Healthy skin is a passion of mine. Well before High Heeled Homemaker, I played around with creating homemade organic skincare and body products for myself and my family. Some of them were complete fails, and others were so amazing that I still use them today. The skincare world, like all niches, has its own language to describe the processes for creating products and labels for the different options.
I have done hours of research on body products and the terminology used to describe them, especially as I started creating High Heeled Homemaker organic skincare. The terms lotion, cream (or crème), butter, balm, ointment and serum are used everywhere. Sometimes it is really confusing to know if they are an accurate description of the product, or just a marketing term to sound expensive.
Here is a simple breakdown of what each term means regarding the ingredients used:
Lotion contains more than 50% water, usually 70-80%. They require preservatives, thickeners and emulsifiers to stabilize the lotion. Preservatives are used to prevent bacteria from growing in the water. Usually a form of alcohol is added, which keeps bacteria at bay, but also dries the skin. Thickeners allow the lotion to be applied easier. Emulsifiers are used because oil and water don’t mix. Lotions are a thin to medium consistency and are easy to apply to the skin, but offer the lowest level of moisture.
Cream is composed of less than or equal to 50% water. They also require preservatives and emulsifiers. Thicker than a lotion, creams often provide more moisture and absorb more slowly into the skin.
Butter is highly concentrated, and many are made without water. Unlike water-based lotions and creams, butters are oil based. They are slower to absorb into the skin and provide intense moisture. Not all butters are created equal. A plain body butter can contain over 50% water, while most whipped butters contain 0% water. Any addition of water to a product usually requires a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria.
(High Heeled Homemaker does not add any water to their Organic Skincare products.)
Balms, like butters, they are highly concentrated and made without water. A higher percentage of a wax product (often beeswax) is added to thicken the balm and create a moisture barrier.
This is a product that often confuses people. A lotion that looks like a soap? Hard Lotion bars aren’t really a lotion at all as they are oil based and made without water. They are made with the highest percentage of beeswax of all moisturizers. These bars provide intense moisture to seriously dry skin (think lips, cuticles, hands, elbows and knees).
Why do we choose to make waterless Organic Skincare products?
- No water = no preservatives needed.
- The oils naturally emulsify.
- Fewer ingredients = a smaller possibility of an allergic reaction
- You control the level of moisture by adding water when applying the product
How do High Heeled Homemaker Organic Skincare products compare?
The Organic Lotion Breakdown:
I did a quick search on Google to see how much organic lotions were selling for. To keep the comparisons equal, I looked for 8 ounce containers of lotion. They ranged in price from $7-$15. Of course, there are some companies charging much more, but this was the average.
I calculated to see how much the ingredients cost without the water. If most lotions are between 70-80% water, let’s use a calculation of 75% water. 25% of 8 ounces is 2 ounces. With the average cost for an 8oz organic body lotion being $11, then the cost for ingredients sans water is $5.50 per ounce. At least that is what they are charging.
This cost, $5.50, is for all the nourishing oils, plus the undesirable ingredients necessary to make lotion (preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers, fragrance, etc…)
Compare this cost to High Heeled Homemaker Organic Body Butter, which contains zero water.
8 ounces of organic lotion ingredients without water: $44.
8 ounces of HHH organic whipped body butter: $35.
- Pay attention to the ingredients in your body products. Since making my own organic skincare products, my eyes have been opened to the questionable ingredients used in so many products. If your eyes glaze over and you feel like you are speaking in a different language when you read an ingredients label, maybe you should think twice about putting it on your skin. Or your child’s skin.
- I never realized how much money we are paying for “watered down” products. Again, water based products are not bad, and many organic skincare options are great for the skin. But simply be aware of how you are spending your hard-earned money.
- Never judge a product based solely on price. It may be expensive but contain “yucky” ingredients. It may be reasonably priced and great for your skin. Always check the labels!
- You can’t directly compare each type of moisturizer directly as they are made differently. lotions to butters are like apples to oranges.
Your challenge is to look at all the products you currently use on your skin and decide for yourself which ones contain ingredients you can stand behind.