Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: Using cetrimonium chloride in shampoo, using coconut oil in an emulsified body butter, measuring really small batches of products, and scales

In this post Question: Can you use cetrimonium chloride in a shampoo?, Sciaretta Farms asks: So is there any point in using silicones in products where you add cetrimonium chloride? Will the silicones be negated if you use it?

Sciaretta Farms is referring to information contained in this post - Cetrimonium chloride - now better than ever!. "It can help remove silicone build up on your hair! Yep, our beloved detangling and softening agent can actually help if you've been using enough cyclomethicone and/or dimethicone in your conditioners or anti-frizz sprays to de-static an army!"

And I've answered before by saying yes, you're fine. I use cetrimonium chloride in my rinse off conditioner with silicones and my leave in conditioner with silicones, and I know the silicones are there because I'd otherwise look like someone out of a hair metal band from the 1980s with my incredibly frizzy, poofed out 'do!  But that's really my gut instinct, not an empirical one, so I'm not really sure at this point...I need to do some research and get back to you.

A quick warning: I've fallen behind in my physics class and I have my final exam coming up, so it might be a few weeks before I can get into some really deep research, so if you anyone has some places I could start, I'd be so grateful! Reputable sources only, please. 

To be honest, I'm not a fan of 2-in-1 type products (or 3-in-1 type products). I'm of the strong belief that every head of hair can benefit from the friction reduction, moisturizing, and smoothing qualities of a separate rinse off conditioner. But if you really like them, we have to make sure we're making something awesome!

Related posts:
Chemistry of our hair: "Good condition"
Chemistry of our hair: Adsorption and substantivity
Experiments in the workshop: Leave in conditioner with volumizing complex

In this post - Newbie Tuesday: Let's make a body butter! - Chelsey asks: I love coconut oil... like LOVE, but it melts really easily, so my question is: if I used it at a low percentage, would it affect the consistency (I assume it would to some extent), would I have to worry about it melting all the time? I mean, my house is freezing usually, but if I had it in my purse or left it in the car by accident. I've ordered a small amount of fractionated coconut oil for another project, should I order more of that and quit worrying about meltage? <-- a="" even="" i="" is="" that="" word="">

I think meltage should be a word and I'm sure I've used it in the the answer to that question is yes, I'm declaring it a word! (But then again, I use embiggen and ensmallen in normal conversation, so I might not be the best judge!)

In a recent post on coconut oil, I noted that we need to be careful when using this ingredient because it has a low melting point - 76˚F or 24˚C - which means a product made with coconut oil as the main ingredient would melt in your car on a nice spring day or in your house in the summer...but I'm referring to anhydrous or without water type products. If you're expecting coconut oil to keep its stiffness in the heat, you'll be really disappointed to find you have a lot of formerly whipped butters and formerly lotion bar products in puddles in your car, purse, or cupboard.

In an emulsified product - that is to say, a lotion type product that contains oil and water - if you substitute coconut oil for carrier oils, you will get a thicker product than you would without it. If you subtitute coconut oil for a butter, you will get a thinner product than you would with something like cocoa butter, mango butter, or shea butter. In the warmer months, you will find the viscosity of your product decreases, which is to say it will get thinner as the weather gets warmer.

I get this problem with my babassu oil products, which has a similar melting point at 76˚F. I don't mind it, but some people might. If you're selling a product like this, you might annoy your customers, so think about having different combination of oils and butters in different months.

Out of curiosity, why coconut oil in the product? What do you like about it? I'm seeing a lot of people enjoying it lately - and why not? It's low in price, it's easy to find, and it can smell lot coconuts at times. But I'm wondering why the resurgence of interest in it?

Related posts:
Newbie Tuesday: Let's make a body butter!
Coconut oil

In the same post, Will asked: I've got a for-dummies question, which newbies may or may not run into. How do you make a small amount of cream, such as an "eye cream" that you're going to dump expensive actives into, where your total desired quantity is about an ounce? I'm guessing the answer is to make ten and share, but just in case it's not....

Sorry I missed this comment, Will! It's been over a year! I'm always about the sharing, but there is an easier answer to this problem...Make a smaller batch! 

One of the reasons we weigh our products is so we can make really accurate batches. And one of the reasons I suggest using grams instead of ounces - even if you're in an Imperial country - is that we can scale the measurements really easily. You will need a digital scale for this, and you might want to invest in a digital scale that measures to 0.1 grams as well. 

Take a look at this eye cream with Ritamulse SCG for a moment. This is the type of recipe we might want to scale because even 4 ounces of product will last us quite some time. 

10% aloe vera
10% witch hazel
11% chamomile hydrosol
2% hydrolyzed silk protein
2.5% sodium lactate
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
25% water

8% Ritamulse SCG
3% behenyl alcohol
11% macadamia nut oil
5% arnica oil

2% panthenol
5% Revital-Eyes
0.5% liquid Germall Plus 

This will make 100 grams of product. It will work out to about 90 ml of product. Let's say you wanted to make a half batch...divide all the numbers by 2. We will get 50 grams, which is about 45 ml of product. (It might produce a smaller volume depending upon the oils you choose...) 

5 grams aloe vera
5 grams witch hazel...

1 gram panthenol
2.5 grams Revital-Eyes
0.25 grams liquid Germall Plus

If you want to make an ounce, which is about 30 grams, divide everything by 3 to get 33.3 grams total. 

3.3 grams aloe vera
3.3 grams witch hazel

0.66 grams panthenol
1.67 grams Revital-Eyes
0.17 grams liquid Germall Plus

And so on...

Having said all of this, I don't generally recommend making really small batches. It is so easy to put in 3.5 g instead of 3.3 or 2 grams of preservative and so on, which means it's hard to know what the final skin feel of the product is supposed to be and it's easy to use too little or too much of something that could mess with the chemistry. If you really want to make smaller batches, invest in a scale that makes it to 0.1 gram or even 0.01 gram (waaaay more expensive than a normal scale), and measure well. Invest in pipettes so you can do things by the drop and wear your reading glasses! And definitely convert to metric - it is so much easier than 0.356 of an ounce! 

In an email question, Jordan asked me, "Should I invest in a digital scale?" 


Related posts: 

Do you have a Weekend Wondering? Visit this post and share your thoughts! I look at the comments every day, but it is easier for me not to make someone wait an entire year for an answer if you post over there! 


Sciarretta Farms said...

Wow, thanks for a super fast answer. I just came back from washing my hair with my very first shampoo, well, it was not a success(snot-like texture and no bubbles). So I will keep reading your wonderful blog and see if I can't do better next time.

Any insights on making shampoo with SMC Taurate paste? I found your stuff about the liquid form, but it does seem like it makes a big difference.

7slaper said...

On the Coconut Oil:
IMHO CO is on of the most beneficial multi-purpose oils; and on top of that, it's affordable. Living in a multi cultural society like the Netherlands I noticed that each culture has its own "sacred" oil, depending on country/region of origin.
Most people who originate e.g. from Suriname or Curaçao use pure plain CO - besides for cooking, to treat their hair and skin.
So why not adapt that wisdom? I love CO in all its forms: virgin, plain or fractionated! :)

Although I spend most of my time formulating cosmetic products, I still consider myself primarily a soaper.
We all go through that phase of exitement about exotic oils, but often "less is more". In that respect I think that CO derserves more honour than it usually gets.

Just my 2 cts. :)

tr3kkie9rl said...

When making small batches such as this, what do you use to make sure the blend is emulsified really well? My stick blender is probably too big, and I doubt stirring by hand is going to be efficient?

tr3kkie9rl said...

I apologize, that comment was meant for another post. I'll repost it there!

tr3kkie9rl said...

Um.. I am sorry again. It WAS this post, I just thought the different subjects within the post were different posts. Too tired!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

For mixing, I find I can mix by hand very well if I do it fast enough and long enough. If you are really worried, you can buy tiny stick blenders or milk frothers or mixers for coffee based drinks, but I've never had a problem with it. I'm sure the emulsion fails quicker than it would with something mixed with a mechanical device, but these products are only around for a few weeks before I've used them!