This lightweight oil is post-shower (or bath) perfection. It perfectly melds with your soft, damp skin to lock in moisture and leave your skin feeling velvety, conditioned, and downright pampered. Soothing colloidal oats and rich coconut milk play starring roles, with silky meadowfoam and apricot kernel oils rounding out this cast of skin-loving goodness. Swoon.
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There are two categories of ingredients that make this body oil an “after shower” oil. The first is emulsifiers. The inclusion of emulsifiers mean this after-shower oil will self-emulsify with the water left on your skin after showering, transforming the oil into lotion on your skin. Cool, eh? You’ll find some BTMS-50 and some Olivem300 in the ingredients list. BTMS-50 is a solid, oil-soluble, conditioning emulsifying wax, and the skin feel it lends this project is divine. It gives your skin a velvety, almost powdery finish that is really quite decadent. Some Olivem300, a lightweight water soluble ester, further ensures this after-shower oil easily emulsifies with any water left on your skin.
Our other “yup, definitely an after-shower oil” ingredients are two powders: coconut milk powder and colloidal oatmeal. Since we’re adding water at the moment of use, we can include ingredients that would typically be too hard to preserve to use in a product that contains water—score! Coconut milk powder definitely falls into this category, and we’re using more colloidal oatmeal than I’d usually use in a lotion for the same reason. These powders will soften and dissolve when you combine the oil with water on your skin, transforming from gritty powders you’d rather not rub on yourself into lovely skin-loving, scratch-free goodness.
The bulk of this after-shower oil is a blend of skin-loving apricot kernel and meadow foam seed oils. You could definitely use any liquid oils that your skin loves, but I would recommend trying to stick to faster-absorbing oils to keep the lovely, light feel of this product.
I’m also using a new-to-me ingredient: TKB Trading’s GelMaker CC (INCI: Dicaprylyl Carbonate [and] Stearalkonium Hectorite [and] Propylene Carbonate). It’s a very cool clay-derived thickening ingredient, and using it at 6% keeps our powdered ingredients in suspension without turning the shower oil into a super-thick paste sort of thing. It also contributes a rich slip to the oil that’s quite lovely. It’s definitely not necessary, but I don’t know of anything more common that will contribute the same properties, so if you don’t have it I’d replace it with more liquid oil and accept that you’ll be shaking your oil before you use it.
I chose a simple essential oil blend of vanilla-like benzoin, calming lavender, and just a touch of dark patchouli. It’s sweet and a bit spicy, and I really like it, but you’re certainly welcome to use something else if you prefer it (or just drop the patchouli—it changes the blend a lot!).
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Oatmeal & Milk After Shower Oil
Combine the colloidal oats and milk powder in your DIY-only coffee grinder and blend together for about twenty seconds.
While the powders settle in the grinder, weigh out the gel maker into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Add a small amount of the Olivem300, blending between additions with a flexible silicone spatula. Make sure to break up all the lumps before adding more Olivem300. Once the gel maker and the Olivem300 are fully incorporated, blend in the powdered colloidal oats and milk powder, breaking up as many clumps as possible.
Stir in the remaining liquid oils and the BTMS-50. Melt everything together—I tried a water bath first, but found the BTMS-50 really didn’t want to melt, so I finished it off with a quick burst in the microwave. The instructions say you shouldn’t microwave it, but the end product seemed no worse for it. At 6% usage rate it has plenty of other ingredients to insulate it, and I kept the microwaving to an absolute bare minimum. The flash point for the GelMaker is 100°C, and the melting point for BTMS-50 is 60°C, so you have plenty of space to melt the BTMS-50 without getting anywhere close to 100°C. If you are usually able to melt BTMS-50 in a water bath, do that and forgo the microwave—BTMS-50 just refuses to melt for me in a water bath.
Once everything has melted together remove the product from the heat and let it cool—I used an ice bath to speed things along. Once the mixture is room temperature, stir in your cool down ingredients, and you’re done! This recipe will fill 1 60mL/2fl oz bottle nicely.
To use, smooth a small amount of the oil over damp skin. You must apply it to damp skin so the oats and milk powder have something to dissolve in, otherwise the oil will be unpleasantly gritty. You can also use it as a bath oil!
Because this product is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using this batch calculator from Making Skincare. As written in grams this recipe will make 50g.
- You can use a different type of milk powder, like cow or goat.
- If you don’t have the GelMaker you can replace it with more liquid oil, or a butter like shea or mango. You could also try stearic acid or cetyl alcohol. None of these are going to have the same suspending effect as the GelMaker, though.
- You can try water soluble shea butter instead of the Olivem300
- You can use different relatively lightweigh liquid oils in place of the ones listed
- You can use BMTS-25 instead of BTMS-50, though it will not be as conditioning. A non-cationic emulsifying wax will also work, though it will not have the wonderful skin feel of a conditioning emulsifying wax.
- You can scent it differently if you choose.