We’re continuing our Ice Palace theme today with this lovely Ice Palace Body Glow Lotion! This one is really neat in the skin feel/consistency department. In regards to viscosity and absorption speed, it’s more like a mid-weight lotion—but the richness is closer to something you’d expect from a rich cream. It’s a lovely hybrid and just the thing for dry winter days!
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This lotion uses Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate as the emulsifier. The first project I shared using this emulsifier was last month’s Cocoa Coconut Emulsified Body Butter. That rich, decadent formulation took advantage of this emulsifier’s ability to practically vanish into formulations, allowing me to create a rich product with a large oil phase, but without any of the weight and drag that can come from using more traditional emulsifying waxes at high levels. For this Ice Palace Body Glow Lotion, I’m taking advantage of that invisibility again to create a product with a rich skin feel with a cream-sized oil phase, but a lighter skin feel than you’d typically expect from a formulation with a 25.5% oil phase.
The oil phase is mostly vitamin A rich apricot kernel oil, with a touch of cetyl alcohol for added silky viscosity and body. You could easily use a different lightweight liquid carrier (or a blend of them) instead of apricot kernel oil—just choose something you have and like, there’s no need to order apricot kernel oil especially for this project if you don’t already have it.‘
I’ve kept the water phase quite simple; distilled water, moisturizing vegetable glycerin, and soothing vitamin b5 (panthenol). If you wanted to, you could easily swap 20–30% of the distilled water for a hydrosol of choice. In the version I show in the video I drop the fragrance oil and use 20% peppermint hydrosol in the heated water phase, and that is lovely as well!
The “glow” part of this Ice Palace Body Glow Lotion comes from the inclusion of 3% silver-white mica. This isn’t enough to make your skin look sparkly or shimmery—it just catches the light a bit more, adding a subtle glow to the skin. I used a silver-white mica, but you could also use a colour shifting silver-white mica (or any colour of mica, really, but I’m keeping my brainstorming limited to things that make sense with the Ice Palace theme).
For some added lightweight viscosity I’ve also included a bit of Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN)—a pre-neutralized gelling agent that contributes really gorgeous skin feel to our formulations. You don’t have to include it (I’ve discussed some alternatives in the substitutions list at the end of the post), but I do love the fun and luxurious “soft peaks” it lends to this lotion.
I recommend packaging the finished Ice Palace Body Glow Lotion in a soft squeeze tube or tottle—it’s a bit too thick to work well in a pump-top bottle. If you don’t have a squeeze tube I’d choose a wide-mouthed jar or tub instead. Enjoy!
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Ice Palace Body Glow Lotion
Heated oil phase
2.5g | 2.5% Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate (USA / Canada / UK & EU / Australia)
3g | 3% cetyl alcohol
20g | 20% apricot kernel oil
0.4g | 0.4% Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (USA / Canada / UK / Australia)
3g | 3% silver-white mica
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 heated water phase into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or glass beaker. Weigh the entire lot (measuring cup + ingredients) and note that weight for use later. Weigh the heated oil phase 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 weigh the water phase. Add enough hot distilled water to the heated water phase to bring the weight back up to what it was before heating, and then 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.
When the lotion is cool it’s time to incorporate our cool down ingredients. Because cool down ingredients are typically present at very low amounts you’ll need to use an accurate scale—preferably one accurate to 0.01g. As these more accurate scales tend to have fairly low (100–200g) maximum weights you won’t be able to put the entire batch of lotion on that scale without blowing it out. So—grab a smaller dish. Add a scoop or two of lotion, and then weigh the cool down ingredients into that, using the more accurate scale. Stir to thoroughly incorporate, and then stir all of that back into the masterbatch of lotion. Doing it this way minimizes the amount of cool down ingredients lost to the secondary container.
Once the cool down phase has been incorporated, all that’s left to do is package it up! I recommend putting this project in a squeeze tube or tottle (I used this one from YellowBee—watch the video for details on how to fill tubes like that). It’ll also work in a jar. I don’t recommend a regular pump-top bottle as this lotion is quite thick.
Use as you’d use any lotion—spread over any skin that could use some extra love. Enjoy!
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 may 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.
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 a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 100g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list (panthenol) please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could use propanediol 1,3 instead of glycerin.
- You cannot use a different complete emulsifying wax instead of Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate without re-working the formulation to account for the differences. To learn more, please read the Encyclopedia entry on this new emulsifier.
- Similarly, you absolutely cannot use just glyceryl stearate (or glyceryl stearate SE) instead of Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate. The entire INCI must match.
- Cetearyl alcohol would make a decent alternative for cetyl alcohol.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the apricot kernel oil.
- You can try different gelling agents instead of Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (USA / Canada / UK / Australia).
- The mica is optional. Feel free to choose a colour you associate with winter, or just replace it with more water.
- You can use a different extract that your skin loves.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- For scent:
- I used a “Salty Sea Air” fragrance for one version and that was lovely.
- I used peppermint hydrosol at 20% for another version (watch the video!), and that was also lovely
- If you’d like to incorporate a different essential oil, please read this.