Sunday, April 7, 2013
Weekend Wonderings: Using a water soluble preservative in anhydrous products, creating our own cleansing conditioner, and a foaming sugar scrub recipe.
In this post on Liquid Leucidal preservative, Julia asks: This is my preservative of choice! The problem I have run into: I would like to use it in my emulsified body scrub ( I LOVE the recipe on your blog!), problem is that leucidal liquid is water soluable. So technically it wont hold in the scrub mix, right? I was thinking of maybe adding a minimal amount of aloe as the waterphase. Still using 10% ewax and 10% stearic acid, will the preservative stay in the mix properly then? OR will the aloe dissolve the sugar?
First, thank you for your kind words about the sugar scrub recipe. (Which one did you make?) Second, I'm so excited you want to use preservatives to ensure you make a great product!
I find this is one of the biggest challenges I face - encouraging the use of preservatives in products that don't contain water but will be exposed to water. (Read more about why we use preservatives in sugar scrubs below...)
We really don't want to use any water soluble ingredients in our scrubs with sugar or salt because they will dissolve over time and we're left with a really weird and gross lump in our scrub. And a water soluble preservative will not work properly in an oil soluble product. What to do? I'm not really sure how to answer this. You really need a preservative in a product of this nature because you will be putting wet hands into the product and leaving it in a wet environment, and failing to preserve can result in so many types of ick, but your water soluble preservative isn't suitable for the product.
The only answer I can think of at the moment is that you need to use a preservative suitable for oil soluble products. If we take a look at the preservative comparison chart, you can see the only ones you could use contain parabens as they are oil soluble preservatives. My preferred preservative for my scrubs is Phenonip because it's easy to use, easy to find, inexpensive, and extensively studied for efficacy.
Whenever I write about parabens, people get upset and write me horrible messages that I'm encouraging people to use dangerous ingredients. I really encourage you to click on the link about parabens above as I have linked to various agencies, including the American Cancer Society, and read what they say. The original study on parabens in breast tissue was a poorly done study, and there are hundreds of papers written about it explaining why it was a poorly done study all over the 'net. Nevertheless, the myth still exists that parabens cause cancer. I encourage you to read more about this topic at Dr Joe's blog.
Click here and click here for more information.) And does it really matter? A paraben is a paraben is a paraben regardless of the source because a molecule doesn't care where it comes from!
Preservative section of the blog
Preservatives: Water activity and sugar scrubs
Answering comments: Salt or sugar in water based scrubs
Preservatives: How the heck do they work?
Christmas crafting idea: Exfoliating fun with sugar and salt scrubs (lots of recipe links)
Quick note on using water in salt or sugar scrubs (lots of recipe links)
How to make an emulsified sugar scrub (by me, hosted on Snapguide)
In this post - Newbie Tuesday: Let's make conditioner! - Sarah G asks: I have been using a product called Wen. The directions say to not use shampoo just massage the Wen into your scalp and leave on for few minutes and rinse. It seems to working for me as my scalp isn't oily afterward and my hair is smooth and soft. I was wondering why this doesn't happen when I use homemade conditioner (my scalp ends up oily by the end of the day)? Is there an ingredient that I could add to my conditioner to duplicate this effect?
There is nothing unique about Wen conditioner. Honestly. It is a conditioner. They call it a cleansing conditioner and charge a fortune for it, but it really is just a regular old conditioner for which they charge an awful lot!
From this post on cleansing conditioners: 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?
Let's look at the ingredients (more on each of them in this post, this is just a summary). Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerin, Chamomile Extract, Cherry Bark Extract, Calendula Extract, Rosemary Extract, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Panthenol, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Whole Wheat Protein, PEG-60, Almond Glycerides, Menthol, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Methylchoroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance
I see quite a few things here that will make your scalp and hair feel less oily. Emulsifying wax will help emulsify the oils and remove them. The extracts are all quite astringent, and there are no oils in the list. Think about that for a moment. This product is advertised to people with dry hair - why no oils? (See below for my thoughts...)
See the extracts section for more information...) I'd throw in up to 2% peppermint essential oil (cool down phase) and maybe some peppermint hydrosol and/or rosemary hydrosol at up to 20% in the heated water phase. If you are including a fatty alcohol as an emollient and substantivity booster, add it at up to 1/2 the amount of Incroquat BTMS-50 or other conditioning agent. (If you are using 6%, then use 3% cetyl alcohol, for instance.) And don't include any oils, butters, or other emollients. I'd use maybe 3% to 4% BTMS-50 or other cationc quaternary compound, 1.5% to 2% cetyl alcohol, a bunch of extracts, glycerin at maybe up to 3%, protein at up to 2%, panthenol at up to 2%, and preservatives and see what you think.
Back to the oil thing for a second...I would classify Wen as a not very moisturizing, light conditioning conditioner with very few emollients and no oils. I think we put far too many oils in our products as homecrafters, and I think we use too much conditioner. You'd be amazed at really how little you need. I make an intense conditioner with 10% coconut oil because I need those oils for the ends of my hair, but I use it maybe once every two weeks and I know I won't make it to the end of the day without being really oily. That really is more than enough for oily, normal, and slightly dry hair.
Check out my great conditioner experiment - start and end posts and the post on modifying the recipe. I encourage you to try this at home by creating a recipe you water down over a period of a few weeks. It might surprise you as to how little you really need!
Another suggestion - Don't put your conditioner on your scalp. I know this seems like a really basic idea, but you'll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make. I have incredibly oily hair, and it has made a massive difference in the frequency with which I wash my hair! (Sometimes I can go three days between washes!) I don't believe in that "don't condition above your ears" idea because that hair can be damaged easily and I want my hair to be really really long! Start by not rubbing conditioner into your scalp. (If you aren't using shampoo, you have to do this, but those of us who use shampoo don't need to do this!)
Point of Interest: This isn't a duplicating request, it's an analysis of a type of product.
Duplicating products: Cleansing conditioners
Someone requested this recipe. Here's the version with SCI. Click here to find the version that might work with SCS-CAB blend. that post. I really like it, although it's hard to give up my sugar scrub. Use one of these physical exfoliants in it if you want some scrubbiness.
Facial exfoliants: Physical exfoliants (part one)
Facial exfoliants: Physical exfoliants (part two)
Facial exfoliants: Chemical exfoliants