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Monday, 29 November 2010

Bath Oils with Dispersant

Using A Dispersant with your Bath Oil

A dispersant? What is that? Well, you know when you buy a bath oil and it looks milky when you pour it into the bath and feels soft on your skin but not greasy in quite the same way as oil alone. That is because a dispersant or emulsifier has been added to the bath oil.

These emulsifiers are not 'natural straight off the tree' ingredients. They are also not natures own emulsifier - bees wax. They have been synthesised in the laboratory and can include natural ingredients but are not generally thought of as 'natural'.

As such, they tend to find favour with those people who are not so strict about using all-natural ingredients, but if they are a step too far for you, then simply stick to the bath oil recipes in my previous posts.

The dispersant that I am using here is not the only one available. There are others, suppliers are usually only too happy to recommend usage levels for their products, so you can substitute another brand - usually with successful results.

The dispersant (liquid emulsifier) that I am going to use is called Polysorbate 80. It is not a totally natural ingredient. It's constituents are sorbitol, ethylene oxide & oleic acid (polyoxyethylene-20 sorbitan monooleate). Only the oleic acid is derived from vegetable oil.
Now don't be frightened by the chemical names... everything in nature has a chemical name... after all if I said it was oleic acid you would wonder what on earth that was wouldn't you? Oleic acid is a constituent of some vegetable oils.  Do not assume that because it contains synthetic ingredients, they are bad for you... similarly you shouldn't assume that all natural ingredients are good for you.  I do intend to do a post at some stage about the most commonly found cosmetic ingredients and how they fall into the natural or not category... but you will have to bear with me... these things take time!

The dispersant (polysorbate 80) helps the oil to combine with the bath water. It 'disperses' the oil  evenly through the water which helps it to reach all the parts of your body. The water looks milky and when you come out of the bath and pat your skin dry you do get the lovely soft feel of the oil but you don't get the heavy or tacky drag of neat oil on your skin.

The choice to use this ingredient is, I suppose down to where you personally draw the line.

Rose Geranium & Melissa Dispersant Bath Oil

Ingredients200 ml Avocado Oil
10ml Polysorbate 80 (you may need to Google for a supplier
near you)
1ml Vitamin E
3ml Rose Geranium Essential Oil
2ml Melissa Essential Oil

In a clean sterilised glass container mix together the avocado oil and the polysorbate 80. The polysorbate 80 does not dissolve into the oil so it needs to be very well mixed through - even though you may not see it because it is the same colour as your oil. Next add the essential oils and again mix very thoroughly. The trick to successful outcomes is always in the mixing. Finally add the vitamin E. You may find using a disposable syringe for the vitamin e a good idea as often it is very gloopy and can be difficult to measure. I use disposable syringes for measuring nearly all my small ingredients by volume... of course if you are measuring by weight... you need a very accurate small set of scales... try jewelry scales... they work really well.  Plastic disposable syringes are available online from some pharmaceutical companies.

Decant the mixture into a nice bottle and label it carefully, let it rest for 24 hours before using for the first time. To use: give it a shake (just in case any of the mixture has separated... remember you may not be able to see the polysorbate because it is the same colour as the oil, before pouring a couple of teasponfuls into an average size bath. Get in and enjoy! Provided you do not get any water into the bath oil bottle you should not need to use a preservative in this mixture.

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