Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to make a body lotion

If you follow our blog you will know we have been making hand cream and soap for some time. We use natural products and oils that carry essential oils from plants we grow in our garden here at La Pasera. Moisturising makes sense as it maintains the skin's integrity and helps prevent damage from the sun. The cream we have been making is based on olive oil infused with lavender and almond oil with calendula; anyone interested in the process involved to infuse oils can email us or look out for a future blog entry on this subject.

The hand cream we have previously made is based on bee's wax but it is difficult to apply on your face or as a body moisturiser  This is because this cream is based on oils and waxes dissolved in water without using emulsifiers.

I have been interested in learning to formulate lighter moisturisers and body lotions for some time and had the opportunity to attend a course on "Natural Cosmetics". It was very interesting and has equipped me with the required knowledge to formulate different creams that can be used on different skin types of for different purposes. Very exciting.

Today I want to tell you about a light and nourishing body lotion that I made based on my own formulation and following the theory I learnt during the course.

One of the main difficulties making skin products is ensuring the stability of the creams so that it does not separate as we try to mix oils and water (known in the industry as the hydro-lipid balance). The use of emulsifiers such as quitine and lecithin will help overcome this. Oil and water don't generally mix unless emulsifiers are used. Working out the required formulae so that the oils and fluids mix well and remain stable without going off in a short time is what attracts me to this subject.

The use of appropriate emulsifiers ensures our cream will remain stable while the use of essential oils with antiseptic properties (e.g. lavender) will ensure bacteria does not grow in it and that we are able to use it for for several months. We prefer to use it fresh and never lasts longer than 10 weeks and still remains fresh.

The first of these body lotions we recently made is so light that can also be used as a facial moisturiser  It has a light consistency and feels like a mouse while providing good skin hydration.

The formula to make this recipe will be based on 1000 gr of which 30% of its weight will comprise the oils and emulsifiers (oily phase) while the remaining 70% will be made up by water and glycerin (the aqueous phase).

The process involved requires melting together all the oils and emulsifiers in a glass bowl using a Bain Marie while the aqueous phase (water and glycerine  needs to be heated separately  The temperature of both containers needs to be between 60 and 65 Celsius. If we have no thermometer to measure the temperature, we will ensure the oils are heated up until they melt completely and are thoroughly mixed before we slowly start adding the water and glycerine heated until it nearly reaches its boiling point.

Once the oils are slowly mixed with a hand whisk (a similar process to making mayonnaise), we continuously stir until the mixture has completely cooled down and is poured into containers. If our formulation is correct and we have followed the right method, the cream will not separate into water and oils and will have the desired texture.

Let us know how you get on or if you already make such creams let me know your recipes. This is our personal recipe and we do not advocate using it unless you are satisfied it is safe.

The ingredients:

Palm stearine 20 gr
Cetyl alcohol 20 gr
Olive oil 120 gr
Sweet almond oil 60 gr
Sesame oil 50 gr
Quitine 6 gr
Lecithin 24 gr
Boiled water* 600 gr
Glycerine 100* gr
7 drops of essential oils according to preference and taste but ensure one of the oils has antiseptic properties and that will be our preserving substance.

*Please note that the liquids are measured in weight for this recipe.

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