When I first began making and selling products, I kept my formulas really simple. I created aromatherapy oils, bath products, balms and body scrubs which I sold at the local farmer’s market – everything was natural except for the vitamin E preservative. These products were simple to make. I would melt fats and oils together or pour ingredients into a vessel and mix. This line did well but I kept being asked for body lotions and face creams. This is quite the task since there is no easy way to make a lotion or cream because it involves emulsifying, a process that binds water and oil together and a very effective preservative. There are two reasons why people like emulsions. One is that it can deliver a fine amount of a rich oil that may be overbearing when used undiluted and the other is because it delivers water to your skin at the same time as the oil and waxes to lock it in. This gives a refreshing feeling, hydrates the skin and plumps out fine lines.
To make a lotion or cream, you need distilled or reverse osmosis water (never tap), oils and/or butters, a wax, a trace amount of detergent and a full-spectrum preservative (meaning that it can tackle yeast, fungus and other bacterias). My first experiments were with beeswax. They were nice but always felt greasy on my skin and since I wanted to earn the ‘vegan’ seal, beeswax wouldn’t work. I found a safe non-greasy coconut-based emulsifier that consists of cetearyl alcohol (a fancy word for wax) and sodium cetearyl sulphate ( a non-toxic detergent). My next challenge was a preservative. I wanted something safe and plant-based that would also give me at least a 6 months shelf-life after opening. I found my solution in sodium levulinate (from non-gmo corn) and sodium anisette (from basil). My first 100% plant-based, non toxic emulsion was born – Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream.
The Cocoon Apothecary line has since developed into 21 facial and body products that have different types of ingredients, scents and textures. Our purpose as a company has never been to be the most natural but to cater to people that want a non-toxic, plant-based version of a professional formula. We don’t want people to be turned off of natural products with pungent scents and greasy formulas. It is natural beauty without compromise.