Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What do you want to know? Can you make a toner with quats and water?

In the What do you want to know post? Marjo asked: Can one make a toner just with quats and water?

Sure, why not? A toner is a very broad word that can mean all kinds of things. If your goal is to condition you skin after washing, then using a conditioning agent - a cationic quaternary compound like Incroquat BTMS-50 or Ritamulse BTMS-225 or a cationic polymer like honeyquat or polyquat 7 - is a very good idea.

If you use something like BTMS-50, BTMS-25, or BTMS-225, you'll end up with a milky mixture that's more of a lotion-like consistency. If you use one of the cationic polymers, you could have a toner that could be completely clear.

You can use up to 5% honey quat (cool down phase), up to 5% polyquat 7 (heated water phase or cool down phase), up to 2% polyquat 44, and so on. So you'd use your cationic polymer, preservative at the suggested usage rate, and distilled water to make up 100% total. And you'd have a toner for conditioning your skin!

Related posts - toner recipes with cationic polymers:
Experiments in the workshop: Min-maxed toner
Experiments in the workshop: Min-maxed toner becomes becomes a facial gel
Formulating for dry skin: Toners continued...
Making a toner for the oily skin type



Monday, December 30, 2013

I'm sick! Argh!

Hi everyone! I'm on holiday time from work, which means I had to get sick and waste the very little time I have off lying in bed. It also means that your questions and email are going unanswered as I don't have the energy to sit up or type much right now. Raymond and Blondie are looking after me, making me sandwiches or eating them for me (guess who does what!), and I've got an iPad full of music, comics, and videos to keep me busy. 

As for the blog, I have posts pre-written for the next few days, but it'll take a few days after I recover to catch up with all your email and comments since around the 23rd. (I wasn't sick over Christmas, but I spent that time with family and friends and didn't get to the computer much.) I'm still sending out e-books as I can do that from bed, but I'm not up for lengthier typing. Thanks for your patience. 

What do you want to know? Why can fragrance or essential oil be added to emulsified products after it's cooled? Can we add perfume to our products? How to make a jelly-like salve?

In the What do you want to know? post, Marjo took the opportunity to ask a bunch of great questions. Let's take a look at a few of them here.

WHY CAN WE ADD FRAGRANCE TO LOTIONS AFTER THEY HAVE COOLED?
Why can fragrance oil be added later on.. does it not ' sweat' out of the end product for it is non emulsified oil? I have some drops floating on lotions if I add fragrance oil so I tend to add the fragrance oil to PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil just in case but still am wondering about how this works. 

Adding PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil - a solubilizer to help oil soluble things mix into water soluble things - is a great idea, but you should be able to add a fragrance oil to a pre-made lotion with some serious mixing. A little might seep out, but for the most part, you're adding such a small amount - no more than 1% - that it works out okay. Make sure you mix it well

CAN WE ADD PERFUME TO OUR PRODUCTS?
  I threw away the baby oil that said "may cause serious injury upon ingestion or inhalation". I replaced it with sweet almond oil. If I were to add fragrance...a tiny bit? Would it be an option or a better idea to use a flavour/fragrance? 

I think what you're asking is if you can add a fragrance - a perfume, for instance - to sweet almond oil? The answer is a resounding NO! You only want to add bath & body product approved fragrances.

Let me share a story with you. A few months after I started making my own products, I shared this wonderous hobby with some friends. We added a little Poison perfume to a variety of products. The next morning we found we had created a new fragrance sensation - bum! Bum: It's a fragrance for a man, it's a fragrance for a woman. It's Bum! (And I don't mean hobo!) It was horrible and we had to throw out so much stuff. Perfume isn't a great addition to any of our products because it contains other things that might not play nice with our ingredients. So stick to those bath & body fragrance oils or essential oils approved for leaving on our skin!

As for baby oil causing serious injury if ingested or inhaled...I think that's a standard warning. If it's mineral oil, the warning is because inhaling any oil, regardless of type, is a bad thing. We don't want oils in our lungs! And as for ingesting it being dangerous...I think it would taste pretty awful and might cause some problems for your intestinal tracts...but dangerous? Hmm...

HOW TO MAKE A JELLY-LIKE SALVE?
I have amazing trouble making a salve with the consistency of vaseline (petroleum jelly). I would be grateful if there will be some salve/balm receipes (not the balm-tin-anhydrous ones but just a bit... more salvy)

I have found the easiest way to make a jelly-type salve is to use cera bellina, a modified beeswax that thickens up our products and creates oily gels. If you want to use beeswax, the easiest recipe I've found is from Voyageur Soap & Candle for non-petroleum jelly. In this recipe, the castor oil is important as it forms an interesting relationship with beeswax to create a more gelly-like creation than you would get with other oils. But try other oils to see what happens!

Relate posts:
Cera bellina: Making an anhydrous eye gel
Cera bellina: Making a gel with shea butter
Cera bellina: Making oily gels

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: The search engine. What's methylisothiazolinone (preservative)? Where can we buy Crodamol STS?

THE SEARCH ENGINE
I can't do anything about the search engine. My husband is a computer guy and he assures me the problem is on Blogger's end, which has been confirmed by many other Blogger users and readers. I have written to them. I have changed the format of the blog. (I can't go back to the previous template as it was an old one, so that makes two problems for the blog.) This is making my life hell because I'm trying to write a facial products e-book, and I can't search. Believe me when I say there is nothing- I really mean this, so I'll repeat it - nothing I can do about the search engine. Nothing. I'm sorry that it is making your life more difficult, but I really am doing all I can about it. I'm not sure what else to say, so I'll just stop writing now.

WHAT'S METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE?
In this post on making a body milk, Ayhllon asks: I found a nice face cream that claims "no parabens" reading the list of incredients I found they use methylisothiazolinone as the preservative, doing some searching I found apparently is an antimicrobial in the form of soluble concentrated liquid. Do you have any comment on it? As you know while parabens may be alright they come loaded with a bad reputation most people don't question or research.

I don't know much about methylisothiazolinone, so let's do a little research! On its own it's not a broad spectrum preservative, is water soluble, and is best at pH 2 to 10. It's sold as Optiphen MIT, in Optiphen MIT Ultra, Optiphen MIT Plus, and Rokonsal KS-4. It is sold as Kathon or Nipaguard CMB combined with methochloroisothiazolinone to be a broad spectrum preservative. It's considered safe at 0.01%.

To be honest, most of the information I find on this preservative is all about how in Europe it causes more contact dermatitis and I found very little on how it works as a preservative. Apparently this ingredient is the American Contact Dermatitis Society's Contact Allergen of 2013, and Cosmetics Europe is calling for this preservative to be discontinued in leave in products due to skin sensitivity. As far as I can tell, it's a bactericide on its own, so it isn't considered a broad spectrum preservative, which is why it's combined with other preservatives.

Anyone have any experience with these preservatives? What do you think? How did they do in your products?

WHERE CAN WE BUY CRODAMOL STS?
Michelle asked where to buy this? Anyone have any suggestions? I received mine as a sample, so I'm not much help!

Friday, December 27, 2013

What do you want to know? Making a body milk (part four)

If you're new to this series on making a body milk and want to know more, please check out part onepart two, and part three to see where we derived this recipe and what modifications we can make! Here's our starting recipe...


BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE MODIFIED TO BE A BODY MILK
WATER PHASE
85.5% water

OIL PHASE
10% oils
4% emulsifier

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative

If we want a thin feeling lotion - a body milk - with great moisturizing, we can turn to our esters! The down side is that we aren't getting those lovely fatty acids and phytosterols we would find in our vegetable and seed oils, but we are getting a drier feeling and thinner oil that will create a silky feeling product on our skin. 

What the heck is an ester? (From Wikipedia) Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid (one containing an oxo group, X=O) with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH (hydroxyl) group is replaced by an -O-alkyl (alkoxy) group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and alcohols.

So what does this mean to us? An ester tends to be a synthetic emollient that is generally lighter than our oils and are generally less greasy feeling. When you get a lotion from the store that feels less greasy than you expected, it's probably thanks to an ester like C12-15 alkyl benzoate or cetearyl ethylhexanoate. Isopropyl myristate or IPM is one of the more common esters, and we tend to use this to reduce the feelings of greasiness in our products. 

I think I'll use cetearyl ethylhexanoate as the 10% oils in this product. It will offer a great feeling of moisturizing with a low level of greasiness. (If you don't wish to use an ester, but want a thinner feeling body milk, consider using fractionated coconut oil or meadowfoam seed oil as those are both very light feeling oils.) If I combine this ester with BTMS-50, I'll have a product that is silky and powdery feeling. 

As an aside, we could use this as a very nice after shave lotion. I've made this version before for that reason, and it is a very matte looking and feeling moisturizer. If you're having trouble getting the men in your life to use moisturizer even when their skin is cracking and peeling, this might be the product for them! 

When it comes to the water phase, we haven't really established what this product is going to be. I'm thinking that we could make something for post-shaving for men and women. So let's think of what ingredients might be nice for that purpose. (It will make a very nice, dry feeling all over body milk as well, but I figure we need a goal!) 

For shaving, I think of reducing irritation, redness, and possible stinging. I think a lovely hydrosol like lavender might be a good idea, and definitely some aloe vera liquid. Let's include those two things at 10% each in the heated water phase. I think some chamomile might be a good idea. Let's include chamomile hydrosol at 10% in the heated water phase, too. I think I'd like a little willow bark extract in here, but I worry the powder might make it look really brown if I include it at 0.5% in the cool down phase, so I'm going with some liquid willow bark extract at 5% in the heated water phase. 

I know I used it in yesterday's version, but I really like the idea of using marshmallow extract* at 5% in the heated water phase for film forming and moisturizing. (INCI: Althea offinalis leaf/root extract (and) Aqua) Marshmallow contains polysaccharides and is muscilaginous, meaning it contains mucilage that will form a film on your skin and offer moisturizing and hydrating. It is used as an anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and conditioning ingredient. 

I always want some kind of humectant in a product, and I think I'll include honeyquat at 3% in the cool down phase as both a conditioner and humectant and panthenol at 2% in the cool down phase as both a humectant and anti-inflammatory. I realize the BTMS-50 is both a conditioning agent and an emulsifier, but I figured another one couldn't hurt, eh? Oh, what the heck, let's add 2% sodium lactate in the heated water phase as it's a great humectant, plus it can reduce transepidermal water loss (or TEWL) in our skin, something that tends to increase after shaving. And I think I'll use Phytokeratin as my hydrolyzed protein as it contains a mix of film forming and moisturizing proteins, which is always a great mix for post-shaving products. 

So, what do we have here? 

BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE MODIFIED TO BE A BODY MILK
WATER PHASE
35.5% water
10% aloe vera (liquid)
10% lavender hydrosol
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% marshmallow extract (water soluble)
5% willow bark extract (liquid)
2% sodium lactate
2% Phytokeratin

OIL PHASE
10% cetearyl ethylhexanoate
4% BTMS-50

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat


Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. You've probably noticed I've changed the amount of water we're using in this product. I haven't changed how much the total of the water phase is for the most part - I still want to have about 85% water in this product - but I've changed what constitutes the water phase. If you're curious why this might be, check out this post - Learning to formulate: the water phase.

As a note, if you feel this product might be too dry feeling for your tastes, feel free to use 4% Polawax or 5% e-wax in place of the BTMS-50. I haven't tried this recipe with Ritamulse SCG, so I can't suggest a usage rate for it. 

I hope you've had fun looking at how to make a body milk! Join me tomorrow for some Christmas week Weekend Wonderings! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What do you want to know? Making a body milk (part three)

Happy Boxing Day! It's another day to enjoy the Christmas spirit! Did you get lovely prezzies and have a wonderful dinner? I hope you had a lovely day! Although Boxing Day is a huge shopping day in my part of Canada (B.C.), Raymond and I avoid the crowds, staying home to watch videos and play games. 

If you're new to this series on making a body milk and want to know more, please check out part one and part two to see where we derived this recipe and what modifications we can make! Here's our starting recipe...

BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE MODIFIED TO BE A BODY MILK
WATER PHASE
85.5% water

OIL PHASE
10% oils
4% emulsifier

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative

What other modifications in water soluble ingredients could we make in this product? What are we making and for what kind of skin type? I think I'll make a body milk for dry skin with loads of conditioning and moisturizing ingredients. Because I can't rely upon my butters for creating an occlusive barrier, I have to turn to other ingredients for moisturizing and barrier protection.

Related posts:
What is dry skin?
Impaired skin barrier mechanisms
Lower hydration levels
What ingredients can we use for dry skin (part one)
What ingredients can we use for dry skin (part two)

When I think of occlusion, I think of three ingredients - cocoa butter, allantoin, and dimethicone. I don't want to add cocoa butter because that'll turn it into a thicker lotion, not a milk, so that's right out. Allantoin is a great addition at 0.5% in the heated water phase because it offers barrier protection without adding thickening. I think I'll add dimethicone at 2% in the cool down phase for more barrier protection. Dry skin needs as much barrier protection as possible, so those two additions at those small amounts will offer great occlusion without turning this into a thicker product.

A note on allantoin: You don't need to buy a lot - 57 grams or two ounces will last you a really long time if you think about it. If you're using it at 0.5 grams for every 100 grams (3.5 ounces), you'd have to make 11,400 grams or 11.4 kg (25.1 lbs) of product before you'd use that tiny container! 

When I think of dry skin, I think of using humectants. I think I'm going to use a combination of humectants in this product. Glycerin is always a good one, and I think I'll add sodium lactate to the mix at 2.5% to make a nice combination of humectants. (Sodium lactate at 3% can be sun sensitizing, so I always use it at 2.5% or lower to ensure I don't get close to 3% by accident!) I think I'll throw some panthenol in the cool down phase at 2% for its wonderful qualities of film forming and barrier healing.

We could add some conditioning for our skin by adding a cationic polymer. I have some quaternized rice*, which is a cationic polymer made from rice, and I think I'll add that at up to 5% in the heated water phase. If you don't have this, you can use any other cationic polymer like polyquat 7 (up to 5%), polyquat 10 (up to 5%), polyquat 44 (up to 2%), honeyquat (up to 5%, cool down phase), and so on.

I think I'll use hydrolyzed rice protein at 2% in the heated water phase to offer film forming and moisturizing.

I can add a few extracts here. I think I'm going to add some marshmallow extract* at 5% in the heated water phase for film forming and moisturizing. (INCI: Althea offinalis leaf/root extract (and) Aqua) Marshmallow contains polysaccharides and is muscilaginous, meaning it contains mucilage that will form a film on your skin and offer moisturizing and hydrating. It is used as an anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and conditioning ingredient.

I'm adding powdered chamomile extract at 0.5% in the cool down phase because it's been shown to reduce transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours, and TEWL is a huge issue for those of you with dry skin! You could also use up to 20% chamomile hydrosol in the heated water phase, if you prefer.

For the oil phase, I think evening primrose oil would be a good choice as it reduces itching and soothes dry skin. You could also consider borage oil, but the price has gone up dramatically lately, and I find the skin feel to be quite similar. I'm going to use 4% Polawax here to compensate for the dry feeling of the evening primrose, but you can use 4% BTMS-50 if you wish. If you're using e-wax, make sure you increase the emulsifier to 5% and reduce the water amount by 1%.

BODY MILK WITH EVENING PRIMROSE, MARSHMALLOW, AND CHAMOMILE
HEATED WATER PHASE
62.5% water
5% quaternized rice
5% marshmallow extract (water soluble)
3% glycerin
2.5% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed silk protein
0.5% allantoin

HEATED OIL PHASE
10% evening primrose oil
4% BTMS-40 or Polawax

COOL DOWN
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

You could probably come up with a lovely name for this product like rice & flowers body milk or evening primrose & rice body milk or something similar. I figure it's better for me to use what ingredients are in the product in the name so we don't get confused on the blog with all the variations we'll make! I really can be creative with names - just not on the blog! 

You've probably noticed I've changed the amount of water we're using in this product. I haven't changed how much the total of the water phase is for the most part - I still want to have about 85% water in this product - but I've changed what constitutes the water phase. If you're curious why this might be, check out this post - Learning to formulate: the water phase.

*Please note that I was given free samples of a variety of ingredients by the Formulator Sample Shop. I have not been paid to say anything nice about the ingredients, and I made it clear that I would give my honest opinon of them on the blog.

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at another variation of this body milk using esters!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Thank you for all your kindness and generosity this year towards the blog and our youth programs! I really can't thank you enough for everything. I hope your day is merry and bright and filled with love and laughter! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What do you want to know? How to dissolve powdered extracts?


In the What do you want to know? post, Lynae asks: I also have a question about powdered extracts, like the chamomile you show. Do you add them by weight as well, or do you dissolve them in some water? I used some calendula that ended up making my lotion gritty and want to avoid that.


For powdered extracts, I like to dissolve them in a titch of water before adding them in the cool down phase to avoid that grittiness. I tend to remove 5 grams to 10 grams of water from the heated water phase and I'll dissolve the extract in that warmed water before adding it. I find when I add it directly into the cool down phase of a lotion or cream, it can get gritty, which is what you experienced!

I go into more detail about using powdered extracts and hydrosols in this post Using extracts, hydrosols, and other botanical ingredients, which can be found in the extracts section of the blog

What do you want to know? How to make a body milk (part two)

We took a look at a basic body milk recipe we could make using a facial moisturizer recipe yesterday. Let's take a look at a few different versions of this recipe!

BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE MODIFIED TO BE A BODY MILK
WATER PHASE
85.5% water

OIL PHASE
10% oils
4% emulsifier

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative


VERSION #1 WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL
I'm having a love affair with pumpkin seed oil right now because I like the balance of oleic and linoleic acids as well as the light to medium weight and slightly greasy skin feel. You could use any oil you want for the 10% oils in this product.

What emulsifier should I use? Whichever one I like? I know the original question was about BTMS-50, so you can use 4% BTMS-50 if you wish, or 4% Polawax or 5% e-wax. (We generally use 1% more e-wax than Polawax).

Yes, I know that I have more Polawax than the 25% of the oil phase suggested usage, but I've never had great success with less than 3.5% Polawax, so I figure 4% is a good number. Plus, I know 4% works in this recipe as I've made it many times before. So we're going to go with the higher amount for this recipe. Feel free to alter it as you wish. 

What kinds of things could we do about the water phase? We can incorporate a ton of water soluble things into this product to get all kinds of wonderful features. We can start by adding some hydrosols or liquids that can behave as a substitute for water. We could add some aloe vera, witch hazel, or any hydrosol at up to 20% each in the water phase. I'm throwing in some lavender hydrosol as it's supposed to be good for soothing wind or weather chapped skin, and I'll use some aloe vera because it's always good for soothing skin.

WATER PHASE
65.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol

I think I'd like a humectant in here. I don't like making lotions without humectants because a tiny bit goes such a long way to hydrating our skin. My favourite humectants are glycerin, panthenol, and sodium lactate. Any of these will do - as will your favourite - but I think I'll go with 3% glycerin in this recipe because it's inexpensive and plentiful in my workshop.

Are there any water soluble extracts nice for our skin? If I'm thinking about what I need this time of year, I think some chamomile extract is always a good plan as I'm always enjoying wind or weather chapped skin. So let's use that at 0.5% powdered extract in the cool down phase. I always like some protein in my product, so let's try 2% hydrolyzed silk protein in the heated water phase.

What have we created?


BODY MILK WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL, LAVENDER & ALOE VERA
WATER PHASE
59% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed silk protein

OIL PHASE
10% pumpkin seed oil
4% BTMS-50

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
1% fragrance

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

This created a lovely milky product with a thin consistency. With the pumpkin seed oil, it feels slightly greasy but not too greasy if you use Polawax. With BTMS-50, it feels less greasy as that's a powdery feeling emulsifier. If you make this with BTMS-50 it will be thicker than one made with Polawax. If you want it to be thinner, you could go to 3% BTMS-50 and use 60% water.

You'll notice that we reduced the amount of water every time we added a new water soluble ingredient. If you want to know more, click here - learning to formulate: the water phase.

Could we add more awesome water soluble ingredients to this product? Why yes, we could! Let's take a look at a few after Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

What do you want to know? How do we know if ingredients are powdered or liquid?

In the What do you want to know? post, Lynae asks: When adding ingredients by weight, how do you know if the original recipe called for powdered or liquid ingredients? and is there a guideline for converting? I believe you use panthenol in a liquid form but I have some powder. 2g of powdered panthenol is quite a lot, seems like a lot more than 2g of liquid would be. 

How to know if my recipe calls for a powdered or liquid ingredient? I tend to write something like "powdered chamomile extract", but there are times I forget. There are ingredients that always seem to come in liquid form, but also have a powdered form - proteins or amino acids, for instance. How to know which one I'm using? I guess I have to be more vigilant when I'm using a powder, although for the most part, I tend to use liquids more.

I think the answer to the question is that there really isn't a way of knowing, but there are ingredients that we use that are always in liquid form or almost always in liquid form, and we don't tend to specify when it's something that always comes in a specific way. For instance, I don't think of calling allantoin "powdered allantoin", but it always comes in that form.

To figure out how much to use in a powder...it differs from ingredient to ingredient. But you can figure out how much active ingredient is in each thing and figure it out that way. So let's say you have something like sodium lactate that is 65% active. This means that 1 gram of liquid sodium lactate has 0.65 grams of active sodium lactate (the rest being water and preservative). If you have a powdered sodium lactate that is 32.5% active, it means that 1 gram of powdered sodium lactate has 0.325 grams of active sodium lactate. (I have no idea what the rest might be...) So if you use the powdered sodium lactate, you need to use 2 grams to get 0.65 grams of active ingredient. That's the easiest way to figure out how much to use.

Find out what your active amount of panthenol is and add that amount. If the liquid is 50% active and you have something that's 75% active, then you'll use less (about 0.75 grams of the powder for every 1 gram of the liquid).

To be honest, our ingredients vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and company to company, and I don't think we take into account the active ingredient a lot of the time. When I'm formulating, I might think about it for things like powders, but I don't tend to think about it when I'm adding liquids, which is really strange. I know I want something like 2 grams of panthenol in a 100 gram batch of conditioner, but I don't stop to think about whether I'm actually adding 2 grams of panthenol into the product. This has really made me think! Thanks!

Have a question? Stop by the What do you want to know post and share!

What do you want to know? How to make a body milk (part one)

In the What do you want to know post, Marjo asks: I would really like to make a face/bodyMILK i have just finished the sprayable conditioner now I have BTMS-50 (finally) and I see I can go from there to a milk...but it is always nice to see a real swiftproof product walkthrough. I would be curious to see a milk like consistency here on the blog! :)

You can find a few light, sprayable lotion recipes using Incroquat BTMS-50 below. You could use Ritamulse BTMS-225 or Incroquat BTMS-25, but try making a small batch first as I've found that when we use larger water phases, the BTMS-25 products don't seem to emulsify as well. They seem to like a lot of oils in the oil phase!
Let's take a look at what makes these products light or sprayable.

What is a body milk? There isn't an official definition, but I think we can agree that it's an emulsified or lotion-like product that moisturizes and hydrates our skin that can be sprayed or poured as if it were milk. It'll have at least 70% water soluble ingredients and generally won't have thickeners, like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid, and it might not contain butter for the same reason.

So how do we get to make a product like this? Start off with a light lotion recipe - something like a facial moisturizer with a big water phase  - and modify it with things you want in a body lotion. I'm leaving in only the basic ingredients of water, oils, emulsifier, and preservative so we can go a bit nuts in modifying it.

BASIC FACIAL MOISTURIZER RECIPE MODIFIED TO BE A BODY MILK
WATER PHASE
85.5% water

OIL PHASE
10% oils
4% emulsifier

COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5% preservative

Because we have such a small oil phase, we'll load up on the water soluble goodies to make something awesome! So what could we do here to create a body milk? Just about anything! Start off by tweaking one phase, then the other, then the final phase and see what you create!

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a few different body milks we could create with this recipe!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blast from the past: Making an anhydrous eye gel with cera bellina

I was looking over the products I have on my bedside, and I realized that I haven't gushed about how much I love this anhydrous eye gel made with cera bellina. I'm using it for everything this winter - as an eye gel, but also as a cuticle balm and a lip balm. I'm finding it seals in the moisture I'm losing during the day, and I wake up with really soft lips. (Which is pretty awesome considering that my lips were bleeding and cracking a few weeks ago!)

You can make some changes with this recipe - the key is to use light feeling, less greasy feeling oils like borage, evening primrose, kukui, hazelnut, or macadamia nut oils. You can leave out the oil soluble extracts and use more oils. You can play with this recipe quite a bit, just remember to only use oil soluble ingredients. You can't add glycerin or powdered extracts or anything else you think you'd like to add.


ANHYDROUS EYE SERUM WITH CERA BELLINA
10% borage oil
20% macadamia nut oil
19% fractionated coconut oil
10% calendula oil
12% kukui oil
4% sea buckthorn oil
5% green tea extract (oil soluble)
10% cera bellina
10% mallow extract (oil soluble)

Measure out the ingredients in a heat proof container and place into a double boiler. Heat to 75˚C and hold for a bit - maybe 5 minutes - to ensure the cera bellina melts properly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until it turns into an oily gel, which should be around room temperature. When it's completely cooled, put into a container. I put mine in a 30 ml bottle with a decent sized orifice that I could squish.

It is vital that you heat this product to 75˚C as the melting point is 63˚C to 73˚C, and you need to make sure it is well melted!

And the product is quite yellowy because of the inclusion of the sea buckthorn oil. The colour will change depending upon the type of oils you use. Use darker oils like carrot seed and you'll get a darker product. Use a lighter coloured oil - for instance, all fractionated coconut oil - and you'll get an almost white product, like this gel with shea butter I tried.

If you don't have cera bellina, you could try making this with 4% beeswax and 6% more oil. Mix it well as it cools. I don't recommend putting it in the fridge or freezer, just mix it with a whisk as it cools and you should get a jelly like quality to it.

What do you want to know? Is there a limit to what we can include in the cool down phase?


Marjo asks quite a few questions on the What do you want to know post, and I'm going to do my best to answer them! (You've got quite the curious mind, Marjo! It's great!)

What are the boundaries of the additives phase? I mean, how far can or should you go in the cooling phase with adding things without breaking the emulsion?

This is a good question. I've never seen anything that says there is a limit, but we feel there should be! If you think about it, the cool down phase is still pretty warm - 45˚C or 113˚F - so we aren't putting a ton of things into a cold lotion, we're putting those things into a warm lotion.

I find my cool down phase rarely goes above 10% of the total lotion amount. For instance, I generally have 0.5% liquid Germall Plus and 1% fragrance oil, and I might add 2% dimethicone, 2% cyclomethicone, 2% panthenol, and 1% Vitamin E. I might add some powdered extracts - say 0.5% powdered chamomile extract or up to 5% niacinamide - as well, but I tend to dissolve those first to make it easier to mix them in. Facial products can end up with a lot of

I find a lot of hair care ingredients are grumpy in warmer temperatures, so I think the highest cool down phases I have come in my conditioner or leave in conditioner category. My favourite leave in has dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and panthenol at 2% each, honeyquat at 3%, volumizing complex at 5%, and preservative and fragrance, for a total cool down phase of 15.5%. And it stays well emulsified, even though there's 1% to 2% of a good emulsifier (Incroquat BTMS-50) and up to 3% of not so great emulsifiers (cetrimonium chloride and Incroquat CR).

If you're making lotions, I think we have to worry about emulsification. If you're making other products, I don't think there's a limit to what you could add in the cool down phase. I've never had a problem adding anything to a cold shampoo or body wash as the heating tends to be more about dissolving powders or getting rid of contamination rather than emulsifying the ingredients.

So what's the answer? I'm not really sure. I think it would depend upon what was being added. If you're adding a ton of oil based ingredients, I think you'll have a smaller cool down phase potential than if you were adding some powders and water soluble things, like extracts or cosmeceuticals. I think keeping it around 10% is a good idea, but you could go higher. You'd have to see what happens when you go higher!

As a note, I scoured all the textbooks I have on cosmetic chemistry and didn't find a thing. I admit I didn't read them from cover to cover again, but I did do some serious scanning that took quite some time. I am open to any information you might have that will point me to a reference that contains this information! I'm going crazy not knowing! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: When we mix solubilizers with oil, does it make it less comedogenic?

In the post on caprylyl/capryl glucoside, cuindalight asks: May I ask... when you create a water soluble oil (with whatever solubilizer poly 80 or Caprylyl/capryl glucoside - is it considered oil free? In other words, could I create a spray oil this way on my face with an oil I normally would not use on acne-prone skin, but get the benefits of that now water soluble oil - e.g. pomegranate or rice bran, etc. You have a few posts on this. For my body I am never worried - but for my face I am. Just bought some of the esters that i believe you say, you can use on your face for that acne prone skin - Peg 7 Olivate or the Water Sol Shea Oil from Herbarie... but still would love create more of my own with oils I like for my body - but to put them on my face? Thanks for any tips on this issue.

No, anything you solubilize with a solubilizer like caprylyl/capryl glucoside will still be and oil and will still have all those comedogenic or acnegenic effects we're trying to avoid.

When we mix our oil with a solubilizer, we aren't changing its molecular structure or nature. We're just mixing it with a solubilizer and then some water. If you look at the picture of emulsification, you'll see that the emulsifier brings together water and oil so they can live together - it doesn't change the nature of the oil or the water.

When we use a water solublie ester - for instance, the PEG-7 olivate you mention - the molecule is changed, so it's not olive oil with oleic acid any more, it's PEG-7 olivate, which doesn't necessary have the comedogenic or acnegenic properties we are avoiding.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!


What do you want to know? The oil cleansing method (part 4)

Now that we've taken a look at the oil cleansing method (part 1), potential recipes for dry skin (part 2), and potential recipes for oily skin (part 3), let's take a look at normal skin and a few tweaks you could make to this product. I think this is the kind of product that is all about individualizing the product for your skin type, so be prepared to make small amounts and keep loads of notes!

What oils might be good for normal skin? If you have normal skin, you will want to use 25% to 50% castor oil - depending upon what level you find drying or over-cleansing - and the rest in pretty much any oil you want. If your skin tends to feel drier, then I suggest using less castor oil and more of the oils for dry skin. If your skin tends to be oilier, then I suggest using more castor oil and more of the oils for oily skin.

Sorry for being so vague here, but I haven't tried making this product for all these different skin types. I'm going by the information I know about oils and the feedback I've read in the Dish forums about various combinations. The reality is that you could have really dry skin and use 50% castor oil because we all know our skin never ever goes by what is suggested for it! As with every product we make, be prepared to make all kinds of tweaks based on what you have in your workshop, what works for your budget, and what your skin likes! 

One of the major tweaks I've seen of this product is using a solubilizer like Cromollient SCE (seems like the most popular one), polysorbate 20 or polysorbate 80, PEG-7 esters, or emulsifying waxes of all kinds. I've also seen the suggestion to use lecithin. The basic idea is to use something that will emulsify or solubilize the oils. It will remove more oil from your skin and apparently leaves behind less mess in your sink or wash cloth. Suggested rates were 5% to 10% for Cromollient SCE, up to 10% for polysorbate 20 or 80 (I'd go with 80), up to 10% PEG-7 olivate, or up to 10% for emulsifying waxes. Using emulsifying waxes will thicken the product slightly or even thicken it quite a lot, depending upon how much you use. (I'd start with 2% to 3% and go up from there.)

I've also seen the suggestion to use a lotion as a cleanser. This sounds like an interesting idea as well. The general idea is to apply a lotion, then remove it without water to leave behind a lotion-y moisturization. It sounds like you could use any lotion to do this, but here's a link to a duplicated product called a cleansing milk that works quite well.

Well, that was fun! Thanks for asking the question, Lauren!

Friday, December 20, 2013

What do you want to know? The oil cleansing method (part 3)

If you're just joining us, please take a look at part one and part two of this series on the oil cleansing method! 

What oils might be suitable for an oil cleansing method cleanser for oily skin? In all honesty, my first response is that there really aren't any good oils for oily skin...but I'm going with the idea today that we want more astringent feeling oils with higher levels of linoleic acid or gamma-linoleic acid. Oils high in oleic acid tend not to play nice with acne prone oily skin types as it can make the P. acnes bacteria worse, so I'm not recommending those for this application, unless you're a resistant type. 

My first suggestion is to go with more castor oil as it will remove more oils and should feel more astringent. I'm going with the idea that we're working with 50% castor oil. Again, you will have to try out what you're comfortable with as you make your products. If you want something astringent that doesn't contain a ton of oleic acid...you have only a few, more expensive choices, like evening primrose oil. You could, however, try using something like fractionated coconut oil, which doesn't contain any of the fatty acids I note above but will still work in this application, or jojoba oil, which penetrates our hair follicles to remove oils. 

POTENTIAL OIL CLEANSING METHOD CLEANSER FOR OILY SKIN
50% castor oil
50% fractionated coconut oil 
or
20% fractionated coconut oil and 20% jojoba oil with 10% evening primrose 

Blend together in a pump or disc cap container. Follow the oil cleansing method cleansing method. Rejoice. 

Again, please make only a small amount of this - 10 grams to 20 grams - and use it for about a week to see what happens before making changes. If you're having an adverse reaction, stop before then. But it takes about a week for pimples from a product to develop, so you'll need that time to really see how it impacts your skin. 

To answer the question, yes, I have tried the oil cleansing method and it didn't work for me. I used 50% castor oil with 50% fractionated coconut oil, and I found that after a few days, my skin seemed oilier than ever and after a few more days, the blackheads and pimples on my skin were out of control. I'm an acne and rosacea prone oily girl, and it seems that I need a good surfactant based cleanser to keep my skin under control. I'm sure that I should have done this or that to make it work, but my discomfort was really unbearable and I'm loathe to try it again. As with everything, your mileage will vary with the products you make. You

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Regarding the changes to the blog...

I'm trying to get this search engine working, so I took LiseLise's advice and updated the template. I really hope this works because I'm not good with change, and I miss the old template for the blog already! (And I can't get it back as it was an old template!) Those of you who have trouble with the search engine, please try the one on the right hand side and see if it works for you now. If it doesn't, I'm sorry. I'm not sure what else I can do.

As a note, I cannot do anything about it. It's a Google thing. I've written to them, but I doubt I'll see any feedback. I have a computer wizard for a husband, and he says it's all on their end...

What do you want to know? The oil cleansing method (part 2)

We took at look at the basics of the oil cleansing method yesterday, so let's take a look at how we might create a cleansing oil today.

The base of the cleansing oil is usually a portion of castor oil, which can range from 25% to 50%. I've seen people using it at up to 100%, but the general consensus seems to be that castor oil can be drying at higher amounts, so using it at lower amounts is a good idea, at least to start. As castor is an astringent feeling oil, those with dry skin will want to start at a lower amount, while those with oily skin might want to start at a higher amount.

What oils to add to the mix? As usual, figure out the goal of your product and the answers will be much easier to find! We want something that will help cleanse our skin. We want our skin to feel moisturized afterwards, not too greasy and not too dry. We also want something that isn't too comedogenic or acnegenic.

Let's take a look at a few ideas for different skin types, starting with dry skin...

What oils are good for dry skin? We'll start by assuming we're using 25% castor oil because we don't want this product to be too drying. Then, I'd definitely choose a high linoleic acid oil as my main oil - sunflower, soybean, sesame, rice bran, pumpkin seed, or wheat germ oils - but these can feel a bit greasy on your skin. (I don't want to suggest grapeseed oil or hempseed oil as they have very short shelf lives - 3 months - but they are also high in linoleic acid.) Vitamin E is very good for dry skin, so my suggestions would be wheat germ or soybean oil as my first choices for dry skin, but these are both greasier feeling oils than sesame and rice bran, for instance.

You could choose a high gamma-linoleic acid oil, like evening primrose or borage oil to help with dry skin, or consider using cranberry oil or rosehip oil, although the latter is known to aggravate acne. These exotic oils will feel less greasy than the carrier oils (for various reasons), and it might be a bit wasteful to use them at high levels in a product we're - for the most part - rinsing off.

What percentages should we use for the oils? As I mentioned above, it seems like lower is better for dry skin with castor oil, so let's go with 25% castor oil. And we'll do a blend of a high gamma-linoleic acid oil - evening primrose oil at 10% - with one of the high linoleic acid oils - rice bran oil at 65%.

POTENTIAL OIL CLEANSING METHOD OIL FOR DRY SKIN
65% rice bran oil
25% castor oil
10% evening primrose oil

Blend together in a container with a pump or a disc cap. Follow the oil cleansing method cleansing method to clean your face. Rejoice.

What else could we add to this oil? You could add up to 1% Vitamin E or an essential oil that might work for your skin type at a low percentage - for instance, a few drops. (You don't want to be smelling lavender all night long!)

Please try making a very small batch of this product the first time as your skin might not like it. Enough for a few days. I think 10 to 20 grams should do it, so make this recipe something like 7 grams rice bran oil, 3 grams castor oil, and 1 gram evening primrose oil (unless you have a more accurate scale, then make it 6.5, 2.5, and 1 respectively). Try that for a few days to see how your skin likes it. It might not, and it would be sad to make a ton of something you won't use again. (Although I imagine it might make a nice body oil!)

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at some oils that might be nice for oily skin!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What do you want to know? The oil cleansing method (part 1)

Lauren asked this question in the What do you want to know postIt would also be great to see a post on the oil cleansing method and a recipe for oil!

What is the oil cleansing method? It's a method by which you cleanse your face using oils. The logic is that like dissolves like or that oil will dissolve the oils on your skin. What about things like comedogenicity and breakouts? One site notes that "oil, alone, will not bring your blemishes" (something that, I admit, gives me pause for thought, but more on that shortly).

How do perform this method? It's suggested that you do it before bed, but some like to cleanse in the shower because of the suggestion that we use warm, steamy water. Pour  a small amount, about the size of a quarter or a 5 pence piece, into your hand and warm it with your hands before applying to your face. Massage it deeply into your pores with special focus on your trouble spots. Leave it on for anything from a minute to up to 30 minutes. Soak a washcloth in steam, clean water to open your pores and remove the oil. Hold the washcloth on your face until it cools, then repeat two to three times to remove all the oil. (It is recommended that you use warm water because cold water doesn't really remove the oil.) If you need a little extra moisturizing, it's suggested that you use a little of the cleansing oil as a serum and massage it into your skin.

What do I use to perform this method? A blend of vegetable and seed oils that will help cleanse and moisturize our skin.

The suggested base oil is castor oil at up to 50%. I've seen a number of reasons, but one of the main things that comes up is that it's a cleansing oil. How can this be? Ricinoleic acid is an interesting fatty acid. It's a hydroxy acid, which is why it is soluble in alcohol (but not water) and oil. It's a humectant (look at those lovely OH groups!), which is another reason we see it so often in cosmetic products! The ricinoleic acid makes it both a drier type of oil and increases the viscosity of the oil.

Why 50%? Some people use it neat at 100% and others at 20%, but the general consensus is that too much castor oil can dry out your skin. I've seen the average at about 30% castor oil and the rest other lovely oils, which is what I'll work with through this short series.

What else can we use with the castor oil? I've seen all kinds of suggestions - sunflower, olive, grapeseed, and everything else. People with oily skin tend to prefer more astringent feeling oils, like hazelnut, macadamia nut, or grapeseed. People with dry skin tend to prefer more greasy feeling oils, like sunflower or olive oil. But it really is all about your preferences.

References:
The Oil Cleansing Method - http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com
The Dish Forum thread - Help, facial skin help needed! (must be a member)
The Dish Forum thread - Deep cleansing oil (must be a member)

Join me tomorrow to take a look at the various oils we could use for an oil cleansing method cleanser!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What do you want to know? Best before dates

In the What do you want to know post, Lucy asks: How do you determine best before dates?

In general, we look at all the ingredients and determine which has the shortest shelf life. If we have a lotion with olive oil, grapeseed oil, e-wax, cetyl alcohol, water, green tea extract (water soluble), and preservative, the shortest lived ingredient is the grapeseed oil with three months. So this lotion would have a life span of three months. If we have a body wash with decyl glucoside and cocamiodpropyl betaine as the main surfactants and a ton of extracts with a one year life span, the product has a one year life span. It's about the shortest lived ingredient...

...most of the time. If you have something like grapeseed oil with a three month life span, can we make it a little longer? We could add some anti-oxidants to the mix, but we don't know exactly how much life we offer to the product, so the life span would still really be three months for the purposes of labelling.

Related posts:
Shelf life of our products (part 1)
Shelf life of our products (part 2)
How can we determine shelf life?
How do anti-oxidants affect our shelf life?
Frequently asked questions section on shelf life (scroll down, it's alphabetical)

Monday, December 16, 2013

A reminder about commenting on the What do you want to know? post

I'm still working through the What do you want to know comments, and they're generating a ton of new ideas for posts I can write for the blog. This is a great way to let me know what interests you and what recipes I can create for the new year. So far I've written a series of posts on the oil cleansing method and I've got a ton of ideas for light feeling lotions or body milks. So keep the suggestions coming!

I've put a picture of my dog eating her Christmas Opus doll here because it's adorable. I'm sure there's some deeper meaning, but I really did pick it because she's so cute! 

What do you want to know? Why did I buy lanolin?

In the What do you want to know post, Jodi asked: Why did I buy lanolin? I have some and am not sure how best to use it! 

Lanolin is a great addition to the oils and butters we have in our workshop! It's an amazing emollient that offers serious moisturizing and water repellancy. It helps create a barrier to keep water in to help moisturize our skin, and it will help keep lotions and balms on our hands even after washing. This barrier helps reduce trans-epidermal water loss and may help with superficial wound healing. Lanolin can increase absorption of active ingredients in our creastions, and it is great for creating a uniform consistency for a balm or ointment.

You might find anhydrous lanolin on your suppliers' shelves - this means it contains less than 0.25% water. It has an HLB of 10 - so if you're making your own emulsification blend, you'll have to do some calculating - and it is insoluble in water. It can, however, take up to double its weight in water without separating, so if you are making anhydrous products and want to add a little glycerin or a lovely hydrosol, you can do this and ensure it'll stay emulsified. Lanolin has a melting point of 36˚ to 42˚C, which means it'll melt a little higher than body temperature (around the same level as cocoa butter).

What could you do with it? I love to use it in my cuticle balm and in any product for nails, and you can use it in lotions, anhydrous products, or anywhere else you might use an oil. You can substitute it 1:1 with any oil, but note that your product might be a bit thicker as it's not a liquid-y type ingredient.

List of potential recipes with lanolin:
Whipped butter with lanolin
Chemistry of our nails: Oil based scrubs
Chemistry of our nails: Lotion bars with lanolin
Lipstick: The classic base
Duplicating products: Burt's Bees lip shimmer
Pumpkin seed oil: Making a cuticle balm

Related posts:
Can I use lanolin in my shaving product? How do I know how much to use?

Weekend Wonderings (on Monday!): What's wrong with the search engine? Why did this separate?

I'm thisclose to being on holidays - I'm working for a bit today, then three weeks off work (although we're still doing our youth programs throughout the month) - so I zoned a bit and missed the weekend to do some wonderings. So I'm doing them today!

THE SEARCH ENGINE ON THIS SITE
I'm really sorry that it's not working. I wish I could fix it, but there isn't anything I can do except bug the heck out of Google, and that hasn't resulted in anything yet! Please make sure you're using the search box on the right hand side of the blog, not the one on the upper left hand side of the blog because the one on the left is just awful!

I've followed LiseLise's suggestion that I remove and re-install the search bar. Those of you having trouble, please try it again and let me know if it works! 

WHY DID THIS SEPARATE?
In the What do you want to know: Using teas and infusions post, Diane asks: I only make 300 or 500 g in a batch and change up the ingredients or proportions each time. Recently I got a batch of emulsifying wax from Brambleberry and they described it as equivalent to Polawax. I have made two batches but neither time was the emulsion stable - my latest recipe is as follows. Am I using enough emulsifier? The Polawax did the job with similar ingredients.

H2O 84%
allantoin 1

Polawax BBrry 3.5
CaraBellina 1
Olive butter 4
FCO 5

Honeyquat 2.3
Germall + .7

It's a lovely consistency but I have to shake it up a couple of times before it mixes completely. In my previous recipe I used 3% Polawax BB and it didn't ever come together. I never had a problem with the brand name. Any advice would be appreciated. 

It's hard to make a rule when there are tons of different e-waxes, but if I've seen it mentioned that when you use a non-Polawax e-wax, increase the usage amount by 1%. Polawax is generally more stable than other e-waxes, so we can use smaller amounts than we do e-wax. (This isn't a slam against any company or any other e-wax!)

What can you do? Increase the generic e-wax by 1% and try the recipe again. As a note, the suggested usage rate for liquid Germall plus is 0.1% to 0.5%, you have it at 0.7%. You could reduce that! Let us know how it turns out!

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What do you want to know? Adding starch to a whipped butter

In the What do you want to know post, Jodi asks: What do you think about making a whipped butter and adding a starch like tapioca powder or Natrasorb? How would this add to the butter?

Lots of people do this and love it. The point of doing this is to remove some of the feeling of greasiness we get in the anhydrous or non-water containing products that are made of butters, oils, and other emollients. It also stiffens the product.

I admit I've only done this once a very long time ago, so I'm only going by what I've read from readers like you and people on the Dish forum. I like my products to feel greasy, so adding these ingredients would change that skin feel.

You can use a variety of starches for this application, like corn starch, tapioca starch, Dry Flo, and Natrasorb, to name a few. The suggestions I've seen is that we can add a starch a pinch at a time while whipping our butters. I saw it suggested as up to 1/4 tsp for every ounce of butter (but remember htat we hate using volume measurements, so write down how much you used by weight!).

If you want a less greasy feeling whipped butter, consider using less greasy ingredients - for instance, hazelnut oil instead of a greasier feeling oil or mango butter instead of shea butter - and consider using something like IPM, an ester that can reduce the feeling of greasiness in our products.

Related posts:
Creating a whipped butter - a visual tutorial
Newbie Tuesday: Creating whipped butters - a recipe to try


Saturday, December 14, 2013

What do you want to know? Does beeswax offer any benefits to our skin?

In the What do you want to know? post, Jodi asks: Would a lotion bar with harder butters or stearic acid work as well as lotion bars with beeswax? Is my skin getting extra benefits from the beeswax?

So what's the deal with beeswax? It's composed of esters - 70%, with myricyl palmitate being the main one - and 30% free wax acids and hydrocarbons. It has a high melting point at 62˚C to 64˚C, and it's recommended we don't heat it over 85˚C as it can discolour. It has an HLB of 9, and it is oil soluble, and slightly soluble in heated alcohol.

Beeswax is a great emollient and thickener that can form a film or create a barrier on your skin. A study showed it was as effective as Vaseline. It's used as a binder in mascara and lipsticks.

Beeswax can be used as an emulsifier when combined with borax for water-in-oil lotions. How does it do that? It turns the fatty acids in the beeswax - the main one being cerotic acid - into a soap. The problem with this kind of emulsion is that it can have quite a high pH because you're using an alkaline thing to make the emulsifier. (Borax breaks down into sodium hydroxide and boric acid when added to the water, which is an acid-base reaction, and this mixture is called a buffer, which will keep the pH more stable.)

Beeswax is not an emulsifier on its own. It can allow for some water to be incorporated into an anhydrous or non-water containing product thanks to the hydroxy groups in the wax, but it is not an emulsifier. Any emulsifying you get in a lotion with only beeswax as your alleged emulsifier is thanks to the heat and mixing you apply to the product.

To answer the question of whether your skin is benefitting from beeswax, I'd say, yes, it does. Beeswax provides an effective barrier to the outside world to keep the good things in and the bad things out. And it is an emollient, so it is moisturizing your skin while it's on there.

I definitely recommend using beeswax - or another wax, like candellia or carnauba - as the base of a lotion bar because these ingredients are plasticizers, or ingredients that increase the plasticity of the product. The bar will be stiff but still yielding when we apply it on our skin. Other things that might stiffen our lotion bar, like butters or fatty alcohols and acids, won't be as yielding.

But if you want to use less, consider using more butters, like mango or cocoa butter. (Don't go with shea as it's just too soft.) Or consider using thickeners, like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, or stearic acid. I'd go with one of the fatty alcohols as they will be more glidy than stearic acid.

So the short answers are...
1. Beeswax behaves as an emollient and barrier ingredient on our skin.
2. A lotion bar really does need some wax in it as a stiffener and plasticizer.
3. You can stiffen lotion bars with something like butters, fatty alcohols, or fatty acids.

Friday, December 13, 2013

What do you want to know? How can we control our heating and holding temperatures?

In the What do you want to know post, FC Brooks asks: My question has to do with the heating and holding part. It sounds important and useful: How exactly can you control the temperature to keep it stable for 20 minutes?

There are many ways to keep the heated oil and heated water phases warm for the heating and holding period. When using a double boiler on the stove, you can control the heat of the water with the stove controls.

When using an electrical device, like a crock pot or my favourite, my electric fondue pot, you can control it with the electrical device. I find this quite simple to do, and suggest getting the water to boiling, then reduce it when you add your containers so you don't get them spilling over!

Anyone want to make suggestions for using the crock pot here? I know someone wrote about it recently, but I can't find that comment! 

And some people are heating and holding in the oven (scroll down for melian's comment - great idea!)

This is one of the reasons we can't use a microwave to heat and hold our ingredients: We can heat, but we can't hold!

Related posts:
Basic lotion making instructions (with the heating and holding method described)
Creating products: Heating and holding (summary post with loads of links)
Heating and holding our ingredients
The argument for heating and holding our ingredients
Why we heat and hold our phases separately
What if we go over 70˚C while heating and holding?
Heating & holding: Are your products going hard too quickly?
How should we heat our ingredients?
Heating and holding on a stove top...

Related posts about equipment:
What options are there for double boilers?
How do you define a double boiler?
Questions about heating vessels
Creating a double boiler
Weekend Wonderings: Creating a double boiler (another post)