So Sensitive Lotion – Day 3: First Batch & Math 1

Skin suffers in cold, dry climates, and Alaska is all that. My husband has the added complication of having ultra-sensitive skin, which makes it tough to find a lotion or cream that will not aggravate his skin. A few years ago, he began using coconut oil as his primary moisturizer. Yes, it keeps his skin feeling good, but it soaks into his clothes. That makes for really challenging laundry! He needs a good moisturizer that will provide plenty of hydration and will absorb quickly into his skin, not his clothes.

Ingredients measured into the beaker and ready to be melted.

This lotion formula came to be when I asked our resident wizard for ideas. Here’s the formula in percentages

75% Water
13% Coconut Oil OR Avocado Butter
3% Hydrovance
3% Emulsifying Wax
2% Calendula Extract
2% Orchid Extract
1% Stearic Acid
0.5% Squalane OR Oat Oil
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus

I began by making a micro batch to see how his skin reacted to the lotion. I didn’t want to start with a large batch and find the recipe needed tweaking. Since my husband already uses Coconut Oil, I began with that as my oil of choice and I used Squalane as my additive.

Here’s the math part. Take a deep breath and read on. If I can do this, so can you! Grab your smartphone and open up the calculator app. (Isn’t it sweet to know your high school math teacher was wrong when saying you would not always have a calculator with you?)

The first step was to figure out the weights to make about 8 ounces of this cream. I want to use grams as my unit of measure because it is more precise and easier when measuring tiny amounts. Eight ounces equals 226.8 grams, so I’ll make my life simpler and round up to 230 grams.

Since the recipe in percentages equals 100%, figuring the weights is not too difficult. I want to have 230 grams of product at the end, so I multiply 230 by each percentage. For example, the recipe calls for 3% Hydrovance. Here’s the math: 


230 x 3% (0.03) = 6.9

I need 6.9 grams of Hydrovance.

Following is the recipe to make my 230-gram batch.

172.5 grams water
29.9 grams Coconut Oil
6.9 grams Hydrovance
6.9 grams Emulsifying Wax
2.3 grams Stearic Acid
4.6 grams Calendula Extract
4.6 grams Orchid Extract
1.15 grams Squalane
1.15 grams Liquid Germall Plus

Weigh the first 5 ingredients into a beaker or microwave-safe bowl. Heat in short bursts until melted. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Weigh the last 4 ingredients into a separate beaker or bowl. When the heated mixture has cooled (it needs to be below 120 degrees), add the last 4 ingredients and stir again.

(When I got all the ingredients but the Liquid Germall Plus in the beaker, I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. And just about the time it finished warming, I realized the extracts also were supposed to be held out until after the initial mixture had cooled below 120 degrees. To keep anyone reading this from making the same error, I added a line between the ingredients that get heated and those that will be added later.)

I was surprised by the small amount of lotion I had when finished. That was disappointing and surprising how little lotion 8 ounces truly was! I’ll need to make more just to get enough to sample. Come join me tomorrow as I head back to the kitchen to make another batch.

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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