I've been surfing through a few forums today and I noticed three things...
First: Everyone seems to call me Swifty! I'm SWIFT (or swift) not Swifty. There is someone else named Swifty and I've already changed my name once to avoid confusion. (If you see someone named Celeritas, that might be well be me - it's Latin for swift - and I'm on the LHC under that name as someone took swift!!!) It's nice, though, that people are referring back here instead of claiming the recipes for their own, so thanks for passing on this blog to other people! I can't reward you financially, but know you have my gratitude!
Second: I am not American. I am Canadian. I eat fries with gravy, leave the country to celebrate Canada Day, and have a ton of Tim Horton's steeped tea cups in my car that I really should get into the recycling bin. I spell colour with a "u" and I'm a family counsellor who loves travelling. (Notice we Canadians double the consonant before -ing or -ed. It's marvellous!) I put the punctuation in parentheses outside the brackets (see example to the left) and I make withdrawals from my chequing account! And I'm off work tomorrow because it's B.C. (British Columbia) Day! Woo hoo!
Third: A lot of confusion can be avoided by reading the INCI description of a product before buying it.
BTMS-50 is behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetyl alcohol (and) butylene glycol regardless of what your supplier calls it. If you see the INCI of Cetearyl Alcohol (and) PEG-40 Castor Oil (and) Stearalkonium Chloride, you have Incroquat CR. If you see an INCI of Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-3 Distearoylamidoethylmonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60, you have Incroquat OSC (one step conditioner). And if you see an INCI of Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, you have BTMS-25 with 25% active BTMS, no humectant, and poor emulsification abilities compared to BTMS-50. And any of these could be called a conditioning emulsifier, emulsifying conditioner, concentrated conditioner, a cream rinse concentrate, or something else - so check before you buy! (And if all these names looked confusing to you, then think of how annoyed you'll get scrolling down the screen trying to figure out the differences!)
If you don't live in North America, there might be different names for your products - let's say Amphosol CG for cocamidopropyl betaine - but the INCI should remain the same. So don't go looking for Hydrovance, look for INCI hydroxyethyl urea. Surfactants can be really difficult to find under the same brand name from supplier to supplier, let alone country to country, so learning that DLS mild has an INCI of disodium laureth sulfosuccinate or Steol 230-CS is actually sodium laureth sulfate (or sulphate) makes it easier to find what you want! I've tried to include the INCI information for every product I review unless it's really obvious like stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, oil, butter, and some humectant names (in other words, the INCI tends to be the name of the product).
Note: Outside of America, sulfate can be spelled sulphate and aluminum can be spelled aluminium. In Canada, we use both spellings of each word!
I know it's not easy to remember all of these things, but it's worth it. Make up a chart for the products in a searchable form on the computer and update it when you learn something new. I'm all for being loyal to our favourite suppliers, but sometimes you need faster service or a closer location to make body wash before you run out and have to go Wal-Mart to use something inferior to what you create in the workshop! If you know the INCI of your product, you won't end up ordering the wrong product. (If the supplier doesn't give you the INCI give that supplier a miss or ask them before spending a ton of money, if you have no other choice! They should have them easily available on their ordering sheet or the data bulletin for the product.)
Look for more helpful hints coming up throughout this month...although most of them won't have the rant as an introduction...