One of the questions I frequently get when I’m teaching classes at Otion is:
I got this great recipe from my grandmother. It looks like fun. But, it’s all in %s! How can I turn this awesome balm recipe into something I can work with? Help!
Answer: Your grandmother’s (fictional!) balm recipe can be recreated. Here’s an example of how I would do this.
Step one:Formula in percentages – everything equals 101% (preservative isn’t included in the 100% since you need preserve 100% of the product)
Mango Butter 25%
Stearic Acid 19%
Sweet Almond Oil 40%
Polysorbate 20 4%
Lemongrass EO 1%
Step Two: Convert these percentages to decimal numbers. Here is how that is done:
25% divided by 100 = .25
19% divided by 100 = .19
40% divided by 100 = .40
11% divided by 100 = .11
4% divided by 100 = .04
1% divided by 100 = .01
Step 3: Finally, multiple the decimal by how much you want to make. In this case, I’d like to make 22.5 ounces so this is multiplied by 22.5
.25 x 22.5 = 5.625
.19 x 22.5 = 4.275
.40 x 22.5 = 9.0
.11 x 22.5 = 2.475
.04 x 22.5 = .9
.01 x 22.5 = .225
Optional: Now, let’s do this in grams. Wha? Why grams? Ounces are not as preferable as grams because the unit of measure is much larger and clunkier. Converting this to grams gives us: 638 grams (1 ounce = 28.3495231 grams)(22.5 ounces x 28.3495231 grams = 637.864)
.25 x 638 = 159.5
.19 x 638 = 121.22
.40 x 638 = 255.2
.11 x 638 = 70.18
.04 x 638 = 25.52
.01 x 638 = 6.38
Viola! Simple math gets you a recipe that you can use. As for this recipe, it will be heavy, waxy and spreadable. I imagine it would work well for an elbow and foot cream and will not absorb in quickly.
Stacey J says
OMG. Thank you so much for this. I have been wondering how to do this for a long time.
Yay! Thank you so much for letting me know =) I’m glad you found it helpful.
Jessica Call says
I want to triple my lotion batch, do I just multiply each ingredient by 3?
Or do I need to increse by percentages? How do I do that?
Amber with Bramble Berry says
I would follow the formula Anne-Marie laid out above rather than just tripling your ingredients. Although it will probably be the same in the end. But it’s just a great skill to have so you can quickly adjust your recipe to any size.
OOAK babies by Mina says
oh thank GOD!! I am hopeless when it comes to equations, and I would have got there eventually, but this puts things into perspective! thankyou!
The Artist says
I was just practicing this…LOL!!Great blog!!
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I have been wondering how to do that for awhile now but felt silly asking. Three cheers for Soap Queen!
Daisy Soap Girl says
I should have paid more attention in school to the math that I thought I’d never use in real life. Thanks for the easy to understand lesson.
Teresa R says
Another great post; thank you! I’m not very good with every day math…
Sprite, Please tell me how everything goes with the goodies your owner gets. If she needs any help, just tell her to ask =)
Mary, I love, love, love Marrakesh. I hope it stays around too! We’ll review sales numbers for everything mid-year and then start making plans on what to put on sale, to sample, to push etc…
Charity, No, you do not need to preserve lip balm. However, a little vitamin e or ROE would help to prevent the oils in the lip balm from going rancid. =)
That is a very simple-to-follow explanation. Thanks!
Can I ask a quick preservative question? Do I need a preservative in a lip balm?
Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill says
I am a “numbers” lady and love breaking a formula (or recipe) down. When I travel around with a calculator in hand, paper and pen, my husband comments, “Oh-oh, mad chemist at work!” Great post.
And, by the way, I am getting ready to order some Marrakesh. I absolutely love the scent, and hope you keep it in stock for a while. The happy pac that I received from you, brought forward a new customer! 🙂
Sprite, the odd dog. says
Thanks! My Girl is getting her first package of soap making stuff today!! She is very excited.
Thank you for making this so simple.
I’ve often wondered the same thing. Thanks for the great tip!