Friday, July 19, 2013

Fomulating Friday: Introduction - let's troubleshoot!

I posted this question last week in this postWhat are you working on right now? What are you researching or making in the workshop? What barriers are you facing in making your product? What information do you need or supplies or help? 

And you answered! So here's the plan...Each week I'll choose a comment and we'll troubleshoot the product together! We'll figure out what the product is, what it requires, what we can add, what each ingredient brings to the mix, what process we should follow, and so on. If it's your product we're making, it's your job to make the product and report back!

Please note, we are not duplicating products and we will not be creating a formula for you. We are helping to create something interesting and new or to help you figure out where you went wrong. Please do a search on the blog to see if we've already made a product like this - for instance, a body butter with lots of glide and low greasiness or a body wash with lots of moisturizers.

Your recipe can be one you've tried or one you're developing. If you have tried it, please provide us with the full recipe and process. The recipe has to be a safe one - it must contain preservatives if it contains water and the ingredients must be used at safe levels - or we won't consider it. You have to know your ingredients. If you send in a recipe that contains a non-emulsifier, like beeswax, or not enough of a pretty common emulsifier, like Polawax, we won't consider it. (We need to know that you've put some effort into the recipe and have reached an impass, and we'll know that if you've written something that should work but doesn't.)

Anyone can send in a recipe for consideration - newbie, veteran, business owner, homecrafter, and so on. Be aware that any recipe derived through this process will be posted on this blog, and I consider it public knowledge that can be shared freely through the blog, a downloadable PDF, posts I might make on a forum, and so on. It is completely available to anyone who wants it. If you want to make it and sell it, that's great, but please don't try patenting it or doing something that would take it away from the people who helped you. That just seems ungrateful and mean.

This means we can't troubleshoot a recipe that belongs to someone else, something you found on a forum or a blog or a supplier's or manufacturer's site because we want the final recipe to be in the public domain, and that person might not want to give up their rights to it. Feel free to use any of my recipes as a starting point for this process. 

We will do our best to stick to ingredients that we can find easily, but there may be things you need to order. You agree that you might need to spend a bit of money - not a ton, but you might have to invest in new ingredients plus shipping. If you live somewhere where ordering and shipping is hard, please let me know so we don't waste your time by suggesting you get some exotic ester when it's hard to get basic oils!

So what do I want from recipe submitters?
1. Information on the product you want to create. Is it a lotion, anhydrous thing, foaming product? Be very specific about what you think it should be and your end goals.
2. Be clear about what you want this product to feel like - silky, glidy, sticky, tenacious, very foamy, low lather, etc.
3. The recipe you've developed. If you've already made this recipe, please include the exact process. If it's theoretical, include exact ingredients. It must be in percentage format. Include every single thing you can think of because everything is important.
4. The final result, if you've tried it. Include things like "it separated" or "it doesn't foam" etc.

What you agree to do after we review it...
1. Make the product according to the recipe in a timely manner. We get that you might not be able to get the ingredients for a while because of shipping and such, but it would be nice to see the product made within four weeks of posting the final recipe. If you can't do this, let us know and we'll see if we can figure something out!
2. Take notes and pictures and send those in with your review.

Example:
Hi Susan! I really want to make a creamy facial exfoliating cleanser but I can't seem to make this one work! I want it to be a lotion based product with no foaming that contains physical exfoliants. I'd like something with loads of slip and glide that can be rinsed off and leave behind a slightly oily feeling.

RECIPE
HEATED WATER PHASE
20% water
20% aloe vera
etc.

HEATED OIL PHASE
7% rice bran oil
8% sunflower
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM
5% Polawax
etc.

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
etc.

Process: Heated and held...Heated and held...mixed...bottled when it was warm/room temperature/etc.
To get ingredients, I have to send away, which could take as long as 8 weeks. I live in Europe, so it's hard to get some surfactants...Here's a picture of what it looked like!

And so on...

Please note, we can only work on - at most - 52 recipes a year, so not everyone will get a chance. This doesn't mean I won't look at your recipe, but it might end up in another section of the blog or I might just answer it as I see it. I will be choosing the recipes based on interest, uniqueness, and challenge level. Recipes I haven't done before on the blog will also go to the top of the list.

I see this series as the experienced crafters' version of Newbie Tuesday. We're here to help you brainstorm new ideas, possible ingredients, different processeds or methods - in general, we're your external brain to help you think about stuff that might not have occurred to you yet! I can't wait to see what you send in! This'll be fun!

7 comments:

melian1 said...

i look forward to this!

seeing your requirements for reporting i had to laugh at myself. i keep notes that are far more detailed... when i add what and to which phase... right down to the temp of the oils and water when i mix, the temp of the product when i pour, the exact amount of grams for the size batch of whatever followed by the exact number of grams i actually put in. i made a recipe form that has the ingredient grouped into its phase, how much to use, and a place for me to write in how much i used. i also have an excel sheet that i enter the batch amount into and it calculates the exact amount of each ingredient is needed from my formula percents... obsessive much?? lol

tho in my own defense, it has helped on occasion when i'm troubleshooting, and having that exel sheet has made my life a breeze. i can change ingredients, change percents, and the sheet tells me how much my oil phase is, how much my water phase is, what my total phase is (handy when formulating so you get to 100 and not 120 or 80 or whatever), and best of all, it re-sizes a batch at a click.

anyway, i look forward to this new friday series!


Anonymous said...

I have been sick for a while, but now I am back. I am a newbie and was following your anhydrous posts looking for a solid facial scrub bar.
I am feeling better now and am going to try and catch up.
I am going to try and make brambleberries kissably soft lotion, but I have adapted it to fit in with the "heat and hold" method.
This will be my first lotion ever.

I broke it down into percentages, and oil and water, and cool down phases. This is what I plan to do:

Oil phase:
5% avocado oil (I will use olive oil as I inadvertently wasted my avocado oil)
4% rice bran oil
4% BTMS 50 (I am confused by this ingredient and its many names)
2% stearic acid

water phase

3% glycerin (can I use hydrovance?)
10% aloe vera
66% distilled water
2% powdered d panthenol

Cool down:
2% oat extract
optiphen 1%

and I am confused on the fragrance, I can either do 1% by weight, or try and adapt their ML instructions...I did not buy the very expensive e/o's they suggested.

Anyway, that's my plan. I converted their recipe into percentages so I could use my scale (which does not do partial grams)

So that's that,

-Karen

melian1 said...

@karen: i hope i'm not out of line here, giving you advice, but my experience is that optiphen doesn't play well with cationics. (btms is cationic) every lotion i've made using btms and optiphen curdled. you may want to consider switching preservatives, or else use ewax instead of btms.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi melian! I do keep really detailed notes myself, even on recipes I've done many times, because I figure the more information, the better. And you aren't out of line in giving advice - I want everyone to share around here, hence the point of this post and this series! There are so many knowledgeable people around here - why not share what we know?

Hi Karen! The point of the series is supposed to be to help people when they are stuck while formulating their own recipes, and I had hoped that posters would have tried the recipe before asking for help. It's supposed to be like a Newbie Tuesday for experienced crafters.

May I suggest checking out the formulating series on this blog and the frequently asked questions part of the blog because all your questions are answered there. Check out the post on reading INCI names (FAQ) and the post on Incroquat BTMS-50 to learn more about that ingredient! Have fun with the lotion!

Aljonor said...

hey Susan:

I have been working on a so-called all protein conditioner. There was a lot of talk that dry hair needs a protein conditioner followed by a moisturizing conditioner; so far I think I prefer a balance conditioner. I am also working on a leaving spray with just silicones, water and coconut oil using an ingredient called Pemulen® TR-2. It is sold by Personalformulator for people who want to emulsify water and oils but in a spray. So far I like it. I just working on the amounts of silicone and oil.

Aljonor said...

Hello Susan:
I don't know if I overlook the answer, but when does the "troubleshoot" posts begin.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aljonor! Send me all the details of either or both products and we'll take a look at it!