Color & Additives for Lotion
Some other things you can add to your lotions to make them yours, and to make them really stand out are extracts. So extracts are like carrot extract or ginseng extract or seaweed extract or green tea extract or chamomile extract or calendula extract. There's so many different extracts that have fantastic skin-loving properties that do everything from help condition your skin, so many people believe them to help with aging skin, that kind of thing. So extracts are fantastic. You usually use them about one to five percent of the total recipe. They can be water soluble or oil soluble. You can use both of them. You add them at the very end, so it doesn't matter if you're getting water soluble or oil soluble. Most of the extracts at Brambleberry are oil soluble. They tend to be in a like fractionated coconut oil which lasts a really long time and has a very long shelf life. Another thing you can add to your lotions is liquid glycerin, and liquid glycerin is a humectant that adds moisture t...
o the skin and draws moisture to the skin. It is, however, viscous and sticky. So if you use it in your lotions, you're going to want to use it, you're going to want to decrease the amount of oils you're using by five to ten percent, and you're going to want to limit it to 10% total of your weight because it's very, very heavy and sticky, but it is a great skin protectant. Other ways you can make lotion your own. You can color your lotion. Some people really like lotion that's more neutral. Some people like a colored lotion, like a fun-- Like you're making a bubblegum lotion and your target market is a 12-year-old, and you know, they're going to want a pink bubblegum lotion. So some colorant options are lab colors. These are diluted FDC food and cosmetic colors that you can use, and they mix in beautifully because they're water soluble. You can use pigments. So pigments are not an ideal option because they clump, and when they clump in lotion and you apply the lotion, you get a big streak of pigment down your arm. Also they color by suspension, meaning that tiny little pigment droplets are suspended throughout your lotion, as opposed to dying the water portion of your lotion, so it's a different type of look and feel. So I don't love pigments. You can totally use them though. Micas are a great option. They mix in really easily. They have a fantastic-- they have a really nice sheen and opalescence to them, so when you see like bronzers out there, or you see... There's like creams that you can put on your legs to make it look like you're wearing nylons, and give you a little bit of coverage on your legs. They're using micas to reflect and refract light and make your skin look smoother. So like a super pearly white mica with a little bit of a kind of skin color mica would be a fantastic way to do that. And finally, you can make you own bronzer by just adding mica. You can add like a cup of mica or a brown mica or a kind of tan mica and you can make your own bronzer. That's what liquid bronzer essentially is. It's basically a pretty watery lotion with micas added. So those are some of your options for additives and for colors. When you're making lotion, one of the ways that you can also really personalize your lotion is through your fragrance or your essential oil choice. When you are making lotion, though, do not use candle or potpourri fragrances, it's very, very important that you're using cosmetic grade skin-safe fragrances or essential oils for your lotions. If you want to use an essential oil... Like this is orange 10x essential oil, so it smells amazing. It smells just like oranges. There are safety considerations when using essential oils. Essential oils are an all natural product, they come from herbs. They're either steam extracted or they are pressed or they're solvent extracted with chemicals. Essential oils on leave-on products-- A lotion is a leave-on product-- Sometimes have safety considerations. So for example, lime essential oil, some orange essential oils, are photosynthesizers, meaning if you make a lotion with lime essential oil, and you go out in the sun, you have a propensity to burn or sunburn easier. So if you're making a lotion, you're thinking, I want to make an all natural lotion and I want to sell it, it is incumbent upon you to do the research to figure out that. If you're making an eye cream, for example, because with the foundation I'm giving you today you can totally make eye creams. You don't want to use a spearmint or a peppermint essential oil. Can you imagine that menthol so close to...? Aaah! So there are safety considerations with leave-on products and essential oils. That said, essential oils are totally all natural. If being all natural is really important for you, it's worth it to do the extra research. Fragrance oils are synthetic blends of aroma chemicals or essential oils. There's over 3500 different chemicals or aroma chemicals that can be used to make fragrance oils. You can get everything from dark rich chocolate to, I have, not kidding you, smelled a fresh cement fragrance before to lettuce to a grass. We have a fragrance at Brambleberry called Lettuce and we've had it for like 15 years. Obviously you can't press lettuce to get an oil out of it, but you can make it in a lab, and it smells really good. (sniffs) and I love using fragrances and essential oils interchangeably. The usage rate remains very similar. And one thing to keep in mind, just like with soap-making, is what's a natural color of my essential oil or my fragrance oil? If it's orange, your lotion is going to have more of a yellow tint. If it is a vanilla-based fragrance oil, your lotion will not go totally brown, brown like it would in soap, but it would start going tan over time. So that's one thing to keep in mind when you're making the choice between fragrance and essential oil and which fragrance to use if you've chosen to use a fragrance oil. Again, the usage rate is very low. It's .05 ounces per six... Like .05 ounces, excuse me... .05 percentage. .05%, so not .05 ounces. .05%, so less than half a percent usage rate for either fragrances or essential oils. And essential oils do have some of those safety considerations, so make sure you're researching them. Can any questions before I go on, before I talk a little bit about butters?
Absolutely, always questions, and let me know if you have any in here. One question that I come in was about adding more water. So Nora Brom says does adding more water make the lotion lighter, is that true?
Oh, that's a great question. So those percentages, right? Adding more water does make the lotion lighter. However, there's a limit to how much water you can add, right, because if you're adding a bunch of water, the emulsifier needs something to bind it to, right? Like, it can't just have water and emulsifying wax, because then it just is a... The wax goes to the bottom and the water stays up here. So there's a limit. You can't do much more than about 80% water to a 20%, 17% oil ratio without it just falling apart on you. But yes, to answer your question, and there are liquid emulsifiers out there. Like polysorbate is a liquid emulsifier, so if you are wanting to make a sprayable lotion, for example, you can find a liquid emulsifier that will help keep your entire mixture even like that you can spray through a lotion bottle. So yes, in general, more water makes a lighter lotion, and there's a limit to how much more water you can do. Let's talk about balms. Or body butters, lotion bars, balms. So sometimes... There's confusion between what a lotion is versus a balm, and there is a difference. Balms are generally a mixture of oils, butters and waxes. They do not contain any water, which means there's no need for a preservative at all. But they tend to use only semi-solids and solids, right, so they're using butters and waxes and oils. How do those feel on your skin individually? They feel heavy, right, they feel oily. You can't pick up a piece of paper without leaving fingerprints everywhere. So balms tend to be really moisturizing, very nourishing, but some people find them to be heavy and dense and oily. There is a trick to keeping your balms from feeling heavy, dense and oily, so I'm going to show that to you when we're making our balm, so I'm really excited about it because it helps you to have a wide variety of options that you can choose from when you're making products at home. You can make lotions, you can make balms, and they don't necessarily need to be as heavy and dense as many of the lotion balms that you see on the market.