Last spring I shared my creation for beating off thigh and under boob chafing, and it worked fine for the most part. It’s literally nothing but carrier oil and starch (wheat, corn, arrowroot), and it’s effective. The problem I had with it was that it separated-way too easily-into a oil layer and a starch layer, forcing me to either shake the container very, vry, very vigorously or get a fork and agitate the mixture up until it was somewhat homogeneous. It’s messy and inconvenient, and a good product shouldn’t be either of these things.
I got to thinking of a recent face moisturizer I made, that’s mostly mango butter with arrowroot starch and works as a silky smooth face primer before applying mineral makeup. It’s light and dry because of the mango butter and oil absorbing because of the arrowroot. It got me to wondering; could I turn my thigh chafing stuff into an actual balm? How would I do that? I still wanted a large percentage of liquid oils, and I didn’t want to use beeswax because it gets hard and too sticky and hard to rub in. I needed something that would merge with the liquid oils and make a nice, soft, creamy ointment like balm. I needed….Emulsifying Wax NF!
Emulsifying Wax is a cosmetic emulsifying ingredient. The ingredient name is often followed by the initials NF, indicating it conforms to the specifications of the National Formulary. It is made out of Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, PEG 150 Stearate, and Steareth 20. It has the characteristics of cetyl alcohol (a fatty alcohol) combined with the viscosity building effect of steAryl alcohol as an effective thickener and helps form stable emulsions.
Other uses? Well, when mixed with a liquid carrier oil, 50/50, it makes a fantastic soft balm that’s firm enough to handle some high temperatures and getting battered in a tin, but pliable enough to still be scooped out and rubbed on in any conditions. I made some bug off balms with sunflower oil and Emulsifying Wax NF, and Citronella, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, and Pennyroyal. They were useful for purses and pockets, and the diaper bag and car. Spillproof and leak proof, the balm rubbed rubbed in smoothly and warded off noxious bugs. I wish we had remembered it more often and gotten more use out of it, but it will take some getting used to, relying on a balm instead of a spray.
Back to the anti chafing ointment.
So I had only ever measured my original recipe by volume, which meant my first step was converting everything from tbsp to grams. I knew I wanted to make a very small batch-a few tablespoons of each ingredient -and now I had to weigh them as they went into the double boiler for future reference.
2 tbsp= 20g Emulsifying Wax
2 tbsp mango butter= 25g
2 tbsp grapeseed oil= 22g
Add weights of mango butter and grapeseed oil. You will need that much cornstarch or arrowroot powder. 47g let’s round down to 45g!
I want to use part corn starch and part arrowroot as they have different properties.
25g arrowroot powder
30 drops essential oils of choice (I use 10 each lavender, tea tree, and rosemary as all three are good for skin)
Melt mango butter over v low heat, hold for 20 min. Add Emulsifying Wax and melt pastilles. Add grapeseed oil. Add starch and mix well. Beat or whisk vigorously. Add eos as desired.
Makes about 2.5 oz
Final recipe for 4 oz jar
(tweaked slightly after using balm a few times)
35g Emulsifying wax
40g Mango butter
35 g grapeseed oil
2g essential oils (I actually used 15 drops each lavender, tea tree, and rosemary, which is slightly more than 2 grams but close enough)
Follow directions as above.
So far working it’s working well but weather got suddenly cool before I could really try it out under a dress all day in hot weather. When I go braless around the house it helps with underboob chafing and doesn’t sweat off easily but once again, not sweating overly much right now while braless. It does help thigh chafing at the gym the couple times I’ve used it there while J was in Canada this last time.
I like that it’s a balm and that it doesn’t seperate. I’m debating swapping the mango butter, which is dry and silky, for shea butter, which would be more oily and slick. I had hoped using mango butter and a fast absorbing oil like grapeseed would be a good combo and compromise, but I’m wondering if perhaps I need to flip that and try a fast absorbing oil like castor for part of the oil, and maybe even cocoa butter (which absorbs fast imo) for part of the butter. If I used cocoa butter, I could reduce how much Emulsifying Wax I need by a few grams. So many possible combinations and so much potential!
Well, there’s the base recipe, and ideas on how to personalize it just for you. I firmly suggest picking up some Emulsifying Wax or possibly Ecomulse (Ecomulse is an ECOCERT emulsifying wax that I actually prefer for lotions and creams over Emulsifying Wax, and you can buy it at Lotioncrafter’s right here.) You’ll find all kinds of great things at Lotioncrafters. Have fun shopping! I hope to publish some lotion recipes very soon, so be prepared with your ingredients!
Made a new batch with mango butter, fractionated coconut oil, and BTMS 225. The texture is very silky and it absorbs almost instantly.