either would be lovely here.
When it comes to butters, I can use just about anything here. Cocoa butter is generally my first choice as I always have it in my workshop, plus it's a great barrier protectant, but any butter will do. Shea butter will feel a bit greasier, mango butter less greasy.
We're using stearic acid here to make a thick, tenacious lotion that will go on and stay on for quite some time. You could substitute cetyl alcohol or another fatty alcohol if you wish, but doing that will miss the point of this series!
menthol. I use menthol crystals at 3% in the heated water phase, but you could use peppermint essential oil at 1% in the cool down phase. Menthol can make your feet feel cooler and increases circulation, both of which are awesome for foot products.
Sometimes I add up to 1% camphor essential oil and 1% eucalyptus essential oil into the cool down phase to make the product smell like Vick's, but I didn't have any of either, so I left it out. It is a really neat smell and clears your sinuses up something fierce!
COCOA BUTTER & RICE BRAN OIL FOOT CREAM WITH STEARIC ACID
54% distilled water
3% glycerin or other humectant of choice
2% sodium lactate
3% menthol crystals
15% rice bran oil
10% cocoa butter
7% Polawax or BTMS-50 (8% e-wax NF)
3% stearic acid
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
Please use the basic lotion making instructions for this product. If you want more detailed instructions, click here for the cream making tutorial. As with all my lotion recipes, you can substitute any oil for any oil, any butter for any butter, and any oil with any butter and vice versa. You can substitute 10% aloe vera for 10% distilled water, add a nice water soluble extract, or change the essential oils. It's really up to you!
Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, five products: Stearic acid
One ingredient, five products: Stearic acid - a hand lotion
Using peppermint in foot care products
Foot lotion becomes foot cream
Body butter becomes foot cream
Creating a foot cream, part one (click "newer post" to get to the other parts)
Join me tomorrow as we take a look at making a solid scrub bar with stearic acid!