Saturday, July 18, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Using alcohol in room sprays? What does cherry kernel oil smell like?

Thanks, Ida, for your anhydrous cleansing balm recipe (which can be found in the comments section of this post)! And thanks Ella for your review of the leave in conditioner. And thanks Marcia for the review of the less greasy hand lotion! Email me at and tell me which e-book you want!

Do you want to leave a review of a recipe you've made on this blog? Check out this post, and you could win the e-book of your choice! 

In this post, Toner becomes other sprays, Stacy asks: Regarding making a room spray: I see many brands in stores/online with ingredients using: distilled water, vodka, essential oils, OR distilled water, vegetable glycerin, essential oils. I rarely see any with any kind of preservative. Here are my questions:
1 - Is a preservative required? (I understand preservatives are necessary in anything made with water, but since I hardly see any recipes for room sprays with one, I wondered if it's still needed for this type of product, as opposed to a cream or lotion)?
2 - What is the role of vegetable glycerin in a room spray? 
3 - Can witch hazel be used in place of vodka/alcohol (or can the glycerin take its place)?

Whenever we have water in a product, we need to have a preservative. However, when we have alcohol in a recipe, it can behave as a preservative when it's over a certain amount, 20% to 25. (Reference: Making Cosmetics.)

I have no idea why you would include glycerin in a room spray, to be honest. Any thoughts?

You could use witch hazel or any other liquid in place of the alcohol or water, but there really isn't a point when it comes to a room spray. Water, emulsifier, fragrance/essential oil, and preservative are really all you need. I don't like using alcohol for a number of reasons - mainly because I can smell the alcohol and it ruins the fragrance for me - but it is a good choice for a room spray because it disperses well.

In this post on cherry kernel oil, Ashley asks: I was wondering if the cherry kernel oil has a scent? I've read that cherry, apricot, peach, and other kernel oils smell like almonds, and I am trying to find out which one has the strongest scent.

I have to be honest here: I really don't like the smell, so I'm a bad person to ask! So I'll put it to you, my wonderful readers. What does cherry kernel oil smell like to you?

In this post, Aloe vera, Mohke asks: Question, has anyone found adding aloe juice in place of the water (say 60%) has made their lotion feel sticky? I'm narrowing down my sticky ingredients to trouble shoot. I just purchased this aloe juice from Lotioncrafter. 

Yes, aloe vera can feel sticky, which is why I generally use it at no more than 20% in my products. (I generally use it at 10% in the heated water phase...)

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!


Leann said...

The only emulsifiers with water I've tried for room sprays are surfactants such as polysorbates. Is there something better that isn't sticky?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Leann. I've found most of the solubilizers are sticky, but I do like PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil as it's less sticky than the others. Caprylyl/capryl glucoside is incredibly sticky! The bottle stuck to my wooden tabletop and I had to rip it off!

I have done comparisons of all of these solubilizers on the blog. I think if you click on the label "solubilizers" you'll see those comparisons!