Let's make a beauty cream (emulsion)! - part II
Today we'll finally make a facial cream (or body lotion, body cream - the list is endless). I previously explained here what an emulsion is and how it is made. Now it's time to use our knowledge in action😄
You need the following:
gloves and apron
two stainless steel or glass bowls
few spatulas, whisks
few stainless steel or glass beakers
stick blender (optional but fun to work with😆)
pH strips or pH meter (strips are fine in the beginning)
clean jar for ready cream
Our cream consists of three phases: water phase, oil phase and cool down phase.
Everything you need to know about phases is here
This is a rough formula for cream, you can tweak it as you pleased to make creams and lotions with different consistency and texture - the beauty of making your own skincare is that you can experiment until you find the right one for you😄
I'll tell you a little bit about each ingredient. As you can see the table is divided into three parts - they correspond to our phases.
Distilled water or part of it can be replaced with lovely hydrosol/floral water, although I don't recommend it for your first few tries - if your cream separates or something goes wrong it would be a waste of often expensive hydrosols.
Xanthan gum is optional - try to make one cream with it and another without, compare them and see which you prefer.
Emulsifier I use is called Olivem 1000 but you can use any other - just follow the manufacturer's guidance.
Preservative is mandatory in products that contain water - there's no question about it! You can use Preservative Eco (INCI: Benzyl alcohol, salicylic acid, glycerin, sorbic acid) or another board spectrum preservative that protects your products from mould, bacteria and yeast.
You can omit essential oils completely if you wish, 0,5% is a safe amount for most of essential oils permitted to use in skincare (Rose EO unfortunately has a very low permitted percentage - only 0,02%, but you can use Geranium or Palmarosa instead). The safest to use is Lavender EO but do your research if you're in doubt.
Heat sensitive oils are the carrier oils that have the iodine value higher that 100 - I explained it here in more details.
I left the grams column blank because you need to decide on batch size and percentage of each of the ingredient. If you're not sure how to convert your formula to a recipe (from percents to grams) check out this short article - you'll be an expert in no time😁
Make sure to download your copy of the formula from our page.
Now you're ready to make a cream!😍
In one bowl mix glycerin and water/hydrosols. If you want to use xanthan gum disperse it first in glycerin - it is much easier to mix it with water afterwards.
In another bowl mix oils, butters and Olivem 1000.
Place both bowls on pans with simmering water (double boiler).
Heat until both mixes reach 70 degrees Celsius - use separate thermometers for each phase.
When they reach the desired temperature mix them immediately - pour the oil phase into water phase and start stirring. You can use whisk, spatula or stick blender - see which one suits you best.
You can speed up the cooling process by placing the bowl with your cream in cold water. Remember to stir all the time.
When the emulsion's temperature drops below 40 degrees Celsius you can add the last phase - cool down phase.
Add everything from this phase apart from preservative.
We need to check the pH of the cream now. The best pH is 5,5 - same as our skin. You want your cream to have the pH similar or very close to this value. To check the pH of your cream you need to make a 10% dilution of it with water - 1g of cream and 9g of water. Dissolve the cream in water and then dip a pH strip in created dilution. If the pH is too low you need to add sodium hydroxide or bicarbonate of soda to raise it, if it's too high you need to add citric acid to lower it. Again make a 10% dilution of pH adjuster and add slowly to your cream, checking the pH after each addition.
When the pH is adjusted you can add a preservative. You need to check the pH again and adjust if necessary.
Stir your emulsion thoroughly, put in a clean jar and label it. All done! 🥳
Share your experience with making your cream - which part you like the most, which you're not fan of, what the most challenging thing in the whole process.
I made lavender body lotion - perfect for evening beauty rituals🤩