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      CommentAuthorJaellra
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
      3 points
    I've run across many recipes that require Borax. Does anyone know what purpose the Borax is? Is there anything else I can use instead of Borax?
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      CommentAuthorDirk
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
      2 points
    If it is a lotion recipe, borax is used to create an emulsion of oil and water. It works by partially saponifying some of the oil in the solution. Borax is a weak alkaline. Essentially borax based lotions are a weak soap, oil and water combination. The lotion is also quite alkaline and is not very nice on the skin. The more you use the borax based lotion, the more lotion your skin needs.

    My recommendation is to reformulate the lotion with emulsifying wax instead of borax. I wouldn't make a lotion with borax.
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      CommentAuthorJaellra
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
      1 point
    Oh ok. That sounds great since I have EW in my supplies ;) I wouldn't use the same concentration would I? Like if a recipe called for 5% Borax, would I use 5% EW? Hmm, also, does the EW have any thickening properties? So far all the recipes I've tried the lotion ended up way too thick. Could be the cocoa butter, beeswax, stearic acid in them yes? So it's gonna be trial and error to get the consistancy I want. Like, one recipe calls for 28g of stearic acid, 20 grams of cocoa butter. Which one would I reduce, or doesn't it matter, and how do I know how much I should start with reducing. 5 grams, 10 grams, etc. Thank you for the above info, and any other info on the additional questions if you have the answers!

    Lisa
  1.   0 points
    Depending on the emulsifying was, it may also thicken your lotion. My lotions usually contain 75%-85% distilled water (or hydrosol or aloe vera juice) and the rest oils & butters. If I am using a butter, I drastically reduce the amount of stearic acid I'm using to about 3%. If I'm using just oils, then I use about 5% stearic acid. I keep my E-wax NF about 4%.
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      CommentAuthorandee
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2009
      0 points
    What recipe contains borax? Is it a soap or a lotion? The reason it is there is dependent on the type of recipe.

    I would use 3% EW and reduce the beeswax and stearic acid. Try making a 100 gram recipe with the reductions. If you think this recipe is still too thick, make the recipe again only with water instead of the beeswax and stearic acid. Combine the two recipe and then the lotion should be just about the right consistency.
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      CommentAuthorJaellra
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2009
      0 points
    Math is not my friend! It'll take me a bit to figure a recipe out. A 100 gram recipe, would that mean all the stuff I put into it should add up to 100 grams yes? I did a new recipe this weekend. It was still way too thick, suitable for a pump or jar, but I'm looking for a consistancy like Lubriderm if you've ever tried that.
    • CommentAuthorZany in CO
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2009
      2 points
    Hiya Jaelira,

    No expert here... just speaking from experience...

    For soap, Borax is added to lye water to reduce scum, especially useful if you have hard water.

    For lotions, if you see "Borax" in a recipe you will probably see "beeswax" as well. Back in the day, women often made cold cream at home using these 2 ingredients as an emulsifier. It is a bit tricky to perfect, but doable. The downside is the finished product is not very stable and often separates.

    Ewax does all the emulsifying work for you -- use it with or without stearic acid. If you have a high percentage of water, you may need SA to thicken the lotion. You can make lotion without it. When formulating a recipe:

    25% Ewax by weight X weight of oils/butters

    Zany in CO
    • CommentAuthorcatherine
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2009
      0 points
    You are just a wealth of information. Where did you come from? So I have been struggling with this same question. I have these recipes that want me to use borax, xanthan gum, acacia gum and tragacanth gum gel and I have no intention of using them but dont know how to use the emulsifying wax instead. Could you help me?

    Thank you,
    Catherine
    • CommentAuthorZany in CO
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2009
      1 point
    LOL Catherine, I get a big kick out of you! So many questions! But don't hesitate to ask -- the best thing about newbies is that we all learn from their questions, empathize with their failures and applaud their successes.

    Thanks for the kind words. Sorry, but that's a lot like asking me if I could teach you to cook. LOL Like I said, I'm past "newbie", but far from being an expert. There's more to making lotion than following a recipe.

    Before making lotion, it's best to do a little learning on your own. Try your local library and read all the books they have available. If you google "lotion making" you will find several sites to lay a foundation for all the wonderful products you'll be making down the road. Once you have an understanding of the process, google "lotion making kit" -- several suppliers offer them -- that's how I learned to make lotion. Getting a kit allows you to try several different oils + ewax + preservative with minimal expense.

    The Mild Facial Lotion Andee recently did is wonderful! That would be a good place to start too. I'm not sure how to link you to it, but maybe someone who knows how to do that will provide the link???

    Zany in CO
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      CommentAuthorandee
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2009
      0 points
    Light Facial Cream Recipe: http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipes.php?.State=Display&id=176

    Blog Post: http://blog.thesage.com/2009/03/20/light-facial-cream/

    Catherine,

    Zany is right about looking for more information, as it will always help.
    • CommentAuthoritz16
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2010
      0 points
    I've made a couple cold creams/Body butters using borax and beeswax that turned out great. (This was before I had emulsifying wax) I used a recipe I found from a blog named FIMBY. Now that being said, I tried changing up the original recipe and the end product ended up seperating on me. The original recipe does work perfectly tho!
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      CommentAuthorandee
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2010
      0 points
    Borax isn't stable for long term emulsification. It will separate. Especially since summer is coming, it will become water and soap. Borax is an alkali and how it works is to convert some of the oils in the batch to soap. The cream is always alkaline.

    Now that you know this, you don't need my permission to do anything. You are free to make the choices you want. If you choose to stay with borax, then that is fine. If you want to go to emulsifying wax, that is fine too. I can help with the emulsifying wax, but I can't help with the borax. When I get a touchy recipe emailed to me, I take it to our R&D staff for assistance. They work it over and hand it back to me. With emulsifying wax, they can actually make the formulation if they have questions. With borax, they can't do anything.

    So....I hope this helps. It probably gives you more info than you wanted.
    • CommentAuthorsailorzeo
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2010
      0 points
    I'm glad I found this thread. I was trying a recipe from one of the "Good Gifts from The Home" series, and I was a little surprised to see none used emulsifying wax. I had borax on hand, though, so I followed the recipe....and was a little bothered when the "cream" came out with a consistency similar to melted ice cream. I was expecting something more along the lines of the Minty Foot Creme, given the description.

    Now I know better, and may try again, instead using EW.