Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chemistry Thursday: The difference between solubilizers and emulsifiers redux

In this post on solubilizers, someone asked: I still don't get the difference between a solubilizer and a emulsifier. If I mix propylene glycol (in substitution for the surfactant), cetyl alcohol or stearic acid in water, will I be getting a lotion? 

The quick answer is no because there's nothing in your question that is an emulsifier. The longer answer is still no, but there's an explanation.

Let's start with the basics. What is the difference between a solubilizer and an emulsifier? For our purposes, we'll categorize our ingredients as solubilizers and emulsifiers. Solubilizers are generally used to incorporate oil based ingredients into a water based products. Ingredients like polysorbate 20, polysorbate 80, Caprol Micro Express, Cromollient SCE, and caprylyl/capryl glucoside would be considered solubilizers. Ingredients like BTMS-50, Polawax, e-wax, Ritamulse SCG, Sucragel AOF, and HLB based emulsifiers are emulsifiers. And emulsifiers actually combine the water and oil together to create an oil in water or water in oil lotion to create an emulsion.

The big difference is this...Solubilizers allow you to create a water based solution by making something that wouldn't normally dissolve in water - like an oil - dissolve into water and create a mixture. If you mixed your oil with something that allowed that oil to dissolve better - like our solubilizers - you would have a toner with some oil based stuff in it that may or may not be clear but would have oil suspended in it, instead of floating on the top of the water.

Emulsifiers allow you to create a product that is water-in-oil or oil-in-water where it's a whole different product entirely. Adding oil and water together isn't something where you have a toner with globs of oil in it, but a product called a lotion. Solubilizers mix in a small amount of oil, whereas emulsifiers can mix in a lot of oil.

When you want to make a lotion, you need what's called an all-in-one emulsifier or you need to create one using the HLB system (more on this in a moment...)

With regards to your question, without a recipe it's hard for me to figure out what you're doing, but I'll try my best. Propylene glycol isn't a surfactant, so I'm not sure of a situation where you'd be using it in the place of a surfactant - and I'm guessing you mean a foaming and lathery one - will end up being a good substitution.

What's a surfactant? It's something that has a hydrophilic or water loving head and a lipophilic or fat loving tail. The hydrophilic head clings onto watery stuff - say the water phase of our lotion - and the lipophilic tail creates a ball around the oily stuff - the oil phase of our lotion. Our emulsifiers are surfactants. I know we generally only think of things that are lathery and foamy as surfactants, but things that bring oil and water together are surfactants.

Stearic acid is an emollient that has an HLB value, which means it needs to be considered as an oil when we're making a lotion. It isn't an emulsifier and can't be combined with anything to become an emulsifier. It's no more emulsifying than coconut oil or olive oil, which is to say it's a full blown oil with no emulsifying properties. Cetyl alcohol isn't an emulsifier either. It's an emollient that has an HLB value, which is to say it's treated like any other oil. (Both of these can help thicken and stabilize an emulsion, but they aren't emulsifiers or solubilizers in any way.)

So to mix propylene glycol - not a surfactant - with stearic acid or cetyl alcohol - neither of these are surfactants nor emulsifiers - you will end up with the water soluble stuff and oil soluble stuff just sitting there as individual things, not a mixed lotion or other product. If we were to add an emulsifier - let's say Ritamulse SCG - we would be able to bring these two things together!

We can also create our own emulsifiers, which is where I think things can get a bit confusing because things that aren't emulsifiers on their own - say, something like glycol distearate or ceteareth-20 - can be combined with something else to create an emulsifier!

What's an HLB value? There's a system called the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance system that helps us figure out the value of the oil phase of a lotion so we can figure out what emulsifier would work best with it. We don't need to do this with our all-in-one emulsifiers - like Polawax, Ritamulse, Incroquat BTMS-50, e-wax, and so on - because they've done all that work for us. But if you wanted to create your own emulsifier, this is what you'd use. When something has an HLB required value, that means it's part of the oil phase and not an emulsifier. Some things can be combined with other things to create emulsifiers, ingredients that aren't emulsifiers on their own, and those things can be found in the HLB table as potential emulsifiers. You'd combine one low HLB emulsifier with one high HLB emulsifier to create something awesome. For instance, you could combine glycol distearate with polysorbate 80 to create an emulsifier, but glycol distearate on its own isn't an emulsifier, nor is polysorbate 80.

So let's say you wanted to incorporate an oil soluble thing into a water based product. I like my toner, but I want some rice bran oil in there. I'd choose a suitable solubilizer - polysorbate 80 is a good choice - and I'd mix it with the oil based thing, then add it to the product. You'd still have a toner, but now it's a toner with oil dissolved into it.

If I wanted to make this product into a lotion, I'd use an emulsifier to incorporate a larger amount of oil into the water based product and end up with a completely different product, a lotion instead of a toner with rice bran oil dissolved in it.

Now here's a question - why are lotions white when the initial ingredients are generally clear? That's a question for another Chemistry Thursday!

Recipe round-up: Make-up removers

I thought you might like a few recipes for make-up remover for some post-Hallowe'en clean up, so here are a few that might interest you! (The surfactant and oil based ones will work for waterproof make-up.)

Surfactant based make-up remover
Oil based make-up remover
Water based make-up remover
Possible duplication of a creamy cleanser
Surfactant based cleansing towelette
Lotion based cleansing towelette
Possible duplication of a Garnier cleansing towelette

Link to my favourite ester based make-up remover recipe (The Herbarie). You don't need the calendula in here. It's nice for soothing, but feel free to leave it out or use another hydrosol that is find around your eyes, like rosemary for degreasing or lavender for soothing. The glycerin and ester are the vital parts of this recipe.

Hope your night is filled with tricks and treats!





Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it? Wednesday: Sea kelp ferment

In the original why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it thread, Catherine asks: I love your blog--what the heck can I do with Sea Kelp Ferment (INCI Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate)? I have been using it 100% on my face occasionally overnight (it is kind of sticky) and along my hairline for hair growth (can't hurt right?). I want to use it in a recipe. I have about 8 oz.

Sea Kelp ferment is a film forming and moisturizing ingredient, and you can use it where you would use hydrolyzed proteins or amino acids because it behaves the same way. (Click on the link to see the entire post I wrote a few years ago...) 

Sea kelp bioferment comes as a thickish yellow to amber coloured liquid or gel that is water soluble and heat stable, so we can add it to our heated water phase at 2% to 5%. I found the product a bit briny, but it doesn't show up in the final product even at higher amounts. 

I've used unfermented sea kelp extract and I found it very briny. Even my Clementine Cupcake fragrance oil couldn't save it - I just had fishy orange cupcake scent! It did feel very nice on my skin, but I couldn't get past the odour!

I use bull kelp bioferment in my favourite Japanese themed body wash at 5%, and you can use it in any body wash, facial cleanser, or shampoo to impart a conditioned and moisturized feeling afterwards. It will form a film on your hair and skin to leave behind that feeling. You can use it in a lotion for the same reason - substitute it for hydrolyzed protein - or any water soluble product that might need a little more film forming and moisturizing. 

I made a body wash I called "Sea Kelp therapeutic body wash for all your emotional needs". Say the name fast and see why! 

If you're finding your favourite facial cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight, consider using sea kelp ferment at up to 5%. 

Or try it in a toner as a way of moisturizing without using oils! This recipe is suitable for normal to oily skin types who might not want to use a moisturizer afterwards. It's based on my favourite min-maxed toner. 

For acne prone or rosacea prone skin, click here, and for a list of ingredients good for dry skin, click here, with a toner idea in this post. For all skin types, replace the hydrolyzed protein with sea kelp ferment at the same or higher rates.

MIN-MAXED TONER WITH LOADS OF ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND SOOTHING INGREDIENTS WITH SEA KELP FERMENT
HEATED PHASE
17.5% water
30% witch hazel
25% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
5% liquid green tea extract
2% sodium lactate
3% sea kelp ferment
0.5% allantoin

COOL DOWN PHASE
3% Caprol Micro Express or another water soluble ester
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

Weigh the heated phase into a heatproof container. Measure the container and ingredients before putting into your double boiler and heating for 20 minutes at 70˚C. Remove from the heat and weigh again. Replace any water that has evaporated. When the mixture reaches 45˚C, add the cool down phase and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature, then bottle. I like to use a spray bottle, but a disc cap bottle will work well. 

If you are missing a few of the ingredients in this toner, don't worry - leave it out! The main ingredients in the toner are the liquids - I like the witch hazel as it feels cooling and astringent - and the proteins for moisturizing if you aren't using a moisturizer afterwards. The point of a toner is to soothe and remove any excess cleanser left behind to prepare your skin for moisturizer. (It isn't to restore the pH of your skin - your cleanser shouldn't be ruining the pH of your skin as it should be balanced!) Replace any hydrosols with other ones or use water. If you don't have the water soluble ester, leave it out and replace that 3% with more water. I could happily make a toner with the protein, a humectant, an extract or two, and the allantoin. Everything else is lovely, but those are my core ingredients. 

I'm the type who doesn't use a moisturizer as my skin is too oily, so this product is designed to contain a ton of moisturizing ingredients that will make my skin feel lovely without oils. If you want to use a moisturizer afterwards, you can leave out the water soluble oil. (Yes, it's called a water soluble oil, but it's really an ester and our skin treats it differently than it would a vegetable or seed oil.) 

Do you have a baffling or bewildering product in your workshop? Did you buy something for a project, then forget what the project was, leaving you with a pound of something you can't use for something else? Then drop me a line in this post or the original why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it? post and I'll see what we can do with your ingredient! Please include the full name of the product with the INCI, if it isn't obvious! 

Previous posts:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Extract: Marshmallow and mallow extract

We actually have two different species of plants here, although they sound the same and have similar functions in our skin and hair care products. Let's take a look at one, then the other.

MARSHMALLOW EXTRACT
What is marshmallow extract? It's the extract from the marshmallow root that contains a ton of polysaccharides and offers mucilaginous properties to our products. Its INCI is Althea officinalis leaf/root extract.

What the heck does it mean that's mucilaginous? From Wikipedia: "Mucilage is a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants and some microorganisms." This mucilage is what makes marshmallow extract so slippery and makes marshamallows so gooey and lovely. It's a demulcent or "A demulcent is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane", which is why it's been used as a cough supressant.

So why do we use it in our skin care products? Because of those lovely mucous-y properties. It feels slippery and forms a film, two things we really like in our products.

MALLOW EXTRACT
What is mallow extract? It comes from the Malva sylvestris plant, and the INCI Malva sylvestris flower/leaf/stem extract. The one I have from Brambleberry is oil soluble. It offers anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, it film forms on your skin, and it offers a slippery feeling along with an emollient if you get it in oil soluble form.

I have both of these ingredients and they offer very similar properties. The one I have from the Formulator Sample Shop is marshmallow extract is marshmallow extract (Althea officinalis) and it's water soluble. The suggested usage is at up to 10%, and I tend to put it into the cool down phase as I'm not quite sure about the temperatures it can handle. It has many of the same properties as liquorice extract, so you can substitute them back and forth, being careful about liquorice's skin whitening properties when you decide how much to use.

The oil soluble mallow extract (Malva sylvestris flower/leaf/steam) I bought from Brambleberry. It has a suggested usage rate of 0.5% to 7%, and it's lip safe up to 3%.

Which one to use? As usual, ask yourself about the goal of the product you're making and what you want the skin feel to be. I like the very slippery feeling the mallow extract brings to my oil soluble and anhydrous products, and I've been using it at up to 10% in my sugar scrubs for more emolliency. I really liked it in my anhydrous eye gel with cera bellina as it gave it an almost watery slippery in an oil based product. I used it in this surfactant based facial scrub, but you could use the water soluble version here, too. And try it as one of the oils in a whipped butter!

I like the slippery, almost gel like feeling, of the water soluble marshmallow extract and I've been using it at up to 10% in my body washes, like this one, to get the moisturizing and slippery properties without adding oils. It's a great addition for moisturizing without oils, so normal to oily skin types will love using this in a toner or facial cleanser or other place we want to feel that almost oily film on our skin without actually adding oils.

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at another ingredient!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Your daily dose of science!

I thought I'd share a few awesome science posts I've found over the last few days...

An enthusiast's primer on study types. Curious what is means when something is a cohort study or what a good before and after study should be? Take a look at this post on Skeptoid!

This is a great analysis of the alkaline water phenomenon and what it actually means for our bodies  from my alma mater, Simon Fraser University.

Dr Joe Schwarcz discusses the discredited paraben study that has everyone worried about this preservative.

Oils: Cherry kernel oil

I just found this in Voyageur and thought I'd try it out in my products as sweet cherry just sounds so lovely, doesn't it? So what's the deal? How does it feel on our skin? What does it bring to a product?

Cherry kernel oil contains a balance of fatty acids with about 46.0% oleic (18:1) acid and 41.6% linoleic (18:2) fatty acid, with the rest found as palmitic acid (16:0) at 8.6% and 2.86 stearic acid (18:0). One study found 9.9% to 13.2% eleostearic acid (C18:3), trace amounts to 1.3% arachadic acid (C20:0), and trace amounts to 0.5% alpha-eicosenoic acid, depending upon the cherry tree variation.

Note that this study didn't indicate it had much eicosenoic acid - a trace - or that much eleostearic or alpha-eicosenoic acid. Variations in our oils is completely normal, which is one of the reasons formulators interested in extreme levels of consistency use things like mineral oil or standardized ingredients. One batch could be higher in oleic acid than another thanks to the climate, the method of extraction, and so on. 

What's the deal with eleostearic acid, as it seems there's quite a bit in cherry kernel oil? Also known as octadecatrienoic acid, it's an 18:3 fatty acid, like linolenic acid, with three double bonds, meaning it will go rancid quickly. It is reported to be a good UV absorber. It offers a feeling of dryness to the oil, which we can see when we put cherry kernel oil on our skin.

This doesn't mean you can use cherry kernel oil as a sunscreen! 

What about eicosenoic acid? We've encountered this before as it's also called gadoleic acid. It's found in pomegranate, jojoba, borage, and peanut oils, as well as lard in small amounts. I can't find anything about why we would want to use it on our skin, but it is a neat long chain unsaturated fatty acid we find in these unique oils.

And what about arachadic oil? It's known as C20:0. I can't find much about how it might work with our skin.

It's high in unsaponifiables (phytosterols) at 3.12%, with about 97% of that in the form of ß-sitosterol at 3000 ppm and and the rest mostly as campesterol (about 3%). It's iodine value is 116 and its saponification number is 198.

It is supposed to be high in tocopherols (Vitamin E) and Vitamin A, and I found one reference that indicated it should be 3000 parts per million (ppm). To put this into perspective, cranberry oil and hazelnut oil has about 1400 parts per million, mg per 100 grams, sea buckthorn oil could have as high as 2600 ppm, while rice bran oil has about 400 ppm and sesame oil up to 1000 ppm.

As for Vitamin A, I haven't found anything yet.

It reminds me of sesame seed oil or rice bran oil with the balance of fatty acids, but I found it to be a little lighter feeling and a bit drier. It has a bit of an odour, reminding me of evening primrose oil, and it's a light yellow colour that doesn't really impart much colour to our products. The high levels of phytosterols means it should be good for reducing inflammation, irtiation, and redness, which is always a good thing. It should be a good moisturizing and softening oil, thanks to all that oleic acid and Vitamin E, and it should offer some good skin barrier mechanism repair thanks to the linoleic acid. It's not an expensive oil - Voyageur Soap & Candle has it for $6.95 for 250 ml/8.4 ounces, From Nature With Love has it for $18.00 for 8 ounces, and Gracefruit has it for 3.49 GBP for 250 m/8.4 ouncesl. It's a little more than sweet almond oil or apricot kernel, a little less than macadamia nut oil, a little less than half the price of camellia seed oil, and 46% the price of hazelnut oil.

If you normally use grapeseed oil, this would be a great substitute with its light and dry feeling and one year shelf life. I'm planning on using it as a substitute for macadamia nut and hazelnut oils in upcoming products.

SUMMARY
INCI: Prunus avium (sweet cherry) seed oil
One year shelf life.
Specific gravity: 0.9419
Iodine value: 116
Saponification number: 198

Want to know more? Click here for a study on this interesting new seed oil!

Can I be honest here? I ran into page after page of "it is known", which is frustrating. Searches on the web and at school in the EBSCO data base turned up exactly four references - one book and three studies - one of which wasn't relevant, and one of which wasn't all about the Prunus avium (sweet cherry) oil. I shouldn't be seeing quotes from the Dothrakis (Game of Thrones) in my suppliers' listings. (It is known moon is no egg. It is wife of sun!) But there it was. What really is known about this oil? Quite a bit, but I still can't figure out where the Vitamin A information arose. If you have anything, please send it along. Please send along only studies or things of that nature - I think I've seen every suppliers' page on the web! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: Adding the oil phase to the water phase in a stream? Can I use a solubilizer to mix salicylic acid into water? Should aloe vera have bits floating in it? And how can some companies not use preservatives?

DOES IT MATTER HOW WE ADD THE OIL AND WATER PHASE OF A LOTION TOGETHER?
In this post on pumpkin seed oil, eeting asks: After heat and hold, does it matter how quickly u add the water phase to the oil phase? It is recommended with Polawax that the liquid be added in a slow steady stream. But I noticed that in your video tutorial that you simply emptied all of the water phase into the oil phase at once then mixed away. Is your method applicable to most emulsifying systems? (eg ecomulse, e-was NF, BTMS, sugarmulse)? Does adding the water phase quickly give us a more stable emulsion? 

For the most part, it doesn't matter. If I recall correctly, Sucragel AOF has a specific instruction to do it in a thin stream, but this is a cold process emulsifier that has all kinds of crazy restrictions and specifications that no other emulsifier has! I've had exactly one separation with Polawax, and that was about the temperature of the water, not about adding the ingredients (but anecdotes aren't data, so if you're worried about it, add it in a steady stream while mixing).

Related posts: Creating products: Combining the two phases

SHOULD I USE A SOLUBILIZER TO MIX SALICYLIC ACID INTO ALOE JUICE?
In this Weekend Wondering post, Robyn asks: A question regarding salicylic acid. Since it is oil soluble do you think I could mix it with polysorbate 80 before adding it to aloe juice? I know I could just use aspen bark or willow bark instead but was just wondering if this would work.

Salicylic acid isn't oil soluble, it's water or alcohol soluble, although it's way more alcohol soluble than it is water soluble. You could add it to aloe liquid, but only a bit as its water solubility is really quite low, you'll want to keep the amount of saliyclic acid low or add some alcohol to the mix.

You can't use polysorbate 80 to incorporate salicylic acid into your aloe vera because it's intended to help oil soluble things incorporate into water soluble things, not to help things that have low solublity become more soluble. It's an interesting idea, but one that won't work, unfortunately.

Related post:
Weekend Wondering: Using salicylic acid...
Why do we care about mixing and solubility?
Why oil and water don't mix or more about solubility

May I pause for a moment? I cannot stress enough the importance of researching your ingredients before using them. I see assumptions about the solubility of something all the time, and it can lead you to include things in the wrong phase or use things in products that can't handle them. Please take a few minutes to check on an ingredient if you're in doubt - do a search here on my blog, look at the links to ingredients list, or do a search on line. I've also seen that coconut oil mixes with water because it's polar - it's only slightly polar compared to other oils, but it's not water soluble - and that glycerin is oil soluble. These things would be cleared up in a few minutes of searching on-line!

SHOULD ALOE VERA HAVE BITS FLOATING IN IT?
In this post on aloe vera, Artemis writes: I was wondering what aloe vera juice should look like because I've just bought some and it has some kind of cloudy sediment-like stuff just above the bottom. It is preserved and doesn't smell off (although I can't really detect much of a smell), so I'm not sure whether it's mouldy or if it's normal for aloe vera juice to have cloudy bits in it. Thanks! 

Aloe vera liquid can have all kinds of different ways of appearing, so having some cloudy bits seems normal to me. I would start to worry based on the colour of the sediment. If you have a greenish coloured product and you have brown bits, I'd start to worry. I bought one once that was green in colour and had bits at the bottom, and in two weeks after opening, it had gone off and had brown sheets of goo floating in the bottom. Make sure that product is preserved. If it isn't, preserve it!

Anyone else have experience with aloe vera? Can you share?

HOW CAN COMPANIES GET AWAY WITHOUT USING PRESERVATIVES?
In the same Weekend Wondering post, Jodi notes: Thank you for continually posting about the proper use and importance of preservatives! My friend just showed me a high-end spa “Lotion” she purchased a few months ago. It had separated, was lumpy and did not look appealing. I read the ingredients and found no preservatives. The ingredients are typical of what we would use, e.g., aloe juice, shea butter, emulsifying wax, vitamin E and essential oils, to name a few. No mention of preservatives.

I was hoping that the preservatives were added at less than 1% - until a visit to the website confirmed otherwise. This is what is written: “…I make small quantities and use only the freshest ingredients... No chemical preservatives are used in any of the products I create...“ No preservatives! How can people remain in business when they don’t seem to fully understand the ingredients and chemistry?

I think because people buy into it. Consumers see "no chemical preservatives" and think this is a good thing, when they don't realize they're buying products that have a shelf life of a week if they're lucky, and is likely contaminated when it arrives at their home.

Do a search for a brand that claims not to use preservatives - or claims to use things that aren't preservatives like Vitamin E or grapefruit seed extract or rosemary essential oil or any other essential oil - and you'll see recall after recall of their contaminated products.

And as an aside, a lot of companies hide their preservatives under "parfum" or by using the botanical name for the natural preservative, like Japanese honeysuckle, which is a naturally occurring paraben! Take a look to see which of the companies that claim not to use "chemical preservatives" are using honeysuckle! You will be completely surprised! (Look at anything by 100% Pure, which is an interesting study in how to market your products by saying what's not in them but not really telling you everything about what's in them!) 

As a secondary aside, there is no such thing as "no chemical preservatives" because everything on earth is a chemical as the word chemical means "something composed of elements", and everything on earth is a chemical. What they want to say is no synthetic preservatives. Well, that honeysuckle isn't added in flower form, so it had to have been processed in some way, which means that it isn't unprocessed. Methinks it might be considered synthetic with all the changes it had to go through to get to the point where you could add it as a clear liquid to your product! 

Related links:
Badger's baby sunscreen recalled due to contamination with three types of bacteria
Arbonne recalls men's moisturizer
100% pure eye shadow recall

I want to point out that companies that use preservatives can have recalls as well and using a preservative in your product doesn't mean you won't get contamination because preservatives can only handle so much before the bacteria or yeast take over, but we really should be doing all we can to prevent it. You cannot make your workshop or equipment sterile enough to engage in something like hurdle technology at home. You will have something on a spoon or in the air or in your jug or something that can cause contamination and you will get some kind of beastie living in your product.

Your product "isn't just for you". I hear that people aren't using preservatives because "it's just for me". Why do you want to slather bacteria and yeast on your body? Why is it okay to ignore good manufacturing processes because you're the only one planning to use it? Does this mean you aren't worthy of a well made, quality, uncontaminated product?

Okay, I better stop now because I have biology homework to complete and an exam for which I need to study, or I might go on all day about this topic!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: Do we need preservatives in anhydrous products? How do we use glycerin as a silicone substitute? And how to do I add water soluble things to anti-frizz sprays?

DO WE NEED PRESERVATIVES IN ANHYDROUS PRODUCTS?
In this Newbie Tuesday post on lotion bars, AZ asks: Do we need to add any preservative to them? Or all oil only creations do not need preservatives?

No, we don't need to add preservatives to oil only products. We add preservatives to water containing products because the beasties that grow in our products will need water to live, so those that don't contain water don't need preservatives. You can add anti-oxidants to your anhydrous or oil only products in the form of rosemary oleo resin or Vitamin E, but you don't need to add preservatives if they are not going to be near or contain water.

Can I point out how happy I am that you want to preserve your products? Yay! 

Related posts:
When do we add a preservative?
Back to the very basics: What we need to know about making any product, part 1

HOW TO USE GLYCERIN AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR SILICONES IN HAIR CARE PRODUCTS?
Someone asked me how to do this in an e-mail I can't find at the moment. You don't. Glycerin is a water soluble ingredient that draws water from the atmosphere to your skin or hair. Silicones are oil soluble ingredients that create a layer of emolliency on your hair or skin and keeps water out. Using glycerin in the place of silicones will do the exact opposite of what you want and will make your hair feel really sticky and horrible.

If you want a substitute for silicones, you can use various oils to get that emolliency or you can use a silicone substitute, depending upon your goal. I've heard that broccoli oil is a good subtitute, but it has a broccoli smell to it, which means it won't even make it through the front door of my house so I won't be testing it out in my workshop!

HOW DO I ADD A WATER SOLUBLE INGREDIENT TO AN ANTI-FRIZZ SPRAY?
In this post on anti-frizz sprays, Marjolein asks: I really like this frizz spray but now am looking to add silk to it... And there my knowledge stops. Liquid silk is waterbased so i guess i have to use an emulsifier now...BTMS with silicones as i learned from your blog. How would you reccomend for me to adjust the silicon spray to incorporate a bit of waterbased ingredient? Thank you in advance!!!

You're right. To add a water based ingredient to an oil soluble product, you have to add an emulsifier. But the moment you add BTMS to this product, you've turned it into a conditioner, not an anti-frizz spray, so my suggestion is to leave this one alone and get yourself a good leave in conditioner recipe you like and add your silk to that.

How do you add an emulsifier to this product? I wouldn't. I'm not saying you can't, but by the time you add the emulsifier, add some water, add the silk and preservative, and so on, you have a leave in conditioner with a ton of silicones and you don't have a silicone spray any more.

Join me tomorrow for more Weekend Wonderings!

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...in the Barclay-Nichols's household. (Don't hit me!) It's might seem like Christmas is a huge 61 days away, but when you're a crafter, you have to start early! I don't think it's helpful for me to start posting recipes on December 1st because you need time to try out these products, see how the fragrances play with the ingredients, see if your containers work well, and so on. You need time to see if the products are actually good - anyone remember the "herbal shampoo" recipe I posted a few months ago? - and you need time to make they don't separate or become ruined in some way.

If I can share one thing with you, it's this: Please please please do not make whatever it is that you want to make for the first time and think you're going to give it away. Bath and body products need time to morph and change and you need time to see if the product is successful! I've shown you examples of how fragrances can change the colour of a product from the browning of vanilla to the pinking of my favourite lemon fragrances.

Related posts:
Give it time
Surfactants and fragrance oils - clarity
Surfactants and fragrance oils - viscosity

For every recipe you've never tried before, please try a small batch. I'm talking maybe 100 to 200 grams, no more than that. This gives you a chance to see if the recipe actually works without using a lot of your precious supplies.

Related post: Is it a good recipe?

Let's take a look at a few of my favourite projects for Christmas gift giving!

If you've never made anything, I suggest something lovely like bath salts. They're easy to make and everyone loves them! It really is as simple as adding some colour and fragrance to Epsom salts or fine sea salts!

As a note, they are very lovely with flowers or leaves in them, but think about the person bathing with the product. Do you really want to sit in a bath filled with dead foliage? Add just enough to look really nice, but not huge amounts. A tablespoon is probably enough.

Related recipes:
Bath salts with Natrasorb bath
Creating foaming bath salts

Also consider fizzing bath bombs. They are so lovely, and you'll astonish your friends and family when you tell them you made them!

Some people find bath bombs really hard to make and others have nothing but success with them. If you live in a high humidity area, you might set off the fizz as you make them, so check the weather forecast in your area before starting. I've found making bath cupcakes works well for me because I can cover the tops with this lovely royal icing and hide any imperfections with the cupcake liners.

Related recipes:
Back to basics: Bath bombs
Fizzing bath bomb cupcakes

And consider melt & pour soap! It's so much fun to make, and it looks adorable!

Related recipes:
Quite a long post with links on melt & pour soap
Stamping technique with melt & pour soap
More stamping with melt & pour soap
Melt & pour cupcakes (with SCI icing)

Beeswax sushi candles are my favourite, and they're really easy to make!

Related recipe: More beeswax sushi candles

Consider making a really cute kit with bath bombs and/or bath salts, some soap, and a beeswax candle as a relaxation kit!

To you experienced crafters, what suggestions can you make for Christmas presents? What are your favourite recipes for gift giving? What tips and tricks do you have for making things for the first time? 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin seed oil: Making sugar scrub bars

I've been going on and on about pumpkin seed oil as it's my new favourite oil, one that has a nice balance of linoleic acid and oleic acid, phytosterols, polyphenols, and Vitamin E. It's also an appropriate time of year to be using the seeds from this gourd in our products because it seems like everything, including the water, pumpkin freakin' spice flavoured! As I mentioned in Tuesday's post, I really liked it in my emulsified sugar scrub, so I thought I'd put it into some sugar scrub bars I'm hoping to give away as Christmas presents.

It's not too early to start making Christmas presents. Make your products with long lived oils and keep them in a cool dark place or your fridge before giving, and you'll have loads of time to see if the products morph. More on this topic tomorrow...

I love black cocoa butter, but it can be too soft for a scrub bar at times, so I thought I'd use kokum butter to balance it all out. I decided to use golden shea butter as my third butter because I've had it a while and thought I should probably use it. You can use all cocoa butter or a combination of cocoa butter and another butter for the butter amount. Don't go all mango or all shea butter as they are too soft and will fall apart when you go to use them.

If you've created successful all mango or all shea scrub bars, please write to let me know. Send along your recipe and process - and pictures if you have them - and give me permission to share them with the readers of this blog, and you've got yourself two e-books of your choice! 

EMULSIFIED SUGAR SCRUB BAR WITH PUMPKIN OIL AND KOKUM BUTTER
HEATED OIL PHASE
20% kokum butter
20% black cocoa butter
20% golden shea butter (use mango or shea butter here)
20% oil (I used pumpkin seed oil)
4% sodium lactate (optional)
4% Ritamulse SCG (or any other emulsifier)
3% cetyl alcohol
2% wax of some kind (beeswax, candellia, soy, etc.)
1% Phenonip

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance or essential oil
up to 1% Vitamin E

up to 100 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product

Weigh all the ingredients in the heated oil phase in a heatproof container, then place into a double boiler. Heat and hold the heated oil phase at 70˚C/158˚F for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cool down phase. Mix well, add the sugar, then glop into molds and place in the fridge or freezer. (Preferably the freezer). Allow to completely set - up to a few hours, depending on the size of the bars - remove from the freezer and unmold. Allow to come to room temperature before using, about 24 hours.

This is what it looks like with 100 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product. 

You can see from the picture that things didn't go the way I wanted. So what went wrong? I regularly say that we don't waste supplies because we're learning with every mistake, and I say it here, too. I learned why I don't go over 100 grams of sugar for 100 grams of base - it won't come out of the molds and the product doesn't have the nice slick sheeny look I want from a scrub bar.

I don't multitask well, and I know it, so why did I try making the emulsified sugar scrub (the one from Tuesday) and the sugar scrub bars at the same time? Because I only have so much workshop time, and I wanted to maximize it! (Silly Susan! Play to your strengths!) I mixed up what had to go into what. I ended up putting far too much sugar into the mix - I was thinking we used 146 grams per 100 grams, like the emulsified scrub, instead of 100 grams per 100 grams! It wouldn't come otu of the molds. We had to trash the bars to get them out, and this was the result.

So what can I do here? I can figure out how much sugar I did use because I always keep loads of notes - 800 grams for 500 grams of product - and make another 300 grams of base to add to the container. I'll create a 300 gram batch of the entire base - heated oil and cool down phases - then add it to this Pyrex jug, mix well, then pour it back into the molds.

I did, however, make them pumpkin spice fragranced, so my workshop now smells like Starbucks. Is that a good thing? Yes! (Although I don't like or drink coffee, I like their London Fog tea lattes, but that's not what the workshop smells like today. If I wanted it to smell like Earl Grey, I'd be using more bergamot essential oil!)

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating...what? I'm not sure yet. Join me to see what we might do next!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If you want to use my writing...

Thank you to my you, my lovely readers, for your comments. The work has been removed, but I'm still not happy with what the company had to say about why it happened. I think the explanation is that they were really busy and couldn't contact me because they didn't have my contact information? I'm still not sure and I've asked for clarification. 

If you want to use my writing, permission in advance is required, and an attribution and link to the blog is expected. Please don't copy my work. There are a few blogs I've found that lift the material they want from my blog and don't give me credit. Some have copied my charts and entire posts, others sections, and it's all not very nice. (The most recent is this one from New Directions Aromatics - which has been taken down.)

Yeah, I know, once something's in the wild I can't control it, but give credit for the hard work of others.

I left a very popular craft forum because I was told I wasn't being very nice when I saw someone take credit for the bath cupcake recipe Anne-Marie at Brambleberry perfected, so I take this matter seriously. We give you, our wonderful readers, so much and we ask for very little in return, could you be kind and recognize the hours we've put into the work we present?

I really hope this post is taken in the manner in which it is offered, which us to say that this is a plea on behalf of all of us who write blogs, recipes, and tutorials to respect what we do and acknowledge our work. When you use a different oil or another emulsifier it's your recipe, but it's yours not because of that little change but due to the work you invested in it. By crediting us with the work we've done, you're honouring our time and creativity. And that feels pretty darn good.

Thus endeth the rant...

An update: Sylvia from New Directions Aromatics says it was an oversight and apologized. The apology explained very little other than someone other than Sylvia messed up and they couldn't get in contact with me because it was difficult? I'm not really sure what happened, except that someone other than Sylvia screwed up. It was actually a little insulting, but at least it's down from their site.

Why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it Wednesday? Cromollient SCE

In the original WTHDIBT&WCIDWIW post, Kathy Q brought up the ingredient Cromollient SCE (INCI: Di-PPG-2 myeth-10 adipate). We've discussed it before, but let's take another look at it and what it can bring to our products.

Cromollient SCE is an emollient PPG ester we can use to solubilize oil soluble ingredients into water soluble products, or use it as an emollient ester on its own.

Cromollient SCE is a fantastic emollient for hair care products, and works well with surfactants for shampoos and emulsified products like conditioners. It can be used in rinse off and leave in products at a suggested rate of 1% for leave ins up to 3% in rinse-offs. (You can use 3% in the leave in if you want more emollience!) It will still produce clear products like body washes and shampoos, and it can reduce the wet combing forces of our hair up to 50% better than products without it. It also offers detangling, which is always a great thing. And it doesn't depress foam the way oils might, so you can still get great lather! Oh, and it acts as an irritation migitator so our products are more gentle to our skin!

It's great in mineral make-up as well, helping us press our powders or dissolve the wax in lipsticks.

You can use it in a cleansing oil at up to 15% and it's good for make-up removers as it's a surfactant, so it will make all the oil, grease, and other things we build up on our skin during the day rinse away cleanly. You can use it as the water soluble emollient in things like toners or cooling sprays, and you can use it in your anhydrous products like lotion bars, but it's probably better to use another ester in its place as it isn't the most emollient ester we've met so far!

If you want to use it as a bath product emulsifier, have fun! You can use at up to 10% in a dispersing bath oil and up to 2% in your bath bombs as an emollient and emulsifier.

Cromollient SCE is soluble in mineral oil, alcohol, and some surfactants. It's dispersible in water and propylene glycol, and insoluble in glycerin. It can be added in the heated oil or cool down stage, and it has a shelf life of at least 2 years.

As I mentioned above, try using it in hair care products, or your body washes - body wash (opaque) or a body wash (clear) - as the emollient ingredient,  or a blooming bath oil as your solubilizer. 

You can try using it as an ingredient in a make-up remover at up to 15%. Here's an easy one...

MAKE-UP REMOVER WITH CROMOLLIENT SCE
84.5% distilled water
15% Cromollient SCE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Mix all the ingredients. Bottle. Rejoice. Yep, it's that easy! 

Or use it as a cleansing oil. People seem to like castor oil in this application, so consider using that oil with oils you like with Cromollient SCE. 

BASIC CLEANSING OIL
10% castor oil
15% Cromollient SCE
74% other oils you might like 
1% Vitamin E 

Combine the oils. Mix. Bottle. Rejoice.

Have an ingredient that you're not sure about? Have an ingredient whose arrival in your workshop bewilders you? Why not make a comment here and ask why the heck did I buy this and what can I do about it, and you might see your ingredient here in the near future! Please list the ingredient, INCI name if it isn't the same as the ingredient, and how much of it you have! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin seed oil: Creating an emulsified scrub

I thought I'd try using pumpkin seed oil in my favourite emulsified scrub recipe, tweaking just that one ingredient so I could see what it brought to the party. You can use any number of different butters and oils in this product - this is what I wanted to choose today.

I mentioned I wanted to use pumpkin seed oil because it offered loads of wonderful things, like linoleic acid, a fatty acid that will help our skin's barrier repair mechanisms and reduce transepidermal water loss. These features work in an emulsified scrub, too, so I'll use it here.

You can choose all kinds of emulsifiers and all kinds of fatty alcohols. I'm choosing Rita BTMS-225 as my emulsifier and cetyl alcohol as my fatty alcohol as these were the ingredients I used last time and I thought it was wise to stay constant to see what that one ingredient brings to the party.

Lamentably, I only had enough to use 10% pumpkin seed oil, so I went with 30% soy bean oil and 10% hazelnut oil. I chose soy bean oil because it offers all those lovely linoleic acid and hazelnut oil because of that lovely feeling of less greasiness. If you want a less greasy feeling scrub, use more hazelnut or another astringent oil and less soy bean oil.

EMULSIFIED SUGAR SCRUB WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL
10% Rita BTMS-225
10% cetyl alcohol
20% cocoa butter
56% oil
1% Phenonip
1% Vitamin E
2% fragrance oil
146 grams sugar per 100 grams of base

Weigh all ingredients except the fragrance or essential oil in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70C. Remove from the double boiler and put into your fridge or freezer until it reaches 45C. Add the fragrance oil, then return it to the fridge or freezer to cool further.

When the mixture starts to harden slightly on the sides of the container and gets a thick film on the top, remove it from the fridge or freezer and start whipping it with a hand mixer with whisk attachments or your Kitchenaid with whisk attachments. Whisk until it looks like chocolate pudding - this might take a little while - then add the sugar and whisk until well incorporated. Pour into jars and let sit until hardened.

If you want to use this for a body scrub, start with 100 grams of sugar per 100 grams of sugar scrub. You can increase it as high as 200 grams for 100 grams of sugar scrub - it depends upon your taste (I like it really scrubby, so I go for 170 to 200 grams per 100 grams of sugar scrub.) If you are using another exfoliant, you'll really have to play with it to see what you like.

What did I think of it? It's lovely. I have to admit I don't notice a massive difference between this one and one made with soy bean oil, probably because they feel quite similar to me, so I'd go with a higher percentage of pumpkin seed oil next time, closer to the full amount rather than 10%. I admit I'm a massive fan of emulsified scrubs, so it'd have to be a pretty awful product for me not to enjoy it, but this one is especially nice. I think the combination of the slightly greasier feeling oils with the less greasy feeling emulsifier makes for a nice skin feel once I've rinsed it off in the shower.

What can you change if you don't have some of these supplies? Just about everything! The combination of 10% emulsifier and 10% fattty alcohol makes it nice and stiff, but you can use any emulsifiers and fatty alcohols you wish. Polawax and behenyl alcohol, e-wax and cetearyl alcohol, Incroquat BTMS-50 and cetyl esters - try any or all of these in any combination in this recipe.

Check out the links below for lots of variations on this recipe! 


I really liked this in pumpkin spice fragrance oil because it lingered throughout the day in the background instead of being right in my face as a smell. I normally use a lemony smell - my current favourite is Sweet Meyer Lemon fragrance oil (from Brambleberry) - or White Chocolate fragrance oil (from Voyageur Soap & Candle).

Related posts:
Sort of visual tutorial on sugar scrubs! 

Formulating with soy bean oil: Emulsified scrubs
Formulating for dry skin: Emulsified scrubs
Formulating for other skin types: Emulsified scrubs
Experiments in the workshop: Black cocoa butter emulsified scrub
Experiments in the workshop: Golden shea butter emulsified scrub
Experiments in the workshop; Using Ritamulse SCG in an emulsified scrub
Experiments in the workshop: Using behenyl alcohol in an emulsified scrub
Experiments in the workshop: Using behenyl alcohol in an emulsified scrub with Ritamulse SCG

Preservatives in sugar scrubs: Water activity
Quick note on using water in sugar scrubs (don't!)

Facial scrubs - emulsified scrubs and tweaks
Christmas crafting idea: Emulsified scrubs

Join me Thursday when we take a look at using pumpkin seed oil in a sugar scrub bar!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin seed oil: Making a pumpkin seed butter with Lipidthix, then using it in a cuticle balm

Last week we took a look at pumpkin seed oil by adding it to a whipped babassu and kokum butter. Let's take a look at a few other products we can make, like a cuticle balm.

I do love my cuticle balm, and I use it all year long. My mom uses it on her hands as a moisturizer and her lips as well, and I've found it works really well as a lip balm.

Instead of using mango butter, as I normally do, I thought I'd make a butter from pumpkin seed oil using Lipidthix, INCI Hydrogenated vegetable oil, an ingredient that thickens and makes butters from any of our vegetable oils. In my past experiments, I found I liked 75% oil with 25% Lipidthix, so that's what I did here.

PUMPKIN SEED BUTTER
75% pumpkin seed oil
25% Lipidthix

Measure out each ingredient into a heatproof container, like a Pyrex jug, and put into a double boiler. Heat at 60˚C to 70˚C for up to 20 minutes, then remove from the heat and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes (depending upon how much you're making!) or until it seems like butter.

Related posts:
Lipidthix: 80% oil experiment
Lipidthix: 75% oil experiment

I used the pumpkin seed butter as the base of this balm, but you can use mango butter or shea butter instead and use the pumpkin seed oil as the hazelnut and calendula oil portions. Or don't. It's up to you! I don't suggest a harder butter, like cocoa butter or kokum butter as they will be too hard. If you want a softer product, leave out the beeswax or reduce it.

LANOLIN & LECITHIN CUTICLE BALM WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL
40% pumpkin seed butter
23% lanolin
12% lecithin
10% hazelnut oil
9% beeswax
5% calendula oil
1% Vitamin E

Weigh all the ingredients in a heat proof container until melted. Pour into tins or little jars. Allow to set at room temperature or in the fridge, whichever you prefer. Use and rejoice.

Join me tomorrow as we use pumpkin seed oil in an emulsified scrub!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: Labelling laws for products and ethoxylated products

I'm off this morning to teach my first class at Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. If you're interested in learning more about their class schedule, click here! The next one is on November 2nd on hair care products. (And they offer great soap making classes!) I'm so excited!

In this Weekend Wonderings post, Rosi asks: On every bottle of beauty product the first ingredient on the label is always water, which means is the majority in the product right. I am curious about this one leave in conditioner that I bought that the first ingredient on the label is Cetac, glycerin, Cetearyl... and the last one is water. My question is, how is it possible to make leave in with so much Cetac, because i make with 2 to 3% and if i go higher with the amount of emulsifier I use, the leave in will have tons of bubbles. Let me tell you, I love this leave in, the hair is soft, no tangles and the curls are perfect, i don't know how they do but it works.

I don't think cetrimonium chloride is the first ingredient in the list with water being the least plentiful ingredient. I think what you have is a messed up list. I'm only guessing this, but I can't imagine that a product could stay liquid if there's more cetearyl alcohol than there is water in a product! Plus, that much glycerin would make your hair feel pretty sticky.

The way a list should look is that the first ingredient is the most plentiful, the second ingredient the second most plentiful, and so on until we reach the miscellaneous category, where everything used at 1% or less is listed.

This is one of the reasons we see "water infused with something or other" in products, so they can advertise the botanical feel-good stuff close to the beginning of the list instead of near the end because there's less than 1% of it in the product. 

But not every company does this. Take a look at this label for Body Glide, a skin lubricant/anti-chafing product, which prefers to put its ingredients in alphabetical order.


I would hope allantoin - which is to be used at 0.1% to 2% - isn't the first ingredient! This list is alphabetical, but your list could be organized in any way.

What's the proper way to list ingredients? It'll depend upon your country's labelling laws. Canada Health sets out the rules this way: Ingredients must be listed on the label in descending order of predominance, in their concentration by weight (as described in section 21.4(1) of the Cosmetic Regulations). This means that the ingredients at the beginning of the list are present in the product in a greater amount than those at the end of the list. Ingredients that are present at a concentration of 1% or less may be listed in random order after the ingredients present at a concentration of more than 1% (as described in section 21.4(2) of the Cosmetic Regulations).

So under Canadian rules either your product has a ton of cetrimonium chloride, glycerin, and cetearyl alcohol, or they're breaking the law!

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ETHOXYLATED INGREDIENTS? 
In this post on PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, Aesthete asks: I like using peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil. There are many of these "green" websites that state 1,4-dioxane is a by-product of a petrochemical process called ethyoxylation, which involves using ethylene oxide (a known skin carcinogen) to process other chemicals, which can result in 1,4-dioxane contamination. They go on to say ingredients that are ethoxylated (all PEG's are on that list) should be avoided. 

It's a good thing to think about these things, and I've shared my thoughts on this topic in the maligned ingredients series. (Click here for the full post.) In short, the ethoxylation process can create 1,4-dioxane as a by-product, but it can easily undergo a vacuum stripping process to get rid of it, so it's not really an issue in our products, commercial or home-made. I encourage you to check out the post I wrote a few years ago and the links therein as I think there's some interesting stuff about this noxious chemical!

Better run! I've got an exciting day planned ahead! See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin seed oil: A whipped butter

I love whipped butters and I love pumpkin seed oil, so it's a natural progression to combine the two in an awesome product designed to help with any dry skin issues that might arise for me during the autumn and winter. This is a dry feeling butter that completely melts on skin contact. It feels very thin and greasy when you put it on, but within minutes the greasiness is gone and you're left with a nice feeling of moisturization.

I thought I'd modify my whipped babassu, hemp seed, and sal butter recipe to include pumpkin seed oil, only to find out that Voyageur Soap & Candle stopped carrying sal butter! Oh no, what shall I do? I'll make a substitution!

What does sal butter bring to the mix? Sal butter (INCI: Shorea robusta) has a melting point on par with cocoa butter at 34˚C to 38˚C - but the fatty acid profile is different. With 2% to 8% palmitic acid (C16), 35% to 48% stearic acid (C18), 35 to 42% oleic acid (C18:1), and 2% to 3% linoleic acid (C18:2), it has a fatty acid profile closest to kokum or shea butter. Sal butter also contains 6% to 11% arachidic acid (C20, also known as eicosanoic acid), which you'll also find in coconut and sesame seed oils to far lesser extents.

So it sounds like I could substitute cocoa butter for the sal butter in this mix if I wanted a similar melting point and skin feel. Is there anything else? Kokum butter (INCI: Garcinia indica) has a higher melting point, but it seems more like sal butter than cocoa butter, so perhaps I'll try that here. This butter has a much high melting point than other butters - 38˚C to 40˚C - and will make your lotions or other creations much thicker than with other butters. The fatty acid profile is similar to the other butters - 5 to 8% palmitic acid (C16), 40 to 45% stearic acid (C18), 40 to 50% oleic acid (C18:1), and 2 to 4% linoleic acid (C18:2) - but it is considered an astringent butter, on par with mango butter. Its shelf life is listed as between 1 to 2 years.

I bought the kokum butter because I thougt it would be neat to see what would happen, but you can substitute cocoa butter for that ingredient in this product. As usual, when substituting remember that you'll end up with a different skin feel and melting point than the product I make, but you haven't tried my product, so you probably won't notice much of a difference! :-)

The babassu oil, however, isn't optional in this product. It's essential to the melty-ness of the product. This will melt on your skin on contact, and that's because of the babassu oil. It's fairly rare that I will say this but you need to spend your money on getting some babassu oil. It is a really unique ingredient that you will enjoy!

Its fatty acid profile is interesting. With 42% lauric acid (C12), 17% myristic acid (C14), 10% palmitic acid (C16), 4% stearic acid (C18), 15% oleic acid (C18:1), and about 3% linoleic acid (C18:2), it covers the range of fatty acids with a little bit of everything. Stearic acid is a great moisturizing fatty acid. Oleic acid is a great moisturizing and possible anti-inflammatory. And linoleic acid can help restore skin's barrier functions and reduce trans-epidermal water loss. Because of this higher level of unsaturated fatty acids, babassu has a shelf life of about one year - but I don't think anyone could leave it on the shelf that long!

Babassu is considered a great replacement for coconut oil. Coconut oil is generally considered a greasy oil, so if you substitute it, you will find your creation is more astringent. Here are a few ideas on formulating with babassu oil (substitute it for the coconut oil in the recipe). But be warned - this stuff feels amazing, and you might find yourself taking out a mortgage to get more!

If you don't have babassu oil, there are other butters you can use like shea butter or mango butter. I don't recommend making a body butter from coconut oil as it'll melt when the temperature gets a little warmer, which is something entirely plausible in the winter when everyone goes about cranking up the heat until it's impossible to breathe, like they couldn't put on a sweater or something instead...but I digress. Check out this Newbie Tuesday post on making whipped butters with those butters! Here's the post about choosing your butters. 

Please note, you cannot make this product with all kokum butter as it will be a big block of kokum butter that won't come out of the container. And you don't really want to make it with all babassu oil as it will melt when the temperature gets a little high. The balance between the babassu oil and the harder butter is essential to keep its shape.

WHIPPED BABASSU AND KOKUM BUTTER WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL
48% babassu oil
32% pumpkin seed oil
20% kokum butter

Melt all the ingredients in a double boiler until they are just melted, then pop into the fridge or freezer until they are sludgy and thick. Add up to 1% fragrance or essential oil - check your chosen ingredient's usage suggestions - then whip with a whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy. Put into jars or metal containers and enjoy often!

I love this product. I seriously cannot say enough about how lovely this whipped butter feels on my skin, melting on contact and leaving a less greasy feeling and moisturized feeling. I love this on my feet and elbows to help with areas that get pretty trashed as I tend to wear short sleeved shirts and shoes without socks during the colder months, but it also feels fantastic on my arms and legs. My husband has been using it on his hands before he puts on his gloves for work at night. In short, we use this for everything!

Consider using a pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice fragrance for this product to make it very autumnal!

Join me Monday as we enjoy more products using pumpkin seed oil, including a pumpkin seed butter using Lipidthix before we add it to my favourite cuticle balm and a modified version of my favourite emulsified sugar scrub on Tuesday!