We just received into the store a shipment of Polysorbate 20 and I can’t wait to put it to use. What is Polysorbate 20, you ask? It is a semi thick liquid emulsifier commonly used to bring together fragrance oils and essentials in water or alcohol so they don’t separate. Examples would be body sprays, all natural bug sprays, pet sprays, etc. It is water-soluble, gentle and non-irritating. I have a flee/tick essential oil blend for a soap bar that I love for my little dog. It is all natural and good for Pebbles as well as my family. I mix the essential oils together and put a little on my hands and rub her down with it. As I was giving her a rub down one day, I thought, “This would be great as a spray. And it would be great to spray a BIG dog like our son’s German Shepherd, Jerry.” I mean, rubbing down a little dog with your hands is one thing but it would take a very long time to rub down a big dog! So I researched a bit and found that you can mix essential oils in vodka, which can be used as an emulsifier. I tried that right away, but my essential oils still separated from the vodka. It didn’t completely separate like oil and water but enough that you would have to give it a good shaking before use. I also learned that you do not want to store your new concoction in a plastic spray bottle! The essential oils will start to break down the plastic and it will become part of your new spray. It is best to put in a glass spray bottle or an aluminum spray bottle. I certainly can’t wait to get started on my new all natural bug spray and my flee and tick spray. Usage rate is as follows: Combine equal amounts of your fragrance/essential oil and the Polysorbate 20 until you achieve a clear solution then add this mixture to your water or alcohol.
Itchy skin is, well, awful! Most times when someone tells me they have itchy dry skin, the first thing that pops in my head is OATMEAL! And rightfully so. Oatmeal has a good reputation for helping sooth skin and add moisture.
Recently, I was making a new batch of soap with a new recipe by Brambleberry’s Soap Queen, Soothing Baking Soda & Oatmeal Bar and discovered, once again, that I was missing 2 ingredients, oat extract and colloidal oatmeal. So true to my nature, I went on a hunt to 1)see if can I make it and 2) what are the benefits to adding it in my soaps and other skin care products. To my wonderful surprise and amazement I could make both and adding these 2 ingredients were a definite plus to any bar. However, my current bar would not have the oat extract because I just don’t have patience to wait for the extract to be done!
First, let’s talk about some benefits of oats in your skin care products. Most of us have heard about how to take oatmeal baths for poison ivy, rashes, or other skin irritations because it helps to relieve the condition you or your loved one is suffering from. It is also a great moisturizer, it gets congealed when it is wet and helps to build a thin layer on your skin to keep moisture in. Oats are also filled spaonins, which are natural cleansers that gently clean your pores to remove dirt and oil.
The really great news is that you can make colloidal oatmeal right in your kitchen! Just grab some rolled (preferably organic) oats and grind those babies up till they are a fine powder. That’s it! This site on benefits of colloidal oatmeal has more detailed information and many great ways to use colloidal oatmeal for you and your pets (yes, Hank the dog and Millie the cat get itchy skin too). Colloidal oatmeal can be used in conditioners for hair, lotions, soaps, face creams, and masks. Usage rate varies depending on the product you are making: for soap up to 5%, added to a bath for milk bath-50%, masks up to 25%, and creams and lotions up to 1%.
Now on to oat extract. Oat Extract is a great addition to your skin care creations for the moisturizing properties and anti-aging properties for all skin types. This extract would also be a great additive for baby skin products (think lavender or rose water, oat extract, and colloidal oatmeal in a soothing bar) for diaper rash or other skin irritants. The nice thing about using oat extract for your skin care products is that you don’t have to worry about bits of oatmeal clogging up your lotion pumps or soap dispensers in case you don’t get the oats ground fine enough. You can just pour the extract in and let it do its work. Recommended usage rates for oat extract is up 10% for soaps, lotions, conditioners, and creams.
If you have made tinctures before you will have no problem making this extract. Tinctures are wonderful way to extract oils, nutrients, photochemical (chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants (phyto means “plant” in Greek)) and other important compounds in plants. A tincture usually uses a solvent, such as alcohol (90-100 proof vodka—you can also use Everclear using ½ water and ½ Everclear). Tinctures can also be made by using glycerin, although it will not make as strong of a tincture and the shelf life will not be as long. Tinctures are usually taken orally as medicine but for our purposes we are using it for skincare.
Ok so grab your tincture ingredients and lets get busy!
1. Grind your oats to a coarse flour.
2. Place oats in your glass jar and fill to the top of the neck with your vodka, everclear mixture, or glycerin.
4. After 3-6 weeks take out a second jar, place cheese cloth over the neck and strain your new tincture. You can use a coffee filter to strain your oat extract for the 2nd and beyond straining. It may take several strainings to get it really clear.
5. Store in a jar in a dark cool place.
Note: If you don’t want that much tincture/extract (about a pint) you can cut it in half and so on, follow the rest of the directions.
I recently spotted a recipe for a coffee bar soap that looked good enough to eat! So I read over the ingredient list and discovered that 1) I don’t have coffee essential oil on hand and 2) coffee essential oil is expensive! So I searched over the internet to find a way that I could make a coffee essential oil. What I did find was a way to make coffee bean oil. It is certainly not as potent and pure as the essential oil, but it would have to do for now, until I can add that to the budget.
The benefits of Roasted Coffee Bean Oil are beneficial for skincare products as I researched it a bit further. The caffeine, which we all love for the “get me moving” aspect of it, also loves to help your skin. It helps to reduce puffiness from around the eyes by acting as a constrictor. Caffeine can also help reduce wrinkles and sagging skin. Coffee bean oil can help retain moisture in your skin, help clear up eczema and psoriasis, and help to prevent acne breakouts. It has shown to be a great antioxidant as well. Overall, skincare products that have caffeine can reduce and prevent inflammation and redness, leaving you with beautiful even skin tone.
So now I had all this great information on my coffee bean oil was going to be a great additive to some of my skin care product, I was ready to get to work!
Roasted Coffee Bean Oil
So first I gathered all my ingredients together: 2 cups olive oil, 2oz whole coffee beans, crock pot, and coffee bean grinder.
1. First coarsely grind your coffee beans.
2. Next place into the crock pot with the 2 cups olive oil.
3. Cook on low for 6-12 hours stirring frequently. Note-I did over night for a stronger coffee bean oil.
4. Next take a slotted spoon and remove the coffee beans. Stain the remaining oil through a cheese cloth. Strain several times to get a cleaner, sediment free oil. I used one of our 2# cone coffee filters made of muslin material.
5. Store in a glass jar or container.
You can make custom blend, like I probably will, by adding different essential oils such as vanilla, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
This oil can be added into your soap recipe, to your lotions, body butters and much more.