There are many ways to make facial and body creams. This time I tried lecithin as the only emulsifier in the cream. If you haven’t tried skin moisturizing and softening lecithin yet then now is the time. As an emulsifier for homemade cosmetics, lecithin is not very commonly used. I think it should be because lecithin really does soothe the skin. It effectively moisturizes and softens dry skin. Lecithin cream a real dream-come-true winter cream. So, let’s make a simple, moisturizing cream from lecithin.
Liquid or granular lecithin?
Lecithin has not been used much in home cosmetics. Now is the time to introduce lecithin. It is perfect for emulsifying rich creams for winter use. Lecithin allows you to prepare your creams without double-boiler water heating. Lecithin does not like heating. Its sensitive skin care ingredients are destroyed if you use too high temperature too long in preparing process. The soy lecithin I am using is GMO free.
Preparing of lecithin
Granular lecithin dissolves best in oil. Lecithin dissolves also in water but it is easier to prepare an emulsion cream based on lecithin dissolved in oil. Dissolving process takes less time if granular lecithin is pre-grinded in mortar.
Dissolving lecithin in oil
Only a certain amount of lecithin can be dissolved in the oil. My rough estimate is 1 dl of oil can dissolve ½ tablespoon of lecithin. Exact amount depends on the oil you use. Straining is highly recommended after the dissolving process.
For straining, I recommend a strainer as dense as possible. Cotton gauze is also good. However, the oil will ruin the gauze so you cannot use it again. That’s why I prefer the strainer myself.
The strained oil containing lecithin is already a finished cosmetic product. You can use it, for example, on wet hair ends to protect them from drying out.
Choose the right oil for the lecithin cream
You can use almost any desired oil in your cream. I myself have used rice bran oil in creams containing lecithin. Various herbal oils, also called macerated oils, are also good. You can replace the oil partially or completely with herbal oil. Always dissolve lecithin in the total amount of oil. Choose the oil you prefer. There are some oils which I haven’t tried at all with lecithin like coconut oil. However, I do not particularly prefer coconut oil for skin care.
Here are some suggestions for suitable oils
- Sunflower oil; Suitable for the whole body and the whole family
- Rice bran oil; suitable for many skin types, especially good for removing signs of aging from the skin
- Moringa oil; a special oil that can be used as a hair oil to treat dry ends
- Calendula Oil; use in lecithin cream either wholly or as part of an oil mixture. Suitable for the treatment of irritated skin and children’s skin problems
What is the water phase?
Since we are now making a lotion, we also need some liquid for the lotion. Again, you can use your imagination and choose almost any water-based liquid suitable for creams.
Lecithin, like other emulsifiers, does not withstand salts and other minerals very well. For example, a seaweed poultice is very rich in minerals. Lecithin cream makes the seaweed poultice too thin. The ointment will probably thicken slightly in time but needs a pump bottle anyway.
Suitable liquids for lecithin cream
- boiled or distilled water; water is always the best option for simple lotions, sensitive skin, children, the elderly and people with allergies
- Infusion; you can replace some or all of the liquid with a herbal infusion such as raspberry leaf, chamomile, nettle, burr, marshmallow root etc.
- Aloe Vera juice; a true skin care ingredient
- Kombu (or other seaweed) infusion; please note the cream may become thinner.
Ingredients for lecithin cream
After you have selected the ingredients you want for your cream, you can start measuring them.
This cream does not necessarily need to be heated in a water boiler. However, if you want to minimize bacterial growth, you can heat the cream base in a double boiler for 30 minutes at 80 degrees Celsius. This will destroy most of the bacteria.
Use these ingredients
• Place 1 dl of oil (your choice) to a bowl
• Mix ½ tablespoon of lecithin in granules to the oil. Use an electric hand blender whisk.
• Mix the liquid so that the lecithin is completely dissolved. This may take some time. Let the mixture rest overnight.
Strain the liquid in order to get rid of all dissolved particles of lecithin
Add 1 dl of water and mix using blender
• The mixture becomes a mayonnaise-like, a very beautiful shiny cream.
• The cream will be preserved in a fridge at least 2-3- weeks. Lecithin cream does not like preservatives. For some reason, the structure of the cream is destroyed after adding drops of Geogard 221 -preservative.
How to use lecithin cream
Lecithin cream is a pretty greasy cream. However, thanks to lecithin, the oil is deeply absorbed into the skin, moisturizing and softening it. Therefore, it is advisable to take the time and carefully rub the lecithin cream into the skin. Just leaving the cream and applying it lightly will give you a very oily skin feel for a long time.
I do not recommend lecithin cream under makeup. If you apply the cream to the skin in the morning and immediately apply makeup, the cream will not be absorbed. If you apply lecithin cream in evening, you will have a very soft and moisturized skin in the morning that does not need much new moisture.
I’m really happy with moisturizing and skin softening lecithin cream.
Lecithin is a suitable emulsifier for oil-rich emulsions. There is a fifty/fifty oil and water in this recipe. You cannot prepare light emulsions when using lecithin. These heavier creams are perfect for winter and outdoor activities.
This cream leaves a greasy surface on the skin for a while. When the cream is completely absorbed, the skin feels soft and moisturized. Although I have added several times a day lecithin cream on my face my skin has not blocked up. No single acne has come on my skin while using this cream. The skin is calmed, moisturized and soft. My cream is made from a very simple and skin-friendly combination of rice bran oil + lecithin + water.
I use this cream as a night cream for the face and even for the whole body after a shower. Lecithin cream is also an excellent outdoor cream. A friend of mine, who is a passionate outdoor person and cyclist, often orders a can of lecithin cream from me.
Lecithin cream is not very stable
You can quite easily make lecithin, oil and water lotion without any chemicals. However, lecithin cream is not completely stable. The oil easily separates from the ointment but can be mixed in a couple of spins until smooth. By adding a thickener such as xanthan gum, the emulsion would be more stable. However, I wanted this cream to be a very simple product.
The good thing about home cosmetics is that you can compromise the composition of the cream without any problems. Home cosmetics creams and other products do not have to appeal to public or large customer base. If the cream requires mixing before use then what is the problem? This simple, effective and beautiful cream is worth that little effort.
What is your favourite outdoor cream?
Now I want to introduce you to one of the safest and most useful ingredients in cosmetics. Lecithin is rarely talked about in connection with home cosmetics. However, it is an ingredient used in many commercial cosmetic products. Lecithin is a very useful ingredient as it is very natural and suitable for almost everyone’s skin. Perhaps you are familiar with the health benefits of lecithin? In skin care, lecithin is usually not mentioned. Now we are focusing on the properties of lecithin in skin and hair care. How can you use nourishing, protective and moisturizing lecithin in your cosmetics?
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin consists mainly of fatty substances called phospholipids. Phospholipids are building material of cell membranes that are particularly rich in choline for humans.
Lecithin is found naturally from many sources like eggs, soy and sunflower seeds. Lecithin is a thick, waxy substance that is soluble in water but also in fat. Lecithin contains, in addition to choline, linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, glycerol and small amounts of biotin. Lecithin is used as a food supplement as it is believed to lower cholesterol level in blood. That’s why it is very easy to find soy lecithin on the shelves of supermarkets.
Lecithin is a very common ingredient in many industrial products
You can easily find lecithin as an ingredient in both cosmetics and foods. Sometimes lecithin may also be called as phosphatidylcholine. Lecithin acts as a thickener and emulsifier in foods. Not so many people are aware that for instance chocolate, is an emulsion in which lecithin is the emulsifier. In mayonnaise, lecithin is an essential ingredient. Humans are not generally allergic to lecithin. Naturally some may be. That is why it is so commonly used by food industry.
Lecithin is used in many cosmetic products precisely because of its emulsifying ability. However, lecithin is also rich in skin care properties. However, the utility of lecithin is rarely highlighted. Lecithin is at its best in creams with high percentage of oils. It is widely used in combination with other emulsifiers and thickeners. More steady emulsion is obtained by combining other emulsifiers and thickeners with lecithin.
How is Lecithin Made?
Lecithin granules available in shops are usually are made from soy. There is also lecithin made from sunflower seeds, which is sold in liquid and powder forms. Sunflower lecithin is significantly less common than soybean lecithin. Many people prefer liquid sunflower lecithin in cosmetics because it is easy to use. Also, sunflower lecithin is not GMO modified as soy products often are. The soy lecithin I use is GMO free. Sunflower lecithin is extracted much gentler than soybean lecithin. Its production does not require any toxic chemicals.
Use of lecithin as an emulsifier in cosmetics
Lecithin is not a very easy emulsifier. The problems are its slow dissolution in both water and oil. Grinding of lecithin granules helps a little the dissolution. Liquid lecithin is ready for use immediately. If you find some, just buy it.
Dissolve lecithin, preferably in oil
Although lecithin is soluble in both oil and water, I personally prefer dissolving it in oil. I have tested different methods of preparing lecithin creams. It is much easier to get the result you want by dissolving lecithin in oil first and then add the liquid to it. The emulsion requires particularly strong whipping. I recommend the use of an (electric) mixer.
Pure water is the safest liquid in lecithin emulsion
Boiled water is the safe choice for Lecithin emulsified creams. Lecithin is a delicate emulsifier that does not like all ingredients. I managed to dissolve the emulsion simply by adding a few drops of preservative to it. I will study making of lecithin creams more carefully in the future. I want to find suitable liquids and preservatives for the lecithin emulsion.
Lecithin cream is challenging but worth the effort
One weakness of lecithin is its slow absorption. The skin remains sticky for a long time. That’s why I recommend making lecithin cream as night cream. Allow it to absorb slowly. I do understand well why lecithin as an emulsifier has not been very popular in commercial creams. It is also quite a challenging ingredient in home cosmetics. Despite all of these problems, I am fond of lecithin cream. It makes the skin feel very comfortable, soft and moisturized. There is no any other type of ointment that can deeply moisturize dry winter skin in the same way.
Lecithin is a skin nurturant ingredient
In this article, I’d like to emphasize the skin care properties of lecithin. Because lecithin is generally used as emulsifier, its effects on the skin has not been notified. By using lecithin, you can make a simple lotion and many other products with all the nurturant ingredients.
- Lecithin is one of the skin’s own, natural ingredients. Therefore, lecithin is particularly suitable for skin care.
- Lecithin strengthens the skin’s own protection. It helps the skin to protect itself against external stimulus.
- Lecithin is a humectant. It absorbs moisture and keeps the skin moisturized. Lecithin’s hydrophilic, water-attracting property effectively hydrates the skin.
- Lecithin also helps skin retain moisture due to its linoleic acid content. It has both moisture-collecting and moisture-retaining properties.
- Lecithin changes the structure of the skin by helping the active substances penetrate deeper into the skin. Indeed, lecithin is often used as a carrier to deliver medicine deeper into the skin.
- Lecithin acts as an antioxidant on the skin by resisting the signs of aging
Lecithin also takes care of the hair
Lecithin is really good for hair care. Big haircare product manufacturers use commonly lecithin in their products. As a moisturizing ingredient, lecithin-containing products can be used to treat dry ends. The scalp also benefits from lecithin. Add lecithin to your hair masks.
How can lecithin be used in home cosmetics?
In home cosmetics, lecithin suits well to nourishing creams. Lecithin as an emulsifier is at its best in formulas with equal amounts of oil and water. A very light cream with lecithin cannot be made unless you use other emulsifiers. You can also combine beeswax or vegetable butter with lecithin. This naturally gives you more product stability without using any potentially toxic chemicals.
- Lecithin emulsion cream is a good night cream because it protects and moisturizes the skin very effectively.
- Lecithin can be used in hair products to treat dry and damaged hair.
- Lecithin products have been used to treat skin problems such as acne and eczema
- Lecithin creams are very suitable for baby care as they are natural and well tolerated.
- Lecithin may be added to skin serums. Lecithin helps to deliver active ingredients deeper into the skin
You can add small amounts of lecithin to the facial lotions. It helps the facial lotions to soften the skin and create a matte, non-shiny finish on the skin. Please bear in mind that lecithin colours the facial water grey.
Learn how to use lecithin in your products
Once you learn how to use lecithin, you will no longer want to give it up. I’ve used lecithin in my own products for a while now and I’m really excited. I always come up with new uses for lecithin.
I also find it great that I can easily purchase all the cosmetics ingredients I need from local store. Lecithin is a safe ingredient. It is a food that is intended as a supplement. Such cosmetic ingredients are the best. Cosmetics should not contain any toxic chemicals. Everything we apply to our skin is also absorbed by our body. Therefore, we should choose only really safe ingredients for our cosmetic products.
Have you used lecithin before?