Sunday, February 7, 2016

A few thoughts for a lovely Sunday at home...

Just a reminder that if you're interested in taking a class with me, I'm teaching at Voyageur Soap & Candle over the next four weeks. We had a great time with anhydrous products yesterday, and we have hair care, lotion making, and facial products still to come. I'm taking a break in April to go to the Soapmaker's conference in Niagara Falls - woo! - and may teach again in May.

If you are new to making products, I cannot stress enough how much you should visit the newbie section of the blog. I can promise you that almost all the questions you have about products - when you need to use a preservativehow much stuff to order when you're buying supplieshow to make an emulsified body butter, and more! - are answered there. I've tried to create a section filled with things that I wanted to know when I was starting out, and I'm always adding new posts as they come up. The frequently asked questions section of the blog is also a great place to visit to learn more about this lovely craft!

Just wanted to remind you that you cannot put a product that contains water into a metal container or you will get rust. The only products you can put into one of these lovely jars are anhydrous products, those that only contain oils. You cannot put something that might be exposed to water, like a sugar or salt scrub, in a metal container either.

If you change a recipe, it isn't going to be the same as the original recipe. I know this sounds pretty obvious, but it's something that comes up quite a lot. If you leave out the thickener, the product will be thinner. If you switch oils, it may feel more or less greasy. If you change emulsifiers, all kinds of things can happen, and the product might be thicker, thinner, more greasy, less greasy, more powdery or silky, and so on. Change recipes all you want - that's the whole reason for this blog, after all! - but be aware that a small change can make a difference.

I'm so excited that Windy Point (Alberta) is now carrying Lotionpro 165 and low fatty acid SCI granules! Click here to see my favourite body butter recipe using Lotionpro 165. I'm so excited we can get it in Canada!

Just a reminder that I don't write sponsored posts, and I am beholden to no one but myself and you, my lovely readers. When I suggest something, it's because I like that ingredient or company, not that I've been paid for it. 

So those people who are sending me messages every day suggesting sponsored posts, go away. I don't want to talk about your spa in Florida or overpriced lotions. And stop implying that it's okay to send me your PR garbage because I ended up on a list somewhere. In Canada, it's not okay to send spam, and I can report you for each incident. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Can unsaponified butters clog up pipes?

In this post on bath melts, PsaltyDawg asks: I have been hesitant to make/sell any bath bomb truffle type products because I am concerned about what happens to so much unsaponified hard butters when they get into the drain. They will harden up and coat the pipes eventually causing blockages or slowdowns. Do you have an opinion or a science-based explanation for how that would or wouldn't occur? I would really like to use them and sell them but don't feel I can.

In the recipe I posted, we use 1 part citric acid, 2 parts butter, 3 parts baking soda. If you had a 100 gram bath melt - which I think is way too much - you'd be using around 34 grams of butter. That's around two tablespoons or a little more than one weighted ounce. That's not a lot in 80 litres - 20-something gallons - of bath water.  It's liquid when it goes down the plughole, and it'll be in the sewer pretty quickly after draining.

On a similar note, I've been using my emulsified scrub in the shower for years and years, and it's never occurred to me that this might be an issue. My scrub is basically lotion when I rinse it off, and I would imagine it will stay that way for a while. If you're worried about the melts, consider adding a bit of emulsifying wax to the recipe to make it more lotion-y.

This is just my completely uneducated opinion. Anyone else have an opinion? Any plumbers out there who have an expert opinion to share? (My dad was a plumber, but I know nothing on this topic. Probably less than nothing...) We'd love to hear it! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

How many emulsifiers do I have?

I always take the first week of February off because I'm either sick or everyone around me is sick, and to get done what I couldn't get done over the Christmas break. (I'm not saying anything about my cold/flu status because I could jinx it, but so far, so good!)

I did an inventory and realized I have eight new emulsifiers to try! Eight! I'll figure out a base recipe and make the same thing every time changing the emulsifier and only making other alterations based on what that emulsifier can handle. For instance, not using cationic ingredients, adding a stabilizer, or reducing the amount of oils or butters. 

I'll have to make a few substitutions, but it'll be this general recipe. 

I can't wait for Sunday! Workshop time awaits! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A moisturizing body wash for all skin types, especially dry

If you've been around this blog any length of time, you'll know how much I love body washes. I design them to be cleansing but moisturizing as I usually don't have much time in the shower to do an emulsified scrub thing or time after a shower to do a whole lotion thing. I try to incorporate as many moisturizing ingredients as possible and increase the mildness without ruining the lather or foam.

29% distilled water
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% foaming oat surfactant
10% SMO taurate
10% chamomile hydrosol
10% witch hazel
5% glycerin
5% PEG-7 olivate
3% yerba santa glycoprotein
3% lupine amino acids
2% quaternized soy
2% panthenol
2% fragrance or essential oil (I used Sweet Meyer Lemon! Yum!)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Use the general surfactant blend instructions. If you want this to be thicker, add 1% liquid Crothix when all the ingredients have been added. Mix and test viscosity. Add another 1% at a time up to 5% to increase viscosity. This recipe required 3% liquid Crothix to thicken to my satisfaction.

I really liked this body wash! Only one problem: The foam wasn't great. I used a pouffy scrubby thing in the shower, and it wasn't lathery and bubbly as I normally like. It was, however, moisturizing and non-drying on my skin., so I can overlook the lack of extreme foaminess. I attribute the skin feel to the mild surfactants and the extra moisturizers in the form of PEG 7-olivate, glycerin, yerba santa glycoprotein, quaternized soy, lupine amino acids, and panthenol.

I chose SMO taurate as a surfactant because it is gentle and suitable for dry skin. I have oily skin, but this time of year, I end up having really dry patches because I don't tend to wear anything with long sleeves or pants in the winter snow and rain. (I'm a very warm person. Us Vikings were designed for the snow and cold!)  If you don't have this surfactant, check out the surfactant chart to see a few things you could use instead.

And you can substitute other ingredients for the ones I've used. For the PEG-7 olivate, you can use any water soluble oil you might have, like water soluble shea. For the quaternized soy, any of the cationic polymers will do nicely. For the lupine amino acids, any hydrolyzed protein would be a great addition. I don't know what you'd substitute for the yerba santa glycoprotein as it's kind of a unique ingredient, but aloe vera would be very nice.

You can make this recipe with so many variations, it would take me years to go over them, so I'm going to suggest doing a search for "body wash" to see all the versions I've made over the years or check out the surfactant based products, not including shampoo section of the blog!

As an aside, did you notice the colour difference between the two photos? The first was taken the day I made it, the second about two weeks later. The Sweet Meyer Lemon fragrance oil made it more orange. I like it! But it is something to consider, how your fragrance or essential oils will colour your products. This is one of the reasons we say it takes time to know how a product will morph after making it! 

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Making a clarifying shampoo for oily hair

A very long time ago - okay, it was December 6, 2015, but that's practically a lifetime on the 'net - I ended a series on designing your shampoo as part of a line of hair care products. To continue that series for this post, I wanted to share with you my new clarifying shampoo recipe.

I normally use a conditioning shampoo bar for oily hair, but noticed that my hair and scalp were feeling oilier than normal. I thought a clarifying shampoo would work to banish this feeling of greasiness, and set out to make one based on the recipe I made for that previous series.

I partially blame the use of SCI noodles with extra fatty acids for the oiliness issue. I bought some SCI granules from Windy Point Soap that don't contain these extra fatty acids, so I will be making more bars soon. I can use the old bars as body washes! 

Please note, this isn't to say that SCI in noodle or flake form that could contain - but not always, so check with your supplier - extra fatty acids isn't a good thing. it's just that my extremely oily hair can't take it at the moment. Check out this post to learn more about the various versions of SCI

What makes a clarifying shampoo different from a conditioning shampoo? Conditioning shampoos contain conditioning agents like dimethicone or cationic polymers that leave your hair feeling conditioned afterwards. A clarifying shampoo doesn't contain these ingredients. That really is the big difference!

52% distilled water
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% DLS mild
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
2% cationic polymer of choice
0.5% extract - grapeseed or rosemary
0.5% liquid Germall Plus (or other preservative at suggested usage rate)
up to 2% Crothix

This was my starting point for the recipe. I am leaving out the cationic polymer because I don't want conditioning in the product.

To make a product for my oily feeling hair, I wanted to use mild cleansers that work well with my hair type, which include the sulfosuccinates or C14-16 olefin sulfonate. I like to add cocamidopropyl betaine as it is awesome for all hair types and increases mildness and thickening. You can use any blend of surfactants you find works for your hair.

I have an ingredient from the Formulator Sample Shop* called bamboo extract that they claim wil remove build up from your scalp and hair, and figured this was a good thing to include. I left out the glycerin from the original recipe because the bamboo extract is in glycerin, and figured I'd have enough there. The suggested usage rate is 1% to 10%, so I chose 5% as a happy medium.

I added 3% Vital Hair & Scalp Complex (INCI: Water, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane)Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Betaine & Hexylene Glycol & Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract & Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract & Hexapeptide-11) The claim is that it "Helps clear the follicles of excessive build up of dead cells, allowing for thicker hair growth." (From this datasheet.) "(It) addresses many of the aspects of ageing hair and scalp with its combination of alpha hydroxy acids, trimethylglycine, a peptide and antioxidants." Despite the hype - I don't believe it can help my hair be thicker or will make my hair look younger - I wanted some exfoliating abilities in this product, so it seemed like a good choice.

If you don't have this ingredient, you could use another exfoliating ingredient like papaya extract or white willow bark at their suggested usage rates. Or leave it out and increase your water amount by 3%.

I used pisum sativum peptide, which is a protein from a type of pea, at 2%. It works like other proteins in that it is a film former and moisturizer, It is supposed to hydrate hair as well as wheat hydrolysate (hydrolyzed protein), it behaves as an anti-oxidant, and it increases your hair's diameter.

You can use the hydrolyzed protein of your choice if you don't have the pisum sativum. Choose silk hydrolyzed proteinoat hydrolyzed proteinPhytokeratin, amongst others.

I always like panthenol in my products, so I added it at 2% in the cool down phase, along with 2% essential oil blend for oily hair (equal parts lemon, rosemary, cedarwood atlas, and sage), and preservative.

44.5% distilled water
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% bamboo extract
3% Vital hair & scalp complex
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
2% panthenol
2% essential oil blend
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Use the general shampoo making instructions in this post. If you feel it isn't thick enough after adding all the ingredients, including fragrace oil, add 1% liquid Crothix, stir and see if the viscosity works for you. Add 1% liquid Crothix at a time until you reach 5% or you like the viscosity. For this recipe, I found 2% was perfect.

I really liked this shampoo, and felt that it worked well to make my hair feel less oily but not straw like or stripped. I only made a 200 gram batch and used it quite quickly. It also worked well as a body wash that one morning I was too rushed to get my usual wash from the workshop! I'm annoyed that I didn't take a picture of it out of the bottle as I coloured it a lovely aqua blue with my LabColours.

What do you do if you want to make this for dry hair? There are quite a few modifications we could make, such as changing the surfactants and adding some moisturizers. Can I refer you to this post where I make a clarifying shampoo for dry hair? This is a great version for dry hair, but please note it isn't a super crazy lathering and foaming cleanser. It foams and lathers, but not as much as you might expect due to the moisturizing ingredients and specific surfactants.

*Please note that I am sent free ingredients by companies like the Formulator Sample Shop. I will use the ingredients and share my honest opinions with you, my lovely readers. I am not being compensated for my opinion or usage of the ingredients in any way, except for the free ingredients. I mention the places I buy my ingredients when relevant because you've asked for that information. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Cetearyl alcohol is not an emulsifier, and using oils on dry skin

It's recently come up that NDA is calling a version of cetearyl alcohol "emulsifying wax O", with the disclaimer that it's not an all in one emulsifier and would require another ingredient to make it work.  If you look at this document, you'll see that cetearyl alcohol is an emollient ingredient on par with an oil and not an emulsifier. If you have this ingredient, use it as a thickener at up to 5% in a lotion, not 25% as they suggest. (25% would give you a very waxy product you'd be hard pressed use in a pump bottle!) Do not think you are buying an emulsifier when you get cetearyl alcohol. You are getting a fatty alcohol that works as a thickener, like cetyl alcohol does.

They also state that it "improves on beeswax as an emulsifier". And beeswax is not an emulsifier for oil-in-water lotions, so to say that it improves on it is misleading!

When you're buying an emulsifier, make sure you're getting an all-in-one or self-emulsifying emulsifier. Polawax, Incroquat BTMS-50, Ritamulse SCG, Lotionpro 165, Montanov 68 - these are all all-in-one emulsifiers you can use easily in your products. If your supplier states you have to use another ingredient to make the emulsifier work, it's not an all-in-one and it'll be a lot more work to make it work. (For instance, you'll likely have to use the HLB system to figure out percentages and such!) I don't suggest these non-all-in-one emulsifiers for beginners. Heck, I could easily make a lovely emulsifier using the HLB system, but there are so many cool all-in-ones available, I generally don't bother.

I've written an awful lot about emulsifiers, so I'll refer you to the frequently asked questions page to see those posts! And check out this post - emulsifiers: check what you have! - for ways to ensure you're getting the right thing at your supplier! 

In this post, Oil cleansing method (part 3), Cakey asks: Hoping you can shed some light. I usually have combination skin with lots of blocked pores on my nose - I have been using different oils & trying to find one that gives me good results but thus far am struggling as my skin is suddenly super dry. It doesn't matter how much oil I apply, it still feels tight & dry underneath. I have been using Mango butter to remove make up (mixed with a bit of Sunflower oil) & then moisturising with a mixture of Jojoba, Avocado oil, Sunflower oil, Meadowfoam oil, Sea Buckthorn oil, Broccoli oil, Camellia seed oil, Marula oil, Baobab oil, Pomegranate seed oil, Cranberry seed oil, Pequi oil & Echium oil. I thought these were all good oils - where am I going wrong?

Oils alone don't help with dry skin. I know so many DIY blogs out there want you to think that water is an unnecessary filler and that oils are the way to moisturize, but it's simply not the case. Having dry skin means you don't have enough moisture in your skinand no amount of oil is going to change that. You can use an oil as simple as soy bean oil or as complicated as the blend you've created, and nothing will change unless you have moisture to trap in, and dry skin lacks that.*

You need water and water soluble ingredients to hydrate your skin and add moisture, and this means making something like a lotion that will bring water to your skin that can be trapped in by the oils. Ideally, we'd add a ton of humectants to the mix to help draw water to your skin and use the oils and other occlusive ingredients to reduce transepidermal water loss.

If I may make this observation, you are using far too many oils and I suspect none of them are used in any quantity to do a good job. Choose one, two, or three oils and try those in combination. Use each combination for a week and keep good notes on what they offer to your skin. You're spending a lot of money on oils that aren't doing anything for your skin if you're using them at 1% and 2% and 5%. You want 20% of something, 20% of something else, and so on. (Check out this post on creating a facial serum to see how to create one of these and why we use the ingrdients we do!)

*I admit this is a simplified view of dry skin. I encourage you to read the posts on dry skin I've written in the skin chemistry section of the blog

Monday, January 18, 2016

Want to take a workshop with me? I'm teaching some soon!

If you're interested in taking a workshop with me, I'm offering them again at Voyageur Soap & Candle in February and March. I'm offering four classes: Anhydrous products, hair care, facial products, and lotion making. They're all day classes, and you'll leave each group with a bunch of products, as well as a copy of my e-book on the topic.

You'll get the chance to play with the oil bar we set up so you can learn what each oil feels like on your skin, play with ingredients you might not have at home, and meet other crafters who are as enthusiastic as you about bath & body products!

Click here to see the dates and get more information on each one. 

I'm also presenting at this year's Canadian Guild of Soapmakers, Chandlers, and Cosmetic Makers' conference in April at Niagara Falls, Ontario! I'm offering two facial products workshops and two lotion making classes. We had such a blast last year, and I have no doubt this year will be similarly awesome!

Click on the link above for more information!

Have any questions? Email me and I'll do my best to answer them!