Prepare your body for winter: Baobab & babassu body butter with Simulgreen 18-2 (part one)

Yeah, as a former English major, I love a good alliteration, but these are some of my favourite ingredients with one of my favourite new emulsifiers, Simulgreen 18-2. I made a huge batch last year for our itchy winter skin, and I’ve made so many versions of it since then as I love it so much.

My favourite thing about it is the way the babassu oil melts on contact with your skin, so it pumps out of the bottle quite thick, but turns to liquid quite quickly.

One note – don’t put this in a cute treatment pump or airless pump type bottle as it simply won’t pump out. You need this to be in a tottle bottle or jar as it gets quite thick. I wanted a few cute bottles for pictures, and I eventually had to cut the darned thing in half to get it out to put into another container.

For the water phase, I definitely want some aloe vera in here to act as a film former and hydrator. I’m also adding chamomile hydrosol as I like its ability to soothe and reduce transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours. (I know, right???)

As a note about aloe vera, you don’t want the gel as if you look at the INCI name on your gel, you’ll see it’s gelled with a carbomer like Ultrez 20. It’s not a bad thing, but not something we need in a lotion. And if you’re using 100x or 200x powdered extract, you need to reconstitute it with water, then add it to the product. Do not just add 0.25% as that is far too much and will likely create product failures as that’s far too much salt to be added to one product. Please read more about using those powders here

I love love love humectants to draw water from the atmosphere to our skin to hydrate, so I’m including a few in this one intended for dry winter skin in the form of glycerin, propylene glycol, and sodium lactate. I’m also adding some panthenol – liquid in the cool down phase or powder in the heated water phase – as I need all the wound healing I can get for my dry, cracked skin.

I love using allantoin in everything – seriously, visit this post to learn more if you aren’t sold on this comfrey, aloe, or urine derivative – to help keep out winter winds and cold and soothe skin chapping. This very inexpensive powder with a super long shelf life should always go into the heated phase as it can create little crystals that feel like shards on your skin if it isn’t dissolved properly.

And finally, I have to have some kind of hydrolyzed protein in the mix to help hydrate and film form on my skin. Keeping with the theme of this body butter, I’m using hydrolyzed baobab protein, but you could use silk amino acids, hydrolyzed oat protein, hydrolyzed rice protein, or any other one you might like.

I love babassu oil. I love it so much, some of you joke that I’m working for the Babassu Advisory Council. (There isn’t one, but if there is…call me. Let’s talk.) It’s a great substitute for coconut oil as it melts at 24˚C or 76˚F, which is much lower than body temperature, so the body butter glides nicely over your skin. Unlike coconut oil, though, it is considered lighter, much less greasy, and silky feeling.

And I love baobab oil. Thanks to all that thick palmitic acid that we’d normally find in much smaller quantities in liquid oils, I find it feels like a medium weight oil without the greasiness I associate with something like olive oil. I think this is an important ingredient in this product, and don’t suggest altering it if you want that less greasy skin feel. As well, baobab contains a lot of phystosterols, which act as anti-inflammatory ingredients, something awesome and necessary for winter months.

Whoa, huge slam on olive oil out of nowhere, eh? I generally like greasy products, but I wanted something a little less greasy for this product. If you wanted to use olive oil here, it’d be a good choice with all those lovely phytosterols. 

I’m adding very liquidy dimethicone in the cool down phase to act as a barrier protectant ingredient and silk-i-fier, which is a word I just made up, but I’ll use it from now to describe something that makes something feel more silky. Feel free to use 350 cs or 1000 cs, much heavier dimethicones, in its place. At 2%, the weight won’t make a huge difference.

For the emulsifier, I’m using Simulgreen 18-2, a green, ECOcert and Natrue approved ingredient that offers a lighter, much less greasy skin feel when compared with something like Polawax. You have to stabilize it with a fatty alcohol, so I’m using cetyl alcohol here, or xanthan gum, which I’m using at 0.5% as well.

Why am I putting the xanthan gum into the heated oil phase when it’s a water soluble ingredient? Because it’s less likely to get clumpy in something like oil, in which it can’t dissolve. When we add the heated water phase and heated oil phase together, the xanthan gum will stay unclumped, making it far more awesome than a clumpy lotion.

Wow, I do go on, eh?

In light of my recent post about wanting your feedback in the comments before I post part two, please share your thoughts in the comments below!