How to Make an After-Sun Body Oil

After Sun Body Oil

Every quarter Formula Botanica runs a formulation challenge for its student and graduate community – this month we launch our challenge to make an after-sun body oil to pamper your skin. Our students submit their photos and formulations for products that they’ve made, using our guidance. We’ve provided our sample formulation of an after-sun body oil in this blog post.

In the past we’ve covered formulation challenges such as: 

Our Tutor Jilly Schechter is hosting our latest challenge. Welcome to Jilly on our blog for the first time!


This is all very exciting because it’s the first challenge I will be hosting!

When I was studying at Formula Botanica myself, I eagerly followed all the formulation challenges and took part into them as much as I could (note from Formula Botanica: it was Jilly winning one of our challenges that made us realise how much we wanted to hire her for our tutor team!).

For me it was fun to see what theme the team decided on, it was even more fun to think about what I would make, what I would add. It was amazing to see what my peers came up with and to read all the feedback from the tutors. Yes, call me a geek, but this kind of stuff makes my heart sing.

This time we have chosen to make an anhydrous product: an After-Sun Body Oil to pamper your skin. Pampering your skin after a lovely day outside in the sun is an excellent idea and there are lots of possibilities.

Is an anhydrous after-sun body oil challenging enough for a formulator? Yes it is! Please remember that all the efforts lie within the research you do on your ingredients. By choosing the right ingredient, you can make a difference and make a truly outstanding and worthwhile body oil.  This is exactly our aim for this challenge.

Formulating an After-Sun Body Oil

Before we look at how we create our after-sun body oil, please remember that we never recommend you make your own sun protecting/sunscreen products! In an artisan lab this is a mission impossible, and there is a guarantee you will crash and burn (pun intended) if you try. Want to learn more why this is not a good idea? Read our blog post on why you should never use coconut oil (and other oils) as a sunscreen.

So which steps should you follow when trying to build your after-sun body oil formulation?

Step 1: GOAL: Think about what you want your after-sun body oil to do

Step 2: RESEARCH: research your carrier oils, extracts, active ingredients

Step 3: CHOOSE an antioxidant

Step 4: CHOOSE your essential oils

Step 6: BUILD the formula

Step 7: MAKE your body oil  

Learn how to make an after-sun body oil with @FormulaBotanica #greenbeauty #cleanbeauty Click To Tweet


Our Sample Formulation: Liquid Gold After-Sun Soothing Oil

What is our goal when making this After-Sun Soothing Oil?

We want it to be a combination of:

  • soothing and instant relief after a day in the sun
  • a bit of aid to tan more easily (I have legs resembling milk bottles)
  • protection against sun damage and anti-ageing


Phase A      

  • 60% macadamia oil – feels soft and silky with quick absorption 
  • 0.2% calendula CO2 extract – anti-inflammatory, soothing

Phase B

  • 33.5% walnut oil – suitable for irritated, inflamed, itchy and scaly skin
  • 5% buriti oil – soothing when applied to sunburnt skin, protects against anti-  ageing effects of the sun
  • 0.5% D-tocopherol – antioxidant
  • 0.3% alpha-bisabolol – anti-inflammatory
  • 0.5% lavender essential oil –  soothing and relaxing


Method of Manufacture

Step 1 – The calendula CO2 extract has a paste-like viscosity, so it needs a bit of warmth to dissolve completely. A couple of minutes (depending on your batch size) in a lukewarm water bath at around 32°C is sufficient.

Step 1 – Dissolving the Calendula CO2 extract into the oil

Step 2 – Blend together Phase B ingredients.

Step 2 - After Sun Body Oil

Step 2 – Admiring beautiful oil colours

Step 3 – Add Phase B to Phase A, blend well. Aren’t these colours astonishingly beautiful?! 

Step 3 - After-Sun Body Oil

Step 3 – Final blend after-sun body oil formulation

Step 4 – Transfer into your container and label.

My Final Observations

After-Sun Body OilMy oil has a golden colour after blending everything together. The macadamia oil gives an amazingly pleasant skin feel to the overall product; it massages well and it literally vanishes into the skin within seconds. The scent in the bottle is a combination of nutty-woody-floral. Right after application the lavender gets the upper hand and after half an hour it feels like I have delightful sun-kissed skin smelling like a-day-at-the-beach while in reality I have been working in my studio in the middle of the city ;-).

Now it’s your turn! I look forward to seeing what you all come up with. Happy formulating and be magical! Either try making our after-sun body oil, or design your own formulation. And if you are curious as to how Formula Botanica teaches organic cosmetic formulation in our courses, register now for our sample class.

If you are a Formula Botanica student or graduate, the Formulation Challenge for Q4 2017 will soon be emailed to you and posted in our online classroom. If you’re not a Formula Botanica Community member, leave us a comment below and tell us your experiences in formulating your own version of our after-sun body oil.

Jilly SchechterToday’s blog post is by Jilly Schechter, Formula Botanica Tutor. Jilly loves tinkering in her artisan lab with new ingredients and sharing her experiments in our online classroom. She lives in Belgium with her dog Mickey. 


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