Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A few questions I've been asked this week

I had this great idea last night, but I don't have time to write it properly this morning and it's coming out as a jumbled mess (I hope to have it written for tomorrow morning, but it could be Friday), so I thought I'd dip into the comments and e-mails I've seen this week and try to answer a few questions! (And the picture of my dog attacking a Christmas penguin is completely unrelated to any of these questions. I just think she's cute!)

Thanks so much for all your input on LiisK's question on where to find supplies in Europe. I've added it to the frequently asked questions section (look to the right, you might have to scroll down a bit if this is the first or second entry on the page).

If you're interested in doing a search on this blog, look up, way up, to the left hand side of the page. You'll see a little search box there. It's not a great search, but it's a search nonetheless. And look at the right hand side of the page for the "labels" section. I've tried to update a lot of posts with appropriate labels, and this will give you some way of looking through a section for something that might interest you.

Someone asked in this postHave you tried making anything with the new ICE product? If so, would you say it is just as good as the heated way? If not, why? I am not sure if it would be right for every application but it does seem like it would be a time saver for a lot of recipes.

My answer: I haven't tried the new ICE product and I'm not really sure what it's about. The blurb on says "Mixture to create easily stable creams using no emulsifiers and no heating..." but they are using an emulsifier (high HLB ceteareth-20) so I think they're using the word emulsifier in a different way here. The fact sheet gives no more information than the page on which you can buy it, so I'm really not sure what it's about. I really should order some, but the old credit card is still smoking from my last spree, so it'll be a while before I can order it!

I have been experimenting with cold lotion making with Sucragel, but I can't quite get into the swing of making lotions cold. I know I heat and hold to help get rid of nasties and to reach the phase inversion temperature (critical micelle concentration) for my emulsifier, and making a lotion cold just feels...well, not right. I can't explain it any other way. I trust the heat and hold system so much, I find it hard to get away from doing it that way.

From many different people: I know I'm losing water when I heat and hold my lotions. What do I do to make up for the difference?

Here are my suggestions for compensating for evaporation.

From many different people: Can you help me duplicate product X?

I might, depending on the product and the difficulty of analyzing the ingredients! I am planning a series on learning to duplicate products in the next few weeks, so I do need some ideas of what you like.

If you really want me to take a look at a product, please send me the ingredient list and the link to where I might find this list, as it's a lot of work to do the search, especially if there are spelling mistakes or you haven't specified the exact product. I'm not promising I'll have the time to duplicate it, but if it takes my fancy, I might. And I don't want to replicate products from other homecrafters, so please only send along products from large companies!

From many different people: Where can I get ingredient X?

Please specify where you live! There was a time where I could figure out where you lived based on your e-mail account, but with everyone using gmail or hotmail or other types of -mail, I have no idea where you are. I don't need your exact address or even city, but giving me the country or region means I don't send you to a Canadian supplier when you live in New Zealand! (I do have my favourite Canadian suppliers listed to the right hand side of the blog, but if you're not in Canada, that probably doesn't help!)

From p in this postI'd also like to know more about research on the use of essential oils in skin care. I'm thinking of carrot seed for wrinkles, helichrysum for inflammation, rose geranium for sebum balancing, and lavender for a variety of things.

My answer: I am not an expert on essential oils and I haven't experimented with them much, but I am researching them and will share information as I find it. I do recommend finding someone who is an expert on the topic because there are so many things to take into consideration when using essential oils - is the person pregnant or lactating? is this for a rinse off or leave on product? will this make you sun sensitive? what's the safe usage amount? - that we might not think about when we want the function or fragrance of the oil in our product.

And finally, from Ms. Bumsqueek by e-mail: Do you just pick certain questions and post them when you think enough people will be interested?

My answer: Yes. If I am asked a question over and over again, I'll write it up as a post. If I see something interesting I've never seen before, something that makes me go hmm, or something that I have to research, I'll post it. It's a pretty random process and it's really about what takes my fancy that morning!

I do try to answer every e-mail and every post as soon as possible, but I might miss something in my excitement of seeing all the wonderful things you've written in the morning. And I do have to go to work and lead my youth groups, get into the workshop, and try to have some kind of family and social life, so I might not be have time to answer right away...but I will do my best.

As a final comment for this fairly random post, I'm able to see stats about who is visiting the blog (country or region, no specifics, so your privacy is protected) and which pages you read the most. The most popular posts I've written as judged by readers over the last year? Cucumber extract, followed by C12-15 alkyl benzoate, and the preservative chart download. I'm a little confused about the first two as I wouldn't have thought they'd be the mostest popular of all the posts, but I'm glad to see people are enjoying the preservative chart. The more we learn about preservatives and the more we share about what we've learned about preservatives, the more likely people are to use them and create safe products!

Join me tomorrow when I'm slightly more coherent for more fun with learning to formulate!

1 comment:

p said...

Thanks for discussing my question, Susan! I'm really looking forward to hearing what you find as you research essential oils - your research skills are amazing!