I cannot stress enough the idea of learning why you're using the ingredients you are using when you are creating. Yeah, it's easy to follow a recipe, but if things go horribly wrong (for instance, the lotion doesn't emulsify) or you want to change something, you need to know why you're adding what you're adding.
I also encourage you to always think of what you want as an end result in your creations.
Using yesterday's toner recipe, we can create sprays for summer cooling, summer apres sun, bug-be-gone, and fragrance misters.
SUMMER COOLING SPRAY
I know it's still officially winter in my part of the world, but I really really love this spray! To make my summer cooling spray, I keep it pretty much the same as the ingredients offer what I think I need in a cooling spray -- a few humectants, the feeling of witch hazel evaporating (which is nice and cool), and a moisturizer, because I really can't get enough moisturizing.
Peppermint or spearmint essential oil are good choices for cooling, as are menthol crystals, so I could include those at 1%. But I need to mix the water and oil together, which requires an emulsifier. This is an ingredient that will allow water and oil to come together in a homogeneous mixture. Which emulsifier? For something like this, polysorbate 20 is a good choice as we aren't using a ton of oils. I like to use 1% poly 20 with 1% peppermint essential oil. Put both into a small container -- a shot glass will do nicely -- and mix together. Then add to your toner mixture. Put in a spray bottle, add a funky label, and you're done!
NOTE ABOUT POLYSORBATE 20: Polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier, which means it will bring water and oil together. It's not the most powerful of the emulsifiers, but it works well for small amounts of oil, like essential or fragrance oils. Always mix equal amounts of your fragrance or essential oil with the poly 20 (1 gram oil to 1 gram poly 20) in a small container. Mix until it turns clear. Sometimes you'll need a 2:1 ratio of poly 20 to oil to ensure it won't be cloudy any more. I don't really mind if it's cloudy, but some people do.
You could also include more humectants like glycerin (it does make it slightly sticky at 2%) or Hydrovance (again at 2%), but I find the sodium lactate at 2% and the honeyquat (or polyquat 7 from Voyageur) really does a great job of drawing water from the atmosphere.
As a note, you can get peppermint hydrosol from some suppliers (I can't get it locally, so I don't use it) and this would be a great choice for this spray. You can substitute most, if not all, of the water with peppermint hydrosol for an extra mega super cooling spray.
SUMMER SUN RELIEF SPRAY
I like to modify this spray for road trips or camping excursions. Witch hazel offers a nice cooling sensation when it evaporates, so I'll keep that in. But I want more aloe vera for post sun exposure, so I'll increase that to 20% and reduce the witch hazel to 20%. Lavender is great for soothing sun or wind burn, so I will keep that at 25%. I'll keep the chamomile for the soothing qualities, but I could include 1% lavender essential oil for soothing if I don't have broken skin. I'll need an emulsifier, so I'll add 1% poly 20 as well.
Some people like to add a bug-be-gone essential oil blend to a spray to keep away mosquitoes. As I am a mosquito magnet - perhaps they like my blood type? - this does not work for me. You would add any essential oils at 1% with 1% poly 20 and add it to the bottle. You could use either variation on the recipe.
You can make a lovely moisturizing fragrance spray with this recipe...Just add 1% of your favourite fragrance oil (go up to 2% if you're one of those "like to smell a lot" people!) and the same amount of poly 20. Blend in a small container, then add to your toner recipe. Put in a spray bottle. Use lavender for headaches, or other essential oils to soothe or invigorate. Or use this as a room spray, but leave out the powdered extract as there's really no point to it for your room!
I hope these recipes have shown you how easy it is to modify your recipes when you...
- know your ingredients;
- keep your end result in mind; and
- have no fear!
Check in tomorrow to learn about using surfactants to make your own body wash, bubble bath, and shampoos!