Testing Phase: Hydrating Body Spray

Hello from China!

Lots of fun stuff is happening in The Scrub Me Down Kitchen of late. And an awesome new product is in the middle of the testing phase. We decided to bring you along for round one of testing (actually it is more like round nine or ten, maybe eleven? It’s taken over a year on and off to get to this point).

As you may or may not know, we perfected the Body Spray ages ago! But with summer fast approaching, we wanted to make a hydrating body spray. For everyone knows, alcohol is pretty dang drying. Just ask my hair. I decided I wanted my hair to smell like coconut and passion fruit today and liberally sprtized “The Passion of Coconut” onto my hair. Smells lovely, but my hair is nice and dry now. Not the good dry either.

I love this photo!

The hydrating body spray, needs to have ridiculously light weight hydration. Something with lots of water, something that is quick drying, something that won’t make you feel ewwww. But something that will give you a wee bit of moisture, lots of fragrance, and be skin happy.

A hour into the testing, separation has occurred.

And before we go any further, let me just point out, that it is not as simple as mixing oil and water. So let’s take a look at how we got to where we are:

camellia oil+water

When you mix oil and water, you’ve got oil and water! Something that needs to be shaken lots and lots but will never spray the way you want it too as it will always separate. Mold after three days.

wheat germ oil+vinegar

Look mom! Salad dressing! I’m not making a dig, as I use vinegar and lemon essential oil  as my all purpose surface wipe outside of my kitchen. But, you still have separation going on. And even though the vinegar smell dissipates after less than a minute, I’m not sure people would want to walk around smelling of vinegar.

lavender essential oil+isopropyl alcohol

Now we’re getting somewhere! We found that the oils stayed dispersed longer in the alcohol than in water. But it still required tremendous amounts of shaking before use to get rid of the globbies. It still wasn’t a good blend to work with when we want to say Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin products are similar to spa quality.

Next morning

fragrance oil+water+polysorbate 20

We found that when you mix poly20 with essential oils or fragrance oils then add in the water, we got something like a water based body spray. And only worked if you shook before use. And made the mixture cloudy. And with the water, we had to add in a preservative which didn’t alter the scent profile we were making. But, we found that the water just wasn’t all that pleasant to spray on clothes or the body. The water took some time to dry, and when something takes a little longer to dry, you always run the risk of mold growth and then oil rancidity left over on your pillow cases or closets. Which lead us to:

essential oil+polysorbate 20+ isopropyl alcohol

On a whim one day, we mixed some polysorbate with some essential oils and decided to try some isopropyl alcohol instead of water as the base. It mixed beautifully! And, out of various spray bottles, we’ve not seen any globs going on. We loved the way the spray was quick drying, and we loved the way that the mister worked. But we hated the way the way the first scent is alcohol. It quickly faded into the scent we added, but it reminded us of cheap body spray from the dollar store. So we now knew base of a way to make it work, just needed to find a solution to the alcoholy stanch and add in something for hydration.

essential oil+ perfumers alcohol+ polysorbate 20

We discovered that we had the same results as the isopropyl alcohol, without such a nasty alcoholy smell on first pump. There was still a minor stink, but it was slight in comparison to the isopropyl alcohol action.

Later on in the afternoon…

fragrance oil+ camellia seed oil+ perfumers alcohol+polysorbate 20

Epic fail. Separation happened almost immediately, I could see the oils globbing on top of the water. It went down the drain almost immediately.

fragrance oil+ camellia seed oil+ perfumers alcohol+water+ polysorbate 80

Epic fail. I don’t want to talk about it. Scroll on.

fragrance oil+ red turkey oil+ guar gum+ water

Yeah. No. I so hate red turkey oil. Let’s not talk about these results! Moving on! (it looked like snot)

fragrance oil+camellia seed oil+ polysorbate 80+ water+ perfumers alcohol

This one took a little longer to separate than the one above. It took about six minutes or so for the oil to begin to reform on the surface. Maybe adding in more polysorbate might do the trick? After about forty or so minutes, the solution had clearly separated. To use again, I had to shake shake shake.

24 hours later

fragrance oil+ polysorbate 20+ vegetable glycerine+ water+ perfumers alcohol

My rational for this one, was in removing the heavier oil (camellia) and adding in a humectant. I mean why would I waste my awesome oils if I could get glycerine to do the work for me? But, separation was happening again! Grr.

fragrance oil+ polysorbate 20+ vegetable glycerine+ perfumers alcohol

By removing water, and going to a recipe I know works, I was afraid for the glycerine. Glycerine is water soluble, so by removing the water, would glycerine work with the alcohol? And no. When applied to the skin, my skin felt dry. And had none of the awesome silk glycerine feel I am used to.

fragrance oil+ PEG 7+ fractionated coconut oil+ water+ glycerine+ perfumers alcohol

We have pulled out the big guns here using the PEG 7. Even though technically there are oils in this recipe, it is actually classified as an oil free product. Which makes me sad. Oils are amazing! Will using the PEG 7 work in this type of recipe without separating? (I have 24 more hours to go on this test)

Can you see the layer of oil on top? 24 hours later

So, what does this all mean? Other than total failures most of the time? That the testing phase of product making is crazy expensive? Or that we need to grin and bear that people have to shake it before they use it every time? Or that It simply means that we have to do research on other store bought products to see their ingredients, how and if they separate. Does China even have something like this?

36 hours

Yes, I spend a lot of time staring down into beakers.

6 thoughts on “Testing Phase: Hydrating Body Spray

Add yours

    1. I’m an avid follower of Susan’s actually! I love how she gets to play with so many things, and I have such beaker envy looking at her pictures! Our biggest issue when it comes to creating recipes is China’s lack of INCI useage so finding specific ingredients we need to make things… well… it’s VERY challenging. But I do agree with you! Looking at the Point of Interest blog my first time I remember just going, no. No. No. No. No. It was so much so fast!

      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lots of great info here – thanks! I enjoy SwirtCraftonkey too – I’m learning a lot about loads of things but not actually doing much other than making more and more soap at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

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