Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: Which humectants wash off skin or hair easily? What's the best way to make a label?

In this post, Better crafting through chemistry, Anna asks: Do you know which humectants except for glycerin doesn´t wash off? Hydrolyzed proteins? Hyaluronic acid? Different quats?

Great question! I have read that sodium lactate and sodium PCA wash off, but I've not heard that glycerin washes off. Hydrolyzed proteins and cationic polymers are substantive, meaning they will adsorb to your skin and hair and resist being washed off. (Click here for adsorption and substantivity.)

As an aside, hydrolyzed proteins and (most) cationic polymers aren't actually humectants in that they don't draw water from the atmosphere to your skin. Hydrolyzed proteins tend to film form on your skin or penetrate your hair to moisturize from the inside. Cationic polymers are substantive, meaning they form a very light film on you rhair or skin through attraction of negative and positive charges. Only honeyquat is considered also a humectant.

In this post, making a facial serum, Kirsten asks: Label printing has been a big obstacle for me. I want a professional looking finish, and am not sure what sort of label printer would give me that. Or if I should get labels done by a commercial printer. The only problem with that is having to then always use the same ingredients.... any advice? I do want to be able to sell a small amount of my product.

I currently use an Epson Workforce 4020 not-all-in-one printer and I love it. The ink is waterproof, so I don't need to use a spray or anything to keep it looking nice, and it would be extra-waterproofy if you used a waterproof label like these ones from Avery. (That's if you need waterproofing for things like body washes or shampoos. Non-waterproof ones will work well with lotions and whipped butters and the like.) Get a program to make a template label - Avery has them at that link or you could use Word, Print Shop, Publisher, and so on - and design something awesome! If you can't design something awesome - like me - find someone and pay them to design something awesome as a template for you. It is worth the money to get something that represents you as a formulator and your company that you can use for all time, even when you get big and famous and forget about us little people!

I know it's not an option for someone selling products, but I find putting packing tape over a label keeps it looking lovely in the shower! 

Dear readers, please share your thoughts on how you make labels! I'm sure you have something wonderful to add to this conversation!

Related posts:
Aesthetics of our products - label making
Creating products: Labelling

Join us tomorrow as we enjoy making more things with gel, like our gelled toner!


Kelli Spears said...

This is a suggestion for Kristen.

Go to the Avery website and download their Design Pro app. There are 2 different ones to choose from. One requires you to have Microsoft Office and the other does not. Avery makes all kinds and sizes of peel-off label sheets that are sold in office supply stores. They can be harder to work with if your printer feeds funny and the label design doesn't line up with the box on the sheet. I tried these years ago and they didn't work for me. I have about 12 different products I make and I needed to be able to design the size of my labels for the bottles/jars I use. So now I buy my label sheets from in packs of 100 and I always get Premium Water Resistant sheets. They are full size 8 1/2 x 11 with a double perforation on the back side. With the Avery program you can decide what size you want your labels, insert pictures, put a colored box around it and basically come up with your own design for your labels. You can also create custom sizes which is what I do for round labels that I want to create to fit any size jar lid. Creating your own unique labels is a lot of fun! Then just print out your sheet and cut them. I use a rotary cutter except for round ones. Peel off the back and stick them on. (Tip: take a cotton ball and apply some alcohol and wipe off the outside of the bottle before you apply your label. Then they will stay stuck on everywhere evenly)
These labels are really professional and the water resistant paper really does hold onto the ink. I've held a label under running water and the color did not bleed. Just make sure you get the appropriate paper for your type of printer. (injet or laser) You will also want to practice printing a label design to experiment with and adjust the ink volume that your printer puts out. That way you don't get too much ink saturation or it will take a minute or two for the ink to fully dry on the paper. I can print a couple labels on a sheet and immediately stick it back in the rear tray and print more because of the paper type choice and saturation level I use on my printer. You will have to sacrifice a couple sheets to practice. As an example, I can print 8 different labels on one sheet. The size works for 4 of my products, face labels and ingredients labels.
You can buy those labels just like the website name says, by the individual sheet. That way you can buy some to experiment and see if they work for you before you buy in quantity like I do.
I really hope this information helps you and maybe more people out there. Labels can be a tricky part of your process. Even if you are just giving your products to friends and family and not selling, you want them to look professional.

Clive said...

Regarding LABELS:
If you want to look professional and grow your sales, then you need a professional label. For my first products I used an Inkjet printer and this was useless for bathroom products because the labels deteriorated with damp.
Then I used a colour laser printer to print on clear vinyl. This was a lot better - set the laser really hot for transparencies - but even so, the print is not as permanent as it should be.
Best of all: Design a label or have one designed and have a print shop print them. It only costs me around $15 for 100 professionally printed labels on "Mactac" white self-adhesive plastic and the labels are equal to any commercial product in stores.

melian1 said...

i use Design Pro and it makes great labels, is easy to use, and it has got a free version available. (just google Design Pro). i've found that if i spray the finished labels with a clear acrylic (available at walmart, various craft stores, paint stores,etc) and let them dry (right on the label sheet), they don't run or have issues. there are several good places on the web to get sheets of labels in every size and shape you want. i like Labels By The Sheet (can google) but there are several to choose from, including elements bath and body, iirc.

if you're going pro, i imagine having them printed by a company would be more cost-effective, but for me, using Design Pro and my own printer (ink-jet) works beautifully.

melian1 said...

@clive: i googled "mactac" but i didn't see a page where i could read about their label printing and so on. is there a link we could click on that you use?

the time is coming when i'll have at least one item that i'm not still changing and adjusting. that's when a professionally printed label would be nice to have.

Clive said...

@melian1: Mac Tac is a plastic film used by the print industry. You can't buy it in stores, it comes in great big sheets that the print shops use.
In the bad old days you'd have to get plates made up and have a minimum amount of around 1000 labels.
Now, modern print shops can take your Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or (even) jpg file, and print 100 great quality peel-and-stick labels for you, in my case it costs around $15 per hundred for a full colour label on a 2 oz. cosmetic pot. They are quick to apply, waterproof, and as professional as the labels on products in your pharmacy. Best of all, they come pre-cut so they peel off super easily.
One thing: You need to design the labels on a curve if its for cosmetic pots. I think labels are super important, you want your presentation to be indistinguishable from 100% professional. It builds your image.

Monique said... sell waterproof labels for a good price. Works very well and comes in different sizes.

Kirsten Warner said...

Thanks so much for all your comments, it's very helpful indeed. I'm grateful and love the blog Susan, it's extraordinary! Kirsten

Sarah said...

For my waterproof labels and cheaper printing of small amounts of labels I use a Xerox Colorqube printer. The ink is actually solid wax blocks which makes it perfectly waterproof.

For larger or more professional printed labels, but also for those that are ink intensive, why not look on ebay. There are loads of professional printing companies now selling printed color stickers by the meter, which means you can get hundred of labels done super cheaply.

The great joy of this is that previously if you wanted a certain size or shape label, you would have to have a special die made to cut the shape out which was very costly. Nowadays many print companies print using digital systems that can sit at the same time with no die system. It saves a fortune, but even better it means you can have as many beautifully shaped labels or even very intricately shaped label edges as you can fit onto a meter sheet all printed for one fixed low price.

Also check if the labels are permanent or removable as I much prefer the removable. If a label is slightly off centre, you can just lift it and replace it perfectly without leaving glue or having to chisel the darned thing off again :D
Hope this helps

Anna said...

Thank you Susan for answering my question about humectants. I really, really appreciate it!

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

I found that panthenol is stickier to my skin - I use it at 5% (simply because I once bought a 1L 100% panthenol bottle, thick as Dimethicone 60.000 cs! and I constantly make a 75% dilutionl, so I can afford to use plenty! )

also, hydrolized oats and wheat seem to stick on my skin too :)

ME G said...