Monday, February 18, 2013

Whipped Body Butter Adventures

Solid Lotion Bars - Travel Size
Since about mid-November, I have been playing around with a few solid lotion bar recipes, and I have finally perfected my recipe, tested it, had my testers give it a go, and I am confident enough to start offering my solid lotion bars on Etsy!Yay!

My solid lotion bars have become a huge hit among my testers, and through word of mouth, I have actually sold a few already! The bars are made of beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and a little bentonite clay, to help cut the greasy feeling and help the lotion glide on the skin. Currently, I only have small lotion bars, which are pocket-size, and I am looking forward to creating large sized bars, once I confirm my packaging!

However, as my lotion-creating adventure went along, I stumbled into the world of whipped body butters, and I am head over heels in love with body butters! I created my first tiny batch of body butter, using this recipe:
  • 70% shea butter (My local health food store sells unrefined shea butter, so I had to fight it when it tried to go grainy on me.)
  • 15% grapeseed oil (I have this lying around, but I would not use it in a sellable product, since the shelf life is so short)
  • 15% coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp corn start (to cut the greasy feeling)

I do not have a standing mixer (super sad face!), but I do have a hand blender, so I used my hand blender to whip the mix. Without a whisk attachment, it did not whip up as much as I had anticipated, but it was still arid enough for me to be happy. I added some Cucumber and Green Tea fragrance oil, which smells lovely! The small batch that I made (I started with a little over 3oz. of oils and butters) ended up making over 5 oz. in product, so I packaged some and sent it off to my testers.

Two of my testers loved it, but one did complain that it felt greasier than the solid lotion bar. The greasiness comes from the shea butter, so I am thinking about playing around with some mango butter, which is supposed to be smoother and dryer than the shea. I'm thinking of trying a 40% shea ad 60% mango blend for the butter part. I am also going to play around with a sweet almond/olive blend for the soft oils, rather than the grapeseed/coconut blend that I used before. Grapeseed has a very short shelf life (3-6 months), and coconut oil seems to be a more-common allergy, so I think the sweet almond/olive blend would work well.I am also considering grabbing some tapioca starch to substitute for the corn starch, since some people have reactions to corn starch... Loads to think about over the next little while!

Working with the body butter also has me thinking about preservatives, which is something that I have not had to research before. Currently, my products do not contain preservatives, but it is something that I may need to consider in the future if I ever branch out into liquid lotions or products other than soap that are water and oil combinations. I've come across some fantastic information on preservatives from some very reputable blogs, like Soap Queen and SwiftCraftyMonkey, so I am starting to feel confident about which preservatives to chose as I expand my products.

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