Making Materia: Floral Oleogel Balm for Skin Formulation

Making Materia: Floral Oleogel Balm for Skin Formulation

Floral Oleogel Balm with Cera Bellina

Making your own oleogels is so satisfying. They're different than regular balms or salves because of it's ointment-like, bouncy texture. Oleogels are also easy to customize. Substitute your own favorite aromatic oils and butters to create a personal blend that's both protective and smells fantastic!

What is Cera bellina? Cera bellina forms the oily-gel base of this formulation. It is a derivative of beeswax, and it is not vegan. However, it will set nearly any oil and butter into a smooth, stable gel. It's a truly unique feeling balm! It is suitable for sensitive skin and feels similar to beeswax but bouncier with more cushion. It is fantastic for suspending color pigments like mica, so you can let your imagination run wild! I sometimes swirl colors in a single pot, like the 1990s classic Trix Yogurt Swirl! Strange comparison, but the colors are similar.

Cera bellina is a niche ingredient, and I have seen it sold erroneously as candelilla wax or carnauba wax. That's a massive difference! Candelilla and carnauba wax are vegan, but cera bellina is not! Mislabeled skincare ingredients are popping up everywhere, so please always check the INCI code: Polyglycerol 3 Beeswax.

I recommend (without sponsorship) purchasing from either Lotioncrafter or Brambleberry. I have seen cera bellina on Etsy, but please be weary. Cera bellina pellets are small, soft, white, and domed. It will never be yellow or beige and should not have any scent. Again, check the INCI code: Polyglycerol 3 Beeswax.

This formulation makes 50 grams. That is enough to fill seven 7ml pots, exactly like the Rose Signet and Jasmine Duet balms. Read to the end of the formula for packaging tips and tricks!

Before getting started, please read the entire post first! 

Floral Oleogel Balm Ingredients

Makes 50 grams

  • 23.5g fractionated coconut oil
  • 9.5g cera bellina pellets
  • 8.5g pomegranate seed oil (substitute your favorite oil)
  • 7g cupuaçu butter (substitute your favorite butter, except shea)
  • 1.25g floral wax (rosejasmine, or tuberose)
  • 0.5g vitamin E oil
  • Mica powder or oil-soluble liquid dye

Floral Oleogel Balm Directions

  1. Weight out fractionated coconut oil, cera bellina, pomegranate seed oil, cupuaçu butter, and floral wax into a heatproof beaker or measuring cup.
  2. Heat the ingredients on a hot plate or double boiler to 170°F. If using a double-boiler, ensure the water level reaches the height of the elements for a complete melt.
  3. Keep ingredients at 170°F for 20 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove from heat and stir with a heatproof rod to encourage cooling and gelling. 
  5. Once the mixture drops to 120°F, add vitamin E oil and stir to combine. Add your mica or liquid dye at this point. Be sure to mix everything thoroughly.
  6. Keep stirring as it cools; the balm thickens into a soft gel.
  7. Once you are satisfied with the color of the balm, allow it to cool after reaching the soft gel phase.
  8. Scoop fully-cooled oleogel into clean 7ml containers.

Packaging Oleogel: Tips & Tricks

This oleogel formulation creates a balm with the consistency of creamed honey, so it cannot be formed into tubes for lip balm. Instead, go for small pots and jars. Plastic or glass is ideal because the oils will not react with the container. Avoid paperboard, even waxed, because the oils will seep out. 

Oleogels will also work in squeeze tubes but be aware that the formula naturally thickens in cold weather and may be difficult to squeeze out, so opt for a tube with a generous opening.

How to Use Oleogels

Oleogels are used externally for dry skin on the lips, face, hands, and body. It is safe to use on inflamed, bruised, cracked skin affected by eczema, allergies, psoriasis, or injury. And it smells fantastic! Choose floral waxes that have healing properties, like rose or green tea wax, for your own unique blend.

Apply to lips to protect against wind, dry weather, and pollution. Use oleogel on cuticles to soften callouses and prevent cracking. The balm survives a handwashing or two, but be sure to reapply as needed. A little goes a long way! 

Important Formulating Standards and Practices

  • Formulate in a clean, well-lit, well-ventilated space. Formulating skincare at home is safe if you review and follow the Good Manufacturing Practices from the FDA.
  • Use a digital food-grade thermometer to ensure your formulation reaches the proper temperature to add ingredients at the right stages. A digital thermometer helps ensure your final product comes out smooth, homogenous, and properly preserved!
  • Because this is an anhydrous (without water) formulation, you do not need to add a broad-spectrum preservative. 
  • Vitamin E oil helps prevent rancidity.

Formulating Resources

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