I’ve been experimenting recently with lighter lotions that are suitable for pump bottles and summery weather, and I am loving the results of these experiments. My first experiment was my Lemon Chiffon Body and Hand Lotion, and I was honestly surprised by just how much I loved it. You guys loved, it, too—Thais commented “This is my favorite lotion like… ever! It sinks in beautifully, doesn’t feel sticky and the smell… omg, I can’t stop sniffing my hands and arms. About your make a 2nd batch. Thanks Marie!!!” So, consider this Ginger Silk Summer Lotion experiment 2.0. And guys… swoon. Holy goodness moly WOWZA, I am utterly smitten with this incredibly lightweight, unbelievably silky, ginger-scented lotion, and I’m so excited to share it with you! 😍
There are two big keys to creating a lightweight lotion; the size of the oil phase (larger oil phase = heavier lotion), and the absorption speed of the oils in the oil phase. You can of course, modify feel with the inclusion of other ingredients like silicones and extracts, but if you’ve got a lotion that 40% oils that’s packed with shea butter and oat oil, that’s going to be a heavy, oily lotion no matter how you slice it (especially since there’s a good chance it would actually be thick enough to slice!).
So, step one: devise a formula with a relatively small oil phase—this one is just under 20%. Because a smaller oil phase can make for a lotion that’s a bit drooly, I’ve included some uber-silky cetyl alcohol to avoid lotion drool and contribute some luxxy thickening goodness and emolliency. For oils I’ve gone with a blend of lightweight apricot kernel oil and oh-so-lovely mango butter. Mango and shea have a lot in common in terms of consistency and melting point, but while shea butter is a bit sticky and very greasy, mango butter absorbs in a flash leaving the skin feeling silky soft with little to no greasiness. If you’ve been struggling to love shea because of the greasiness, you need yourself some mango butter!
This lotion incorporates a gift Belinda sent me—Penstia™ powder. She teased it in some comments a couple months ago, but since I can’t find it in Canada (sorry, fellow Canadians!), she sent me some (side note: my readers are the best!). According to Lotion Crafter, “Penstia™ Powder is novel polymer that imparts a silky, creamy, cushiony feel to cosmetic formulations. Their porous spheres allow for high oil loading, which is useful for active entrapment, stabilization and sebum absorption. The particles ‘roll’ rather than ‘drag’, adding exceptional slip to any formulation.” That all sounds a bit too good to be true for such an unassuming white powder, but guys—they are right! This stuff is lotion magic.
If you’ve been looking for a way to up your lotion game, Penstia™ powder is a fantastic way to do so. I can’t believe how silky and elegant this lotion is; it’s definitely not just the fancy new powder addition, but the Penstia™ adds an unbeatable luxury feel to the lotion. It glides on like a dream—like a truly professional, high end lotion. It also glistens a bit; my lotion almost sparkles in its tub. Penstia is definitely not a must, but as far as luxury ingredients go, this is one I’d definitely pick up if you’re in the States and you are a bit of a lotion connoisseur since it’s inexpensive and highly effective at 3–5%. Swoon. And sorry for introducing you to yet another wonderful thing…
For the essential oil blend I wanted something bright and a bit spicy—but spicy like sunshine and sangria, not like apple orchards and autumn. Sassy spicy, not apple pie and family spicy. The majority of the blend is bright, spicy ginger, with base notes of enchanting oak moss and a sweet flirtatious top note from michelia alba. I find the blend to be downright addictive, but not overwhelming. It’s softly spicy, and warm like the summer sun. I love it. But, if you are no lover of ginger (or just don’t have it), this lotion would be lovely with any other essential oils you have and love.
Well, now that we’ve got our balanced phases, our light oils, and our divine essential oil blend, we’re ready to make this Ginger Silk Summer Lotion. Let’s dive in!
Ginger Silk Summer Lotion
2g | 0.07oz panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.04oz hydrolyzed oat protein or other hydrolyzed protein (like silk)
0.5g | 0.018oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh the water, glycerin, and Penstia™ powder into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Weigh the Polawax, apricot kernel oil, mango butter, and cetyl alcohol into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place both measuring cups in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
After about 20–30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved. Remove the water bath from the heat, and pour the water part into the oil part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Grab your immersion blender and begin blending the lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute, leave to cool for ten, blend for another minute or two, and repeat this blend-cool-blend cycle until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the lotion is thick and creamy.
Once the lotion is cool, stir in the panthenol, essential oils, and preservatives.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this lotion contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
- If you don’t have Penstia powder, replace it with more water
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the apricot kernel oil
- You can use shea butter instead of mango, though it is heavier/greasier
- You can use more mango butter instead of cetyl alcohol
- You can use more water instead of the panthenol