Lotions and crèams undoubtedly are sophisticates in the body care market. Lotions and crèmes have gone from the simple purpose of moisturizing the skin by forming an oil and water barrier against microorganisms and free radicals to a host of sophisticated measures that go way beyond what we envision skincare barrier preparations were many decades ago.
Now, we have skin care products that do so much more, and with the discovery of new plant based and lab formulated skin care ingredients, the market seems a flush with a myriad of products that claim to do wonders for the skin. With that in mind then it is no wonder that making lotions and creams as delivery vehicles for some pretty exotic and fantastical sounding ingredients seem to be a daunting task. Well, that maybe so, but to deconstruct the anatomy of the lotion-kind product, is to see it as an emulsion comprised of skin beneficial oils and nutrients with qualities to make its feel on the skin appealing.
The first lotion that I made was anything but inspired. It was watery and by the second day had separated into two distinct layers. No amount of shaking could get it to be homogenous again. Since then, I have tried the same recipe repeatedly and it comes out perfectly every time. What made the difference in the successful batches was that by then I had acquired a mixer, a good scale and followed the recipe to the letter. Therefore, having the right tools, following the preparation instructions and having a great formulation and ingredients will ensure a good batch each time.
Here is some basic equipment needed:
· Stainless steel or glass bowls for mixing. Bowls that are deeper than wide are best so that mixing will be easier, especially for small amounts. Do not use plastic, as it is hard to sanitize and sterilize. However, do use small plastic weighing boats, small stainless steel or glass bowls or even grease paper for weighing ingredients.
· A good stick blender or a mixer (Kitchenaide is my choice)
· A scale that weights discrete amounts both in ounces and grams and has a tare function
· Candy thermometer
· Wire whisk, large stainless steel spoons, and spatulas
· Double boiler or pots and bowls that can be used as makeshift double boilers to melt and heat ingredients
· A notebook for keeping a log of the process and any changes made or observations
Prepare work surface and all tools used by sanitizing in a solution of 1½ tablespoons of bleach to one-gallon water. Alternatively, pots pans and tools used maybe washed in hot water in the dishwasher. Making body care products should be handled as if one is in a lab or a commercial kitchen. Nothing is more unsightly than seeing floating hair strands or foreign objects in handmade products. Get into the habit of being scrupulously clean about your work area and tools used. Tie back hair or use a plastic hair cover and wash hands thoroughly. Use paper towels rather than cloth kitchen towels to prevent contamination. Measure out ingredients and start recipe in the order given. And lastly, have fun!
Click Here for Oatmeal Body Butter Formulation.