Some thoughts on what you could do for an emulsified cucumber body butter (Polawax)

We’ve been having some fun re-creating a safer, more stable version of this terrible HGTV recipe for a homemade cucumber body butter, and I thought after making the Simulgreen 18-2 version yesterday we could finish this series up with a Polawax version!

Let’s use this formula for a body butter, which you can find in the Start Here! section of the blog for beginners, and make a few modifications.

BASIC BODY BUTTER FORMULA
HEATED WATER PHASE
59% distilled or reverse osmosis water
2% sodium lactate or glycerin

HEATED OIL PHASE
10% oils
15% butter
3% cetyl alcohol
7% Polawax (e-wax)

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% to 1% preservative
0.5% to 1% fragrance or essential oil

You can make so many alterations to this formula! For the butter amount, you could use shea butter or coconut oil or a bit of each as per the original recipe. For the liquid amount, you could use sweet almond oil or coconut oil. Any of these will make for a greasier body butter. If you wanted something less greasy, babassu oil as the butter and a less greasy feeling oil, like kukui nut oil or evening primrose oil would be great. (Check out the emollients section of the blog for more ideas!)

In the water phase, substitute 20% of the distilled or reverse osmosis water amount for cucumber hydrosol, and add 0.5% powdered cucumber extract in the cool down phase. You can add cucumber scents as your fragrance oil (see yesterday’s post for more on this). And you can add all kinds of other things, as we saw in yesterday’s formula.

CUCUMBER-Y BODY BUTTER WITH POLAWAX
HEATED WATER PHASE
41.5% distilled or reverse osmosis water
20% cucumber hydrosol
2% sodium lactate or glycerin

HEATED OIL PHASE
10% oils
15% butter
3% cetyl alcohol
7% Polawax (e-wax)

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% to 1% cucumber-y fragrance oil
0.5% powdered cucumber powder

1. Weigh your water phase into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

1a. Weigh your total water phase on a scale – jug and all – so we can compensate for the lost water before mixing. And set some water in a separate container to heat. A pot with water on the stove or boiling up the kettle works well. You don’t need to boil it the whole time – bring it to boiling now and you’ll have some less-than-boiling water for step 3a.

2. Weigh your oil phase into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.

3. Heat both phases to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. This ensures both phases are the same temperature when we mix them together. (This is part of the emulsification process – the heating part of emulsification.)

3a. Remember how we measured the water phase in step 1a? Measure it again – zero your scale and measure the jug and all. Add enough of the warm water to get you to the total weight from step 1a.

4. When both phases reach 70˚C, pour the water phase into the oil phase and mix very well with a stick blender or hand mixer (or Kitchenaid if you’re a lucky person!). Mix periodically as the temperature drops.
5. When you reach 45˚C, add your cool down ingredients and mix very well.
6. Allow the lotion to come to room temperature before bottling. This is definitely something that needs to go into a jar or a tottle bottle. If you’re doing the latter, you can use a funnel or, better still, a piping bag.
7. Always label your bottle with the ingredients and date so you can replicate it or throw it away when the shelf life expires.

If you wanted to use yesterday’s formula with Polawax, it’s pretty simple to make the change. Figure out the oil phase – 14% liquid oil, 10% babassu oil, 3% cetyl alcohol, plus 0.5% to 1% fragrance or essential oil = 27.5% or 28% – then figure out what 25% of that oil phase would be. 28 x 0.25 = 7% or 28/4 = 7%. If you’re using e-wax, add 1% to this and use 8% e-wax. You’ll notice I’ve removed 3% distilled or reverse osmosis water to ensure the formula totals 100% with the addition of the new emulsifier. (Highlighted in green…)

As a note, this formula will be a lot thicker than the Simulgreen 18-2 version as Polawax creates more greasy, a little more waxy, and thicker lotions.

CUCUMBER & MORE CUCUMBER BODY BUTTER WITH POLAWAX
HEATED WATER PHASE
22% distilled or reverse osmosis water
10% aloe vera extract or liquid
20% cucumber hydrosol
3% glycerin
3% propanediol 1,3
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% sodium lactate (liquid) or 1.2% sodium lactate (powder)
0.5% allantoin

HEATED OIL PHASE
14% liquid oil of choice
10% babassu oil
7% Polawax
3% cetyl alcohol

COOL DOWN PHASE
2% panthenol (liquid)
0.5% powdered cucumber extract
0.5% fragrance oil – any of the fragrances I mentioned would be awesome
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Follow the lotion making instructions above to make this formula.

So, what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments! And join me tomorrow as we take one last look at making a cucumber lotion!