welcome back to the DIY DUPE SERIES. today we’re formulating a dupe for an expensive body balm!
as with all the other dupes, no companies will be named and the names of the products have been changed. full and original ingredients lists are provided.
as always, NONE of the links provided are affiliates. i do not benefit in any way, i’m just trying to point you to reputable suppliers that i personally use if you want to try to DIY these.
(pic from Crafts Unleased)
hopefully this body balm recipe inspires you to elevate your DIY recipes!
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil*, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Seed Butter*, Cera Carnauba/Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire de Carnauba*, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter*, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter*, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d’abeille*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil*, Phenethyl Alcohol, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil*, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Extract*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Algae Extract, Tocopherol, Aroma**, Limonene, Linalool
this is an anhydrous blend made with a harder, crumbly butter (kokum), two different waxes, and an oil-soluble preservative. usually balms like this can have a nice texture with 25% butter, 50% oil, and 25% wax, although it varies due to personal preference and which butters, oils, and waxes you decide to use. if you’re just using hard and crumbly kokum butter, it’s more 50/50. some versions have 70% oil, 15% butter, and 5% wax. see how the butter and wax percentages can change it? since the kokum butter is pretty hard, we can do without the waxes, especially since beeswax can leave a slight film on the skin. let’s use it at 10%, and as a formulation guideline. cocoa butter is also a bit harder, next is shea, whereas cupuacu and mango seed butters are very soft and creamy. let’s do 65% butter and 35% oils; no waxes.
shea butter ethyl esters is a product known as Lipex SheaLight, designed to be a less greasy emollient. i think using a different butter and oils would have solved this issue, but this is another way to get that result.
dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline is an anti-wrinkle product known as Sepilift DPHP. manufacturer tests indicate a formulation usage of 1%. we’ll exclude it. that means our acai oil is 1% contribution, as it’s next and before the phenethyl alcohol.
phenethyl alcohol is used here as a preservative and possibly an aromatic addition. it’s never been assessed for safety but animal studies show signs of skin irritation. we’ll leave it out, but note it’s usually used at no greater than 1%. the elderberry extract is a natural oil-soluble preservative and the EOs serve to make it smell nice.
elderberry extract can be used at 1 to 5%, although challenge test results indicate 2% is the acceptable usage.
i’m unsure of what algae extract they’re using, but we’ll choose a waterless one.
we know that tocopherols are effective at 0.5%, so let’s assume that.
as for the extracts towards the end of the list, they could be CO2 extractions. however, since there is no such thing as meadowsweet CO2 or alfalfa CO2, we can probably safely assume these plant materials are all being infused into the olive oil that’s listed. if that’s the case, then let’s blend equal parts of dried plant materials into the olive oil and let it infuse for 4 months. whew, long time.
lastly, here’s a labeling tidbit – cosmetic formulations that are sold to consumers in a retail way, like online or in-store, need the COMMON ingredient names, not the INCI names. this is a very common mistake. however, you can certainly include the INCI ones if they’re embedded in the common name. so, the labeling on this product is non-compliant.
no Lipex SheaLight. no waxes. no caprylic/capric triglyceride. no phenethyl alcohol. no Sepilift DPHP.
- shea butter – 35%
- rosehip oil – 19%
- kokum seed butter – 10%
- murumuru butter – 5%
- cupuacu butter – 5%
- camellia sinensis oil – 5%
- olive oil – 5%
- infused with arnica, borage, alfalfa, meadowsweet, and calendula
- cocoa butter – 5%
- mango seed butter – 5%
- elderberry extract – 2%
- acai fruit oil – 1%
- tamanu oil – 1%
- algae extract – 1%
- tocopherols – 0.5%
- EOs (as desired) – 0.5%
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