Lecithin belongs to a group of fat-like substances called phospholipids. These consist of fatty acids, glycerol and choline (vitamin B) combined with phosphoric acid and a touch of vitamin E. Lecithin is a by-product of the process of extracting oil from soy beans but it also occurs naturally in egg yolk, wheatgerm, wheatgerm oil, certain fats and in the brain cells of people and animals. Because it is a major by-product of soya beans, and the European Union requirement to declare allergens, in addition to regulations regarding genetically modified crops, a gradual shift to other sources e.g. sunflower has taken place and Aromantic's Lecithin is now derived from Sunflowers. The main phospholipids in lecithin from soya and sunflower are phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl inositol, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, and phosphatidic acid.
An emollient which is softening and soothing to the skin
Excellent moisturising properties
Helps to hydrate the skin – the phospholipids naturally present in lecithin are able to attract water from the air
It penetrates deep into the skin
It is synergistic with other natural ingredients, helping to take the beneficial properties of those natural ingredients to a cellular level
Has emulsifying, stabilising, thickening and suspending qualities
Lecithin is an excellent ingredient to use in all products treating sensitive skin, due to its emollient properties, it is very helpful for soothing and softening itchy skin. Use in products treating dry and cracked skin, especially on hands and feet or on dry skin patches that need an extra emollient moisturiser. It can also be used in products treating under nourished skin as the phospholipids nourish the skin. Use it in skin restoring and rejuvenating creams, lotions and bath oils and in hair care products and conditioners (has an anti static effect), and in healing oil blends (50 – 100%).
Don’t forget that it is a help emulsifier, so can be used together with other emulsifiers when the emulsification isn’t strong enough.
It is oil soluble. You can add it to both oil serums and readymade products. When adding it to a readymade product, simply stir in the correct dose thoroughly. This can be tricky because it is sticky and viscous. Heat up the container containing the lecithin before use in a bain-marie; this makes the lecithin more liquid and easier to work with.
In creams and lotions, etc use only up to 10% as it is very sticky and viscous; add it during the third stage of making creams and lotions or when the temperature of the product you are making is under 40°C. Or add it to already-made creams as already described above but this is trickier because of its viscosity. Heat up the container containing the lecithin before use in a bain-marie; this makes the lecithin more liquid and easier to work with.
In face and skin oil blends, use up to 10%. Gently heat the oil (in a bain-marie) that has the highest monounsaturated content (most stable oil) together with the lecithin and then after taking off the heat, but while still warm, add the more fragile oils to the blend.
Heat up the container containing the lecithin before use in a bain-marie, this makes the lecithin more liquid and easier to work with. NB The syrupy consistency of Lecithin can change between batches.
In Sensitive Skin products
Combine lecithin with comfrey and chamomile products such as allantoin and bisabolol; also with vitamin A.
In products treating Extra Dry Skin
Combine lecithin in creams, body butters and healing balms with fatty butters and fats such as: shea butter; mango butter; and cocoa butter.
In products treating Bed Sores
Combine lecithin with vitamins A and E; myrrh tincture and dried herb; also use aloe vera; and calendula products.
In products treating Itchy Skin
Combine lecithin with chickweed macerated oil and herb; marshmallow oil; and rosehip oil.