How to make foot & hand cream: formulating!

Let’s finally put all what we have learnt so far into practice! πŸ™‚

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Imagine we want to make a foot or hand cream: we know that it has to be rich in fats (around 20-25%) and it doesn’t need too many active ingredients or at least not the most expensive: a cream for foot and hands needs to be thick, very emollient and hydrating.

Let’s start FORMULATING:

Phase A:
water to 100Β (HERE the explanation)
– glycerin – 4 (it doesn’t need to be too low)
– xanthan gum 0.5 (it is very high for a cream and I am not adding a carbomer like I suggested to do here: the reason for this is that I am going to use in high percentage an active ingredient which would destroy completely the carbomer, so why to waste πŸ˜‰ )
Nothing to say about the phase A: except for the explanation of the choice of the gelling agent.

Phase B:
Here about the fats we know we can use even up to 25%, we don’t have problems about fatty acids and the only thing which can stop us from choosing merely out of our taste is to always remember about the GREASE-FALL rule. Just to sum it up: in the formulation of one cream you need to add butters and oils of different consistency. According to the result you want to obtain, you will try to create a gaussian wave distribution of oils and butter %: for example if you want a thick cream you will use the higher percentage of butters (but not only them!) and if you want a light cream you will use very light density oils mostly (but also a very low percentage of butter).
I never talked about waxes before, so I do it now: waxes are usually not counted into the grease-fall as their function is mostly to add a very thick and heavy feeling (but also quite dry) to the cream. However they give a good protection to the skin, creating almost a film, therefore it is a good idea to add them in our cream since feet and hands (specially in cold winters) need protection against the cold.
Now let’s formulate this grease fall πŸ™‚

One way to do the Grease-Fall it could be this:
– jojoba wax – 2
– cocoa butter – 5 (very hard butter, will also help thickening the cream)
– shea butter – 10 (quite soft butter, good consistency)
– argan oil – 5 (medium oil)
– grape seed oil – 5 (light oil, easily absorbed)
25% fats (we don’t count the waxes)

As you can see every consistency of fat is added to the cream, giving more importance (read “more percentage”) to the butter which has to give the consistency to the cream.

Another way could be also this:
– jojoba wax – 1
– beeswax – 1
– cocoa butter – 4
– shea butter – 7
– mango butter – 5
– argan oil – 4
– primrose oil – 2
– grape seed oil – 2
– jojoba oil – 1
25% fats (remember we don’t count the waxes)This just to say that once you have the grip of it you can variate very much in your formulation; however having more ingredients in number doesn’t mean having a better grease-fall or having a better cream in the end.

The recipe of the cream in the picture is done with the first example of grease-fall and this is the complete Phase B:

– jojoba wax – 2
– cocoa butter – 5Β 
– shea butter – 10Β 
– argan oil – 5
– grape seed oil – 5Β 
– Metil Glucose Sesquistearate – 3 (emulsifier)Β 
– cetyl palmitate – 1.5 (thickener)Β 
– cetyl alcohol – 1.5 (thickener)Β 

Phase C
preservative – 0.5 (this is because of my own choice of preservative: you will have to do according to what you use)
–Β aluminum starch octenyl succinate Β – 1 (this is in powder and it helps leaving a dry feeling on the skin)
Now to the important active ingredients of this cream:
Urea – 10 (it is a very good humectant because of its water-binding property and it also exfoliates the skin, helping skin regeneration. One of the bad sides of urea, however, is the fact that inside creams it tends to rise the pH, this could cause a few problems which I will explain more in detail in the post about this ingredient, for now just trust me πŸ™‚ )
gloconolactone – 2 This ingredient is an acid which, if used at 4-5%, is an exfoliant, while, if used at 2%, it has mainly a sequestrating-function (I copy pasted from a chemistry dictionary online: sequestrating isΒ the action of forming a chelate or other stable compound with an ion, atom, or molecule so that it’s no longer available for reactions) to make it simple it means that it keeps the pH stable, therefore if you add urea in your cream, always remember to add 2% of gluconolactone.
3 drops grapefruit EO, 2 drops mint EO
1 drop of food grade red color πŸ™‚ just for the final touch πŸ™‚

Step by step:
I weighted the ingredients of Phase A in this order: glycering, xanthan gum, water (keeping 15 gr of water aside for the Phase C).
I weighted the ingredients of Phase B and added them in the second becher.
I put both of the bechers in a double-boiler and checked that they reached 70Β°C.
Once reached this temperature I poured Phase B into Phase A in 3 different times, mixing with an immersion-mixer until everything looked smooth, emulsified and white.
At this point I kept stirring slowly with a spatula until the cream reached room temperature.
I weighted the Phase C and added to the 15 gr of water which I had set aside: first the urea, then the gluconolactone. I added this mixture to the cream.
Then I added the preservative and mixed with the immersion-mixer once again (the final time: it will give a better result in the cream).
Eventually I added drops of the essential oils to my taste and the same for the drop of red colorant πŸ˜‰

Now check the pH, it is fine if it is between 5 and 6 πŸ™‚ otherwise adjust it πŸ˜‰

Have a great day! πŸ˜€

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Whipped Shea Butter

Shea butter is one of those wonderful butters you can use almost for anything.
It’s good for hair (as long as you don’t have too fine hair: it’s best for thick long dark hair that need discipline), good for under-eye area, great to prevent stretch-marks, wonderful to keep the feet moisturized.

So here we go: I was requested to make a butter for very stressed feet (you know, summer and so on) and I decided to make a whipped shea butter for feet! πŸ™‚

The recipe is terribly easy and the results were great.
Enough words.
Here is the recipe:

100 gr Shea butter (I used refined shea butter, if you have unrefined shea butter it’s even better!)
20 gr Apricot kernel oil (or any light and easily absorbing oil)
40 gr Corn starch (this helps in feeling little bit less oily on the skin, but of course, since this butter is made 100% by butters and oils and there is no water inside, the buttery feeling cannot disappear)
20 drops Lemongrass essential oil
10 drops Rosemary essential oil
(this was my own choice of essential oils: lemongrass to feel fresh and rosemary for the antibacterial properties that, since this butter was meant for foot, were quite needed for a good results)

HOW TO:
– Simply melt the Shea butter in a double boier (not completely, just melt half of it and let the remaining heat melt the rest. This way all the good properties of Shea butter won’t fade away!).
– Add the apricot kernel oil
– Whip the oils, as if you were whipping some cream πŸ™‚
If the oils are too hot you can whip them, put them in the fridge for few minutes, whip them again… until you are satisfied with the consistency.
– When the oils are properly whipped and they have cooled down you can add your essential oils and the corn starch!
– Mix all the ingredients with a spoon
– Put them in a jar

– ENJOY! (this is the best step πŸ˜‰ eheheh)

EDIT: Please read the comments of this post also: any whipped shea butter tends to harden up after a few days. This was one of my first experiments of cosmetic, so it is perfectly fine if you decide to make it if you want to start a simple approach to “handmade creams”, but bear in mind that this is not a cream πŸ™‚
I have made posts now on how to formulate REAL creams. It is a slightly difficult thing but it gives exponentially more satisfaction πŸ˜€
Have a great day! πŸ˜€

 

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.