Today we’re whipping up an ultra-light, super-slippy, richly moisturizing Strawberry Kiwi Body Yogurt. I’ve had a ton of requests for a body yogurt formulation, and I had lots of fun working on this DIY. The scent comes from a juicy strawberry distillate, and the kiwi element comes from ultra-light kiwi oil. If you like your lotions ultra-light, this is for you!
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I first heard about body yogurts from a Formula Botanica blog post. They’re an ultra-light body moisturizer, low on the oil and high on the humectants. The viscosity of the product comes primarily from a gelling agent, so the product has a really fun wobble to it. It has amazing glide and quickly vanishes on the skin. You could think of it as the opposite of a body butter—ultralight, fast-absorbing, and more water than oil.
Since body yogurts are supposed to be super lightweight, the oil phase in this formulation is quite small; just 12.5%. The bulk of it is kiwi oil, which is a new-to-me ingredient! Kiwi oil is pressed from the seeds of the kiwi fruit. It is primarily comprised of α-Linolenic acid and Linoleic acid, and contains a uniquely high amount of squalene. I find it to be a very lightweight, silky carrier oil. If you don’t have it, I’d choose a different light oil instead—camellia seed oil, apricot kernel oil, and sunflower oil would be good options. I used Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate for its weightless-ness, keeping this product feeling incredibly light. If you don’t have it you could modify the formulation to use something like Polawax; read this to learn more.
The majority of the viscosity of a body yogurt comes from a gelling agent—that’s why it’s thick but light, and all kinds of fun and wobbly. Since we’re using quite a lot of the gelling ingredient, its feel is really important as it’ll really come through in the finished product. I’m using Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN™) for its awesome, rich, slippy skin feel. I think Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer (Aristoflex AVC) could work well as an alternative as long as you don’t add any electrolyte-rich ingredients to the formulation. Hydroxyethylcellulose might also work, but I’d avoid xanthan gum at all costs (unless you’re keen on rubbing yourself down with something that feels like wobbly snot, I suppose).
The scent for this formulation comes entirely from the strawberry distillate in the heated water phase. The formulation honestly smells a lot like strawberry yogurt, though without the dairy element. It also looks quite a lot like yogurt thanks to the pale pink colour and the general wobbly-ness of it (there are no chunks of strawberry, though). It’s really fun and I find it to be rather hilarious 😂
The finished Strawberry Kiwi Body Yogurt practically vanishes into the skin on application. It has fantastic glide, smells fruity and delicious, and is all kinds of fun and wobbly. I hope you love it!
Relevant links & further reading
- Super Simple Moisturizing Lotion with Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate
- What’s up with hydrosols, distillates, and floral waters?
- Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN™) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Dimethicone 350 in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Silicone Mythbusting (with Video) from Lab Muffin
- Let’s Talk About Hyaluronic Acid
- How to Make a Scented Natural Body Yoghurt from Formula Botanica
- How can I incorporate X ingredient into a formulation?
- Can I use an essential oil or fragrance oil instead of a carrier oil?
- How much essential oil can I add to this recipe?
- A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
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Strawberry Kiwi Body Yogurt
Heated water phase
29.99g | 29.99% distilled water
30g | 30% strawberry distillate
5g | 5% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
20g | 20% low molecular weight 1% hyaluronic acid solution (USA / New Zealand)
0.01g | 0.01% water-soluble red dye
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. It will thicken rapidly as the Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN™) kicks in, so you’ll have to scrape down the blender more often than usual. 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 master batch 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 a wide-mouthed jar—this is far too thick for a pump-top bottle. Use as you’d use any lotion; apply sparingly. A little goes a long way and too much can be sticky if over-applied.
The two-toned swirl is from combining two batches with slightly differing amounts of dye.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this body yogurt 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. If you’re planning on scaling this up it would be a good idea to include an antioxidant as kiwi seed oil is fairly oxidization prone.
- 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 please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could use a different hydrosol or distillate for a different scent, or more water for no scent.
- You could use propanediol 1,3 instead of glycerine.
- You could replace the hyaluronic acid solution with more distilled water.
- The dye is optional; replace it with more distilled water if you don’t want to use it.
- You can use a different emulsifying wax if you want; something like Polawax will work, but you’ll need to double the amount and reduce the water to accomidate that. Please read this post to learn more.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the kiwi oil.
- You could try a different gelling agent instead of Polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (Sepimax ZEN™); Aristoflex AVC, Carbopol® Ultrez 21, or hydroxyethylcellulose could be options. Be sure to neutralize the gel if needed (your suplier should say if this is required).
- You could use a natural dimethicone alternative instead of dimethicone 350.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
The jars used in the video and blog were gifted by YellowBee, as was the red dye. The strawberry distillate was gifted by Essential Wholesale. The kiwi oil was gifted by Mystic Moments. The hyaluronic acid was gifted by Pure Nature.