Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What should we do for Newbie Tuesday and Chemistry Thursday!

As I try to figure out how to respond to the outpouring of kindness I've seen here in the last week, and as I patiently wait for the arrival of Raymond's new computer - we've been sharing for about a month now, which means my posts are mainly written on my tiny iPhone screen - I wondered what you might like to make for future Newbie Tuesday posts? We will finish up conditioners, then...what?

I get a lot of questions about bath bombs and surfactant based products, like shampoo and body wash, but those might not be your cup of tea! What do you think you'd like to see next? Facial products, mineral make-up, natural cleaning products - the list is endless. Make a comment and let me know!

As well, what ideas in chemistry interest or infuriate you? For Chemistry Thursday, do you want me to start near-ish the beginning or answer your questions? Again, comment and let me know!

Check out this really cool picture from our lab the other day! It is so Christmas-y! (Silver is growing on a copper coil. So shiny!)


Anonymous said...

I vote for mineral make-up (foundations, concealer, finishing powder) or facial serums targeted to specific concerns (fine lines, acne, large pores, gravity(!), rosacea, etc).

BTW - is the Dish down again or is it just me?

Madeaj said...

I second the mineral makeup. I remember you making eye shadows. I'd love to see more on foundations, concealer etc. Also, have you ever made a syndet cream soap or cleanser? One similar to a cold cream but more like a foaming soap. I don't know of a specific brand on the market so I can't compare it to anything I know.

Julie said...

I would love to see more about formulating facial products, mainly face creams. I've been playing around with different cosmeceuticals and actives a lot lately, and I'd love to see some more information on knowing where to stop as far as adding all these beneficial ingredients and maybe choosing some to use together in a product. I like using extracts and other anti aging actives and such. Here's a list of the additives I have that I've been working with. Maybe you could list these and talk about formulating a facial cream with it?

Aloe Powder 200x
Chamomile Powder Extract
Colloidal Oatmeal
Cucumber Peel Powder Extract
Green Tea Powder Extract
Hyaluronic Acid
Olive Leaf Powder Extract
Panthenol (powder)
Papaya Powder Extract
Royal Jelly Powder Extract
Salicylic Acid
Silk Peptide

I'd like to see some ideas on using Salicylic Acid in facial moisturizers and cleansers. I have such trouble with it because of the solubility. I's rather not use a bunch of alcohol in certain products, like a face cream. Even when I do use alcohol, it settles. I made a toner and just can't keep it mixed in. Once I run out of the SA I have now, I'm going to try with water soluble SA.

So maybe some info and experiments on formulating with actives and cosmeceuticals, and how to incorporate salicylic acid.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Madeaj! I did make a foaming cream cleanser - look for it under the facial products label. (I will try to link to it later.)

Hi Julie! If you take a look at the extract section and the cosmeceutical section, you'll see I've written about quite a few of the ingredients you mention. Also check out the humectants section and the ingredients list. I should have some examples of how to use those ingredients, although I can go into more detail in the future.

catherine said...

Hi. First to julie and anyone else wondering about salicylic acid (sa). Have you tried naturesilk propanediol from ingredientstodiefor.com? Sa is about 15% soluble in naturesilk, which is a corn-derived ecocert glycol. I've had great results making both a 2% sa lotion for overall and a 9% sa cream for 'stubborn' areas. :)

Re newbie tuesdays, swift, I love ur bar series. Love conditioner/shaving bar. I like lotion bar but for me even the glide-y recipes have been draggy. Would be great to have a post-shower pre-towel dry lotion bar. Also I haven't gotten a shampoo bar recipe to work well...usable but too smushy.

Re shampoo bar, i suspect I got a bad batch of stearic acid...that's a whole other post...what to do if you think you got an expired ingredient??? Esp as new formulators it's not like you can look at your stearic acid and tell if it's defunct/expired. And I'm curious what recourse other formulators have taken. I called to complain and they said must be me...I'm a newbie...surely didn't get my money back. But maybe they're right??? I digress... :)

Thx susan!

Kathy said...

It would be great if you could finish the eye cream started a few weeks ago. You posted about the "oil phase", but it would be great to finish up with the "water phase".

I, like others, above, vote for mineral make-up. I've tried and failed a few times and need some direction. Thanks, Susan.

melian1 said...

well, i'd love anything on facial products. creams, eye creams, serums, toners, etc. however, having got all your books and been following your blog for a while now, you've got so much dynamite info already there, i'm not sure what to ask for.

how about you do some stuff that interests and excites YOU? you know we're gonna be right there, and interested, too.

Tara said...

Hi Susan. I know you're mainly bath & body, but I always wondered what was in powdered laundry and dishwasher detergents. Powdered surfactants and other additives obviously, but it is hard to come up with something when they never list their ingredients on the label! I would love to attempt some since I have so many ingredients here anyway!

Also, I would love to try some facial creams using some of the newer emulsifiers you have posted on. :-)

Tara said...

Also, regarding Julie's post about difficulty dissolving Salicylic Acid, I've found it useful to use a solvent like propylene glycol or propanediol to dissolve the SA. Glycerin and sorbitol are also useful, but quite as effective. As well, increasing the pH just a titch will do wonders in helping the SA to dissolve. I always add some sodium lactate to my SA products and this helps to raise the pH and the SA will stay in solution. Also with the water-based concoctions such as toners, a little bit of water-soluble emulsifiers, such as Polysorbates, helps to make the SA stay in solution. :-)

p said...

What Tara said (about how cleaning products are made)! I'd love a series on household products.

catherine said...

Re cleaning products, I make my own shower spray, since method home finally began listing detailed ingredients. I use 2% dish liquid, 1% polyquat, 1% citric acid, 96% filtered water.

Note: I used to use 1% surfactant (sles or coco bet) then found that 2% dish liquid worked just as well but much lower cost. I used to use distilled water but tried brita-filtered tap water and that worked fine as well. Don't use preservative but we use this quickly (I *never* scrub shower, just spray after each bath/shower)...if you think you'll have longer than 1-2 months then maybe use preservative.

p said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe, Catherine! I could really use a product like that to keep my shower clean and mold-free. Out of curiosity, ehat's the polyquat in there for?

busybee said...

I'd love to know how to work with powders in my lotions. I have marshmallow root that I bought in hopes of giving a leave-in hair cream some slip. but when I add it to the water phase, it just turns it into a brown and grainy mess. Same with my green tea and banana extracts (both powders). Any suggestions?

catherine said...

Hi p. Polyquat for film forming, I would guess. I just read ingredients on methodhome.com then guesstimated from there.


Mirjam said...

Dear Susan, first I want to say how much I like your blog: interesting, very good writing (I'm Dutch, so English isn't my mother language) and excellent information about al the products we slap on our faces and body's! BB creams a hot hot hot in the Netherlands; just 1 cream for al the problems of the skin...
Could you make some comments and break down the formulas for those wonder creams?
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

My item for the wishlist is lanolin based lip, hand and foot creams. I just bought a couple of pounds of lanolin to hopefully help with my crazy dry winter skin!

Leslie said...

Hi Susan,

I love your blog!!! I always find something to learn, something to ponder or just something that makes me smile (sometimes all 3 at once). My wish list, and thank you so much for asking, is mineral makeup and eye cream. Also, I loved your series on dry skin, maybe a series on specific skin types, like acne.


MJ said...

That's gorgeous! Chemistry is so much fun. My weekend project was extracting green tea into fractionated coconut oil. I didn't get a clear extract like what you can find for sale online but an inky dark green and extremely fragrant extract. It'll be very useful as flavor (needs sweetening though, it's very bitter), fragrance and for the lovely properties of green tea.

Julie said...


Thank you for the recommendation. I was actually thinking about purchasing the Propandiol for a solvent. I love ITDF and the Propandiol looks very promising. I've seen the water soluble Salicylic Acid and I saw that Propandiol was the ingredient in it that actually made it soluble. I'm glad to hear about it from someone who's used it since the site doesn't have any customer reviews. I'll be buying that with my next order from them.


I've read the info on cosmeceuticals and actives, I guess what I'm interested in learning about is more on how to work with them. I just want to throw everything in a face cream! lol but it'd be nice to read more about how much is too much and things like that. I know you've lightly touched on it before. I'd like to see more about how to use them together, when formulating a facial cream for example, loaded with actives and cosmeceuticals. Should you be using the minimum recommended percentage of each when using several together?

Another thing I've been trying to work on is a shampoo for shedding hair. Not falling out or breaking, just shedding. Garnier has a new shampoo for that called Fall Fight. Some of the ingredients in it to help prevent the shedding are biotin, caffeine and fruit vitamins. I'd love if you could write a post about formulating a shampoo for that, and also if and what specific essential oils have any benefits for the hair. I haven't found too much info on the subject.

Thanks! I'm so glad to know you are getting back to writing and not letting these irrelevant people affect your love for blogging! We are glad to have you back. I've been going through Point of Interest withdraw! :D

Julie said...

Thanks Tara! I had no idea about raising the pH a bit, I'll try that!

I second BusyBee's thought. I too have powdered extracts and am having trouble using them in lotions. I would love to hear about using those. I bought them specifically for lotions and creams and so far, it hasn't went too well.

James said...

I'd like to see more on formulating shampoos and tonic for hairloss. Thanks love your writing!