Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why did I buy that? Glycol stearate

After reviewing yesterday's post, I realized I kinda covered a ton of products in the links for CME, so let's take a look at another ingredient! And sorry again for the late post - I'm going to be around 10! How am I sleeping in until 8? Does one person need 10 hours of sleep? Apparently the answer to this is yes, yes I do! And I had the coolest dream that I was the Doctor (from Doctor Who, the David Tennant version, not the Matt Smith). It was completely and utterly awesome! There's no reason the Doctor can't be a girl!  

In this post, Crystal asks the burning question - why did I buy glycol stearate? (If you'd like to post an ingredient you've bought but never used, do it in this post!)

Glycol stearate is an ester of stearic acid and ethylene glycol that we use as a low HLB emulsifier (2.9) in combination with a high HLB emulsifier (like polysorbate 80 or ceteareth-20) to create an emulsification system. We can also use it as a thickener in our products (but it's not a pearlizer, like glycol distearate...see note below). We see glycol stearate in a lot of commercial products in combination with the high HLB emulsifier as the emulsification system.

Don't confuse glycol stearate with glycol distearate - they are different products with a different HLB (1 vs. 2.9). 

Here are a few posts in which I've used glycol stearate as a low HLB emulsifier.
HLB: Using different emulsifiers and a formula. 
HLB: An example using glycol stearate

Join me tomorrow for more fun with new ingredients!

I will be getting more in depth with other ingredients, it's just that I've already covered those I've written about so far! And I will be writing a ton of posts on the weekend so I'm not writing things at the last minute, especially with this new and exciting sleeping schedule!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why did I buy that? Caprol Micro Express

Caprol Micro Express (INCI PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides (and) Polyglycerol-6 Dioleate (and) Glyceryl Caprylate/Caprate) is a non-ionic solubilizer that can create emulsions when you want to add something oily to something watery (so it's a bit like using polysorbate 20, polysorbate 80, or Cromollient SCE). It's water soluble, and it can be used at 10% to 15% in our products. It's reported to be less sticky than those other solublizers - which I can confirm as I've used it as a water soluble ingredient in toners and cooling sprays because it wasn't sticky - and it tends to create clear systems rather than cloudy ones.

As a note, the Herbarie carries a product called AquaEm that is very similar to CME with an INCI of PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides (and) Polyglyceryl 6 Dioleate. As far as I can tell, you'd use it the same way you'd use CME. 

How is Caprol Micro Express different than these other solubilizers? There are three main ways...
1. CME feels less sticky than the other ingredients (at least to me).
2. I wouldn't use CME in something like a bath oil, but I would use Cromollient SCE and the polysorbates for that purpose.
3. It is supposed to create clear systems, whereas polysorbate 20 and polysorbate 80 can create cloudy systems.

One of the main ways to use CME is as a solubilizer and emulsifier for body and room sprays, specifically for getting the fragrance or essential oil to emulsify into the water in these products. Here's an example from Lotioncrafter for a room and linen spray using CME as the emulsifier for the fragrance oil. As Jenny points out, you'll want to use 1 part CME to 9 parts water with 1% fragrance oil. If you want to go to 3%, use 15% CME and reduce the water accordingly. Southern Soapers has some great PDFs on the topic of using CME as an emulsifier. Check out their PDFs Making Room & Body Sprays with CME and Room & Body Sprays

I like to use CME as a water soluble emollient in things like my toners - click here to see an example of a toner I created using CME as a water soluble ester - and emulsifiers for small amounts of oils in those products. (Here's an example of a gelled toner I made using CME as an emollient for my oily skin.) You can use it anywhere you would use something like PEG-7 olivate or other water soluble emollients! Here's where I've used it in a conditioner, and here's some information (scroll down) on how I might use it in a body wash. Click here to see how I used it in a facial product suitable for dry skin.

Join me tomorrow for more ideas on how to use CME in various products!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why did I buy that? More from the other day's post!

Here are a few more ideas on how to use the ingredients we covered in the other day's post! (Sorry for the lateness of the posts, but for some strange reason I've decided to start sleeping in until around 9:00!)

Cromollient SCE can be used as an emollient and emulsifier. Here are a few ideas of how to use it in hair care products, a ridiculously moisturizing body wash with other esters (clear), and a ridiculously moisturizing body wash with other esters (opaque). Cromollient SCE can be used as a substitute for things like polysorbate 80 in bath oils (click here), although it is a very expensive substitution! And here's a recipe for how to make a clear, sprayable conditioning product with esters (which also contains PEG-7 olivate).

I love to use PEG-7 olivate in a products where I want to add some emolliency but don't want the hassle of using an emulsifier with the oil. (As a side note, I'm really enjoying using water soluble shea in similar products!) For instance, in facial products, in a body wash, in shampoo, in rinse off conditioners, and in leave in conditioners. I tend to add it to things like my summer time cooling spray as an emollient at up to 3% (I like my products to be multitaskers!) or in this apres sun spray at 3% in the water phase. Or think about adding it to a deodorant as an emollient that won't be as greasy as a regular oil.

As I mentioned, I woke up kinda late this morning so this is a short post as I have a hundred things to do to prepare for work this week. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at another new ingredient - Caprol Micro Express (CME). 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why did I buy that? A few ideas from yesterday's post...

Wow, I'm posting this late, but I slept in this morning until 9:00! I'm such a rebel! Next I'll be staying up past midnight, doing my crosswords in pen, and drinking milk straight out of the carton! (Okay, I won't be doing the last thing as I'm lactose intolerant, but it's the thought that counts, right?)

We took a look at some interesting and new ingredients yesterday - let's take a look at some applications this morning! (There will be at least two more posts on these ingredients as there were quite a lot of them!)

Here are a few recipes with disodium EDTA included. It might not be the most exciting ingredient in the world - it doesn't do anything for skin feel for functionality - but it's a great addition if you're trying to retard rancidity in your products!

Emu oil is reported to be good for pain relief, so I used it in a lotion bar for that purpose. I love the bar I've made, and I use it constantly. (Which is kinda sad that I have pain so regularly that I'm burning through these bars, but it's nice that they feel good!) You can use it in any application that requires oils, although you might want to consider who might be using the product as it is derived from animals, so vegans and vegetarians might take issue. (Click here for the answer to the burning question can I substitute one oil for another in a recipe?)

Argan oil is reported to be good for our hair, and you can add it to your conditioner at up to 10% in the heated oil phase or make a serum with about 5% argan oil, 85% cyclomethicone, and 10% dimethicone. (Click here for some information on the Moroccan oil products and my suggestions for replication!)

I've written quite a lot about IPM, so my suggestion is to click here and click here for a few ideas. IPM can be used where you would use any oil - put it into the heated oil phase - so try it in products you think could use just a little less greasiness.

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with ingredients we've purchased!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

No post today...

My iPod touch and phone were stolen from my purse during a craft group tonight. I know who did it - he isn't one of my regular kids - but there's nothing that can be done as no one actually saw him do it, according to the police. I won't be getting either of them back as he likely fenced it for drugs to one of the scumbags who hang around the park near the library. He's a kid whom I tried to help a few years ago, and I guess I didn't do much good given where he is in life right now.

It's not about the material items, although I really liked my iPod and had a lot of information on it. It's the betrayal. I spend a lot of time trying to make the library meeting room a safe place for everyone, and it turns out it wasn't a safe place for me. I don't want to turn our groups into a fortress, with everyone guarding their MP3 players and cell phones and purses and backpacks, but I don't want anyone else to feel this way.

I'm just so sad right now.

An update: It's 2:45 AM and I'm wide awake thinking about all the stuff I should have done and all the stuff I have to do tomorrow. I wish I could hold out hope that I will get my things back, but I won't. He's a known drug addict, and my items were probably sold for $10 by the time I realized they were gone.

Tomorrow should be fun as I get to spend the day trying to figure out what appointments I have for the next few weeks for clients whose phone numbers were stored on my phone, not in my head. Then I get to visit the mobile phone store and try to get a new one (and just about every conversation I have with Rogers mobile ends with me threatening to go to another company, so you know that will be fun). All of this through a haze of exhaustion that comes with getting - if I'm lucky - three hours' sleep.

I worked in the most poverty ridden areas of Vancouver as a welfare worker. I saw some horrible things as a child protection social worker. But it wasn't until I came to my nice little town and started teaching craft groups that people felt it was okay to steal from me. This is the second time this has happened - the first was money, now possessions. I've worked with people who have had nothing - I mean, living in a cardboard box, lining up at the soup kitchen, wearing rags on her feet nothing - and they didn't steal from me.

I'm still sad. Wow. I don't think thieves realize the impact of what they've done. It's not the items; it's the lack of trust, the idea that it's okay to go into my purse (or my car, in the past) and just take what they want, violating my sense of safety, of what's mine and what's yours and what we can share. I know this will have repercussions and I really don't want it to be that way. But I don't know how it can't. My heart is so broken right now.

Another update from Saturday: Just home from video game club - that was great fun! We've figured out a system...We have a corner where everyone can put their valuables and only the adults (and trusted teen leaders) are allowed to enter that corner. We've told the kids that they are not only allowed but encouraged to ask people about possibly suspicious behaviour to make sure it's a safe place for everyone.

I do think everything happens for a reason - I'm not sure what that might be right now, but I'm open to it. It did take a lot of my energy today to remind the kids that beating the thief up isn't the best use of our energies, and besides, it'll cause more problems than it's worth! We talked a lot about it today, and I am pleased that the idea of the room being a safe place hasn't been severely compromised, so that's positive.

And I bought myself an iPhone 4. It won't replace what was lost - the emotional bit - but I do feel better than I have something I can use as a phone and datebook for Monday morning.

Thanks for everyone who has shared their thoughts and sent me kind words!

Why did I buy that? Some posts I've already written

I asked the question - why did I buy that again? - and you answered with your list of ingredients you purchased for some project or recipe, the reason for which is lost in the mists of time! I thought I'd take a look at an ingredient one day, then how we'd use it in a recipe (or a few recipes) to give you a few ideas on how to use it. We'll all be learning along the way, as I have my own list of ingredients I bought but haven't used! Let's take a look at ingredients you've bought and I've already written about on the blog!

Look to your right! There's a long list there of ingredients that might pique your interest. And as I cover various ingredients, I'll update that section to include them! Or look under the "links to lists" section, which is slightly above those links. I've tried to group things so we don't have a list of ingredients a mile long in that sidebar! Or do a search, using the box in the upper left hand corner. 

As a secondary note, I share this information to make it easier to find things!. I know there are a lot of posts on this blog and I don't expect you to go through all 1289 to find what you want! If I didn't have my search through the "manage posts" sections, I wouldn't be able to find things as easily as I do! 

Disodium EDTA: Chelating and sequestering agent.

Emu oil: An oil from emus that is reported to be good for pain.

Argan oil: An oil that you'll see in hair care products.

IPM (isopropyl myristate): An light, easily spreadable, non-greasy ester we use in our products to reduce the feeling of greasiness.

Cromollient SCE (Di-PPG-2 myeth-10 adipate): A PPG ester that is water dispersible and oil and surfactant soluble.  A lot of people get this product to make dispersible bath oils in the place of polysorbate 80, but it has so many other purposes!

PEG-7 olivate: A water soluble olive oil derivative we can add to water based products to offer emollience.

PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate: is a non-ionic, low ethoxylated monoglyceride that can behave as an emulsifier, emollient, foamer, and skin conditioner in our products. It is a thickening polymer, meaning it will thicken your surfactant mix when used with anionic surfactants. It is emollient, which means it will reduce skin irritation from other surfactants, and will re-fatten your skin when you are bathing or shampooing. It can make the foam feel slippery, which is a nice thing in a body wash. It's not really a detergent type surfactant - you'd never use it as the primary or even co-surfactant because it's meant to boost the qualities of your surfactant mix. Use it at 2% to 10% in cleansers and shampoos.

Lactic acid: It's a type of alpha hydroxy acid.

Laureth-4: It's a non-ionic solubilizer with an HLB of 9.7. It's used at 1 to 5%. This is mostly for surfactants, but it can be used in lotions in combination with a low HLB emulsifier. Laureth-3 is also a non-ionic solubilizer with an HLB of 7.9 or 8.1 (depending where you find your information) that should be used at 0.5% to 5%. Both of these are able to thicken our surfactant mixtures. Emulsifiers with an HLB of 8 to 10 will produce "stable milky dispersions" when not coupled with a low HLB emulsifier in an emulsion. In other words, if we use laureth-3 or laureth-4 in a surfactant mixture, it will solubilize our oils and possibly create a milky type consistency emulsion.

Polyquat 44: A cationic polymer is a positively charged or cationic polymer that we use in hair and body care products to increase conditioning and film forming. Because it's cationic, it will be substantive and adsorb to our hair our skin to increase lubricity and moisturizing. In hair care products, cationic polymers will help our cuticle scales resist uplift when stressed, which keeps our hair in better condition. Adding a cationic polymer to our products will increase the mildness of our surfactant based products. Polyquat 44 comes in a liquid form of about 6% to 7% active ingredient. It should be used at 0.1% to 0.2% for fine to normal hair and up to 0.5% for damaged hair in the water phase of your product. Polyquat 44 was found to produce the least build up and best conditioning on hair when tested against polyquat 7, 10, 11, and cationic guar gum

If you'd like to see the posts, click here and here. If you'd like to make a suggestion an ingredient, please click and comment in this post!

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a few recipes that include some of these ingredients! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm having trouble writing posts...

For the first time in two years, I missed a day, then I missed another. And the only reason I'm not counting today as a missed post day is thanks to this one (but I don't think this one really counts).

I'm having trouble finding inspiration from the how to duplicate things series. I had hoped it would tie into the whole learning to formulate thing, but it feels more like I'm figuring out recipes and posting them, which isn't as much fun as it sounds. My goal was never to have a blog where I post recipes and hand out information! I want this to be an interactive experience where we can share ideas, tweak recipes, and learn more about the process of making products from each other.

I need to take a break from the duplicating and get into more creating from scratch (I'll do what I've always done, scatter the duplicating posts throughout the blog when I get time to try the recipes). To that end, I'll be starting a series on "why did I buy that ingredient" tomorrow (if you'd like to make a suggestion for an ingredient, click here!), starting with a few ingredients I've already covered before we move on to some interesting ones like behenyl alcohol, lactic acid, and Caprol Micro Express!

I'm really not sure why this post was accompanied by a picture of me trying to shove 3 D cell batteries in my mouth (inspired by Strongbad, which just shows you that we are influenced by bad behaviour on TV and the 'net), but I thought it was really funny! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy birthday, currently reigning monarch of the Commonwealth!

Happy Victoria Day! It's a statutory holiday in B.C. (remember, we're still part of the Commonwealth!) and I'm off work. Today celebrates the birthday of the reigning Canadian monarch (scheduled for the Monday on or before May 24, which was Queen Victoria's birthday). So I'm off work today and planning to slob around the house enjoying a little rest and relaxation! (Actually, I think I'll be in the workshop trying to organize, but there'll be some vegging at some point!) 

I love this Mitchell & Webb sketch about Queen Victoria. If you are easily offended, I don't suggest clicking on the link. If you aren't, it's worth it. (If you're a fan of John Cleese's ranting - a la the Parrot sketch - you really must watch David Mitchell's angry logic!)

So I'll see you tomorrow with more fun formulating various things!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Duplicating products: Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner (part three)

So we've taken a look at what makes a cleansing conditioner cleansing, the ingredient list for the Curl Junkie product, and a possible duplicate. Now let's take a look at some other ways we could duplicate this product!

I suggested this recipe as a possible duplication yesterday...

0.25% cationic guar
0.25% hydrolyzed oat flour
80.5% water (replace with hydrosols of choice)
2% cocamidopropyl betaine
2% PEG-7 olivate

7% BTMS-50
3.5% cetearyl alcohol
2% cetrimonium chloride

0.5% powdered extract of choice
0.5% powdered extract of choice
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil

...but I'd like to suggest a few alternatives.

If you don't have or like cationic guar or hydrolyzed oat flour, may I suggest using up to 2% cationic polymers for the cationic guar (polyquat 10 or polyquat 44 are the most easily removed from our hair, and both can be used at up to 0.5% in our products), and using one of the hydrolyzed proteins at up to 2% in the heated water phase. If you increase one of your ingredients, remove the same amount from the water in the heated water phase. (Honeyquat's a nice ingredient at 3% in the cool down phase as it offers conditioning and behaves as a humectant!)

If you want to use this as a regular conditioner, not a cleansing conditioner, the one change I'd suggest would be to remove the cocamidopropyl betaine and increase your water by 2%. (Although I really don't think you'd notice 2% cocamidopropyl betaine in this product all that much, why add something that isn't necessary?)

If you want to use cetrimonium bromide, feel free to substitute it for the BTMS-25 or BTMS-50 in this product. You could also add it about 3% or so to the product and remove 3% from the water amount.

If you don't have PEG-7 olivate, you can substitute another water soluble oil - water soluble shea is very nice, as is water soluble aloe oil, but any one will do - or you could just add some oils you like. The BTMS-50 will emulsify any oils you add to this product, so you could use something like sunflower oil, avocado oil, sea buckthorn oil, or even coconut oil (which should be our first choice for hair care products as it's inexpensive and very effective).

If you want some humectant or film formers in the product, add a hydrosol, witch hazel, or aloe vera to the mix. Start at 10% (remove 10% from the water amount) and see if you like it. I'm actually surprised there aren't any humectants in this product as most of the people I've met who co-wash or go no-poo have dry hair, and dry hair loves it some humectants! 3% glycerin, 10% aloe vera, propylene glycol or another glycol, silk protein, and panthenol are all great ingredients for dry hair to increase the moisturization levels of your hair!

So there are a few ideas for how to modify this conditioner - or, indeed, any conditioner! There isn't anything special about this conditioner in its abilities to clean your hair and there isn't a specific reason I chose this one to focus on for a few days, just that it seemed like it was basic enough to put up with a little tweaking!

When you're duplicating your products, keep in mind which ingredients can substitute for other ones. If you don't have hydrolyzed oat flour, use hydrolyzed oat protein. If you don't have that, consider another hydrolyzed protein like wheat, soy, silk, and corn as an option. You aren't limited to those ingredients in the recipe or on the label. And when you learn which ingredients do what, you can go wild with substitutions!

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Duplicating products: Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner (part two)

So what do we need to include in a duplicate recipe for this product? Take a look at the ingredient list again - Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG -7 Olivate, Guar Hydroxypropytrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Mentha Piperita (Pepperment) Leaf Extract, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Yucca Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 60, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance.

I consider the essential ingredients to be water, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetrimonium chloride, cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-7 olivate, guar (or another cationic polymer), hydrolyzed oat flour (or hydrolyzed protein), and preservative. (You don't really need to include the Vitamin E as none of the ingredients have short shelf lives and the polysorbate 60 is an emulsifier. We already have the BTMS-25 or BTMS-50 as an emulsifier here, so it's kinda pointless to include it. It was probably part of another ingredient, possibly the extracts, so we don't need to include it here!)

Oh, and as a note, if you don't include the cetrimonium chloride in this product, you'll have a thicker product. There will be a few notes about this at the bottom of the post.

0.25% cationic guar
0.25% hydrolyzed oat flour
80.5% water (replace with hydrosols of choice)
2% cocamidopropyl betaine
2% PEG-7 olivate

7% BTMS-50
3.5% cetearyl alcohol
2% cetrimonium chloride

0.5% powdered extract of choice
0.5% powdered extract of choice
0.5% to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil

Hydrate the oat flour and cationic guar in room temperature water for at least one hour before the time you might be using it in the product. (I wouldn't use all the water phase for this because you'll want some for the product! Use maybe 20% or so.)

Weigh the water phase and put into a double boiler. Weigh the oil phase and put into a double boiler. Heat and hold both for 20 minutes at 70˚C or 158˚F. Remove from the heat and combine the two phases. When the mixture reaches 50˚C or 120˚F, add the water with the cationic guar and oat flour to the product and mix well. Add the cool down phase at 45˚C or lower. Use and rejoice.

This should give you a medium viscosity product.

A note on this recipe: If you're using BTMS-25, you can substitute it directly for the BTMS-50, but use cetyl alcohol at 50% of the BTMS-25 amount. THIS ONLY APPLIES TO THESE RECIPES as we aren't looking to the BTMS to emulsify anything! If you are looking to emulsify any amount of oils or silicones, you need to use BTMS-50 instead.

Another note on this recipe: If you're not using cetrimonium chloride, reduce the amount of BTMS-50 or BTMS-25 to 4% and the fatty alcohol to 2%. Cetrimonium chloride thins out our recipes, so a 7% BTMS-50 recipe without cetrimonium chloride will be very very thick. 

I know I'm trying to duplicate the product and the fatty alcohols come before the behentrimonium methosulfate in the recipe, so I should be putting more fatty alcohols into the product than BTMS, right?

When you consider that if we are using 7% BTMS-25 we should have 25% BTMS (so 1.75% behentrimonium methosulfate and 5.25% cetearyl alcohol), so in that case, we have far more cetearyl alcohol than we do cationic quaternary compound). By adding 3.5% cetyl alcohol a conditioner with BTMS-25, we'd have 5.25% cetearyl alcohol, 3.5% cetyl alcohol, and 1.75% behentrimonium methosulfate. So we do have more fatty alcohols than behentrimonium methosulfate!

If we're using 7% BTMS-50, we'd have 3.5% behentrimonium methosulfate and some percentage of cetyl alcohol and butylene glycol in the product.  If I were to use BTMS-50, I'd have 3.5% behentrimonium methosulfate, 3.5% cetearyl alcohol (added), and less than 3.5% cetyl alcohol (in BTMS-50).

Okay, another thought. If fatty alcohols boost the substantivity of cationic quaternary compounds - add them around 50% of the compound amount - and if these ingredients contain fatty alcohols already, what's the point of adding more fatty alcohol? We've already got enough in the BTMS-25 or BTMS-50 to boost the substantivity! Great point. We're adding the fatty alcohol here as an emollient or moisturizer.

Why is this version one? Because I'm planning a version two! I don't have hydrolyzed oat flour, but I do have hydrolyzed oat protein, and since I'm not that worried about the viscosity of the product (the BTMS and fatty alcohols are great thickeners), I think I'd prefer to use the liquid protein at 2% and leave out the hydrolyzed flour. And cationic guar gum can lead to build up on our hair that should be removed by foamy shampoo type products. If you aren't using a product of that nature, then this probably isn't the best cationic polymer for you. I'm thinking a better choice might be polyquat 44 or honeyquat (click here for information on cationic polymers).

As a final note for this post! This stuff applies to all conditioners you might make, not just a duplicate of this one! The essential component of any conditioner is the cationic quaternary compound. The rest of the ingredients are what makes the product good for oily hair or dry hair or chemically processed hair, and so on.

Join me tomorrow for another possible duplicate version of the Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Duplicating products: Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner

We defined what it means to be a cleansing conditioner yesterday, so let's take a look at a few of them. Today we'll take a look at Curl Junkie's Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner.

Let's analyze the ingredients!

Water: Our solvent.

Cetyl Alcohol: A fatty alcohol that helps boost the substantivity of the cationic quaternary compound and moisturizes hair.

Cetearyl Alcohol: A fatty alcohol that helps boost the substantivity of the cationic quaternary compound and moisturizes hair.

Behentrimonium Methosulfate: Our cationic quaternary compound that conditions hair. Found in BTMS-50.

Cetrimonium Chloride: A cationic quaternary compound that makes it easier to wet and dry comb hair. Suggested usage at 2% to 5%, I find 2% in a conditioner to be a great level for wet and dry combing and increasing softness.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine: An amphoteric surfactant that offers foaming and lather to a product. When used in shampoos, it increases mildness.

PEG -7 Olivate: A water soluble ester that offers emolliency and moisturizing to products.

Guar Hydroxypropytrimonium Chloride: Also known as cationic guar, used at 0.2% to 1% as a thickener for surfactant mixes and conditioner.

Tetrasodium EDTA: A chelation ingredient used at 0.2%.

Hydrolyzed Oat Flour: A water soluble starch that can be found at retailers under a few different names and it's used as a humectant, moisturizer, kinda protein, film former, and thickener. (You can find some information at Ingredients to Die For - click here - and try to ignore the poor grammar and spelling!) It's used at 0.25% to 5%. You would sprinkle the oat flour in cold water and wait 15 minutes for it to fully hydrate. Add the other water soluble ingredients (the heated water phase), heat to our normal heat and hold temperature (around 70˚C), then make our product as normal. Given where this is on the ingredient list, I'm thinking it'll be no more than 1% in this product, and probably closer to 0.25%. (If you can't find this, then I suggest using hydrolyzed oat protein in the heated water phase.)

Mentha Piperita (Pepperment) Leaf Extract, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Yucca Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract: Various extracts that might be good for your hair. These could be essential oils or water soluble extracts. Yucca is known to contain saponins that offer foam stabilization abilities to a product. (Click here for an interesting article on yucca!)

Polysorbate 60: A solubilizer for things like essential oils and Vitamin E.

Tocopheryl Acetate: Vitamin E.

Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol: Preservatives found in Optiphen.

Fragrance: Makes it smell pretty.

So what do we have here? We have an oil in water emulsion using BTMS-50 as the conditioning and emulsifying agent, which means it's a conditioner. We have a titch of cocamidopropyl betaine for some very gentle cleansing. Fatty alcohols offer emolliency and boost the substantivity of the quaternary cationic compound - the behentrimonium methosulfate - and the PEG-7 olivate offers oil free moisturizing. The cationic guar and oat flour offer thickening to the product (which really doesn't need a lot of thickening with all the fatty alcohols) and conditioning. And the cetrimonium chloride makes it easier to wet or dry comb your hair.

I'm not sure what the consistency of this product might be, so I'm going to guess at it. If I wanted something thick, I'd use 7% BTMS-50 and 3.5% cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol (combined amount). Something thinner, I'd use 4% BTMS-50 and 2% cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol (combined amount). But the fatty alcohols are listed as being at higher levels than the behentrimonium methosulfate, so I'm not really sure why that might be. So I'm going to go with the 4% behentrimonium methosulfate, 2% cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol (1% each).

If you're using BTMS-25, you already have the cetearyl alcohol included in this product. If you're using BTMS-50, you already have the cetyl alcohol included in the product. So you only need to use 1% of the one you're missing. And yes, you can use BTMS-25 for this product as there isn't really any emulsification going on here (look at what might be oil soluble - nothing...okay, we do have some possible essential oils, but the polysorbate 60 will take care of that!).

Final thought...If you're using cetrimonium chloride, this will be a thinner product than one without it. If you want something thicker and you're using cetrimonium chloride, I'd use 7% BTMS (25 or 50), and half that amount in the fatty alcohol not included in the BTMS product.

Unfortunately, you'll have to tune in tomorrow for a possible duplicate recipe because I need to get ready for work! Busy day ahead. (Thursdays always are as this is our Chilliwack craft group/games night day and I have to get the supplies ready for tonight!) How do you think this recipe should look? What ingredients would you include or exclude? Anyone want to share their thoughts?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Duplicating products: Cleansing conditioners

Before we get into trying to duplicate a few cleansing conditioners, we need to establish what it means for a product to be a cleansing conditioner versus a normal conditioner. (For a quick summary of the no-shampoo method or co-washing method, click here.)

How does a cleansing conditioner differ from a normal conditioner? It doesn't. For the most part, the cleansing conditioner contains the same ingredients as a normal conditioner, although I've seen a few with very low levels of foaming surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine. I have noticed that most of the conditioners with the word "cleansing" in the title tend to stay away from silicones, but that might be because those I've seen also bill themselves as natural or organic. I've also noticed that a lot of them contain mint, perhaps for the tingly feeling it can leave behind?

Please note that I don't adhere to the no-poo method and I don't know much about it. I'm not here to debate the merits of the method and whether it works or not. I'm just sharing information I've learned about the concept. 

If we take a look at something like the Wen Mint Sweet Almond Cleansing Conditioner (I've analyzed this product in more detail in this post), you'll notice very little difference between it and a product that isn't advertised as being cleansing. All conditioners will contain a cationic quaternary compound like behentrimonium methosulfate, behentrimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, stearalkonium chloride, or stearamidopropyl dimethylamine as the primary conditioning agent. Most will contain a fatty alcohol - cetyl, cetearyl, stearyl, or behenyl - to boost the conditioning of the cationic quaternary compound. All will contain some water and preservatives, and some might contain oils or modified oils. Everything else is just icing on the proverbial cake (for instance, panthenol, protein, silicones, fragrance, and so on).

If you want to learn more about what makes a conditioner a conditioner, click here or check out the hair care section of this blog! 

Why do they call it a cleansing conditioner? Because they can. This isn't to say that very dry or African hair types won't benefit from a cleansing conditioner, and this isn't to say a cleansing conditioner isn't a good conditioner, but you can get the same benefits co-washing or going no-'poo with just about any conditioner. (Although some will say to avoid conditioners with silicones because there could be some build up, I'd be more worried about the build up coming from things like polyquats and cationic guar. I wonder if not using heat styling or anti-frizz products is part of the no-poo concept, because those are chock full of silicones? Anyone using this method, can you advise?)

As a note, seriously? We're calling this no-poo? We can't come up with a better name for this process? 

You can make a conditioner with behentrimonium methosulfate, cetyl alcohol, water, and preservative and call it a conditioner or a cleansing conditioner. You can make a conditioner with cetrimonium bromide, cetearyl alcohol, water, preservative, mint essential oil, a bunch of botanical extracts, and coconut oil and call it a conditioner or a cleansing conditioner. Or you could make a conditioner with only behentrimonium methosulfate, water, and preservative, and call it a conditioner or a cleansing conditioner. For the most part, the main difference is the description of the product.

So let's take a look at a few cleansing conditioners and how we can duplicate them! Join me tomorrow for a look at Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner!

If you wish to make a suggestion for a product we might like to duplicate, please visit this post and provide an accurate ingredient list and link in a comment. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Duplicating products: Chi Silk Infusion Hair Serum (part 2)

Let's pick up where we left off yesterday with the Chi Silk Infusion Hair Serum. If you want to make a suggestion for a product we might consider duplicating, please make a comment in this post with an accurate ingredient list and link to the product. 

What's with the mica and boron nitride? Think about the refractive index for a minute. When we use ingredients like boron nitride, mica, dimethicone, and so on, we increase our hair's shininess. The problem is that we don't know how much they're using - it's probably a titch - so I'm  leaving those ingredients out of the equation and sticking to the silicones and emollients for my shine. If you want to include boron nitride or mica in your product, make it, then add a little bit and see how you like it. I don't really want the shine of mica in my hair, so I'm not including it in this version.

We have a few problems in trying to replicate this product. First problem: Where can I get dimethiconol? I can't find it anywhere! I found it at Making Cosmetics, but you have to buy a giant pail of it, and I really just want to try it for this product. Second problem: Where can I find the ethyl ester of silk? I need to use this version of silk as this is an oil based product, and the silk I own is water based and will just float to the top of the product and sit there. Third problem: How did they incorporate panthenol, a water based ingredient, into this product? If it's an oil soluble version, where can I find it?

I don't think we can replicate this product, but we can get close-ish. We can't find three of the ingredients, and I think the dimethiconol and the silk are pretty much essential in this product, so this is going to be a problem. We can try our best to make something awesome, so let's give it a go!

As a note, some people would argue that the silk isn't essential to this product for your hair as there probably isn't a lot in there, but I would argue that it's essential for our enjoyment and perception of the product.

Cyclomethicone will be the base of this product, at about 80% to 90% or so. When considering the ester you want to use, you could choose C12-15 alkyl benzoate or ethylhexyl palmitate, which is considered a silicone replacement and offers some nice shine in our hair. The ethylhexyl palmitate is a slightly lighter feeling ester, but that really won't make a huge difference in our hair. We'll be including dimethicone, of course, for the defrizzing and shine. We don't need to include preservative in this product as it is oil based and we won't be introducing water into it but we could include a non-polar fragrance to it (although I wouldn't bother with a product like this as you already have the fragrance from your conditioner and possibly leave in conditioner, so why go through the trouble of figuring out which of your fragrance or essential oils are polar and which are not just to include it in this product?).

So we have three ingredients in this product - cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and our ester (either C12-15 alkyl benzoate or ethylhexyl palmitate). I'm going to base this recipe on my usual anti-frizz spray and replace 5% of the cyclomethicone with 5% ester.

85% cyclomethicone
10% dimethicone
5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate or ethylhexyl palmitate
(If you have dimethiconol, try using it at 5% to 10% of the cyclomethicone amount.)

I've never tried this Chi Silk Infusion Hair Serum before - those of you who have, can you comment as to how close you feel this is to the original?

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a few "cleansing" conditioners.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Question: Why do we like these products?

I'm still not feeling all that well - I'm getting really tired of this stomach bug as this has to be the 10th time I've had this since March - so I thought I'd post a question and let you be the blog writers for today. 

Why do you like the products you like?

Think about it before answering! If we took away the company name, the product name, the fragrance, the labelling, and so on, and gave you a generic bottle with the "lotion" or "facial cleanser" on it, would you still love it? If it were to be called a lotion, cream, body butter, body souffle, hydrating lotion, moisturizing cream, and so on, would it change your perception of it? If I gave you the product unlabelled and told you it was an equivalent brand from a grocery store, would you like it as much as a product I told you was from Lush or Dermalogica or another one of those fancy companies?

Shakespeare said, "that which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet", but when it comes to products, I'd have to disagree. (Just who do I think I am, eh? Disagreeing with the Bard?)

I keep thinking back to the marsh cudweed/helichyrsum debate from April 5th (wow, have we been duplicating products that long?)...I think this is when I really started thinking about the nature of marketing and the ingredients we choose. (But that's a really long train of thought and should be left for another day when I don't feel like I'm going to fall face down into the laptop!)

So there's the question. Why do you like the products you like? What do you really like about them? What do you like about the skin feel or the texture of the product? And it is okay to really like the packaging, labelling, name, and so on (that's one of the fun bits about making our own - designing labels, coming up with names, making up fragrance blends, etc.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Duplicating products: Chi Silk Infusion Hair Serum

Mychelle suggested we take a look at the Chi Silk Infusion Hair Serum. (If you'd like to make a suggestion, hie thyself to the duplicating products introductory post, and comment. Please include an accurate ingredient list and a link to the product somewhere on the 'net.)

Shall we take a look at the ingredient list? (Remember to click on the links to learn more about each ingredient as it's just too long here to include every single bit of information!)

Cyclomethicone: A silicone. Generally combined with dimethicone in anti-frizz products, it helps with the spreading abilities (not that dimethicone really needs the help), helps with wet combing, delivers the active ingredients to your hair, then evaporates, which decreases your drying time (which is a good thing for us frizzy haired girls!).

Dimethiconol: It's technically a dimethylsiloxane terminated with hydroxy groups, a gum version of dimethicone with slightly higher viscosity than our normal dimethicone (the dimethicone we find most commonly is about 350cs; the gum is 400 to 500 cs. I have a 1000 cs version of dimethicone from Soapcraft, so there are all kinds of viscosities of this stuff!). It is more effective than dimethicone at reducing dry combing forces.

Dimethicone: A silicone. In hair care, it improves wet and dry combing, helps with shine, improves hair feel (softness), reduces static charge, and works as a humidity resistor. And in colour cosmetics, like foundations, it is a lubricant, spreading agent, emollient, and diluent/carrier ingredient.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate: A dry feeling ester that acts as an emollient and fragrance fixative.

Panthenol: Panthenol for hair care products is a fantastic addition at 2% to 5%. It builds a thin moisture film on the surface of your hair (film former) and makes it shine without oil or greasiness. In addition, it can penetrate the cuticle of your hair and brings moisture to the cortex! This means you get good manageability and pliability of your hair, and it is better able to cope with brushing, wind, and other non-hair friendly things. Finally, it could give your hair more body! Studies have shown that 2% left on for 2 minutes can actually swell the hair shaft, making it seem thicker! (So use it up to 5% in your conditioner or leave in conditioner!)

Ethyl Ester of Hydrolyzed Silk: This is like hydrolyzed silk protein, but it's the ethyl ester of the protein. I think this is done to make a water soluble ingredient oil soluble.

It's chemistry time! Hooray! It's my favourite time of the day! (If you want to know more about the chemistry of esters, click here.) From Wikipedia: Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH (hydroxyl) group is replaced by an -O-alkyl (alkoxy) group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and alcohols. That is, esters are formed by condensing an acid with an alcohol. Methyl and ethyl esters are commonly available for many amino acids. 

Phenoxyethanol: Preservative. But I'm not really sure why this would be in an all oil product?

Fragrance: Makes it smell pretty!

D&C Yellow 11 and D&C Red 17: Colours.

Zinc Oxide: Not really sure why this is here. It could be used as a whitening ingredient or it could be used as a sunscreen.

Titanium Dioxide: Not really sure why this is here, either. It could be used as a whitening ingredient or it could be used as a sunscreen.

Mica: Probably used as a colouring agent, it might give your hair a little sparkle.

Boron Nitride Powder: This will give your hair a little sparkle, I think.

What do we have here? We have an oil based product that is used for smoothing your hair. It won't offer any serious conditioning to your hair as it doesn't contain any cationic ingredients, but if you've got frizzy hair or use a lot of heated hair appliances, this would be a very good product for you.

I hate to do this, but we'll have to leave this product for now and come back again to it tomorrow. I'm really not feeling all that well this weekend, and I dread to think it's the return of that horrible stomach flu, which is still going around my agency and my town and it's causing me to feel really weak and shaky and horrible! So join me tomorrow as we take a further look at this product!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger was down...

...from Wednesday to Friday morning. Any comments you may have written during that time didn't really exist and so they won't show up anywhere! Trust me, I'm just as frustrated about this as you are, as I had no access to the blog for more than 48 hours! Please comment again - this blog is all about interaction, and it was awfully quiet this week!

Duplicating products: Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner

Sweeteababy suggested that we take a look at the Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner. (If you'd like to make a suggestion for a product we could duplicate, please click on this link and leave me an accurate ingredient list and a link to the product somewhere on the 'net.)

Let's take a look at each ingredient.

Aqua (Purified Water): Our solvent.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Oil*, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Oil, Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Oil*, Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis Flower) Oil*, Clary (Salvia Sclarea)*, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)*, Coltsfoot Leaf (Tussilago Fargara)*, Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Oil*, Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) Oil*: Please click here for the post on the 50:50 conditioner for more information on these extracts.

Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil: I can't find much about the benefits of this oil for our hair. I found that it is an astringent and helps with blood circulation, but I'm not really sure how the latter works for a conditioner.

Mallow (Malya Sylvestris)*: Mallow contains a lot of mucilage, which can form a moisturizing film on our hair and skin.

Soybean Protein (Glycine Soja)*: A hydrolyzed protein that will offer film forming and moisturization to our skin and hair.

Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Derived): An emollient fatty alcohol that boosts the substantivity of cationic quaternary compounds found in hair conditioners.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E): Our anti-oxidant.

Panthenol: A vitamin that can behave as a humectant and film former. Very good for our hair.

Trace Minerals: No idea what this could mean.

Citric Acid (Corn): pH adjuster.

Sodium Hydroxymethlyglucinate: Preservative - Suttocide A.

Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Derived): Not a preservative, but could be an anti-oxidant.

As a quick note, I went to this website and found the ingredient list also included aloe vera after the water, panthenol after the tocopherol, and phenoxyethanol as a different preservative. This one has almost the same list sweeteababy posted, but it includes the panthenol. I've included panthenol in the ingredient list because it seems like this is the version she has.

What do we have here? I can't tell you what we don't have - we don't have a leave in conditioner. A conditioner must contain a positively charged ingredient like behentrimonium methosulfate (Incroquat BTMS-50), behentrimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, cetrimonium chloride, and so on. We don't have that in this product. (Click here for more information on conditioners.) Without a cationic ingredient, we just have a lotion you put into your hair.

But we don't even have that! There is nothing in this ingredient list that would be considered an emulsifier for those oils and the cetyl alcohol, so I'm feeling like there's something missing in the list. We have a ton of essential oils - well, 8 - and if we used those at even 0.5% each, we'd still have 4% oils in this product. Even if there's only 1% cetyl alcohol, we have 5% oils we're adding to this water based product and they'll just float on top of the product being un-emulsified if we don't add something to it that will create an emulsifed product.

So I'm not sure where to go with this product. I can't duplicate it because it doesn't contain an emulsifier or a cationic quaternary compound, and I know if I make it up with this ingredient list, I'm going to end up with a separated mess of oils and water that won't offer anything to my hair because it doesn't contain a conditioner. I've done my searches on line and I can't find a version of an ingredient list that contains an emulsifier and/or cationic ingredient.

What I will do is leave you with this suggestion: Find a leave in conditioner recipe you like - I hope I'm not being arrogant by suggesting this one - and add the extracts at whatever rate you want (I'd suggest 0.25% for each of the essential oils to start, and whatever you want for the water soluble ingredients.) Use BTMS-50 or another cationic ingredient that emulsifies at 2%, cetyl alcohol at 1%, hydrolyzed protein at 1%, panthenol at 1%, vitamin E at 0.5%, and your preservative at 0.5% to whatever the suggested rate might be. Add water to make up to 100%, and you've got yourself a leave in conditioner.

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Duplicating post: Deva Care's Low Poo No Fade Shampoo

I have to start this post off with two points of interest. One, I can't get onto the site for this product, so I have to rely upon Photoshadow's ingredient list (which I'm sure is accurate). I either get a 404 message or a warning that the site isn't safe for my computer. Weird. Two, why do people want to call shampoo "poo"? Are we not aware what this word means in other settings? Is it really so hard to say the syllable sham- that we're willing to use a word that doesn't usually associate well with the idea of being clean. Let's all make the effort to include the sham- part of the word and we'll all be happier for it.

Okay, now that those things are off my chest, on to the ingredient list!

Oh wait, another point of interest! What the heck does "aqueous extract" of something mean? I see it all the time in place of water. It basically means one of two things (and I am generalizing here): The water has had something dissolved into it or the water is a hydrosol or distillate. By definition, if I dissolved the various powdered and liquid extract I used into my water before adding it to the product, I would be using an aqueous extract. So that's what that means! Okay, on to the ingredient list.

Aqueous Extracts...
Achilea Millefolium: Yarrow: Reported to be good for oily hair and skin and might have anti-inflammatory properties. Or it might be good for dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking. This report from 2001 (found in PubMed) found that there wasn't enough evidence that Yarrow was safe, and it is known to cause photosensitivity and irritation. And Cosmetics Info re-iterates this report.

Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria): Chamomile: A good anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-irritant. Could be an extract or the essential oil as a fragrance.

Cymbopogon Schoenanthus: Also known as camel grass or West Indian lemon grass. An astringent ingredient.

Humulus Lupulus (Hops): Can offer anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Hops have been used in hair care products in beer for quite some time.

Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint): An astringent ingredient, it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties,

Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary): Great for oily hair, it offers a ton of polyphenols and anti-oxidizing properties.

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel: This is advertised as keeping the colour in your hair. I'm not really sure how orange peel extract can do that, but it can be good for oily hair.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine: An amphoteric surfactant used as a secondary surfactant to create mildness in our products.

Propylene Glycol: Our humectant, it draws water from the atmosphere to our hair to offer moisturizing (but isn't great for frizzy haired people) and it reduces the temperature at which the product will freeze or reach its cloud point during transit.

PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil: An ingredient that forms emulsions and helps other things dissolve. Can increase the sensitization potential of other ingredients (according to CosmeticsInfo)

PEG-75 Lanolin: A polyethylene glycol ether of lanolin, it works as a skin emollient and conditioner. It will make your skin and hair feel more moisturized after use. And it can be a secondary emulsifier.

PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate: An emollient, emulsifier, and thickener that will increase the viscosity of the product and make it feel more moisturizing.

Benzophenone-4: Used as a sunscreen in products. (Click here for slightly more information.)

Polyquaternium-10: A cationic polymer used to condition our hair and thicken products, it works well in surfactants. It comes as a powder that can be used at 0.25% to 0.5%, but it's okay to go as high as 2% without incurring irritation.

Hydroxyethylcellulose: Our thickener for this product. Very like hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), it's added to our products to make them thicker. Generally used at low levels, like 0.1% to 0.3%.

Polyquaternium-7: A liquid cationic polymer we can add to surfactant mixes at up to 5%.

Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate: Preservatives.

Ascorbic Acid: Also known as Vitamin C, it can behave as an anti-oxidant.

Fragrance: Smells pretty.

Red 40, Yellow 5: Colours.

Before you move on, ask yourself this question - what makes this low foaming? What makes this product safe for coloured hair? (The point of these posts is to help you learn to formulate, so this is an important question.)

The answer for both questions is the same - the low level of incredibly mild - gentle, even - surfactants in the product. The only foaming surfactant is the cocamidopropyl betaine, which we would normally use as a secondary surfactant to increase mildness. It's a very very gentle cleanser. We also see mildness enhancers like PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, which is technically a surfactant, but not a lathery one. We see lots of emollients in here - the PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate and PEG-75 lanolin - both of which might interfere with the foam (which isn't that much to start off with!).

There isn't anything inherently colour protecting in this product. We make our products more colour protecting by ensuring we have a good pH level, that we aren't using harsh detergents, and we are using low levels of gentle and mild surfactants. The extracts are good for our hair and scalp - especially if you have oily hair as there are tons of astringent ingredients - but they aren't necessary for making a good product. Think of them as icing on the proverbial cake: Cake is awesome without icing, but it's even better with a little flower or heart on top.

Where do you think the 1% range starts? I think it's with the sunscreen, but a lot of these extracts will be used at 0.5% or lower, but are included at the top because they're being used in the water, which makes up the bulk of the product.

How would we make this product? We know the cocamidopropyl betaine will be used at low levels - maybe 10% to 20% - and the water will make up most of the product. I'm thinking about the propylene glycol at 3% or so (use glycerin if you don't like this ingredient), and the two cationic polymers at 0.5% each. I'm going to include PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate at 1%, and I think I'll use a water soluble emollient like water soluble shea or olive oil (as I don't have PEG-75 lanolin and don't know where to get it) at 1%. The fragrance will be around 1%, and I'll definitely need a thickener.

For the extracts, I don't know where to get yarrow, hops, or West Indian lemon grass, so I'll leave those out. I could use a hydrosol for the chamomile, melissa, rosemary, and orange (I have neroli hydorosol), use an essential oil for all three, or use a powdered extract for the rosemary and chamomile, a hydrosol for the orange, and an essential oil for the melissa or chamomile. It's really up to you on how you choose to combine these. Since chamomile essential oil is really expensive and since I hate the smell, I'll go with the hydrosol for this and the rosemary. I don't like the smell of melissa either, but I could use it in combination with orange essential oil at about 0.5% of each.

We have a grand total of 17.5% ingredients and 82.5% water here. I'm going to be using hydrosols for the water (I'm thinking 20% chamomile hydrosol and 20% rosemary hydrosols) and 1% in powdered extracts, so I need to use 40% water. The remaining 2.5% will be the thickener. You can use the hydroethyl cellulose, but I'm using Crothix because I'm not the biggest fan of using cellulose in my products. I have to wait for it to hydrate then add it in and it always seem to feel a bit...well...I'll use the words gooey and stringy without having to resort to references to mucous.

Let's take a look at a possible recipe for this product...

20% chamomile hydrosol
20% rosemary hydrosol
40% water
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% propylene glycol or glycerin
1% water soluble oil
1% PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate
0.5% polyquat 7
0.5% polyquat 10

0.5% preservative
1% essential oil
2.5% liquid thickener like Crothix (optional, and don't add it in before the product cools)

Heat the heated water phase to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, let the product cool to around 45˚C, then add the cool down phase. Wait for it to come to room temperature before changing the viscosity. This is going to be a very very very thin product, so you'll definitely have to thicken it, but we don't want to add too much. Use the liquid Crothix at 0.5% at a time and mix well before adding another 0.5%.

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Modifying duplicated products: Lush's Sugar Plum Fairies scrub

Yesterday we took a look at Lush's Sugar Plum Fairies scrub, but I feel this won't be moisturizing enough for most skin types. I think it will be lovely and scrubby, but it's more about the bubbles and lather than about the moisturizing. So let's take a look at how we can modify this product to be more moisturizing while staying foamy.

My first thought is to use a different surfactant. I like SLeS just fine, but I think another, more moisturizing surfactant might be a better choice. Something good for dry skin, like polyglucose/lactylate, SCI or SMO or SMC taurate, that offer moisturization and good foam and bubbles. I think the SCI would be a great choice here because we can melt it down and use it to keep the product together. I always include an amphoteric surfactant in my products to increase mildness, and in this product it will serve to help melt the SCI. So I think I'm going with SCI, polyglucose/lactylate, and cocamidopropyl betaine.

I need some moisturizers in here, but not something that will depress the foam. Cocamide DEA is a great choice here, and I could use either PEG-7 cocoate or myristamine oxide as moisturizers and foam boosters. I think I'll use PEG-7 and cocamide DEA here.

The baking soda would be a great exfoliant for the product, and the sugar should stay as well. I'm not sure about the cream of tartar because it's really expensive stuff, but it will keep the product solid. I think I'll reduce that to about 5% or so and keep the sugar at 70% and baking soda at 10%. Which means we have 85% scrubby and powdery materials in the product. If we're using 1% fragrance oil, then we have 14% surfactants in the product.

I love my SCI, so I want that to be the bulk of the product. I think I'll use it at 8% in this with 2% cocamidopropyl betaine and 4% polyglucose/lactylate blend. I want to include 2% PEG-7 cocoate and 2% cocamide DEA as well.

8% SCI
2% cocamidorpropyl betaine
4% polyglucose/lactylate blend
2% PEG-7 cocoate
2% cocamide DEA

70% sugar
10% baking soda
5% cream of tartar
1% fragrance oil

Heat the surfactants until the SCI is well melted. Remove from the double boiler and add in the rest of the cool down ingredients. Add colour, if desired (this will be white, otherwise), and mould. Put into a fridge or freezer and cool until it comes out of the mould easily. Rejoice!

Join me tomorrow for more fun duplicating products!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sponsored by readers like you: Cupcake & cookie decorating

This is another great class because if you mess up, you can eat it and it still tastes great! We enjoyed this class in Yarrow and Chilliwack, and we're doing it again in the summer because, after all, who can resist the lure of the cupcake?

In an ideal world, we'd learn all the different techniques of making swirls and flowers and grass and leaves and flowers, but let's be honest - most of the kids just want to put some icing on them and eat them! (The older ones show a lot more restraint than the younger ones, and I have to give them lots of credit for actually leaving the building with some of their sweets intact! I don't think mine would last that long!)

If you're interested in learning more about cookie decorating, here are a few of my favourite links!

The University of Cookie - Everything you wanted to know with great videos and tutorials!

Cake Journal - Great recipes and tutorials! Check out this section for all the basics and more for cookies and cakes!

As you know, our youth groups are funded by readers like you who donate by buying the e-books, Back to BasicsHair Care Products: Shampoos & Conditioners, and Lotionmaking 101. If you'd like to learn more about our groups and what we do, please click here.

These pictures are posted regularly so I can share the joy we feel teaching these groups to the youth with those of you who have donated to make them possible. I also want to share with you the idea of teaching youth in your community crafty fun or to introduce you to a new craft that might not have interested you previously!

If I haven't said it before, thank you so much for all your support!

Duplicating products: Lush's Sugar Plum Fairies

Anonymous (didn't leave a name!) suggested in the duplicating post that we take a look at replicating Lush's Sugar Plum Fairies scrub. (If you'd like to make a suggestion, click on the link and give me the full name, an accurate ingredient list, and a link to the product!)

Sugar (Sucrose): This is the scrubby stuff, our exfoliant.

Sodium Bicarbonate: Baking soda. It's a powder and it used here as both a scrubby exfoliant and a binder for the product. It's a base or alkaline ingredient.

Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid): An acidic ingredient that is often combined with baking soda in cooking, it can cause an acid-base reaction with that ingredient. In this case, it's probably used to make sure the product stays together well.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate: SLeS is a mild surfactant that offers good foam and good skin tolerance. It will offer some nice bubbles and cleansing.

Styrax Resinoid (Liquidambar styraciflua), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides), Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum grandiflorum), Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Orange Blossom Absolute (Citrus aurantium amara): These are included for fragrance.

Plum Kernel Oil (Prunus domestica): An oil that comes from plum kernels. (Apparently it's obvious day around here!) It smells like marzipan, which means I really need to own some of this oil! It's similar to apricot kernel oil. With 68% oleic acid and 23% linoleic acid, you could use apricot kernel oil or sweet almond oil. I'm wondering if it's not in here for the fragrance because it smells of marzipan and this was a Christmas product?

Cocamide DEA: A surfactant used as a foam enhancer, slip enhancer, emulsifier, and re-fattener for our skin. It will boost bubbles and foam in our products.

Lauryl Betaine: Used to be very popular as the amphoteric surfactant in various products, it's been surpassed by cocamidopropyl betaine as a mildness and viscosity enhancer. Adding this to your product will add some great flash foam and foam stabilizing qualities.

Perfume: Makes it smell pretty.

Titanium Dioxide: Makes the product whiter.

Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides): More pretty smelling things.

Colour 14700, Colour 45410, Colour 17200: The colours in the product.

What do we have here? It looks like a giant bubbling and lathering bath bomb that you use to scrub your body. We use the liquid surfactants to bind it together, and I'm thinking we could make this a lot like a bath bomb. I'm worried about the cream of tartar because it can be very expensive.

When I make bath bombs, I tend to use 14 grams of oils for 180 grams of dry ingredients (about 7.8% liquids, including an oil and my fragrance oil at 1% to 92.2% dry ingredients. I'm going to try a 90% dry ingredients to 10% liquid ingredients in this product. This will include the surfactants, the oil, and the fragrance oils.)

So what would I try as a first attempt at replicating this recipe?

70% sugar
10% baking soda or sodium bicarbonate
10% cream of tartar
3% SLeS
2% plum kernel, apricot kernel, or sweet almond oil
2% cocamide DEA
2% cocamidopropyl betaine or lauryl betaine
1% fragrance oil or essential oil blend
Colour as preferred

Mix the sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar together well. Add the surfactants, oil, fragrance oil and colour (optional) to the product. Mix well until the product clumps together in your hand well. Press into moulds and wait until ready (drying time will depend upon the size of your product). Ummould. Use. Rejoice (fa la la la la la, la la la la!)

After writing all of this, it is possible that the surfactants in this product are melt & pour soap as they seemed to be with the Sugar Babe sugar scrub. 

What would I make instead of this? I know we're supposed to be duplicating products, but this looks like a really drying product for our skin. I can see this one being way better with some oils and butters, so I'm going to try it tomorrow. Join me then to take the concept of duplicating a slight step further - by adding things we like to something to make it more awesome!

In the meantime, check out what Petra and I came up with for the Sugar Babe Sugar Scrub from Lush. This would be far more moisturizing than this product! 

Duplicating products: Jurlique's Rose Hand Cream - answers!

Thanks to everyone who entered their recipes for consideration for this contest! (The previous post can be found here.) The winner is...well, no one. No one tried to duplicate this. I'm hoping the reason I didn't get any submissions was due to all that formulating you're doing in the workshop or because this product wasn't all that interesting to you.

An aside: The whole point of the duplicating series is to learn more about formulating own our products, figuring out what goes into a product, how to switch ingredients and alter amounts, and generally not having to rely on finding a recipe for that perfect lotion. It's about learning to fight the fear of failure or wasting products and jumping in to make something that might work well or might be just awful, accepting that we're learning something. I know I sound like your mom right now, guilt tripping you and telling you I'm disappointed and generally making you feel bad, but if you want to learn how to formulate, the only way to do it is to formulate! There's nothing wrong with finding a recipe and trying it it, but if you want to make it your very own special recipe, analyzing each ingredient for function and skin feel, trying it and thinking about how you would change it, and trying new things are the only way to make it more about you and less about the recipe writer's preferences. Anyway...

Here's my thought process for duplicating this recipe.

Looking at the list, the first thing that stands out is the second ingredient - it's the emulsifier, which means all the other ingredients must be in here at less than 10% or so. Considering that the sodium cetearyl sulfate makes up 10% of the total weight of Lanette N, this means that at 10% emulsifier, we only get 1% sodium cetearyl sulfate. So everything below that ingredient must be in the 1% or lower range. This means only the water, emulsifier, glycerin, sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, and honey are over 1%. I'm not sure how much Lanette N to use - I can't find suggestions anywhere - and since I don't have it, I'm going with good old Polawax for this recipe (which we'll use at 25% of the oil phase).

Since I don't have the proper emulsifier that contains cetearyl alcohol, I'm going to add a little of that into the mix (or cetyl alcohol, if you don't have cetearyl alcohol) at about 2% to 3% to make this a thicker product because right now it's looking like it'll be on par with a moisturizer for viscosity!

The second thing I notice is that the glycerin comes before the safflower seed oil. We aren't using huge amounts of glycerin - generally no more than 3% to 5% as it can get sticky - so how much oil is in this product? We can't have more than 5% safflower seed oil and 5% sweet almond oil in this product! So our oil phase will be quite small.

So we know we don't have a huge oil phase and we have a large water phase so far.

As for the extracts, I'll try to get as many in there as I can, but there are so many and I don't have all of them. I'll use calendula extract (water soluble) but you can use calendula oil if you want (I just figure I have such a small oil phase, I should try to maximize it!). I have oil soluble mallow extract from Brambleberry (really loving this right now!), so I'll include that in the oil phase. I have chamomile in powdered form or hydrosol form, so I'm not sure what to do with this yet. I don't have rose, daisy, echinacea, or Heartsease extracts, so let's take a look at what I could use a substitute.

The main properties we like in these extracts are anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants. The main ingredients we want to get are the quercetin and the kaempferol. We can find both of these in witch hazel and chamomile extract. Since we already have chamomile extract in this, we could add a little witch hazel into the water phase at 10% or we could use 10% chamomile hydrosol or 0.5% powdered extract in the cool down phase or both. I think I'll go with the 10% chamomile hydrosol and 0.5% powdered extract in the cool down phase to get maximum benefits of this great flower.

Okay, back to the oil phase for a moment. I think I'm going to be using about 5% safflower oil, 5% sweet almond oil, 5% mallow extract (yep, this is oil soluble), 3% cetyl alcohol or 2% cetearyl alcohol, 1% macadamia nut oil, 1% lecithin (which is technically an emulsifier, but it's going into my oil phase), 0.5% Vitamin E, and 0.5% carrot seed oil. I have a 20% oil phase, which means I need 5% Polawax for this product (20% x 0.25 = 5). I would figure out the HLB for these ingredients, but considering I can't find any information for the mallow extract - although it is made with fractionated coconut oil, so we could consider it to have an HLB of 5 - I'm just going with my all-in-one emulsifier.

Yes, I know that the glycerin is about 3% and I have 5% of each oil, but I worry that this will be a really thin, not so moisturizing lotion without 10% oils or so. So it's really not a direct duplicate. 

Now to the water phase. Our oil phase totals 25%, which means we have 75% left to go. If I go with 5% calendula extract (water soluble), 10% chamomile hydrosol, 3% glycerin, 2% honey, 2% soy protein (I know this is too high, but there's no point in including it if it's below 1%, in my humble opinion), 2% honey, and 1% aloe vera (kinda pointless, but it's in the original recipe), I know I need at least 52% water.

But wait, there's one last consideration - the cool down phase. I know I'm going to use 0.5% Vitamin E, but I need my preservative (liquid Germall Plus at 0.5%), fragrance or essential oils (1%), and powdered chamomile extract (0.5%), which is 2% of the product (I've already accounted for the Vitamin E in the oil phase). So I need 50% water.

Let's take a look at a possible recipe!

50% water
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
2% soy protein
1% aloe vera liquid
3% glycerin
2% honey

5% safflower oil
5% sweet almond oil
2% cetearyl alcohol
5% mallow extract (oil soluble)
1% macadamia nut oil
1% lecithin
0.5% carrot seed oil
5% Polawax

0.5% preservative
0.5% Vitamin E
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
1% fragrance or essential oil

Use the basic lotion making instructions for this recipe.

Join me shortly for a look at duplicating Lush's Dream Cream!