Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A few thoughts for a frantically busy Wednesday morning...

Don't put your iPhone or iPad charger in your mouth. It doesn't taste very good.

Coconut oil really is awesome for hair! Inexpensive and well studied, try it neat in your hair before washing. If you have oily hair like me, don't get it too close to your scalp. Before you run out and buy argan oil, try this stuff. Please. (Do a search on this blog for Moroccan Oil. It isn't about the argan oil; it's about silicones!)

I forgot how amazing Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime album is! Metal - particularly progressive and power metal - is so well suited to the concept album! It always seemed weird to people how much I love musicals and metal, but they're both very dramatic forms of music well suited to large expressions of emotion. And they walk that fine line between cheesy and awesome! (I mean musicals like Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain...the older stuff!)

Only things that emulsify can be emulsifiers. Having the word "wax" in the ingredient name has nothing to do with its emulsifying powers. Candelilla wax, beeswax, soy wax, floor wax, jasmine wax - none of these things are emulsifiers. (Emulsifying wax isn't really a wax. It's just its name.) If you come across a website or blog or recipe that tells you these things are emulsifiers, they are wrong. I realize this is a bold thing to say, but these waxes are not emulsifiers. I have addressed the chemistry of emulsifiers before, but I'm happy to do it again, if there is interest.

(Beeswax is only an emulsifier when combined with borax. If you have made a lotion with beeswax without lecithin, borax, lanolin, or an actual emulsifier and it stayed combined, you have done a great job of using heat or mechanical energy to create an emulsion. Beeswax is no more emulsifying than adding Kool Aid, toast crumbs, or transmission fluid to a lotion, which is to say it isn't an emulsifier.)

If it's Opposite Day, you can't actually tell me it is Opposite Day.

Lecithin is an emulsifier, but it isn't an all-in-one emulsifier or emulsifying system. You have to combine it with a high HLB value emulsifier. If you don't know what that means, lecithin isn't the emulsifier for you. If you've never made a lotion, don't try to use the HLB system to create an emulsifier. (Look to the ingredient list to your right to see links to the HLB system.) The odds are good you will fail, and you might never make a lotion again, which would be sad. Try a recipe with a good emulsifier so you can see what is possible. Then work towards using lecithin in the future.

Waffles are great! The picture below is smothered in Cool Whip so lactards like me can enjoy berries and "cream" tastiness! I want waffles, but Raymond is away working for a few days and my Blondie dog lacks the requisite thumbs to turn on the mixer and work the iron. Sigh...a girl can still dream, can't she? (And if life were a musical, I would pick up my pup and sing her a rousing chorus of "Why do you lack opposable thumbs? Don't dogs like waffles and bowling and drums? Why did you fail to evolve such digits? I didn't think dogs were such ijjits!" Oh why isn't life like movies?)


Organa said...

Now yes, rock in roll perfect, speaking Queensryche song reminded me of a very good Ozzy they sing along with Lita Ford (close my eyes forever), hehehe, not to mention that Volbeat is fantastic.
  As for the Argan Oil seems that decreased the illusion.
Emulsification perhaps one of the biggest challenges of cosmetic chemistry, but if well matched tough break.
The dog is with fome.hehehe
Always following.

Michele Clarke said...

OMG I am laughing so hard!

Carol Holmes said...

Hi Susan, so you do stand up comedy as well. Who knew! They could have asked you to replace Jay Leno. Yahoo! I made my first lotion following the Basic lotion recipe- 69% water,15% soy bean oil,5% Mango butter, 3% Cetyl alcohol,6% BTMS 50, 1% Optiphen Plus preservative in the water phase. Added Neroli oil as fragrance. I love it. I just had trouble with the process. It took forever for the water phase to reach 70 degrees Celcius. I made sure that my thermometer was calibrated before starting. Is it because I made a small batch. Also, after showering when skin still damp, when lotion is applied and massaged in it stays white like zinc oxide for a long time. Otherwise it feels amazing. I never imagined a recipe so basic could result in such a great lotion.

Mychelle said...

I, too, love waffles and musicals. And knowing you a little by now I think I can then safely assume that you might share my view that the Buffy Season 6 musical "Once More With Feeling" is the finest hour in television history. :)

Mommysoaper said...

Wow! Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks "tangentially!" Thanks for the great post!

Allison S said...

Hi Susan,

Crack me up. This is only my second post, I have been experimenting as though my life depended on it for about 3 or 4 weeks now, I am a newbie. In your thoughts here you mention revisiting the topic of emulsifiers. I have looked all over your blog to the answer to a question I have. Please forgive me if I have over looked it.

My question is, much like how you are discussing the "skin feel" of different oils and butter, I am very interested in the typical "skin feel" of various emulsifiers. I say this because for example, my lotions and creams made with e-wax feel much too occlusive. Like a layer of plastic wrap on my skin. Really I only notice this on my face. Also, whereas the creams emulsified quite easily and beautifully (I followed your 25% of the oil phase + 1% for e-wax)I find that they are those types of lotions that are very very white on the skin and stay that way until you have really really rubbed them in.

For example does polawax have the same skin feel, or is it somehow different? As a newbie the HLB system is still a touch beyond my reach, but what I am curious about is a comparison on the various all in one emulsifiers out there. If this info is already on the site (and I will keep looking)if you could just point me there. If you have never visited this topic I would love to hear about it! Many thanks, your site is a gem.

All the best,


Robert said...

What a great question Allison.

If we were taking a vote I would vote this the best question of the week or month.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Organa! Thanks for the band suggestion. They sound like something I would like!

Hi Carol! How awesome is it that you made your first lotion? What do you think you'll do differently next time?

Hi Mychelle! BUNNIES! BUNNIES! BUNNIES! And how many times have I sung about the dry cleaners getting the mustard out? :-)

Hi Allison! We haven't really done much about the skin feel of HLB emulsifiers, but it is a great idea! The problem is that I wouldn't have time to do all the work, so it would be nice to get a group together to try them and share. Hmm, there's a thought....

Anonymous said...

How Can i hair lotion then emulsify and stay emulsified for 7 month without having an emulsifier? I have a 36 oz of hair lotion that have this ingredients, Cetac, glycerin cetearyl alcohol, mineral oil, petrolatum, water and preservative, none of the emulsifier we know other than cetac and it has not separated yet. I have tried to make it, but if i don't add some BTMS 25 it won't look good.

Zoe said...

I just wanted to thank you so much for this blog. Though I haven't ventured into preparing any lotions or conditioners yet (only very basic massage oils for my own use), I enjoy reading all the information you post and have learned so much about choosing shampoos, conditioners, facial washes, moisturizers and other hair productsfrom the drugstore. Truly no other place on the Internet has so much information presented in such an approachable way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!