Thursday, March 4, 2010

Combining extracts!

I'm sure by now you're eager to include extracts in your products - if you haven't already - and combining them can be a great way to get some awesome properties in your lotions and potions. But there is a warning about combining extracts, and that warning is "beware" (my apologies to Fry & Laurie for the joke theft). Be careful combining extracts that might be too exfoliating or too astringent for most skin types.

Although honeysuckle and grapeseed extract might sound like an awesome combination, they might offer too much exfoliating for all but the thickest and leatheriest skin types (and certainly don't combine papaya with any other exfoliant - ouch!). Allantoin with other extracts might also be too exfoliating for sensitive skin, so you might want to go for aloe vera instead of straight allantoin. Cucumber and honeysuckle together might be a little too astringent for dry skin, as might be a combination of green tea and comfrey.

You can create some interesting combinations based on skin type. If you tend towards redness, consider something very anti-inflammatory, like comfrey or cucumber. Consider using white willow bark to help with inflammation - it's very powerful in that department!

For instance, my pale but red, acne prone skin could really benefit from honeysuckle and green tea, and I'd happily include comfrey as an extra anti-inflammatory and anti-redness ingredient and rosemary for oily hair or skin. (If you're really pale, save the skin whitening and sun sensitizing extracts like liquorice or those with AHAs like rosemary or comfrey for rinse off products.)

Allantoin, comfrey, and green tea might be an awesome combination for aging or weather damaged skin. If you're a lucky girl who has normal type skin, any combination of non-astringent extracts would work for you - every extract is filled with lovely anti-oxidants, which are generally very good things, and most contain anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Join me tomorrow - we'll take a look at formulating with various combinations of the extracts we've used so far!


Anonymous said...

hi babe. i'm pearlyn. i have email u previously on an enquiry regarding hair lotion. did u receive it?

Topcat said...

Great advice! I am looking forward to reading your suggestions :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pearlyn. I did get your e-mail but between my obligations at work, training a practicum student, trying to find money for my youth groups, working on a new program at work, trying to write reports before the end of the fiscal year, writing the blog, preparing and teaching classes, suffering from the ongoing headache, enjoying the fun and excitement of my recent severe cold, and trying to find time to spend with my husband, mom, and friends, I haven't had the opportunity to get to my e-mail.

I hope to find some time this weekend to respond to e-mails I've received over the last few weeks, but reading and analyzing recipes (and making suggestions) can take some time. I encourage you to experiment with your recipe and let me know how you like it. It's easier to tweak it when you know what you like.

pearlyn said...

pearlyn here.

since its hard for u to reply emails, i might as well ask over here for ur convenience.

i understand polawax is meant to be used at 25% of total wax & oil. is btms 50 also meant to be used at 25% of total wax & oil?

if i add in lecithin, will that thicken my formula? should i count lecithin under oil phase or water phase?

thanks soo much

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm not sure what you mean by hair lotion. Do you want something to rinse out or leave in? Do you want conditioning or a hair oil? If you can be more specific, then we'd be able to help more.

Click here for the intense conditioner with shea butter or here for the intense conditioner basics.

Lecithin will likely thicken your creation and act as a co-emulsifier. I'm not sure which type you have - there are different types of lecithin like HLB 4 (which is good for water in oil emulsions) and HLB 7 (which is good for oil in water emulsions). I would check with your supplier for more information about amounts and adding in which phase.