Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ingredient: Olive oil unsaponifiables

Olive oil unsaponifiables (INCI: Olea europaea (olive) oil unsaponifiables) are the unsaponifiable portion of olive oil that can be used in our products as an oil and ethanol soluble emollient, much in the way we'd use olive oil.  Use it the way you would any other oil, but especially where you want a light product, like in a facial moisturizer, light lotion, body milk, or sprayable lotion.

Quick aside: What's an unsaponifiable? It's the portion of an oil that fails to create a soap when it is mixed with lye. 

It's a much lighter oil than olive oil - I'd say it's on par with an ester or fractionated coconut oil and its specific gravity is 0.81 to 0.84. It has a very light and non-greasy skin feel. It contains 55% to 70% squalane, 15% to 25% squalene (a triterpenic compound), 10% to 15% glycolipids (a lipid with a carbohydrate attached, Wikipedia), and 1% to 7% phytosterols, primarily in the form of campesterol and stigmasterol. It contains Vitamin E at 70 to 130 ppm, but some can be fortified with extra tocopherols. It has a shelf life of at least one year, but it could be more.

This ingredient can go by the brand name Dermolene (data bulletin here, ignore the horrible spelling!), Insapolive, or Planell Oil. Some versions of this ingredient appear to be ECOcert - ask your supplier.

How do we use olive oil unsaponifiables? You can use this ingredient anywhere you'd use olive oil but want something ligher. You can use it in the place of fractionated coconut oil or esters, and it's suggested that we use it in anhydrous products as it is so moisturizing. Treat it like any other oil by using it at up to 10% in the heated oil phase of your product. (As an aside, you can use this neat, like any other oil.) You can use it in any product suitable for your skin or hair. It would be a great addition in place of an oil in your facial moisturizer or serum!

Where can you get this lovely ingredient? I was sent mine by the Formulator Sample Shop and I've found it at Lotioncrafter. In the UK, you can find it at Of A Simple Nature.

You can also find olive oil unsaponifiables in an ingredient called Oliwax, that is used as a rheology modifier (like we would use our thickeners, stearic acid or cetyl alcohol). This comes in white flakes and is used in anhydrous products and lotions to thicken them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How do I modify a recipe when I add or remove an ingredient?

Let's take a look today at altering recipes as there have been a lot of questions about this lately. (Original post can be found here...)

Let's say I have this recipe from this post:

69.5% water
15% oil
5% butter
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
6% Polawax
1% fragrance oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Please use the general lotion making instructions for this recipe.

Let's say I wanted to add a few things to the recipe. I think it might be quite nice to have some glycerin, allantoin, hydrolyzed protein, and panthenol in the mix. How would I add them?

How do I know when to add an ingredient? If they are water soluble and can withstand heat, they would go into the heated water phase. If they are oil soluble and can withstand heat, they would go into the heated oil phase. If they are oil or water soluble and can't withstand heat, they would go into the cool down phase.

Glycerin, allantoin, and hydrolyzed protein are water soluble and can withstand heat, so they go into the heated water phase. Panthenol is water soluble and can't withstand heat, so it goes into the cool down phase.

How do I know how much to add to the mix? Check the suggested usage rate, which can be found at your supplier's website, and trial and error in your workshop. I could add tons of glycerin, but I think I'll go with 3% because I have found that anything over that tends to feel a bit sticky to me. I know that 0.5% allantoin is a good amount because I've used 1% and thought it was a bit gritty. I like to add hydrolyzed proteins at 2% (generally) because that seems to be a nice level that offers some film forming without potential stickiness. And I've read that panthenol is effective at 2%. I have found it can get a bit sticky above that level, so I'll keep it at 2%.

How do I add these ingredients? I would remove the amount of the ingredient from the water portion. So if I'm adding 3% glycerin + 0.5% allantoin + 2% hydrolyzed protein + 2% panthenol = 7.5% new ingredients. I will remove 7.5% from the water amount, leaving me with 61.5% water in this product.

62% water
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% allantoin

15% oil
5% butter
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
6% Polawax

2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% liquid Germall plus

If you wanted to remove or add something that is oil soluble, it gets more complicated. Because oil soluble things need to be emulsified, an increase or decrease in an oil soluble ingredients means an increase or decrease in the emulsifier. In this recipe, let's say you wanted to remove the butter. This means you are losing 5% oil in the recipe. You don't need as much emulsifier, so you could reduce the Polawax by 1.25%. You would then add 6.25% to the water phase.

All recipes should add up to 100% for ease of reading and formulating. So if you remove something, you have to make it up somewhere. We make it up in the water amount. Yes, this will change the viscosity, but that's the nature of changing a recipe!

Why did I reduce the Polawax by 1.25%? Because we use Polawax at 25% of the oil phase. Add up all the oil soluble ingredients and multiply by 0.25 to determine how much Polawax we would use. If you are using another emulsifier, you would have to do different calculations.

68.5% water
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% allantoin

15% oil
3% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid
4.75% Polawax

2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% liquid Germall plus

I hope this exercise has given you an idea of how to modify your recipes. Please check out the related posts to which I link below if you want more information!

Related posts:
Back to the very basics: Defining our terms for lotions
How do I modify a recipe when I add or subtract an ingredient?
Learning how to read and convert a recipe
Newbie Tuesday: Let's make a lotion!
Making your first lotion (PDF)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekday Wonderings: Can I include slippery elm or MSM in a leave in conditioner?

In this post, a very light leave in conditioner, Kelly asks: But in this conditioner could we add in slippery elm powder extract and msm powder? Slippery elm and marshmallow root are good to add slip to hair, saw some diy recipes on naturally curly of course they don't include the honeyquat, preservatives, etc. this question would also help possibly with making face cream with btms-50 and honeyquat. As a newbie I'm not totally clear on how to know what can go with cationics, or anionics.

In general, my first question would be why would you want to add those ingredients? What would they bring to a leave in conditioner? What would they bring to this leave in conditioner? Are these ingredients that work well when left on the hair and scalp or are they better as a rinse off product?

What does slippery elm bring to the party? Paula notes that "Plant that can be a good anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory. Its mucilage has soothing and emollient properties." (Paula's Choice) It gets a slimy consistency when added to water, so it will offer some slip to the product in a slimy way. I did a search and couldn't find the electrical charge for this ingredient, but I think it's safe to assume it's non-ionic, so it shouldn't have a problem with other ingredients.

What would MSM bring to the party? It offers a reduction in oiliness, can help with scar and collagen flexibility, and increase blood flow. In addition, it is supposed to help with inflammation, helping with the treatment of aches and pains. It is used in arthritis related creams and ointments and hair care products intended for dandruff or oil control. It is suggested to use it at less than 5%.

Could these two ingredients go into a leave in conditioner? Sure, why not? Neither seem like they will conflict with the electrical charge and they seem to have some quality that might be good in a hair care product.

What about using them in this product? This specific recipe is a very very light leave in conditioner that contains only water, a cationic polymer, preservative, and fragrance. It is intended to be a very very light conditioner, so I think adding all kinds of things to it is probably not a great idea because it defeats the purpose of a very light leave in conditioner. I would recommend using another leave in conditioner recipe - say, this one or this one - for the additions of these ingredients. Try with one ingredient for at least a week - take very good notes - before trying the other one. Only add one thing at a time so you know how you like that one thing!

You mention not knowing what goes with cationic or anionic ingredients. There really aren't any hard and fast rules, except check before adding something cationic to something anionic and vice versa. For instance, I can add honeyquat to an anionic shampoo without big problems, generally because I'm adding a small amount. Check the data bulletin or ingredient write up at this blog or your supplier if you're in doubt.

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Do we need to make a complicated shampoo if we're using a nice conditioner?

An administrative thing: Subscribing to posts doesn't seem to work right now, so the easy solution is to make a comment and tick that you want to see follow up comments. Subscribing to the entire blog will not get you any of the comments. This only means you will get each day's post by email. As for what "following" is...I think you get updates somewhere when a new post is published? Not really sure about that...

In this post, what's important in a conditioner (part one), Bunny asks: Oh yes, wonderful! I was hoping there'd be a conditioner one after the shampoo one... But a question! How much redundancy... or... If you're going to make a lovely conditioner, is it necessary to put a bunch of conditioning type ingredients in your shampoo? Or can I make a real simple shampoo just for cleaning and make up for that in a really nice conditioner?

I would argue that yes, you want to make a nice shampoo to go with your nice conditioner, and here is my justification...If you've ever used soap*, a shampoo that wasn't well suited to your hair type, or a really cheap one you found in a motel room, you know that no amount of awesome conditioning power can make your hair feel lovely afterwards. You will rinse your hair of the lathery stuff and it feels dry and straw like and knotted and generally lousy. Even after using the bestest ever conditioner you've ever made, your hair still feels kinda hard. Now think about using a lovely shampoo then a conditioner. How does your hair feel?

The conditioning agents we add to the product will stay on your hair. You can tell because your hair feels more conditioned, meaning it might be more combable or might feel less knotted/tangled. If you have people in your life who use 2-in-1 shampoo products, they'll tell you that their hair feels conditioned afterwards. Some of us require more conditioning than a cationic polymer can offer in a shampoo, which is why we use a conditioner.

We also include those ingredients to increase the mildness of the shampoo. And we include some ingredients because it feels nice on our scalp our hair, the way we might add some glycerin to the mix to increase the bubbles and lather.

You don't have to use all the ingredients I do in my products - I use the ingredients I use because I've played with them and decided they bring something I like to the product or to my hair - so I encourage you to create a stripped down shampoo and try it. See what you think it missing from it and add it. It might be that you don't mind a product that doesn't contain those ingredients!

*I know that some of you like to use cold process soap as a shampoo. I'm not looking to start a debate here. Just using it as an example...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: How do I organize information on my ingredients?

Sorry for the break in posting and in responding to comments, but it's been a crazy week! I have a practicum student with me at work and I have more clients than normal, so when I get up I'm out the door and when I come home, I'm on the couch!

A quick note: To those of you who would like me to get rid of the CAPTCHA thing when you comment, sorry but no. I tried that once and I was inundated with spam! As it is, I have to filter through the spam every morning. I don't want to have to do even more of that! If it's any consolation, Blogger is making me do it every time I write a comment now!

Does anyone know where to get Sucragel AOF in the States or Canada? Comment below if you do! Thanks!

In this post, what do you want to know, Elisabeth asks: Sort of a meta question here, do you keep some kind of "cheat sheet" data base for all your ingredients and their interactions with each other, or do you have it all in your head? My problem number one is to keep myself organised in such a way that I can start up smoothly again after taking a break -- I didn't have time to make anything for five months, and by now I almost feel I have to start from scratch with a proper inventory and redoing research and so on. Some pointers in how you keep all your information together would be really helpful. As always, thanks for sharing your knowledge and inspiration.

Yeah, I kinda keep some things in my head, but I also find it useful to make charts, like the ones you can download for things like surfactants and preservatives here on the blog. I also refer to the blog when I'm working with something with which I'm not completely familiar, like bull kelp bioferment or lupine amino acids, to give a few examples. It isn't an overnight thing this learning about ingredients, but with time, you'll be surprised at how much sticks in your head!

When I'm researching an ingredient, I like to write down things like usage, heat sensitivity, solubility, and the like, but I always put in big letters what I can't do with it. "Don't use with cationic (positively charged) ingredients!" "Don't use with more than 25% oils!" "Don't heat!" And so on. It takes time to get to know your ingredients, and don't hesitate to use charts and other devices to remember!

In this post, exotic oils, Heidi asks: Sorry to bug you, but I was wondering if you could recommend a reliable (preferably, but not necesarily free) source for information on products that you have not mentioned. For instance, one of my suppliers has Abyssinian Oil, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Black Currant Oil, etc. Where can I go to find information? I checked Wikipedia and the information there is not pertinent to skin care (aside from also not being vetted). I tried doing research online, and I DID learn a lot- for instance Black Cumin Seed Oil apparently cures HIV and cancer, so THAT's cool- No doubt these article authors would have said that it will also independently clean my house too, if they'd thought it was what I needed to hear to purchase it off of their web site. :( Although I'd of course also love to hear your thoughts on these items, I really was just hoping you could point me in the right direction. If your sources are all super chemistry heavy, many of us may not get all of the data there, but we may be able to grasp just enough to get the general idea without having to bug you. Thanks so much!

You're not bugging me! Asking where you can get information is why I'm here!!!

One of the most frustrating things I encounter when researching oils (and essential oils) are the near magical qualities ascribed to these lovely, but not supernatural, ingredients. The first thing I do is a Google search. I check out what suppliers like Lotioncrafter and the Herbarie are saying about the oils. Then I go into Google books (under the "more" button on Google) to see what I can find about the ingredient in that section. Sometimes I can get free previews, sometimes I can't, but I will generally find something pretty interesting in a book or two. Then I might go to EBSCO host through my local library or the university. (This can be problematic as you need to have it available for free at your library or be a member somewhere.) I like to see what kinds of studies show up about the oils.

The pictures you're seeing in this post come from our youth program on Thursday when we made whipped butter, emulsified body butter, and emulsified sugar scrub! Andrea was kind enough to donate a lot of containers to us, so we are able to make more bath & body products! Want to learn more about the youth programs to which you donate every time you get an e-book? Click here

Join me tomorrow for more of your comments in the Weekend Wonderings!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Essential oils aren't magical!

I know it seems like they may be magical with all their wonderful qualities, but you can treat them as you would other ingredients. For instance, don't measure them in drops. How do you know how much you're using? Measure them by weight like you would any other ingredient. Check the suggested usage rate and use it at that rate. If it says 0.5%, then measure 0.5 grams on the scale, not some number of drops!

You don't want to heat them as they are volatile, meaning they will evaporate in the heat, but you can add them to the cool down phase at 45˚C easily.

They can be irritating and you can have reactions to them. I've had people write to me in complete shock that they would have some kind of reaction to an essential oil. They aren't inert. You can have reactions to the components in essential oils as much as you can have reactions to fragrances and other ingredients. For instance, citrus essential oils can be phototoxic. And the "...the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety identified a total of 54 individual fragrance substances and 28 natural extracts (essential oils) as ‘established contact allergens in humans’" (From this paper...) I'm not saying essential oils aren't lovely and nice and wonderful, but be aware that they can be potential causes of problems, too.

I can't stand earthy essential oils, like patchouli. I can't have them in the workshop, even in bags, and if your soap stand has a strong waft of an earthy EO like sandalwood, I have to go the other way! I really can't stand those fragrances! 

I get asked all the time why I don't use essential oils in my facial products. The long answer is that essential oils can have strong fragrances and I don't like to have the smell of something - anything! even chocolate! - under my nose all day long. There are loads of lovely reasons to use an essential oil in a facial product, but the idea of smelling tea tree all day long keeps me from using it in my face cleanser.

Just a few thoughts for a slightly sunny Tuesday!

Related posts:
Essential oils section of the blog

Monday, January 19, 2015

What do you want to know? Creating a setting lotion

I realized I didn't address quite a few questions in last year's post, What do you want to know?, so I thought I'd attempt to answer a few of them here and over the next few weeks.

Wendy asked about making a setting lotion. I'm not sure if I can help here, but perhaps we can look at the ingredient lists for a few of them?

Ingredient list for Proclaim Super Setting: Water, Oleth-20, imidazolidinyl urea, polyquaternium-10, glycerin, methylparaben, fragrance, panthenol, polyquaternium-11, lanolin, benzophenone-4, blue 1

Possible ingredient list for Lottabody Setting Lotion (in backwards order?): D&C Red No. 33, Dmdm Hydantoin, FD&C Blue No. 1 Fragrance, Methylparaeben, PEG 40 Lanolin, Polyquaternium 11, Polysorbate 20, Water

So this looks to be a very light conditioner using a cationic polymer - look at the polyquaternium 10 and 11 - with some oils - lanolin - with an emulsifier - polysorbate 20, oleth 20. Pretty simple, it would appear. 

Here's what I found out about it in Poucher's Perfumes...
The original liquid setting lotions were designed to prolong the life of a water wave. A variety of styles can be achieved without affecting the internal structure of the hair. Traditional setting lotions are ethanol/water mixtures in which polymeric materials have been dissolved. Application is to towel-dried hair with combing to distribute the product evenly through the hair. The hair is then set on curling rollers and dried. On removal of the curling rollers the hair should be combed gently into the desired style. Setting lotions do not work by sticking hair fibres together, but by coating each hair fibre, creating greater interfibre friction and reducing moisture uptake, thus conferring greater control to the hair.
This sounds more like the setting lotion I found in a shop in England. Ingredient list for Bristow's extra firm setting lotion: Alcohol Denat, Aqua, VA/Crotonate/Vinyl Neodecanoate, Copolymer, Parfum, Panthenol, AminomethylPropanol, Citric Acid 

Okay, so can we find a recipe? I found a few on-line, which consisted of putting honey in your hair, which isn't something I expected to see, so let's see if I can find some in my formulation archives. 

I found this recipe in a bunch of notes I have that might work for you...

4% stearamidopropyl dimethylamine lactate
8% polyquaternium 11
0.5% cetyl alcohol
0.5% to 1% preservative 
87% water 

This seems like it would be a bit more conditioning than those products I see above - in fact, I'd put on par with a leave in conditioner - so I think we need to go in another direction. 

It seems like there are a few definitions for what a setting lotion might be. It could be an alcohol based product with a styling aid in it, a polymer we might see in a gel or mousse these days. It could be something very conditioning with no styling aids in it at all. Or, as in the case of the two products above, something that has some light conditioning and moisturizing ingredients with no styling aids. I think I'll try making the latter as that's what I see on the market. 

The amounts used in the products above will be quite small. Consider that imidazolidinyl urea - the preservative - comes before the two conditioning agents and the moisturizing ingredients in the Proclaim product makes me think that there are low levels of cationic polymers in here. I could go with 0.5% of two cationic polymers - say polyquat 44, which is the usual usage rate, and honeyquat - and a small amount of moisturizing ingredient - say 0.5% water soluble shea - with a solubilizer - say 1% to 2% of something like laureth-4 or polysorbate 20

If I were to come up with a starting point for the product, I might try this...

95% distilled water  
0.5% polyquat 44
1% honeyquat 
1% PEG-7 olivate
1% polysorbate 20
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance

But this seems like it won't be moisturizing or conditioning enough. Could we try something a little different? 

90.5% distilled water 
3% water soluble oil, like water soluble shea or PEG-7 olivate  
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance

The fact that both of them contain lanolin in oil soluble or water soluble form makes me wonder if that's important. You could substitute water soluble lanolin for the water soluble oil, if you wanted. Or use some regular lanolin with equal parts PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil at up to 3%-ish (each being 1.5% or so). 

90.5% distilled water
1.5% PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil or polysorbate 80
1.5% lanolin
3% polyquat 10 or polyquat 7 or honeyquat or up to 0.5% polyquat 44
2% panthenol
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance

These are just my thoughts. These could be the best recipes in the world, or they could suck. It's meant to offer a starting point for a product I've never used. Please let me know if you try it and how it worked out in the comments! 

Want to know something? Visit the What do you want to know? post and make a comment!