And as a result, shaving cream was requested by a friend. As previously mentioned in another post, she had some specific demands for this cream so I got to work this morning.
I had brewed some strong yerba mate tea to give this mixture a jolt of caffeine, and I planned to use some menthol crystals for extra tingle as well. Coconut oil and aloe, as well as a little comfrey root powder for its healing properties rounded it all out. I added a tsp of kaolin clay to help the razor slip and slide along the skin and a little homemade liquid soap to keep things clean and eliminate the need for preservatives.
Now, the whipping. In theory, as this cools and the emulsion sets up, I should be able to beat it into stiff, creamy, peaks. However, so far I’ve got a fluffy mess in a pan. My emulsifier is a little slow acting, and coconut oil takes a little while to rebound to a more solid form. I’m going to keep checking and whipping it from time to time and report back.
That was a mess! It never did set up to the point where I could get stiff, fluffy peaks out of it. I ended up tossing the whole mess, brewing more Yerba Mate, and starting over the next day.
The next day, I had a few things that I tried differently. First of all, I scrapped the coconut oil and beeswax combo and just grabbed cocoa butter. It’s stability under pressure is what I needed. I also decided to give my new emulsifier a try. Up until now I’ve worked with cetearyl alcohol/polysorbate 60, also known as Emulsifying Wax NF. I like it, it’s easy to use, melts quickly and takes very little to make a stable emulsion. However, it has drawbacks. It takes approximately 48 hours to reach it’s full thickness, so trying to whip yesterday’s concoction up was an exercise in futility. This time, I was working with glyceryl stearate/cetearyl alcohol/sodium stearoyl lactylate, known as emulsimulse or ecomulse. It sets up very quickly…which meant that making shaving cream finally happened. It finally happened!
It still was scary, because I left the shaving cream for a full 24 hours to see if it would stop being a light and fluffy cream, if the emulsion would seperate, or if any other number of things would go wrong. The only bad thing that happened is that it turned green. I had mixed in some beet root powder in an attempt to make it bright pink and fun, and it was a glorious shade of hot pink for about 12 hours…before it turn, suddenly and without any warning, a definite “wilted plant” color. It’s not unattractive, especially, but it was shocking to wake up and find. I went to bed and it was pretty and pink, I wake up and it’s weed green. But I’m told that beetroot powder is unreliable as a colorant; apparently it’s been something of a interesting item when used for bath fizzies as well.
Meanwhile, I’m getting ready to ship this out to my friend, along with a bar of my shaving soap so she can compare the two. I personally thing she will like the shaving soap better. I know I love my shaving soap. But some people are inclined to like creams and lotions for shaving, and the caffeine and menthol may make it an amazing experience. I hope she enjoys it in any case, as I enjoyed the challenge of making it. Now, to drum up more challenges…