Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I still need your input!

In this post on making a natural lotion with Ritamulse SCG, I asked for your input on which ingredients you consider natural. I'm actually really disappointed that no one has offered any suggestions. I see your e-mails and comments daily about wanting to make natural products, but when I ask for your input, there's none to be heard! I'm quite confused because there are some of you who will call me out for using silicones or esters at every opportunity and there are others who will happily write essays about their philosophies, but no one is willing to share their ingredient ideas?

I genuinely want to know which ingredients you consider natural so I can create this recipe. And I won't make it without a considerable amount of input from you, my wonderful readers. So please, click on the link and share your thoughts. Or e-mail me. Do something to share your thoughts!

18 comments:

Rae said...

I guess that's the funny part. A lot of people want 'natural' but nobody knows what natural really is.

Sara @Osmosis said...

My main concerns with making bath and body is that things aren't so harsh as the stuff you buy at the store. Don't think I could ever go totally natural.

Leanne said...

Hi Susan! I try to use as many "natural" ingredients as I can in my lotions. I like your phrase "minimally processed" better. To me that means vegetable oils and butters, herbal extracts or infused oils, essential oils for light fragrance. I do not consider emulsifying wax or fatty alcohols to be "natural" but I use them regularly. Skin feel is important to me.

I recently bought some Badger all natural sunscreen to try as I must use a zinc oxide product. I am having a sun allergy issue this year for some reason. Anyway, I do no not like the product as they did not do a good job of dispersing the zinc in the olive oil lotion base. It has lots of little clumps of zinc which you have to spread out by hand. So, it might be all natural and even organic. It's not nice!

I do not consider every laboratory derived ingredient to be harmful or every "natural" product to be benign. My "natural" essential oils melt plastic in a heartbeat!

I appreciate your recent posts on different emulsifiers. I see you were using Leucidal as a preservative. I have used Leucidal successfully, as I have a friend who is concerned about preservatives. I am inclined to think that fragrance is more of an irritant and keep it at low levels for leave-on products.
For the most part, my formulas look very similar to your "minimally processed" formulas. They work very well and have been extremely stable.

Thanks for all the great info!

Nancy Liedel said...

Truth? None. I know, if you pick it from the ground and smoosh it on your face, maybe. Ubless you're into that, and I do not suggest it, nothing. If it's been changed by the hand of man, it's no longer natural. It's only degrees of natural. More, or less.

I'm pretty dogged about this one, so it's the best answer you will get out of me. Even my madder root infusion is from the second pressing of olives. Which need to be put into lye to make edible in their most delicious form, so...all natural? Forget about it.

Now, more natural? I'm pretty strange about that too. I'm more interested in safe and good for you and that is not always natural.

Miss E. said...

Well, how about something nice to help us deal with the summer toxins! Some horsetail extract, milk thistle, licorice root, and/or Green Tea (I think those are all extracted in glycerine.) Organic Chamomile or lavender Hydrosol probably isn't hard to get.
Propanadiol is Ecocert, so there's our humectant, and it may help us get more out of our extracts. (Forget about the problems of monoculture/big Ag for a moment, though :/.) Jojoba, Ricebran, and or Rose Hip Seed Oil. Any more natural and we can't use the Ritamulse, and we might be reduced to mashing up our breakfast and rubbing it on our face!

Miss E. said...

Scratch the Rose Hip and add Acai if you can get it. It'll be a super food/super anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, detoxing wonder lotion! Or just really nice, and as natural as is reasonable. Leucidal preservative.

melian1 said...

i have no idea what natural actually is. i think it started as a marketing ploy and everyone kinda got on the bandwagon and are now trying to figure it out. i can get behind "minimally processed" but many don't have a clue about that, either. like the "all natural" mineral, mica, and oxide stuff - which is seriously toxic as it comes from the ground and must be extensively processed to become the lovely "natural" minerals we put on our faces.

i was watching to see what got suggested. it makes me curious as to how folks explain that 100 years ago when all they had was pretty much totally straight from nature, why the people didn't live longer than us, didn't look better, didn't have wrinkle free skins.

sry, i think our modern way is FAR better.

Dawn said...

I guess I don't "worry" about natural. I like to think of my final formulations as just being as minimally processed as possible to achieve my goal. When I started this, it was to get away from the endless ingredient list of products on the back of a lotion or cream. I think it's a control issue for me. I gotta have control :). Don't get me wrong, I prefer using extra virgin coconut oil as opposed to the deodorized, but sometimes I don't want it to have the coconut fragrance. Then I have to use a coconut oil that has been "messed with" a little more.

Not sure this makes a lot of sense or is very helpful....I'm much better at asking questions than I am at answering! LOL

Dawn

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of good "philosophy" in the above posts. Naturally derived may be ambiguous but it works for me...

As for specific ingredients, I would like to see some recipes using Meadowfoam Seed Oil and Hazelnut Oil.

Anonymous said...

Definitely meadowfoam oil, raspberry oil and I'm also interested in knowing if butters containing no water need preservatives, I've read conflicting information that they do not.

Bajan Lily said...

I think I'd agree with Leanne ie "minimally processed" which would mean plenty of "vegetable oils and butters, herbal extracts, floral waters, infused oils, essential oils" but then I suppose you forfeit the potential skin feel benefits you might get with the fatty acids. So I prefer "minimally processed" to 100% natural - unless you're going to make a "serum" which will just be cold pressed oils and essential oils :)

Mychelle said...

I think a "natural" water-based lotion would have to be kept very simple for the home crafter. Glycerin is in a lot of "natural" products, so in my fantasy formula that's allowed. A simple lotion with water/hydrosol, glycerin, the ECO/Rita/Natra-Mulse emulsifier, cocoa butter or shea butter, olive (or any) oil, and the Leucidal preservative if that's what's allowed. Voila! "Natural" lotion.

Frit said...

I'll go with Leanne & Bajan Lily, and opt for "minimally processed". As has been stated, "purely natural" is pretty much a pick from the garden and smoosh on the face level of ingredient, which, while it can be good for a one-shot treatment, (cucumber face mask or eye poultice, for instance,) it would not work well in anything you'd want to last outside the fridge more than a few days. `/;)

Anonymous said...

Everything you have used in the past is great. Natural is all relative to who you are talking to. I would like to see more recipes with xanthan gum to make a cream gel hybrid. - Dean

Anonymous said...

I doing homemade cosmetics about 5 years. I like your blog. I consider that natural ingredients are more likely idea than a specific characteristic of the product. But many of my friends realy believe that all made ​​from plants are very natural and useful. In my opinion, you can use everything, just need to explain that it is derived from plants and minerals. Most people hated chemistry at school!! And do not like to remember!!!

From Russia with love, Vera

Lise M Andersen said...

I used to say natural was plant-based, but that isn't really correct --- potassium alum is naturally occurring, but is it natural? My personal view: yes.
We could go through a slew of ingredients and have a rousing discussion on every one without agreeing, I am quite sure.

Yeah, you got us all Susan-- we are having a hard time drawing that explicit frame around a certain group of ingredients so we can answer you properly. :)

VickiPS said...

I concur with the comments above. Minimally processed is what I try for. However, I also like elegance, in its scientific/mathematical sense -- using the least number of steps and components to achieve the result you want. So, if it's a choice between adding ingredient A for mildness, B for substantivity and C for conditioning, or just using compound X that will do all three, well, it becomes a case of striking a balance between using a whole bunch of "natural" ingredients vs. one or two that have been processed.

Except in soap, I've avoided animal products mostly because many of the people who buy handmade lotions won't use animal products. I also avoid mineral oils and petroleum-based ingredients -- just personal preference, I guess.

One thing makes me curious: here in Australia I've seen quite a few handcrafters and small manufacturers of "natural" products advertise their wares as cruelty-free, and I'm wondering how they can be sure?

Always.Looking.4.1.More said...

Hi Susan. I agree with almost everything that's been said so far, so I won't repeat. I'm finding the deeper I get into making cosmetics the more I realize I can't make a totally 'natural' product, no matter how much I want to... not if I'm going to put it into someone else's hands. Making something for myself that will give me the results I want makes it difficult to use only 'natural' ingredients too. Everyone can be made happy to some degree. For the "naturalists", make a peanut butter and jelly body spread. For the chemical lovers use all the lab created products you can find. For the people in between, combine a little of both. Making cosmetics is fun, and it's serious business. The bottom line: LEARN about what we're using BEFORE we use it, have FUN formulating, be CREATIVE, and whatever we make, MAKE IT SAFE.

HAPPY DAY! :-D