Friday, July 31, 2009

Dual layer sunglasses case

I love having two pairs of glasses in one case - although my reading glasses will be joining me in craft group for now on because I can't thread a needle any more!!! - but you could carry an iPod or other important device in the other side. (Oh there's a surprise, I've made a sunglass case in sushi fabric!)

For this pattern, I used 100% quilting cotton (sushi fabric, of course...), cotton twill for the middle piece, and a cleaning cloth from Fabricland as the lining to serve double duty as the lining and as a way of cleaning my glasses when I get suntan lotion or moisturizer all over them!

For the pattern (PDF) for this sunglasses case, please click here.

For the instructions (PDF) on how to make this sunglass case, please click here.

The pattern doesn't have rounded corners like the picture, but feel free round the corners yourself. You can reduce the height of this pattern by taking up to 2 inches or 5 cm from the bottom of every piece or just the front piece. I find my glasses fit inside perfectly, but if you want to use the front for something like an iPod shuffle, it's going to get lost!

Happy sewing!

Adding slip to conditioners with oils or butters

An easy way to add slip or lubricity to your conditioners is through the use of oils and butters. We're actually spoiled for choice here as there are so many we could include that are hair friendly. Ideally, you'll choose something that won't go rancid in a short period of time (or something you'll use up quickly) and something that will spread easily.

Please refer to the following posts for more detailed information...
Hemp seed oil is supposed to have some great qualities for your hair and scalp, but it has a shelf life of around 3 months. If you wish to include this oil, you'll want to include some Vitamin E (about 1%) and make sure you use it quickly.

Camellia seed oil is an inexpensive oil that works well in hair care products. It is a dry oil, so it's probably not going to add all the slip you'd like, but it is filled with tons of vitamins and minerals great for your scalp.

Fractionated coconut oil offers great glide and slip, and it has a long shelf life. Shea oil is similar and will give you all the goodness of shea butter in an oil!

Sea buckthorn oil is a great, albeit expensive, choice for dry, itchy scalps. Avocado oil - which is going to feel dry - or avocado butter are also great for annoyed scalps.

Jojoba and olive oil are great choices because both mimic the natural sebum we produce. Both have long shelf lives.

If you make any conditioner with a butter, be prepared to put it in a jar instead of a bottle. It is going to get thick! Or save the butters for a solid conditioning bar. Butters are probably not the best choice for oily haired people like me, but I do a like a little cocoa or orange butter in my solid conditioner. (The orange butter is degreasing). Avocado butter is good for annoyed scalps, and olive butter mimics your natural sebum.

Finally, a note about coconut oil. Coconut oil actually penetrates into the cortex of your hair strand because it is similar to our natural hair oils. This is an inexpensive, long lasting oil that will really do your hair some good.

CONDITIONER WITH OILS (from the post on intense hair conditioners)
7% Incroquat BTMS or cetab
3% Incroquat CR
8% oil or butter or a combination of the two
3% cetyl alcohol
2% panthenol
2% humectant - honeyquat, glycerin, sodium lactate
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% hydrolyzed protein
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
67.5% water
(optional: 2% cetrimonium chloride - add to the oils phase, remove 2% in the water phase)
If you don't like silicones, then add 4% more water to this recipe or add more light weight oils.

Weigh out the BTMS, CR, oils, hydrolyzed protein, and cetyl alcohol in a heat proof container, then put into a double boiler. Weigh out the water and humectant in a heat proof container, and put that into the double boiler. Heat and hold at 70C for 20 minutes. Pour the contents of one container into the other, and mix well with a hand mixer or stick blender. When the temperature reaches below 45C, add the silicones, essential or fragrance oil, and preservative. Spoon into a jar and let cool with the lid off so we don't get condensation.

EVERY DAY CONDITIONER WITH OILS for dry hair (from this post)
.5% preservative
2% silk - she loves this stuff
2% panthenol
6% oils - sea buckthorn, camellia, and jojoba -- all hair loving oils
2% cetyl alcohol
2% honeyquat or glycerin
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance or essential oils
water to 100%

Follow the directions above.

This recipe contains very slippery ingredients like hydrolyzed proteins, silk, jojoba oil, shea oil, BTMS, and cetyl alcohol to increase the slip on your body parts. You can use this as a conditioner as well.
5% aloe vera
3% Incroquat BTMS
2% cetyl alcohol
2.1% jojoba oil
2.6% shea oil
2% phytokeratin (or other hydrolyzed protein like oat, soy, corn, wheat, etc.)
2% panthenol
1% hydrovance
1.1% silk
.5% preservative (Liquid Germall Plus at 0.5%, 1% for Germaben II)
81.7% water

Weigh the BTMS, cetyl alcohol, jojoba oil, and shea oil into a Pyrex jug. Weigh the water and aloe vera into another container. Put both containers into a double boiler, melt, and hold until the temperature reaches 70C. Remove from the heat and blend the two containers together, mixing well. Leave for a bit, then mix again. When the temperature reaches 45C, add the phytokeratin, panthenol, hydrovance, silk, preservative, and fragrance oil (up to 1%). Bottle when the mixture reaches room temperature. You can use a pump, disc top, or turret cap bottle.

Join me tomorrow for fun with esters in conditioners!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Craft group: Sunglasses cases

It's summer - oh, boy is it ever summer around here with a "once in a lifetime" heat wave - so you'll need a case to store your sunglasses!

And here's a PDF of the instructions.

If you've sewn before, you might want to consider making a double sunglass case, great for keeping two pairs - I have my "it's kinda bright" pair and my "holy cow, I'm going blind" pair - or you could keep your iPod, money, and cards in the other slot. (That's the picture on the right)

Join me tomorrow for the double layer sunglass tutorial!

Cationic quaternary compounds: Incroquat CR

As I've been writing these posts on conditioner, I realize I've left out Incroquat CR as a great option for making very basic conditioners without oils and silicones. Incroquat CR is a cationic quaternary compound, like BTMS and cetab, but it won't emulsify much on its own. (The manufacturers claim it is an emulsifying system, but if it is, it's not a good one. I can't get it to emulsify 2% oils and 4% silicones without separating!)

The CR is supposed to stand for "creme rinse" (do you remember that phrase?) and it is for making quick and easy conditioners without a ton of ingredients that don't need emulsifying, like silicones or oils.

Incroquat CR (INCI: Cetearyl Alcohol (and) PEG-40 Castor Oil (and) Stearalkonium Chloride) contains the cationic quaternary stearalkonium chloride (15% of the product), a fatty alcohol - cetearyl alcohol - and an ester - the peg 40 castor oil. Incroquat CR does not contain a humectant, so I'd suggest including one when you use it as the only conditioning agent in a conditioner. It is a good detangler and a good anti-static product.

Stearalkonium chloride is a good conditioning agent, but it's simply not as good as our other options. It has 18 carbon atoms, which means it is a long chain compound, but it simply isn't as effective as cetab or BTMS in reducing combing forces or friction. This doesn't mean you can't make a nice conditioner out of it.

On its own, Incroquat CR is a good detangler, good anti-static, and great softener. It would make a good conditioner for normal or oily hair. Try coupling it with another cationic quaternary compound...
  • With cetrimonium chloride - great detangling, good anti-static, good conditioning features. A good conditioner for normal or oily hair.
  • With cetab - good detangling, good anti-static, good conditioning features. A great conditioner for people with really damaged hair.
  • With BTMS - good detangling, good anti-static, great conditioning features. A good conditioner for most hair types.
When formulating with it, remember that if you add 1% CR, you'll have 0.15% stearalkonium chloride. So we need to use quite a bit to get some decent conditioning. I would recommend starting at 7% to get 1% stearalkonium chloride.

You don't want to add a ton of oils or silicones a conditioner with an Incroquat CR base - try to use water soluble only ingredients. Yes, it's supposed to emuslify, but I found that even 4% silicones will separate eventually. You can use 1% fragrance or essential oils without problem.

I really like using the Incroquat CR in solid conditioners. It is cheaper than the BTMS, so it can add some bulk to the product, and it is a great anti-static addition. Please check out the recipe here.

7% Incroquat CR
3% humectant - glycerin, propylene glycol
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative (Tinosan is not an option here...)
water to 100%

If you want some oils in here, you could use up to 4% water soluble esters like peg 7 olivate. You can try regular oils, but there is the risk of separation.

Weigh the Incroquat CR, water, humectant, and protein into a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. Heat and hold for 20 minutes. (You can boil the distilled water first, then add it to the solid ingredients. This will melt the CR pastilles faster). Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When the mixture has reached 45C, add the panthenol, fragrance or essential oil, and preservative. Package.

As with the conditioner bar, I like to mix Incroquat CR and Incroquat BTMS or cetab together so I can emulsify my silicones.

3.5% BTMS or cetab
7% Incroquat CR
3% humectant (leave out if you're using BTMS)
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% oil of choice (optional)
2% dimethicone
2% cyclomethicone
2% panthenol
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice
water to 100%

Follow directions above. Include the oil in the heat and hold phase. Add the silicones after the mixture has cooled to 45C. This will be a thick conditioner, probably more suitable for a jar than a bottle.

In the above recipe, you'll have about 1% stearalkonium chloride and 1.75% behetrimonium methosulfate or about 1% cetrimonium bromide as conditioning agents. I've included a humectant as we don't have one in the cetab or CR. If you are using BTMS in this recipe, leave the humectant out as we've got enough.

Join me tomorrow for adding slip or glide with oils and butters!

Liquid Germall Plus in spray formulations

Mich asked the following question in a comment:

I do have a question: I have seen that Liquid Germall Plus should NOT be used in products that are to be aerosolized. Link from Lotioncrafters on Liquid Germall Plus. Do you think that would include using it in ANY type of spray formula, or just something you're spritzing all over like a room spray? (I wonder if you're not supposed to breathe it in or what.)

Excellent question! There is a debate about using Liquid Germall Plus in aerosols.

ISP, the makers of Liquid Germall Plus, list it under their "aerosols" category on their site, and generally we go by what the manufacturer suggests. (This MSDS that indicates that Liquid Germall Plus is not a hazard for inhalation under "normal use conditions". What does that mean?). But many supplier pages will tell you not to use it in an aerosol format...but what exactly is an aerosol? From Southern Soapers:

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (one of the ingredients in LGP) should not be used in oral hygiene products, lip products, or in aerosolized sprays. Microscopic droplets are dispensed into the air and easily inhaled with the use of aerosol spray delivery systems. However, aerosolized products use tremendous PSI pressure to achieve microscopic dispersion, something that Fine Spray Misters are not remotely capable of. Typical fine spray misters are more of a topical delivery system, with particles much too large and heavy to inhale in the manner of aerosolized sprays.

So a fine spray mister - like the ones we get from supply stores - are not powerful enough to disperse our products microscopically. So is that the issue? Not using Liquid Germall Plus in an aerosol that could disperse microscopically? But I've found formulation after formulation for mousses and hair products (like this one or these ones) from manufacturers that use Liquid Germall Plus in their professional aerosol formulations that are dispersing microscopically!

I'm feeling so confused right now because it seems to be common knowledge that we shouldn't use Liquid Germall Plus in sprays, but everything I've found doesn't indicate this is a problem at all! So I turn to the master, LabRat, for information and I find this post where he formulates a linen spray with Liquid Germall Plus. In a second post he notes: "If I were making a linen spray and I had to use water as the principle carrier for my fragrance, I would use Germall Plus. Germaben II would be my second choice."

So I'm going to leave it there for now because it's getting too hot to sit in the computer room and type (we're expecting 35C today, but it'll feel like 36C! Yesterday it was 38.8 - a new record! woo hoo? - and it's supposed to go down from there).

I'm comfortable using Liquid Germall Plus in spray applications given what I've found today, but if you are still wary consider these other preservatives (but note that Tinosan is not appropriate for cationic recipes). Germaben II is usually the suggested preservative for sprays at 0.5% to 1.0%, but it does contain parabens, which some people avoid.

Happy formulating!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cationic quaternary compounds: Cetrimonium chloride

If you've read any of the posts on this blog, you'll know I love this stuff in hair care products! It's a cationic quaternary compound, like BTMS and cetrimonium bromide, but it isn't a great one on its own. It has a chain of 16 carbons, which means it isn't as lubricating as BTMS or cetab, but it does have a unique ability to detangle, which means it reduces the combing forces and friction in your hair, which is a very very good thing.

Cetrimonium chloride is a mono-alkyl quat with 16 carbon atoms. Because it is a mono-alkyl quat, it is less conditioning than BTMS or cetab. (And remember, the longer the carbon chain, the better it adsorbs to your hair.) It is water soluble, meaning you can add it to surfactant mixes - you can't do that with BTMS or cetab. You'll note that the INCI for cetrimonium chloride is cetrimonium chloride. Unlike the other cationic quaternary compounds, it is a liquid and usually contains about 30% active ingredient. It is not coupled with a fatty alcohol or a humectant, so it's not an all in one kind of thing. You can add something like cetyl or cetearyl alcohol and a humectant like glycerin or propylene glycol to make it a more complete hair conditioner, but even with those additions, it's not going to be the all around conditioning agent we need like cetab or BTMS.

For those of you who like chemistry, it's the length and number of alkyl chains that determine water solubility with these compounds. Cetrimonium chloride is a mono-alkyl quat, meaning it has one chain that is 16 carbons long. This isn't considered very long, so it has great water solubility. You can make a product with just water, cetrimonium chloride, and preservative as a detangler, as you'll see below! 

Again, the cetrimoniums (cetrimonia?) are considered antiseptic, so it can be a good addition to a conditioner for someone with scalp issues.

I would never use cetrimonium chloride alone in a conditioner or leave in conditioner - unless you were someone with very fine hair that tangled a lot - because it simply doesn't offer the same conditioning levels as the BTMS or cetab. Yes, it has a long carbon chain, but it doesn't have the same fatty profile or fatty alcohols add to it, so it's really good as an adjunct to a fattier conditioner. The recommended use is 0.5% to 5%, but I like to use it at 2% in my liquid, solid, and leave in conditioners because that's enough to get the amazing detangling abilities. (Before using this product, I had to have help from my mom or Raymond to brush my hair! Now, a few sprays out of the shower and the brush just runs through my hair!)

OILY HAIR CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE (copied from the post from March 11, 2009)
.5% preservative
2% cromoist
2% panthenol
2% cetac
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% cetyl alcohol
1% fragrance or essential oils -- oily hair blend - equal parts rosemary, clary sage, cedarwood, and lemon
water up to 100%

Weigh out the BTMS and cromoist into a container. Boil some distilled water, then add it to this container. Heat and hold in a double boiler for at least 20 minutes and ensure all the BTMS has melted well. When the mixture reaches 45C, add the panthenol, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, fragrance, and preservative. If you don't like silicones, then leave them out and add 4% more water.

Feel free to leave out the silicones if you don't like them. If you want to adapt this recipe for normal or dry hair, click on the link above.

LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WITH CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE - please click to read the post on leave in conditioners.

5% cetrimonium chloride
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
1% fragrance
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice (Tinosan is not an option as this is cationic)
water to 100%

Heat and hold the water, hydrolyzed protein, and cetrimonium chloride for 20 minutes, then remove from your double boiler. When the mixture has cooled to 45C, add the panthenol, fragrance, and preservative. Package in a spray bottle.

5% cetrimonium chloride
2.5% cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol
3% glycerin, propylene glycol, or other humectant
3% cationic polymer, like honeyquat, polyquat 7, cationic guar, or Celquat H-100
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
1% fragrance
0.5% to 1% preservative
water to 100%

Heat and hold the cetrimonium chloride, cetyl alcohol, humectant, cationic polymer, hydrolyzed protein, and water for 20 minutes. Remove from double boiler and let cool to 45C. Add the panthenol, fragrance, and preservative. Package.

This is going to be a very thin conditioner suitable only for people with really fine hair that tangles easily. (Although, the Celquat H-100 or cationic guar will thicken the mixture more than the honeyquat or polyquat 7.) It is a good one for children's hair because they don't need a ton of conditioning.
Join me tomorrow for Incroquat CR!

As a final note, cetrimonium chloride can be included in your heated water or heated oil phase. Either way it's good. (Click here for more information...) And it's a great remover of silicones! 

Mineral make-up Wednesday...won't be seen today

Mineral make-up Wednesday has been postponed because I haven't had time to work on new colour combinations because the once in a lifetime heat wave we're experiencing in the Fraser Valley is keeping me out of the workshop and in my air conditioned room. Join me next week when we'll start building some foundations, blushes, and bronzers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cationic quaternary compounds: Cetrimonium bromide


Cetrimonium bromide is a cationic quaternary compound used a lot as the base of commercial conditioners. (It doesn't seem to be popular with home crafters). Where as BTMS is behentrimonium methosulfate - an ammonium salt of methosulfate - with cetyl alcohol, cetrimonium bromide is a bromide salt with cetearyl alcohol. What's the difference?

BTMS has 22 carbon atoms on the chain; cetrimonium bromide has 16 carbon atoms. (Remember...the longer the carbon chain, the more hydrophobic the conditioner. The more hydrophobic, the more likely it will be to adsorb to your hair strand.) So cetrimonium bromide is not as lubricating as BTMS and not as effective as reducing combing forces or friction. It is, however, capable of being absorbed by the cortex when you have holes in the cuticle of your hair, and it adsorbs well to the hair strand. (And, interestingly enough, works as an anti-septic, so it might have some use as an emulsifier for lotions targeting specific skin conditions.) The cetearyl alcohol in the cetrimonium bromide is used to increase substantivity, reduce the combing forces, and reduce friction between hair strands.

Cetab, as it is often called, has about 27 to 29% active cetrimonium bromide with the rest being cetearyl alcohol. You'll notice it's lacking a humectant - I find it feels a little dry with a little less slip compared to BTMS, although this could be due to the shorter carbon chain.

Having said this, because it can actually be absorbed by the cortex, cetab is a fantastic conditioner for really damaged hair that has holes in the cuticle. If you have really damaged hair, consider trying the recipe below with only cetab, or try the version with BTMS and cetab. (As a note, the only place I've found cetrimonium bromide is at the Personal Formulator. If you have other suggestions, please let me know!)

For this series of posts, this is going to be the basic recipe from which we'll work...You can use your preferred recipe and add and remove what you like if you want to modify that instead. (Click here for the original post on conditioners to see some variations!)

7% cetrimonium bromide
.5% preservative
2% cromoist
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone - for the soft feeling, not de-frizzing
1% fragrance or essential oils
water to 100%

Weigh out the cetrimonium bromide and cromoist into a container. Boil some distilled water, then add it to this container. Heat and hold in a double boiler for at least 20 minutes and ensure all the cetrimonium bromide has melted well. When the mixture reaches 45C, add the panthenol, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, fragrance, and preservative. If you don't like silicones, then leave them out and add 4% more water.

3% cetrimonium bromide
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone (optional)
2% dimethicone (optional)
1% fragrance or essential oils
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice
water to 100%

Weigh the BTMS, cetrimonium bromide, hydrolyzed protein, and water into a heat proof container. (As a note, if you boil the water first, then add it, you are going to melt the ingredients pretty much right away, but please still heat and hold!) When the mixture cools to 45C, add your preservative, panthenol, and fragrance oil. Package, use, rejoice. (This may need to be packaged in a jar or malibu because it is going to be thick!!!)

Please join me on Wednesday for some information on cetrimonium chloride!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cationic quaternary compounds: Incroquat BTMS-50

If any of this seems like Greek to you, please read the post on how conditioners work first...

To me, Incroquat Benehyl TMS-50 (INCI: Behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetyl alcohol (and) butylene glycol) or BTMS is the grandmother of all cationic quaternary compounds. It's easy to find, easy to use, and it emulsifies silicones and oils very well. So what exactly is it?

The main conditioning agent in BTMS - behentrimonium methosulfate - is a cationic quaternary ammonium salt derived from rapeseed oil (the plant for canola oil). By putting it in salt form, it will dissolve in water, so we can access the condition-y goodness for our hair. The cationic part means it's positively charged, so it will stick to the negatively charged sections of your hair. It has a long carbon chain - 22 carbons, hence the prefix behe- and it will adsorb to your hair to condition it.

Carbon chains have a direct bearing on the efficacy of the conditioner. The longer the carbon chain - in this case 22, which is quite high - the better the detangling properties and lubrication of the hair. It is also related to the reduction in the electrostatic charge, which reduces the chances of flyaway hair.

Behentrimonium methosulfate will improve your hair's texture and controls static, but on its own it can feel oily and sticky. As you can see in the INCI, Croda has added a fatty alcohol (cetyl alcohol) and humectant (butylene glycol). These are added because a cationic quat on its own can feel sticky or oily; these ingredients mitigate those feelings to make it feel smooth and silky.

Adding a fatty alcohol like cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol will help to reduce the combing forces for wet and dry hair by almost half and reduces the friction between strands of hair, so you can see how important adding a fatty alcohol to your conditioner can be. (If you're using BTMS, it's already in there, but you can add up to 1/2 the amount cetyl alcohol if you want something for your really tangly or hard to comb hair). And the fatty alcohol helps make the cationic quat more substantive.

As a note, you might find BTMS-25, sometimes called conditioning emulsifier or conditioner agent or "company name" BTMS. The INCI is Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, and the behentrimonium methosulfate is about 25% of the pastille. Please visit the post - Substitutions - to find out how you can modify your recipes to include this ingredient.

2% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone - for the soft feeling, not de-frizzing
1% fragrance or essential oils
0.5% to 1% preservative (Tinosan is not appropriate here)
water to 100%

Weigh out the BTMS and hydrolyzed protein into a container. Boil some distilled water, then add it to this container. Heat and hold in a double boiler for at least 20 minutes and ensure all the BTMS has melted well. When the mixture reaches 45C, add the panthenol, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, fragrance, and preservative. If you don't like silicones, then leave them out and add 4% more water.

Join me tomorrow for a post on cetrimonium bromide, another exciting cationic quaternary compound!

Naming things in chemistry

I know, this probably isn't a post you'd normally read, but I think it's something useful for the next few posts. In talking about cationic quaternary compounds, the number of carbon atoms in the chain is vital in learning how conditioning something might be. So here's a little primer on how to figure out how many carbon atoms are in something.

There are two ways of naming chemical thingies - IUPAC or trivial names. IUPAC names are systematic and the same for everything that might have one carbon. The trivial names are what these used to be called, but aren't any more. (Please click here for the wikipedia post on the topic. I found it interesting...) You'll recognize some of these, I'm sure...

1 carbon - IUPAC: meth-, trivial: form-
As in methane or formic acid.

2 carbons - IUPAC: eth-, trivial: ace-
As in ethane or acetic acid.

3 carbons - IUPAC: prop, trivial: (not used)
Propane or propylene glycol (meaning there are 3 carbons in propylene glycol). Also something like isopropyl alcohol. (The "iso" part means it is an isomer of propyl alcohol.)

4 carbons - IUPAC: but-, trivial: (not used)
As in butylene glycol. Or butyric acid, the fatty acid found in butter.

As a note, when you see something like "butylene glycol" the "-lene" part of the word means it is an alkene, a chain with at least one double bond between carbons, and it is unsaturated. It's an easy way to remember the difference between squalane and squalene. The squalene has a double bond somewhere on the chain, which means it can be broken and rancidity can happen. So the squalane is saturated and will not go rancid as fast as the squalene.

16 carbons - IUPAC: hexadec-, trivial: cet-
As in cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, and cetrimonium bromide or cetrimonium chloride. So you know there are 16 carbons on the chain.

18 carbons - IUPAC: octadec-, trivial: stear-
As in stearic acid or stearalkonium chloride. You know there are 18 carbons in these ingredients.

22 carbons - IUPAC: docos, trivial: behe-
As in behetrimonium sulphate. The behe means there are 22 carbons.

No, there isn't a test, but it is useful information for upcoming posts on cationic quaternary compounds!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some additional hair chemistry...

I know I said I'd write about BTMS this morning, but there's so much about the structure and chemistry of hair that I haven't written about in the I'll write about BTMS tomorrow. This bit really should go in the middle of the "how conditioners work" post....

Our hair is composed of a cortex - the internal bit that gives strength to the hair fibre - and the cuticle - the chemically resistant outer layer. The cuticle is 6 to 10 layers thick, and its job is to protect the cortex from damage. It resists chemical damage by UV radiation and the environment, and resists physical damage by pulling, friction, and bending.

If you look at the picture, you'll notice that the cuticle is made up of overlapping scales. In an ideal world, these scales lie flat, reflecting light and giving us that wonderful shine we all want on our hair. The flat scales allow the hair to slide against other strands smoothly.

But the cuticle can resist damage for only so long! We treat it so roughly - heating, drying, dying, perming, and so on, and it responds by not laying flat, which leads to dull looking hair and damage to the hair strand. Scales from the cuticle can be removed, exposing the cortex, which can lead to serious internal damage.

A lot of the damage done to hair is about friction and abrasion. The damage that comes from dying your hair is both chemical and mechanical in nature. When you dye your hair, you are depositing colour, colour that can cause more frictional forces in your hair, which will increase the force required to comb your hair. This leads to cuticle damage. When you perm, your natural disulphide bonds are broken then re-formed in a nice curl (as a note, this is true of straightening your hair chemically as well). This leads to swelling, reduced cortical strength, and increase in friction. Heating our hair is damaging as well - excessive temperatures from curling or straightening irons can lead to a reduction in tensile strength, which weakens your hair.

Chlorine from pools is extremely damaging to hair. It can create bubbles of dissolved protein in the cortex, which burst through the cuticle and crack it. Salt water isn't as bad - it doesn't change the chemistry of your hair, but leaving the salt on the strands can lead to abrasion of the cuticle. (Which makes you wonder about those conditioners or treatments advertising certain types of salt inside!)

If hair is damaged by friction and abrasion, doesn't this mean that even brushing your hair can lead to damage? Yes. Remember when we were told to brush our hair 100 times to increase shine - yeah, the opposite effect is what you can get if you have too much friction!

When formulating a conditioner, you'll notice a lot of the ingredients talk about reducing wet combing forces. Wet hair has far less resistance to combing forces and friction than dry hair. One study estimated that wet combing unconditioned hair twice a week would result in serious cuticle damage in 14 to 60 months. (Yeah, it's not that accurate and there weren't a lot of definitions, but I do think it has a point - wet combing is not a good idea). And ingredients that reduce the forces for combing wet hair reduce the forces for combing dry hair - which is a very good thing - so we want to include lots of those in any conditioner or leave in conditioner!

Again, the key to formulating a good conditioner is to remove the static electricity, increase lubricity, and reduce the combing forces and friction. We do this by choosing a good cationic quaternary compound as our starting point, then add the ingredients that will help keep our hair healthy, repair damage, and help with other concerns we have, like frizzing or curling the wrong way or not laying flat.

Join me on Monday for a look at Incroquat BTMS.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How conditioners work...

How does a conditioner work? Okay, a little bit of chemistry for you...

A conditioning agent (like BTMS) is a cationic quaternary compound. It's a positively charged compound that adsorbs to the surface of your hair. (Adsorption means the molecules accumulate on the surface of your hair. It's different from absorption in that it doesn't penetrate, it just sits on top of the hair fibre.) This is called substantivity. This is defined as "an adsorption phenomenon by which materials that have opposing charges or like composition are more readily adsorbed onto or attracted to its surface and, once there, resistant to subsequent rinse-off." The cationic quaternary compound is hydrophobic - "scared of water" - so it will resist removal by water alone. (The more hydrophobic the quaternary compound, the less likely it is to be removed by water alone.) So the positively charged cationic quaternary compound is attracted to your negatively charged hair fibre and clings on to the surface.

Being resistant to rinse-off doesn't mean it won't come clean and cause build up; it just means it won't rinse off when you rinse your hair after applying the conditioner. It will rinse off when you wash your hair with shampoo in the future.

Virgin hair has a pH of 3.7, and it is negatively charged. The more damaged or chemically treated, the higher the pH and the higher the negative charge. This is due to an increase in cysteic acid that forms when the disulphide bonds in the hair are broken and not reformed. So the more damaged your hair might be, the more negatively charged it is. The conditioning agent is going to be more attracted to your hair and is going to adsorb more.

So if someone with virgin hair - are there any adult women who can say that? - uses an intense conditioner, she's going to see most of it go down the drain. You've got fewer places for the conditioner to adsorb due to your low negative charge, and it'll just rinse off.

Cationic quaternary compounds increase the lubricity, static control, and combability (is that a word?) of your hair. It's always a good thing to have extra moisturization in your hair, increasing the water content on the hair fibre. By increasing the lubricity, you're reducing the force required to comb your hair, meaning fewer breakages and less static electricity on the surface.

When formulating a conditioner, we want maximum adsorption and maximum substantivity to get the most out of the product. We do this by choosing a cationic quaternary compound that will adsorb to our hair, like Incroquat BTMS or cetrimonium bromide. The cationic quaternary compound is always the basis from which we work when creating a great conditioner.

We can increase our substantivity by adding a fatty alcohol, like cetyl alcohol, to the mix. Fatty alcohols increase the substantivity of the conditioner by adsorbing to the hair fibre as well and encouraging more adsorption by the quaternary compound.

And we add all the other goodies like hydrolyzed proteins, oils, butters, silicones, and so on to increase the substantivity, adsorption, and moisturization of our hair.

So let's start with the most basic ingredient - the cationic quaternary compound. I use BTMS the most, so we'll start there tomorrow.

What interests you? Adding slip to conditioners!

I asked, you responded, so what interests you?

From Esmee: She'd like more solid things as her daughter is a bit of a mixing mad scientist in the bathroom. I'm working on things so stay tuned!

From Christine P: Hi, I have a suggestion! I was wondering if you would consider doing another post on hair conditioners - specifically things you can do to add slip (other than silicones - nothing against them, just curious as to what else there is out there).

Thanks Christine for the suggestion! As I wrote the first post, I realized I hadn't done an in-depth look at cationic quaternary compounds. How did that happen? So before we get into looking at adding emollients to your conditioners, I thought I'd spend a few days taking a look at Incroquat BTMS, cetrimonium bromide, cetrimonium chloride, and Incroquat CR.

To answer the question, there are many options for adding slip to your conditioners like...
And I'm going to take a look at each ingredient in turn so we can tweak our recipes to increase slip and glide!

But first...a look at cationic quaternary compounds, starting with BTMS.

As a note, if you want an intense conditioner with lots of slip and don't want to wait a week or so until this series has ended, please check out the intense conditioner post!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sushi soap - melt & pour maki roll!

I'm really loving this flexible soap idea, and I love sushi, so I thought I'd put the two together and make some maki rolls. (I'm working on figuring out the California or Dynamite roll next!)

For this project, you could use a round mold and cut the middle out with an apple corer or a knife, or you could use a mold like this one from Ikea (it's a $2 ice cube mold! Very easy to use!)

First melt and scent your white soap, then pour it into the mold. Remember to spray with rubbing alcohol. Start melting your glycerin soap as the white soap hardens. When it does harden, pop the white soap out of the mold and put on a plate or hard surface with plastic wrap underneath.

Then melt, scent, and colour the clear glycerin soap. Choose a scent that will match the scent of the rice part - I used green tea for all of it because it was on the counter and already had a pipette inside the bottle. If you over pour the coloured soap or if you end up with coloured glycerin soap covering the bottom of your white roll part, don't worry! You can take it off with an X-acto knife, or even cut the little sushi rolls in half to make more! Remember to spray the coloured part as well with rubbing alcohol. I forgot, and it got a little bubbly!

Now the flexible glycerin soap! Thanks for Anne-Marie at the Soap Queen for this wonderful recipe! Add 10% glycerin to your melted soap (I used glycerin soap, but you can use white soap), and colour. I used some green Labcolours and black iron oxide (2 scoops). I can't remember how much soap I used - I think it was about 90 grams or 3 ounces - so I added 9 grams of glycerin. Mix mix mix in the colours and the scent, then pour it onto a silicone baking tray. I had some plastic plates left over from craft group, so I used those. Don't forget to spray it with rubbing alcohol.

How to figure out how much you'll need to wrap your sushi? Do you remember geometry? I sure didn't a few weeks ago, but now I'm taking it again (it's in the name of chemistry!!!) so I remember that finding out the circumference of a circle is pi x diameter. The white part of the roll is 3 cm across, which means I need to have a piece of seaweed soap at least 9.5 cm long and 1 inch high. The pie plate did 10 cm at the longest point, so that worked for me. (But the rest of the circle was pointless!) Use a long container if you can. I have tried a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and that worked well. And I am going to go out and buy a silicone baking pan - but no one in Chilliwack carries one! What's up with that???

I purchased a silpat sheet at Canadian Tire and I'm going to see if that works next!

When the flexible soap has hardened - Anne-Marie recommends 5 to 7 minutes - you can peel it off the sheet and cut it. I used an X-acto knife and a ruler to get my 1 inch pieces.

I stuck the seaweed part of the sushi on to the edge with clear soap, then let it set. Then I slowly rolled it around the edges, then stuck it in place with clear soap. (If you've ever done beeswax candles, the rolling is very similar.)

You can see I used too much glycerin soap to stick this one together. And the soap layer was too thick - it should be much thinner - but I think it looks kind of neat, like the sushi chef went nuts with the nori and couldn't stop rolling it!

Try this with other colours. You can see my yellow wasn't as bright as I would have liked - I'm going to add a titch of peach or orange to it next time - but green would have been nice, or perhaps some brighter pink. And I didn't scent the seaweed...I figured the soap was scenty enough!

You can use this technique for more than sushi rolls. I was thinking about making liquorice all-sorts for Christmas (black in the middle; yellow, pink, or blue for the "rice" part). Or you could core out the middle with an apple corer - instead of using an ice cube tray - and try adding more than just the red bit. (I'm thinking this is how I could make an inside out California roll type maki. Core out the middle, then pour in some black, let that set. Then core it again to put in your colours!)

Join me tomorrow for more melt & pour soap fun!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sushi soap - melt & pour salmon nigiri

If there's anything I like more than cupcakes (from a design point of view), it's sushi. I was inspired by the Soap Queen's video and posts on making flexible soap (click here for the jelly roll tutorial, click here for the sushi soap tutorial, and click here for the video on making flexible soap), so I thought I'd make some nigiri soap! These are going to look really cute in the Daiso sushi box with some fake grass. And I might throw in a sushi roll beeswax candle!

It's a pretty basic concept. Melt some white soap and pour it into a mold. Spray the layer with rubbing alcohol. Let it set about 10 minutes or so. I melted some crystal clear glycerin soap, added Melon Red Labcolour, and Pink Sugar fragrance oil (yep, my salmon smells like Pink Sugar!) Then pour a second layer of coloured glycerin soap on the top of the white and spray it with rubbing alcohol. I tried to make the layers equal, but I have no idea how thick they are.

Then make your flexible soap. (Check out the Soap Queen's video for making flexible soap for more information.) I used clear soap because that's what I had on hand - you can use white soap if you want - and coloured it with green Labcolour (liquid) and black iron oxide (1 scoop - it should have been 2!). I don't have a silicone brownie mold, so I used a baking tray with parchment paper. I left it about 10 minutes or so (I got distracted!!!) until it was hard but flexible.

I also tried using a plastic plate from the dollar store - it worked really well. The pieces were long enough for this project, but not long enough for making the sushi rolls (tomorrow's post). If you can get a larger plate, like a plastic tray, you could use this as a mold for the flexible soap.

I cut the pieces of sushi soap into 2 inch wide slabs, then took the flexible soap out of the mold and cut that into one inch wide pieces using a ruler and X-acto knife. To wrap it around I used some glycerin soap to affix the seaweed layer to the bottom, let it dry, then wrapped it around the sushi soap, affixing it again with glycerin soap!

If you wanted to try another version, you could make two separate layers, then cut the pieces and affix them with clear soap.(Yeah, some of the rice layers are really thick!) Then wrap the sea weed layer around the soaps and affix with clear soap. I made the flexible soap far too thick for this version - I have to figure out what 1/8 inch looks like on a baking tray - but I do like the black. I used more black iron oxide in this one. (The yellow ones are supposed to be tamago, but I don't have egg scented fragrance oil, so I used Hello Sweet Thang instead. Lovely!)

Join me tomorrow for sushi roll soap!

Crafting with youth: Fabric stencilling

There's a surprise - Susan's a geek who likes Doctor Who! (I did have a Dalek shirt, but it said it was "XL" and my tiny mom couldn't fit into it, which just shows you that you should try on the shirt before you stencil on it!!!)

With a few pieces of fabric and some fabric paint from the store, you can make some really lovely designs. They can try painting freehand or with stencils. I like to use small pieces of fabric the kids can sew into something else (we're doing sunglass cases next week, so if you want to follow along, you'll want a piece of fabric 8 inches wide by 7 inches high for the outside.)

Fabric stencilling instructions (part 1) - The basics for fabric stencilling.
Fabric stencilling instructions (part 2) - If you want to get more complicated!
Fabric stencilling templates - These are actually wingding fonts blown up large. This is a great way to get pictures suitable for stencilling.

You can stencil on any cotton fabric you can find. Just make sure you heat set it before you wash it!!!

Have fun. Once you start stencilling, you will find it hard not to decorate everything you own!

Oh, and here's a cute stencilling idea for putting your name on your camping chair!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crafting with youth: Magnet boards

Hey, this is my 250th post. I should have some kind of celebration. I think I'll make some cupcakes!

The kids have been out of school for four weeks now, and they're bored. So why not craft with them? I have had actual fights with people about crafting with kids. They won't sit still, they won't listen, they'll mess things up...yeah, they might, but it's more likely they won't. I've found it quite easy to get their attention with cool crafts like fabric stencilling, bath & body creating, or making candles. (The picture to the left is from our magnet board class).

Get an 8x10 frame from the dollar shop. You can paint the outside of the frame or leave it whatever colour it started off as being. Remove the glass and set aside - you won't be needing these! Get a sheet of metal the same size as the frame and, using spray glue suitable for metal (I got mine at Walmart, $6 a can and it lasts forever!) affix a piece of paper to the sheet. Let it set for a minute or two. Then decorate. You can decorate the frames and the metallic piece with any scrapbooking supplies you might have.

Then make some magnets! We bought some foamy, puffy, glittery stickers and glued magnets to the back of those. Michael's is having a sale right now on their foamy bead things - I loved the science-y ones I bought! Just stick a magnet on the back and you're done!

Or you can make marble magnets - they're easy to make and you can easily make a hundred of them for just a few dollars! I like to use marine silicone glue to affix the glass and magnets.

Marble magnet pictures - These are, again, wingding fonts I've collected. They are the perfect size!

Mineral make-up - Part 19: Using colour changing micas

Colour changing, chameleon, or interference micas! What are these? They are micas that shift colours in the light, kind of a variation of the iridescent micas we played with in part 13. I'm going to look at two of these - ones I've actually used - but you can get dozens of these types of micas at TKB Trading (click on the link, then in the search put in "travel" to find the "travel to (planet name)" series of colours.)

Chameleon sparkle (Suds & Scents - look left): This looks like a red kind of colour, but it shifts to green with a titch of purple in the light.

Patina green (Voyageur Soap & Candle): Again, this is a grey colour with a hint of green. (Click here to find the patina green recipe.)

As always, you can use something like the chameleon sparkle in a 1:1 ratio of base to mica to make a sheen that will shift colours in the light. But you can use these with iron oxides, and use our micas as the highlights.

Consider the colours in the base of the mica - in the case of chameleon sparkle, the base colour is going to be burgundy or reddish in nature. So we're going to choose our iron oxide with that base colour in mind. So I'll make up a basic burgundy base.

BURGUNDY BASE (matte base)
3/4 tsp base
1 scoop burgundy iron oxide

Then I'm going to add my chameleon sparkle colour on top of that. Add as much sparkle as you'd like. Start with 2 scoops (1/16 tsp) of chameleon sparkle, and see if you like this. I like to add a lot of sparkle, so I would add 4 scoops (1/4 tsp) of chameleon sparkle.

STAR GAZER GREY - original recipe from post 5!
3/8 tsp base
1 scoop black-blue iron oxide
2 scoops sunpearl silver.

MODIFICATION: Instead of adding my 2 scoops of sunpearl silver, I'm going to add 2 scoops of my patina grey to give it the green tinge.

With these colours, you are going to have to some playing around to figure out what base goes well with what. My suggestion is to try them first just in the base at the 1:1 ratio base to micas to see what colour jumps out at you. You don't want to hide the colour by choosing the wrong base colour!

For some of these colours, you'll have to use the alternate eye shadow base so the colours really pop. We tried the next two recipes with our basic eye shadow base and they were dulled. (Find alternate recipe here...) These micas are from TKB Trading - they are gorgeous! (And remember, I don't take money for advertising and don't allow it on the site, so this is just my unpaid, unsolicited opinion about these micas...)

As a note, it is really hard to take pictures of these colour changing eye shadows, so please click on the link for the mica to see the colour of the original before blending.

2 scoops alternate eye shadow base

This will make up 5/32 of a tsp. To increase it to a container size, you'll want to use 18/32 tsp (or 18 scoops) black amethyst mica and 12/32 tsp (or 12 scoops) alternate base for a full size.

3 scoops smokey XXX
2 scoops alternate eye shadow base

Again, to increase this to a full container size, use 18/32 tsp of mica (18 scoops) and 12/32 tsp (12 scoops) alternate base.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Soap cupcakes with icing

I love cupcakes - well, if you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know I'm a foodie - and I do love bath and body products that look like food. I'm preparing for a melt & pour class in Yarrow (and in Chilliwack in September), so I thought I'd take the opportunity to work on soap cupcakes.

I don't make soap - I figure there are people out there who have worked really really hard to create awesome soap and I'm happy to spend money on their products - so I use melt & pour. All the recipes for making icing for soap cupcakes required either making a cold process soap - not an option - or foaming bath butter - again, not an option (I can't find it locally and for a class, the cost is prohibitive). I have tried using cocoa butter or other butters whipped up, but they didn't feel right and reduced the foam on the cupcakes. So I thought about it and realized I could make a syndet icing like a shampoo bar.

BASIC ICING FOR SOAP CUPCAKES (feel free to double or triple - do not quadruple)
25 grams SCI noodles or flakes
25 grams Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
35 grams SLSa
3 grams cetyl alcohol
2 grams fragrance oil (I used Cream Cheese Frosting from Brambleberry!)
Colouring (if desired)

Heat the SCI and coco betaine in a double boiler until the SCI has melted. Add the SLSa and cetyl alcohol and again heat until all ingredients are melted. Mix well with a hand mixer, then put into a piping bag with a cake decorating tip on the end (I used a 1M). Decorate cupcakes. Rejoice.

The reason I say not to quadruple the recipe is that it does set very quickly and you will find it difficult to pipe after about 20 minutes or so. If you want to decorate a ton of cupcakes, you will want to remake the recipe again.

You can use another liquid surfactant, but SCI melts best in an amphoteric surfactant like coco betaine, so this is why I suggest it. I used cetyl because it will harden and will offer some moisturizing - you can substitute stearic acid for a harder and slightly less moisturizing icing. Feel free to add some oils - say up to 3% - to this mixture for more moisturizing!

If you aren't into melt & pour soap, you could use this icing to make some decorations for your bath bomb cupcakes (although it's not going to melt quickly in the tub)!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Question of the week: What interests you?

Although I'm having a wonderful time creating in the workshop and researching various ingredients, what interests you? Curious about cationics? Mad about mineral make up fillers? Serious about surfactants? (Okay, I'll stop with the alliterations...)

Do you have general questions about your creations? How to make them more moisturizing? How to make them more conditioning? How to thin a lotion or thicken a cream? Can't find a supplier for an ingredient? Obsessed with a particular oil?

Post your comments here and help me generate some ideas for future posts!

Packaging: Non-container options and labelling

I like products that don't need a container! Shampoo and conditioner bars, lotion bars, bath bombs - I can find cute ways to dress them up and it's not going to cost me a fortune! I have a small problem when I walk into Essential Packaging in Surrey - even though I have no idea what I could put into the boxes, I really do want every single container in there, especially the lime green ones!

Cellophane bags are fantastic. I like to have the 4 oz, 8 oz, and 1 lb sizes around the house, just in case I need them. I like to package bath bombs, bath salts, and, as you can see from the picture to the left, little kits of things to give away. (Also great for cookies and chocolates!) I like to use cute twist ties (Daiso is awesome for this, or try your local chocolate making store) or ribbons as closures.

Note...I've tried "cellophane" bags from the dollar store, but they aren't cellophane...and they kill the scent!

I know you can use plastic sandwich bags for this task - but beware! Sandwich bags are made out of polyethylene plastic, and this can kill your fragrance and essential oils quickly. I learned this the hard way - 20 bags of bath salts for a class, and not a single one smelled like anything!

I love Daiso, the Japanese $2 store! If you have one near you, check out their selection of sushi and onigiri packaging. It's great for things like bath cupcakes or beeswax candles (especially ones that look like sushi)! It's inexpensive - 8 or 12 or 16 for $2! - and it looks pretty cool. Check out their twist ties, cellophane bags, and silicone molds. Their cookie and chocolate mold section is great for cute things!

For bath cupcakes, I like to re-use small cupcake containers (we get them for Games Night, so we always have some around the house). I realize it means I have to give someone 12 fizzing cupcakes, but is that a bad thing?

Whether you're making products for yourself or sharing it with loved ones, labelling is vital. It helps you remember the ingredients in your favourite body butter and it lets others know not only about potential allergens, but shows off the awesome ingredients you are using in your creations. You might remember what something is today, in six weeks you won't have a clue what's in that spray bottle in the cupboard (and when you start using mentholated foot lotion as facial moisturizer, you'll thank me for this reminder!).

When labelling bottles, clean them with rubbing alcohol prior to affixing the label. I had to fight with the kids at craft group to do this because the bottles may seem clean, but oils from your hands, minute dust particles, and little bits of surfactant can make the label come off, and that's irritating.

I like to spray my labels with acrylic sealer (find this in art stores or stores like Michael's) if they are going to be used in the bath. It'll keep them waterproof and affixed to the bottle. I do use an Epsom printer with water proof inks, so that keeps the writing itself water proofed, but it won't keep the label on the bottle!

On top of it all, it's fun to name your products and create adorable labels! My favourite product to label is "Cyclomaniac" anti-frizz spray. Yeah, I seem to be the only one who appreciates the name, but it makes me smile every time I use it.

Here's a link to some great aged labels for spices, but they would look cool on amber bottles! And this link has a ton of apothecary style labels. I love these!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shampoo & conditioner bars: Additional information!

After seeing a post on the Dish, I realized I had failed to include preservatives in the shampoo and conditioner bar posts (click here for shampoo, click here for conditioner, and click here for the solid shaving bar). When you are including things like hydrolyzed proteins, you need to preserve because the bars are going to be exposed to water and people's hands and other things in the bath.

I like to use 0.5% Phenonip. I am generally a fan of Liquid Germall Plus, but this is not suitable for non-water applications. (Please refer to the post on preservatives for more information.) Optiphen might be an option for you (I've never used it), but Tinosan is right out for the conditioner or shaving bar because it doesn't play well with cationics.

Also, please allow your bars to cure for a day or two. I usually do, but I found myself without a conditioner bar and used one a few hours after making it. It melted away in the shower, so I only had about 50% of the time I'd normally have with a conditioner bar.

So sorry to have left this information out!

But as I like to think of everything in life as a opportunity to learn and grow, I encourage you, my wonderful readers, to share your feedback with me. Let me know if I've messed up, let me know if a recipe worked or didn't work for you, and let me know what you think!

And this is a lesson for me - I tend to print out my recipe, then write the updates in grease pencil on the plastic sheet in my binder. When I've been copying out recipes for this blog, I've tended to use the version on my computer, instead of including my notes. So guess what I'm doing today - updating the binder!

Foamer bottles: Hand wash

I do like the foamer bottle - and not just because it's lime green (as you can see from this picture, you can get them in a variety of colours)! I've been working on a post-crafting hand wash...and the nice thing about the foamer is I can include all kinds of ingredients that would normally destroy the lather of a surfactant mix because the bottle does the work for me!

So what do I want in a hand wash?
I want something foamy and cleansing.
I want something conditioning and moisturizing.
I want something that will remove scents and oils from my hands.

So I'll need surfactants and watery ingredients - because it's a foamy bottle, I'm going to use a lot of water, aloe, and hydrosols - and I'll need moisturizing and conditioning ingredients.

I'm having fun playing with the PEG 7 olivate (water soluble olive oil, an ester) so I'll use that as my moisturizing ingredient. If you don't have this, leave it out or use another oil with equal parts polysorbate 80 as an emulsifier.

I'm going to add d-Limonene to remove the oils and fragrance oils and other things I might get on my hands during the course of playing in the workshop with equal parts polysorbate 20 to emulsify. (Although, having said that, you can use PEG 7 olivate as the emulsifier/solubilizer - its HLB is 11.) You can leave the d-Limonene and polysorbate 20 out if you don't have it or don't want to use it. (d-Limonene is great for post-kitchen fun as well. Onions and garlic recoil at the sight of the mighty orange oil!)

I'm going to add a ton of honeyquat as my humectant and conditioning agent. You can use polyquat 7 or any other NON-THICKENING cationic polymer to this mixture as your conditioner. (Cationic guar or Celquat H-100 is not a good idea here as they both thicken, and that's not a good thing in a foamy bottle). Normally using 6% cationic polymer is going to reduce the foam greatly, but we're not worried about that in our foamy bottle!

Surfactants are inherently irritating to skin because you're removing oils, so I want to add oils and conditioning agents back into the mixture. d-Limonene removes oils as well, so I really want to add these things back. That's why I have a ton of various humectants and moisturizers in this mixture.

I'm going to add glycerin - not too much, as we don't want it to be thick - because it's also a humectant, but it boosts foam. I'm reducing the foam with my moisturizers and conditioners, so I'll add the glycerin to add some more oomph to the foam! (We aren't using sodium lactate - my favourite humectant - because it tends to wash off in rinse off products. You can use the humectant of your choice, but the glycerin will help with the bubbles!)

Panthenol is always a good thing for making your skin nice, so I'm adding that, and I always add a hydrolyzed protein to a surfactant mix for the film forming properties.

Aloe and hydrosols are a good thing - I didn't use hydrosols in this recipe simply because I forgot! - and the salts from aloe will help thicken things slightly, but not enough to thicken it so we can't use it.

42.5% water
10% aloe or hydrosols
16% LSB (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate and Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate.)
5% BSB
7% Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
3% glycerin
3% PEG 7 olivate
2% hydrolyzed protein
6% honeyquat
2% panthenol
1% d-Limonene
1% polysorbate 20
0.5% preservative (Liquid Germall Plus)
1% fragrance or essential oil of choice

Weigh and heat the water, aloe or hydrosol, LSB, BSB, coco betaine, glycerin, PEG 7 olivate, glycerin, hydrolyzed protein, and honeyquat. Mix the d-Limonene and polysorbate in a separate container. When the mixture has cooled to 45C, add the panthenol, d-Limonene mixture, preservative, and fragrance (add colour, if desired). Bottle in a foamy bottle and enjoy!

Kids love foamy bottles - make this up for them, but leave out the d-Limonene and polysorbate 20! Add a fruity or foody scent and watch them spend hours playing in the sink.

You can substitute the surfactants of your choice for the LSB and BSB (anionic surfactants), but please do not substitute the coco betaine (amphoteric), as it is a co-surfactant and will make this mixture milder.

Have fun with foamy bottles!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Foamer bottles: Facial Cleanser (part 2)

I found yesterday's foamy bottle recipe a bit too much for my skin - it felt great at the time, but it made my skin a little oilier during the day. If you strip too much oil from your skin, it will rebel and produce more! If I'd used my toner afterwards, I'm sure it would have been okay, but I have a new surfactant I want to play with, so it was a cheap excuse to make a second version of this foaming facial cleanser!

It's similar to yesterday's post in that it has a ton of water instead of a ton of surfactants. I thought it needed more moisturizing, so I've included water soluble olive oil (PEG 7 Olivate - love those esters!) and honeyquat as a humectant and conditioning agent. I've included all my lovely hydrosols - I've started using a lot of chamomile because they have it at Voyageur now - and aloe because this needs to be very thin.

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR FOAMER BOTTLES - more conditioning and moisturizing for any skin type

51.5% water
2% honeyquat
3% PEG 7 olivate (water soluble olive oil)
10% SMC Taurate (liquid)
8% Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile
3% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative (Liquid Germall Plus)
1% fragrance or essential oil (optional)

Mix together. Package in foamy bottle. Rejoice.

(Note: Most of these ingredients came from The Herbarie instead of my usual suppliers.)

So how is this different than yesterday's facial cleanser? I forgot to use the lavender hydrosol - next time I'll include it at 10% and reduce the water to 41.5%. It contains SMC Taurate, which is a very mild, very creamy feeling surfactant. (The Herbarie has SMO Taurate now, which is made from olive oil instead of coconut oil. Same thing, different oil.) You could substitute any other mild surfactant - Plantapon or BSB, if you like - in its place. I've added honeyquat as both the conditioning agent and humectant, instead of glycerin and sodium lactate - I felt like playing to see what it would be like. You can use any humectant you like in this recipe if you want to tweak it.

The big difference is the inclusion of all the moisturizers and humectants. I generally wouldn't put oil on my face - it's oily enough! - but the PEG 7 doesn't make me break out, and it adds a conditioned and moisturized feel afterwards. I'm enjoying this one!

Join me tomorrow to create a post crafting hand soap in a foamer bottle!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chilliwack: Card making class

I hope you enjoyed the card making class yesterday. I was surprised at how many of you liked the lime green cards - I came home with purple and pink, but every last lime green one was gone!

If you liked the cupcake punch, I bought it at Michael's in the Martha Stewart section, although there is another one in the regular punch section. Remember to take your 40% off coupon - it's about $17, so that'll come in handy! I bought most of the glitter paper at Classic on Alexander in Chilliwack, but found the purple and brown at Michael's. I can't remember where I found the silver paper - I think it was at Classic!

I loved the use of the punch as something different - the top can be used as a tree top or a cloud!
Here are a few links to the cards we made yesterday....

Adorable cupcake card from Outside the Lines! Don't forget you can alter this card to put a cherry on top or add some sprinkles. Check out the web page for more ideas on how to decorate this card.

And Outside the Lines brings you the adorable ice cream cone card! (I can't eat ice cream, but I can make cute things shaped like it!) You can make a standy-up one, or you can use it as an adornment for another card you've made. For more ideas on how to make this card, check out Linsey's website!

Check out the patterns section of the Outside the Lines blog for tons of great card making ideas. Now that you've had a taste for it, you're going to want to make tons of your own cards!

Oh, but don't forget to add an envelope! Click here to visit Mirkwood Designs, home of great card and envelope templates. And this is the envelope pattern we used in class yesterday!

Have fun making cards. I have to finish off the thank you cards from the wedding, and you know they're going to be cupcake themed!