Basically, the only difference between lotion and cream is that cream is generally thicker, a bit greasier and has a fuller, more waxy texture. Creams are great for feet, knees and elbows or for especially dry skin.
Generally speaking, Emulsifying wax is used in lotions. This waxy material emulsifies your water and oils together. Usage varies based on the combination of thickeners but normal usage rates are between 3 and 6% of the total weight of your recipe.
For creams, Cetearyl Alcohol is used most often as the emulsifier. It consists of fatty alcohol derived from natural oils and fats (cetyl and stearyl alcohol) and is used to thicken and stabilize formulations. Cetearyl Alcohol imparts an emollient feel to the skin. Recommended usage level: 1-25%. Due to the higher percentage available for use as opposed to emulsifying wax, this helps add additional thickness and body to creams.
Here is a recipe for you to try:
Ballerina Foot Cream
5 ounces Shea Butter
3 ounces Whea Germ Oil
2 ounces Jojoba Oil
2 ounce Macadamia Nut Oil
0.5 ounces Phenonip (preservative)
16 ounces Distilled Water
8 ounces Cetearyl Alcohol
0.5 ounces Peppermint Essential Oil
Melt cetearyl alcohol, oils and butter together just until liquid. Add Phenonip. Heat water until approximately the same temperature as the oil mixture. Slowly pour oil mixture into the water while mixing with a stick blender or regular kitchen mixer. If the oils begin to solidify, heat the water a bit more. The mixture should remain liquid, but somewhat thick (about the consistency of thin gravy) during the mixing process. Once the water and oils are well mixed, add essential oil and mix again. If the mixtures thickens too much, you can heat it briefly (10-15 seconds at a time) in the microwave. **Heating too hot will cause excess air to be incorporated into the cream as it is being mixed. It can also deactivate the preservative, placing your product as risk for contamination.**
Pour into tubs while still warm. Product will thicken as it cools. ENJOY!!!