Friday, January 4, 2013

Lotion #2 With a Water Base

Have you read the back of your lotion bottle? Most likely the first word in the ingredient list is water. Yes, what you are paying mainly for is water since the ingredient with the highest content is by law named first.
1/2 cup filtered or distilled water
1/2 cup almond oil
1 teaspoon Borax
This homemade lotion is half water and half oil. Water and oil don't mix and so there has to be a emulsifier. This recipe recommended borax. It is what I had on hand so I used it but my recent trip through the Internet led me to learn that Borax is toxic. Beware, as little as one teaspoon ingested by a child can kill them or make them very sick. 
So why is Borax used in many so called green cleaning products ?  I'm seriously wondering about people's research skills. I'm thinking Borax will be taken off my shelf unless I can come up with a just absolutely have to have it for something deal. The box I have is very dusty anyway so it isn't getting much use. But that leaves me with no emulsifier. What could I use? Off on another search around the Internet. Many of the others weren't safe either but I did light upon citric acid.
Citric acid is inexpensive, last forever in a powdered state, and is non toxic. I've also seen recipes in my cheese making books that state the need for citric acid. Double duty for one product, I'm in. I'm buying a supply in the near future. Now to learn how much to use while making lotion. See, for me the task is never done for my brain just won't quit. There is no shut down valve for it.
So off I go to find out how much citric acid to use in making lotion and well does it work? Don't know but I'm finding out. That is as soon as my family and I use up the lotion I've already made.
Since water is one of the big culprits for mold activity developing in lotion I learned about it's role. All I've found so far is mainly to make it less greasy. Living where the air is really, really, dry, greasy isn't so bad. 

 Now as far as absorbtion of different chemicals, including water, well, it gets a bit confusing as I learned that thinner skin such as under your arms and face absorb far more than for instance your hands-- which makes sense. I don't want my hands absorbing everything including the stuff I'm shoveling out of the goat shed.

But don't believe an eighth of what the Internet states about the skin absorbing huge amounts in general because it depends on what it is. One article pointed out that if your body absorbed water at 60 to 100 percent then when you went swimming you'd be a humungous sponge and gain a cazillion pounds before you got out. The truth is you might be wrinkled yes, which shows you've absorbed a fair amount but not 60 to 100 percent.

Chemicals on the other hand, some are quickly absorbed through the skin in greater amounts than water. It depends on how small the molecules are and their chemical interaction with the molecules in your skin. 

It takes looking into indepth articles about the different layers of skin and their role to uncover a bit more truth. Your outer layer being dead skin and the toughest layer to penetrate. Everything has to get by it first.

Then I learned that certain chemicals break down barriers in your skin and allow greater absorbtion which is what those medicine patches do. The size of the molecules in a product also depends on if your skin can absorb it. Too large and it can't be absorbed.

So you can add a wonderful oil in your lotion making but it has to get past the outer layer of skin first to do you any good.  Combination are also sometimes necessary for absorbtion so this skin science thing can get quite complicated.

It didn't take long for me to realize this was way more information than I wanted. Shocker huh? Yeah, well, I'm practical to a fault and I just wanted to make a few basic SAFE lotions, not get a job as a lotion formula maker for a big company.

So in actuality, I'm not upset about using Borax as it was an avenue to learning and a step in the right direction. But I've forgotten to tell you. This lotion is made a bit different than the first one. I admit, I didn't follow the directions except for the ingredient list. I mixed it up a bit different accordng to some information I found in my search around the Internet.

I placed the almond oil in a pint size canning jar - wide mouth is best. Then placed it in a pot that had a couple inches of water. This forms a double boiler method. Then I warmed the water in another pot and then added Borax. Take out the warmed oil and in a tiny stream very, very slowly pour the water into the oil while you have the whipping blades on your mixer turned on. Since this makes such a tiny batch, I did not use the blender or my larger mixer. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so and blend again. Do this again later. This helps to thoroughly emulsify the water and oil mixture.

Which lotion do we like best? The verdict is still out and I'll be asking my family next week to vote so stay tuned.
Don't miss my first lotion making experience and the information I learned.

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