Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How do you know you've found a good recipe? Christmas edition

I'm seeing a lot of really - hmm, how do I say this without sounding really mean? - less than awesome recipes out there on the Interwebs for products you could give at Christmas. I'm seeing recipes for lotions with no emulsifiers, body butters composed entirely of coconut oil (more about this below), or products with very high pH levels for hair made from liquid cold process soaps like castille.

I think what I find really frustrating is that I see these horrible recipes linked on Pinterest, Flipboard, Craft magazine, or other outlets that have large readerships, while they ignore with tried and true recipes from places like the Soap Queen, Adventures with the Sage, the Dish forum, or (may I say it) my blog. (I know part of it has to do with affiliations and advertising, and I know the compilers of "23 great homemade gifts to make this season" haven't tried a single thing on that list, but it's still frustrating!)

I really encourage you to read this post - how can you tell if it's a good recipe? - for more information on determining if you have a good recipe or not. 

Related posts:
Avoid these recipes if you find them on Pinterest?
Creating products: Choosing your recipe
Lotions: Is it a good recipe?

Why shouldn't we use coconut oil as the primary oil in an anhydrous or oil only product? (For more information check out these posts - Why don't we use coconut oil in sugar scrubs? and Making a coconut oil whipped butter.Coconut oil melts at 76˚F or 24˚C, which is a very easy temperature to reach in a warm bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, or car and very easy to reach in a pocket or purse. This lovely product you've spent so long making will melt into a puddle of oily liquid that can pour all over that lovely purse or car seat, or end up oozing all over your floor or the back of your toilet! If you really want to use coconut oil, use it in small amounts - say 10% to 25% in an all oil product - with another butter with a higher melting point. (This isn't applicable to products that contain water, like lotions.)

Where can you find great Christmas recipes? Check out the blogs I reference above. You can find lovely things there. Or check out these posts on my blog...

Links to all my Christmas posts
It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas! Suggestions and ideas!
A few thoughts about making Christmas presents

3 comments:

Cid Nelson said...

Thanks very much, Swifty! Until I found your blog and started to study formulating, I was guilty of making a few nonsense recipes. (I hope I don't offend anyone; I just call such recipes "nonsense" in the truest sense -- they make no sense!) However, I used those products for myself or gave them to tolerant friends.

I think nonsense recipes fall into two camps: those that are just ineffective, and those that can be harmful. Ineffective products are disappointing and a waste of good ingredients. Unsafe products are a whole other ballgame, and they worry me the most. Again, thank you for being our champion!

Cid

Leslie said...

Thank you for this post. Everyone should be using preservatives for their products. The lab I work at tests food products among other things, and it is kinda scary what can be found in plant based foods. Love your blog!
Leslie

Diva Soap said...

I freak out every time I find a deficient recipe,meaning preservative- free. Sometime I'd comment politely, pointing that the recipe wasn't safe, but I don't do that any more. I'm getting an impression-as much as I try to 'enlighten' all those I freak out every time I find a deficient recipe,meaning preservative- free. Sometime I'd comment politely, pointing that the recipe wasn't safe, but I don't do that any more. I'm getting an impression-as much as I try to 'enlighten' as the recipe creators,as seekers,who are endlessly grateful for the flawed recipe,those posts multiply themselves,lol!