Tuesday, July 28, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Water soluble shea butter

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I like water soluble olive oil! It gives me a chance to add some moisturizing to products that normally wouldn't contain oils, like body washes or toners. Today's favourite ingredient is similar to yesterday's - water soluble shea butter (INCI: PEG-50 shea butter). Like the water soluble olive oil we met yesterday, water soluble shea butter is an esterified oil that has been modified to make it more hydrophilic or water loving. We can use it in many different products from body washes to shampoos, toners to facial cleansers, and we can do it without using an emulsifier to make sure the oil stays in the formulation.

25% SMC taurate or other really gentle surfactant
15% Amphosol CG
12% lavender or chamomile hydrosol
18% water
10% aloe vera
up to 5% glycerin
3% hydrolyzed proteins of choice
5% water soluble shea butter

5% honeyquat or condition-eze 7
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative

5% Crothix
2 to 4% 60/100 jojoba beads

Mix together all the ingredients in the heated water phase. Heat to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. When the mixture is at 45˚C, add the cool down phase. Let cool to room temperature, then add Crothix at 1% at a time, mixing after every addition, to ensure the product is thickened to your liking. Add the jojoba beads - or other exfoliating ingredient - and mix well. Bottle, then rejoice! 

You can substitute water soluble shea for any of the recipes from yesterday's post or you can substitute any of the recipes from today with water soluble olive oil.

Related recipes:
Gelled after shave with minimally processed ingredients
Cucumber extract in an apres shaving spray
Maxed out toner for dry skin
Creamy exfoliating facial cleanser for dry skin
Formulating a body wash for dry skin
Low surfactant cleanser with oat surfactant
Extra hydrating body wash
Modifying the body wash with esters
Japanese themed body wash with esters

Monday, July 27, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Water soluble olive oil

I love love love water soluble oils! Water soluble oils are oils that have been esterified to become more water soluble. Some of them can be used as emulsifiers - like Cromollient SCE - but all of them can be used in water only creations, like body washes or shampoos.

One of my favourites is water soluble olive oil (INCI: PEG-7 olivate), also known as olive oil esters.

PEG-7 olivate is an odourless and clear to pale yellow ingredient with a pH of 5 to 7, an HLB of 11, and a shelf life of three years. It's soluble in water and alcohol and dispersible in oils. It can be used as a light solubilizer for other ingredients like essential or fragrance oils, and it plays well with gels! Although it's a light feeling ester, it isn't a non-greasy one like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or IPP, and won't reduce the feeling of greasiness in your products. (If you use PEG-7 olivate instead of olive oil in your creations, it will feel lighter and less greasy than the same product with olive oil, but it doesn't feel less greasy on its own.)

I am a huge fan of this ester because you can use it in just about everything! It's used as an emollient, lubricant, anti-irritant, solubilizer, and thickener. It won't reduce foaming in your lathery surfactant products, and it will offer slightly creamier feeling suds, emolliency, and "oil free" moisturizing. It also acts as a thickener, although the thickening I've experienced has been very minor and I wouldn't consider it a true thickener like Crothix or glycol distearate. In my experience, it will thicken water based products, like toners or make-up removers slightly. And as an anti-irritant, it will increase the mildness of your foamy surfactants to make for a more gentle facial or body cleanser.

PEG-7 olivate is a fantastic inclusion in hair care products - shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, styling gels - as an "oil free" moisturizer. You can use it in your cleansers as an additional cleansing ingredient - it's safe for your eyes! - and you can use it in toners or water based body sprays to increase the emolliency. You can use this in a moisturizer as your oil portion to create an "oil free" moisturizer.

51.5% water
2% honeyquat
3% PEG 7 olivate (water soluble olive oil)
10% SMC Taurate (liquid)
8% Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile
3% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative (Liquid Germall Plus)
1% fragrance or essential oil (optional)

Mix together. Package in foamy bottle. Rejoice.

Related recipes:
Using PEG-7 olivate in body wash recipes
Using PEG-7 olivate in shampoo recipes
Oil free gel moisturizer
Formulating an eye gel - version 2
Recipe round up: Make-up removers
Using PEG-7 olivate in a body wash (again!)
Foamer bottle facial cleanser
Combining esters in a leave in conditioner
Creamy exfoliating facial cleansers for different skin types
Another foamy facial cleanser recipe
3-in-1 body wash and shampoo 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A few administrative things for a video game filled Saturday!

For the record, my recipes are pH balanced. Unless you're adding something really alkaline or really acidic, you shouldn't need to alter them. If you need to alter the pH of something, those strips really aren't great at testing anything accurate. I encourage you to get a pH meter if you're going to be altering the pH of your products regularly.

If you'd like to know more, please check out this post on testing your pH with tons of links

As a quick note, I answer comments and messages in the order in which they are received. You don't need to send your message to me repeatedly to get my attention. You're on my radar - I'm just really backed up at the moment. I can respond to quick messages during the week, but if you're asking for more than a few minutes of my time, you'll have to wait for the weekend for a more detailed response.

Please contribute your thoughts to this post - what's your favourite thing? The more ideas you contribute, the more I can write!

And please contribute to the blog by leaving a review of a recipe you've made! People who write up recipes may win an e-book of your choice!

I better run! We have Rated T for Teen video club today at 1:30 and I can't wait for today's Mid-Summer Day's Massacre!

Friday, July 24, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Chamomile extract

I love love love chamomile extract! You can find it in a few different versions - essential oil, water soluble powdered extract, and hydrosol. I prefer the powdered extract and hydrosol as I can't really stand the smell of the stuff. I think it smells a bit earthy and musty, which is something I just can't tolerate in my products. As the powder is less expensive than the hydrosol, I tend to go with it, unless there's a place where I'm worried about colouring. It can make a lotion go a bit beige at 0.5% in the cool down phase.

Why do I like chamomile so much? It's a great anti-inflammatory (an anti-phlogistic, meaning it reduces inflammation and fever), as well as being a good anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic, and wound healer. I've seen claims it might ameliorate the look of UV damaged skin and reduce stinging and irritation. And it can reduce transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours, which means it's a fantastic addition to any product for all skin types!

You can use water soluble powdered chamomile extract in any product that contains water soluble ingredients. It's a great addition to a toner, lotion, cleanser, body wash, and so on.

This is my favourite body wash recipe, but it's a bit complicated, so let's see if we can make something with fewer ingredients that's just as awesome as this one!

As it's getting harder to get ACI and I can't access polyglucose/lactylate blend any more, I'll have to find two gentle and moisturizing surfactant blends in their place. I think I'll choose SMC or SMO taurate to replace the ACI as it's a nice mild blend with good foam and lather. I'll use that at 10% in the heated water phase.

As a note, I could use solid SCI in its place as it has all those great qualities I love in ACI, but it's a pain to melt. When I have offered recipes with SCI in a body wash in the past, people have complained that they didn't get the same results at home, and I would hate to offer you a recipe that won't work for everyone, so I'm not using SCI here. If you wish to use it, use it at up to 10%, heat it with the other surfactants before adding the water, and be careful what thickeners you add to the mix as it will thicken things up nicely! 

I think I'll use BSB in place of the polyglucose/lactylate blend. BSB is a blend I get from Voyageur Soap & Candle that contains a lot of different ingredients. BSB stands for "baby safe blend", so you can use any baby blend you find at your local supplier's shop. If you can't find it, use any surfactant you have in your workshop!

I like to have a cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or honeyquat in my body washes to film form and moisturize. If you don't have this, leave it out and add 3% to the distilled water amount. I also like to have a hydrolyzed protein of some sort in my product to add extra film forming and moisturizing. I'm going to use hydrolyzed oat protein in this recipe, but you could use any other one you like here.  And I have to have some kind of humectant in the product. Glycerin is always my first choice for a body wash. It not only offers moisturizing to your skin, but it makes your foam and lather more fluffy! It's a two-for-one kind of ingredient!

You can add a water soluble oil to this body wash at up to 10% in the heated water phase. If you do this, remove 10% from the water phase to have the recipe balance out!

10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% SMC or SMO taurate
20% BSB
21.5% distilled water
14% aloe vera
11% chamomile hydrosol
5% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein of some sort
3% polyquat 7

0.5% powdered chamomile extract
2% panthenol (liquid)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (white chocolate - yum!)
(additional) up to 5% liquid Crothix

Combine all the surfacants into a container and mix well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, taking care not to create too many bubbles. Let come to room temperature and check the viscosity. If it isn't thick enough, add 1% Crothix. Mix well. Add another 1% Crothix at a time and mix after each inclusion up to 5% Crothix.

Related recipes:
Dry skin body lotion with chamomile extract and hydrosol
Six ingredient body butter - evening primrose, oats, and chamomile body butter
Modifying the six ingredient body butter with chamomile and evening primrose
Six ingredient lotion - evening primrose, oats, and chamomile lotion
Modified shaving lotion
Facial cleanser with a ton of extracts
Modifying the low surfactant cleanser
Formulating a body wash for dry skin
After shave gel
Cucumber extract in an apres shaving toner
Under eye gel
Facial moisturizer with chamomile extract

Thursday, July 23, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Pumpkin seed oil

I'm a huge fan of pumpkin seed oil for a number of reasons. It's an inexpensive oil that's easy to find at many suppliers' shops. It has a nice balance of oleic and linoleic fatty acids with some nice levels of Vitamin E. It has a decent shelf life, and doesn't have a strong smell. It is a light to medium feeling sort of greasy feeling oil that feels very nice on my skin.

This one is a staple in my workshop. Some oils come and go from my workshop depending upon price and shelf life, but pumpkin oil is always there (along with soy bean oil and rice bran oil). I like the way it feels in just about any product in which I could add some oils.

You can use pumpkin seed oil in any recipe that requires an oil. (Question: Can you substitute one oil for another?) Try it wherever you might use rice bran, sesame seed, or olive oil.

I really like it in my emulsified scrubs as it offers a nice, less greasy feeling after rinsing. I use it in lotions and whipped butters. I use it in cuticle balms and sugar scrub bars. Yep, this is one of those oils I use in everything!

10% Rita BTMS-225
10% cetyl alcohol
20% cocoa butter
56% pumpkin oil
1% Phenonip
1% Vitamin E
2% fragrance oil
add sugar to preference as per the notes below...

Weigh all ingredients except the fragrance or essential oil in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70C. Remove from the double boiler and put into your fridge or freezer until it reaches 45C. Add the fragrance oil, then return it to the fridge or freezer to cool further.

When the mixture starts to harden slightly on the sides of the container and gets a thick film on the top, remove it from the fridge or freezer and start whipping it with a hand mixer with whisk attachments or your Kitchenaid with whisk attachments. Whisk until it looks like chocolate pudding - this might take a little while - then add the sugar and whisk until well incorporated. Pour into jars and let sit until hardened.

If you want to use this for a body scrub, start with 100 grams of sugar per 100 grams of sugar scrub. You can increase it as high as 200 grams for 100 grams of sugar scrub - it depends upon your taste (I like it really scrubby, so I go for 170 to 200 grams per 100 grams of sugar scrub.) If you are using another exfoliant, you'll really have to play with it to see what you like.

Please note, you can substitute a variety of different emulsifiers for the Ritamulse BTMS-225, including Incroquat BTMS-50, Incroquat BTMS-25, Polawax, and e-wax, to name a few. Just use your chosen emulsifier at 10% as noted in the recipe above.

Related recipes:
Sugar scrub bars
Emulsified scrub
Whipped butter
Cuticle balm with Lipidthix
Making a light lotion
Zinc oxide lotion 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Volumizing complex

I've been using the Volumizing Complex from the Formulator Sample Shop* in my leave in conditioner for quite a few years, and I won't make a leave in without it!

The INCI for this product is Water & Rice Amino Acids & Lactobacillus/Date Fruit Ferment Extract & Polyperfluoroethoxymethoxy Difluorethyl PEG Phosphate. The rice amino acids will work like hydrolyzed proteins as film formers and moisturizers with the smaller form being able to penetrate our hair shaft, the lactobacillus/date fruit ferment extract is something I have to study further, but it's the poly...thingie...phosphate that interests me the most! But I'm having trouble finding more information about this ingredient! (Click here for the data sheet!)

I found this in Cosmetics Business magazine about this ingredient. "It is claimed that the amino acids penetrate the cuticle, adding moisture and improving the strength of hair. The fluorinated material is said to bind to the hair, giving it bounce and volume, and the enzyme material converts saturated fatty acids in and on the hair into unsaturated fatty acids with a lower melting point, and these add shine and smoothness." This sounds really good, but notice the words "it is claimed..." or "is said...", which indicate that they're pretty much reporting a press release, not a study. Amino acids are good for our hair as film formers, and the enzyme material (the lactobacillus part) could be great for converting stuff, but this isn't evidence. The impression I get is that the poly-thingie-phosphate is a bit like Teflon for your hair - the hairs won't stick to each other, giving you more volume. (Don't quote me on that! It's just a thought...)

In a search, when I found products that used this ingredient, they were generally aimed at the curly haired amongst us. It is advertised as being good for curl retention and volume. It should be used in the cool down phase at 1% to 5%.

1% Incroquat BTMS-50
1% Incroquat CR
2% cetrimonium chloride

80% distilled water
0.5% polyquat 44

2% panthenol (liquid)
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
3% volumizing complex
2% kera straightening
3% lycopene bioferment
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (white chocolate from Voyageur Soap & Candle)

Use the general conditioner making instructions for this product.

Don't know what these ingredients are? Check out the hair care products section of the blog to learn more! If you don't have an ingredient, check out that section to see what you could use instead! 

I really feel a difference in my hair when I use this ingredient. People notice that my hair looks curlier and I find that it feels less coarse. I do feel that it is better moisturized when using this ingredient than without. This is definitely one of my favourite things!

*Please note that I receive free samples of ingredients from the Formulator Sample Shop. I am not obgliated to write about them, nor do I feel I have to be nice in my reviews of the ingredients. I really like this ingredient, and wanted to share it with you! 

Related recipes:
Leave in conditioner with volumizing complex
Experiments in the workshop: Leave in with lycopene bioferment

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Foaming proteins

I've been experimenting with foaming protein surfactants over the last two years, and I still can't figure out which one is my favourite! I started with foaming silk surfactant (also click here), then foaming oat surfactant, then foaming rice surfactant, and recently foaming soy protein surfactant. These surfactants are foamy and lathery cleaning ingredients we can use in our cleansers, body washes, shampoos, or other thing intended to remove dirt and oil. They are very mild cleansers that are great for sensitive and dry skin, but you can use them for any skin type. Some of them are positively charged - like the soy - meaning they will be substantive or leave a light film on your skin or hair after rinsing.

I'm currently experimenting with these surfactants in micellar waters, and they are nice at lower levels of usage.

39% distilled water
20% chamomile hydrosol
15% witch hazel
10% foaming soy surfactant
5% cocamidopropyl betaine

5% honey matte
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
0.5% liquid Germall plus

Combine the heated phase in a heat proof container, like a Pyrex jug, and put into a double boiler and heat until it reaches 70˚C. Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70˚C. Remove from the heat and replace the water that might have evaporated. Mix and allow to cool to 45˚C before adding the cool down phase. Add the cool down phase, mix well, then let cool to room temperature before bottling in a foamer bottle. This is very thin, so you really do need a foamer bottle for it. If you want to try thickening it with something like Crothix, you may thicken it slightly, but it will still be a very watery product because I don't have a lot of surfactants in it.

I'm not kidding when I say a 100 ml batch lasts me a few months. I made the last batch in October and just ran out! Only make a small batch of this - 100 grams - at a time!

Recipes with foaming proteins...
Creating a foaming rice protein cleanser
Creating a low surfactant facial cleanser
Modifying the cleanser with foaming oat protein
Another foaming silk cleanser recipe
Creating a foaming soy cleanser

Monday, July 20, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Niacinamide

I am finding I'm using niacinamide more and more in my products lately. It's not just for facial products for me; I'm finding use for it in body butters as well!

The claims for niacinamide are pretty substantial and they are backed up by studies and good science. Studies have shown that 2% in a facial moisturizer can increase skin's keratin, ceramides, and barrier lipids which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. 2% can result in a 23% reduction in sebum production and pore diameter. It can reduce hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. And it can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there's a lack of irritation and redness on our faces ('cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and "pebbling" or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin's barrier functions.

It is a water soluble, heat tolerant ingredient, so I've been using it in the heated water phase of my products. I really like it in toners and facial moisturizers, as well as body lotion products. It's an inexpensive ingredient that goes a very long way! (I'm loving this body wash I made with it a while ago, too!)

73.5% distilled water
10% peppermint hydrosol
5% calendula extract (water soluble)
2% niacinamide

5% liquid cucumber extract
2% panthenol
2% MoisturPlex Advanced
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Heat the distilled water, peppermint hydrosol, calendula extract, and niacinamide to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. We'll want to compensate for condensation as we heated the heated phase, so measure all the ingredients and container before you heat it, and measure it when you remove it from the heat. Add enough water to get back to the original weight. Let this cool down to 45˚C. The add the cool down phase and mix well.  Cool down to room temperature, then pour into a bottle for use. I like to use a spray bottle or mister so I can spray it on my face, but feel free to use any clean and unused bottle with any kind of cap.

Products that contain niacinamide...
Making a water-in-silicone serum
Creating a body butter for colder, drier months

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What's your favourite thing?

As you may have noticed, I've started a series about my favourite ingredients last week, and I thought I'd ask you what you like! What's your favourite ingredient? Do you have a preferred product in which you like to use it? If it's a not-so-common ingredient, could you include a link to it in your comment? I'd love to do more research and create some recipes for those ingredients you love!

In case you're wondering, these are mini cupcakes from the store, Cupcakes, which can be found all over the Lower Mainland, B.C. We finally have one in the Fraser Valley at High Street, and Raymond treated to our family a dozen! If you're in Abbotsford, also check out Tracycakes, which is also awesome. (I think I prefer Tracycakes. They do a cupcake high tea, which is incredible!) 

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 sjbarclay@telus.net 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!

Friday, July 17, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Incroquat BTMS-50

I love Incroquat BTMS-50, the positively charged conditioning agent that behaves as an emulsifier as well as a hair conditioner! Because it's an emulsifier, it can be used in water containing and non-water containing products. It can be used to make hair conditioners as well as lotions, body butters, and every other emulsified product you can think to make.

As an emulsifier, it offers a more powdery, drier, less greasy feeling for lotions when compared to Polawax or e-wax. It can be used at a lower rate than you would use Polawax or e-wax, and it generally makes for slightly thicker products than those emulsifiers. It is fantastic at emulsifying silicones, like cyclomethicone or dimethicone, so it's great for facial moisturizers where you might include these ingredients.

As a hair conditioner, it's super easy to use. Adding it to hot water will make you a conditioner with very little effort! You can add a ton of oils and silicones to your recipe and a bit of Incroquat BTMS-50 will be enough to emulsify them.

1% BTMS-50
1% Incroquat CR
2% cetrimonium chloride

80% distilled water
0.5% polyquat 44

2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
3% volumizing complex
2% kera straightening
3% lycopene bioferment
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (generally White Chocolate)

Use the general conditioner making instructions for this recipe.

Posts with recipes using Incroquat BTMS-50:
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 - a summary of loads of recipes here!
Hair care products - loads of conditioners and leave in conditioners

How do we make substitutions with emulsifiers? Incroquat BTMS-50
How do we replace BTMS-50 with BTMS-25?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Hydrolyzed proteins

I love love love hydrolyzed proteins of all sorts! They are water soluble proteins that offer film forming, hydrating, and moisturizing. They can make your products feel silkier and glidier, and can make your skin feel nicer and more moisturized. Some are small enough to penetrate your skin, moisturizing from within, and others form a film to moisturize that way. They can increase the mildness of surfactant mixes for face, skin, and hair.

For years, my go-to protein has been hydrolyzed oat protein, but lately I've been trying a bunch of different ones, including hydrolyzed silk protein, lupine protein, pisum sativum peptide, and keratin hydrolysate, to name a few.

How to use a hydrolyzed protein? You can use them in the heated water phase of just about any product for your hair and skin. They are water soluble, so you can't add it to things like balms or whipped butters without including an emulsifier. I like to use hydrolyzed proteins in my conditioners, leave in conditioners, body washes, facial cleansers, under eye gels, moisturizers, lotions, and just about everything else.

From this post...

10% cocamidopropyl betaine
15% ACI
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% water
10% rosemary hydrosol
10% witch hazel
10% aloe vera
0.5% polyquat 44
2% cetrimonium chloride
3% glycerin
2% lupine amino acids
2% PEG-7 olivate
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol
1% fragrance oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus (preservative)
1.5% liquid white willow bark extract

Mix the surfactants and water in a suitably large container and mix well with a fork until it is all gooey and not looking like water with some stuff in it. (Try not to get too many bubbles in the mix, as it can take days for it to come out!) Mix all the rest of the ingredients. If you want this to be thicker, you can add 1% Crothix, then mix well. Add another if it needs it, mix well, and so on until you reach no more than 5% Crothix. If it is still too runny, you can put it in a pump bottle to make it easier to use.

You can use powdered proteins in powdered products, like this finishing powder.

FINISHING POWDER (by volume, not weight)
3 tbsp treated serecite
1 tsp micronospheres
1/5 tsp or 6 scoops calcium carbonate or kaolin clay (for oil control, optional)
1/5 tsp or 6 scoops powdered silk

(A scoop is 0.15 cc.) Mix together and put in an appropriate container.

Related recipes with hydrolyzed proteins:
Making a body wash for dry skin
More body washes for dry skin
Men's body wash!
Pisum sativum and coconut oil conditioner
Coconut oil rinse off conditioner
Formulating for dry skin: Toners
Toners for the oily skin type
Conditioning shampoo for dry hair 
Conditioning shampoo for oily hair

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Allantoin

Games of Thrones and tiny blonde puppies; symphonic, heavy, and power metal; lotions that stay emulsified and clean, these are a few of my favourite things! 

Someone asked me to share my favourite ingredients and why, so join me over the next few days for a few things I can't live without and some recipes highlighting them!

Allantoin. I love this powder so much. It offers so much for such a tiny amount, and it's inexpensive. It's a fantastic skin protectant that softens skin (it's a keratolytic, meaning it causes the keratin to soften), causes rapid cell regeneration and proliferation, and is approved by the FDA to temporarily prevent and protect chafed, chapped, cracked, or windburned skin by speeding up the natural processes of the skin and increasing the water content.

How to use it? It is a water soluble ingredient that does well in the heated water phase of your product. (I know some people swear by using it in the cool down phase, but I've found that using it in the heated phase works very well!) It's used in skin care products - there's no point to using it in hair care products as it offers no benefits there, except maybe for the scalp.

I use it in lotions, moisturizers, toners, cleansers, and anything where I need some kind of skin protecting. I especially like it in this hand protectant lotion! I like it in mineral make-up as well, like in this finishing powder.

FINISHING POWDER (by volume, not weight)
3 tbsp treated serecite mica
1 tsp micronospheres (optional)
1/5 tsp or 6 scoops calcium carbonate or kaolin clay (for oil control, optional)
1/5 tsp or 6 scoops powdered silk (optional, but very nice)
2 scoops allantoin (up to 3 scoops)

Mix together well. Put in an appropriate container.

Yes, I know I go on and on about using weighted measurements for things, but these things are so light, they don't weigh well even on my tiny scale. To learn more about weighted measurements, click here for that post in the FAQ

Here are a few recipes for products that contain allantoin. I suggest doing a search for allantoin on the blog as there are so many recipes in which I've used this ingredient, it's easier to do a search for the specific product that interests you.

Body butter becomes foot cream
Body lotion for my mom with Ritamulse SCG
Moisturizer with Ritamulse SCG
After shave lotion
Toner for acne prone skin

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Modifying men's moisturizers!

Last Friday we created the pomegranate and witch hazel moisturizer for men's skin.  and yesterday we made a green tea & bamboo facial moisturizer. Let's modify the first moisturizer further from being a six ingredient moisturizer to one with some fancier ingredients. It's incredibly easy to go nuts adding things to a moisturizer, so I'll try to be a bit restrained (ha!)

The first thing I want to add to Friday's moisturizer is a humectant, something that will draw water from the atmosphere to our skin. I'm going to choose sodium lactate at 2.5% for this product because not only will it hydrate our skin, but it can increase skin's barrier repair mechanisms, decrease transepidermal water loss, increase skin's elasticity, and behave as a mild AHA or exfoliant. At 3% it can make us more sun sensitive, so I'll keep it below that at 2.5%.

I think I'll add some bamboo isoflavones to this product as I did yesterday- click there and scroll down a bit for more information - as they will behave like a water soluble silicone. If you don't have this, you could add 2% dimethicone into the cool down phase or use broccoli oil at some amount in the heated oil phase. (I hate broccoli with a passion, so I haven't tried this oil!)

Chamomile would be a great inclusion as reduces transepidermal water loss and helps with inflammation. You can use it as a powdered extract at 0.5% in the cool down phase, as a hydrosol at 10% or more in the heated water phase, or at up to 1% essential oil in the cool down phase. Because I don't want a smell and I don't want the colour from the powdered extract, I'll use 10% in the heated water phase.

Powdered honeysuckle extract sounds like it would be a great inclusion for a men's moisturizer as it soothes irritated skin and reduces redness. Let's add this at 0.5% in the cool down phase. Remember to hold back a titch of water - maybe 5 ml or so - to mix with the powder before adding to the lotion.

49% water
15% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
0.5% allantoin
3% lupine protein
2.5% sodium lactate

10% pomegranate oil
4% Incroquat BTMS-50

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% powdered honeysuckle extract
3% panthenol
2% bamboo isoflavones

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. You could add a fragrance to this at 0.5% in the cool down phase, if you wish. Essential oils would be nice here, too. I don't fragrance my products for the face as neither me nor my husband like it, but you can, if you wish.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Six ingredient lotions: Green tea & bamboo moisturizer

We created a facial moisturizer for men on Friday with pomegranate oil and witch hazel. Could we make a different version of this? Of course - there are literally thousands of different moisturizers we could make!

When it comes to a man's facial products, we want to formulate something moisturizing and hydrating that will help with shaving nicks and razor burn. We want something that is matte looking and less greasy feeling, that isn't too thick, and that won't result in horrible pimples.

What oil should I use today? I think I'll go with hazelnut oil. It's a less greasy, light feeling oil that isn't that expensive and easy to find. It has a high level of Vitamin E, and its high in phytosterols to help with inflammation and irritation. The comedogenicity rating is low - I've seen it at 0, 1, or 2 on different scales - and it is a long lasting oil.

In our recipe yesterday, we used allantoin at 0.5% as a barrier protectant and skin softener. I'll use this again today because I can't really add cocoa butter to the mix to do the same job as it'll leave that goopy feeling my husband hates.

I could add some dimethicone to the mix or bamboo isoflavones (click and scroll down), which offer a lot of the same features but are water soluble. It is added to the cool down phase to products with a pH of 4 to 7, so it is suitable for our lotions, moisturizers, and hair care products. Bamboo isoflavones are water soluble, so you can add this to products like toners or cleansers where you don't want to include an emulsifier, but want the silky smoothness of dimethicone! Substitute it 1:1 for dimethicone. Dimethicone isn't considered an ingredient that will make you break out, so it could be used in this recipe at up to 3% in the cool down phase to replace up to 3% of your oils. I'm using the bamboo isoflavones because I want to keep my 10% oils and use something water soluble instead.

If you add dimethicone, you don't need to alter the emulsifier as we have enough to compensate for added oils. I think you could go as high as 20% oils with Incroquat BTMS-50 before you have to worry about increasing it. 

I really like chamomile extract for soothing, reducing stinging and irritation, and reducing transepidermal water loss. You could use the essential oil, hydrosol, or powdered extract here. I'm going to use the powdered extract at 0.5% in the cool down phase. I don't like to have any fragrance in my facial products, so the essential oil is right out for me, plus it is really really expensive stuff. If you like it, use it!

Green tea extract is a great addition for any product, and I think it'll be great in this product. We could use it in a number of different ways - oil soluble extract, water soluble extract, and powdered green tea extract, to name a few. Green tea extract is a powerful anti-oxidant that might provide wound and burn healing and may protect collagen and elastin.

Here's the thing about green tea extract powder - it can cause what's called a redox reaction in our lotions, which can mess with our emulsions. (Click here for a longer post on the topic...) I like to go with a water or oil soluble version when I'm making lotions so there's no potential for an epic lotion fail! In this product, I only have a tiny oil phase - 10% plus the emulsifier - and I don't want to lose the awesome properties of hazelnut by only using a bit of each, so I'll go with the water soluble version for this product.

As a note, check the suggested usage rate for your liquid green tea extract. The version I have from Lotioncrafter has a usage rate of up to 2%, while Formulator Sample Shop has a usage rate at up to 10%. Please alter this recipe according to the version you have.

74.5% water
0.5% allantoin
5% water soluble green tea extract

10% hazelnut oil
4% Incroquat BTMS-50

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
5% bamboo isoflavones
0.5% powdered chamomile extract

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. If you wish to use chamomile or another essential oil, please add it at 0.5% or less in the cool down phase and remove 0.5% from the water phase.

This recipe isn't just for men! Women can use it as a moisturizer, too.

Join me tomorrow as we modify this six ingredient lotion like crazy!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Surfactants and fragrances...

I realize these posts are a real blast from the past - they're some of the first ones I wrote in 2009 - but I think it's worth a re-visit to learn more about how fragrance and essential oils will impact your surfactant blends, including shampoos, bubble baths, and body washes.

Fragrances and viscosity
Fragrances and clarity
Essential oils and surfactants

The things to note that is that fragrances can have quite an impact on your surfactant based product. They can thin it, thicken it, make it cloudy, make it clear, and so on. It's hard to predict what will happen without trying it, so make sure you keep really great notes. And make sure you make notes about where that fragrance came from as different companies may have different blends of the same fragrance!

Some will clear up over time - if you mix them too much, you'll get bubbles that can take days or even weeks to get out of your solution - but there's no real way to know other than getting in the workshop and trying it.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Just a bunch o' stuff for a Saturday!

Happy Saturday, everyone! As a quick note, I see your comments on every single post on this blog, going right back to 2008, and I try to answer them all on the weekends. (During the week, I generally don't have time unless I get a few minutes on my lunch hour for something simple.) They might end up as a Weekend Wondering or I'll answer them in the post in which they are asked.

If I haven't answered your comment, there are a few reasons this might be:
1. I missed it. I do get a lot of them, and yours might have been missed in the crowd. If you think this is the case, email me and remind me of your comment! Or comment again! (Thanks for your patience!)
2. It is something that can be easily found in the FAQ or on the newbies page. I might direct you there, but I mostly hope that you get curious and find it yourself.
3. It's something that can be found easily through a search and, again, I hope you get curious enough to do a search.
4. You are a spammer, and the only response you deserve is the mocking laughter of the readers of this blog. (See below for that example...)

Check out melian's comments about how she tests her products for stability. (Click and scroll down!) If you are in business or just curious about how your products will stand up over time and in various temperatures, this is a great experiment! As well, check out what she has to say about her heat & hold method!

Hey, melian! Do you have all the e-books? If not, email me and I'll send you out one of your choice as my thanks for your great sharing! 

Check out Paige's great review about the winter hair custard in this post! Thanks, Paige! What e-book do you want? Email me with your choice!

Want to write a review and have the chance of winning an e-book? Check out this post

Henry Jones wants promotion for his company Orogold. So here's the post I wrote about this product. A summary of my thoughts about Orogold? A basic moisturizer with gold in it because "gold and beauty are words that work well together", which is to say "we use gold because it sounds fancy and we want to make a fortune on our very basic recipe that isn't worth even 1/100th of what you're paying - mwa ha ha ha". If you are thinking of using this product, please read this blog with stories about people's deep unhappiness with this product!

Hey, Henry! How's that for promotion? Want to spam me some more? 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Six ingredient lotions: Pomegranate & witch hazel facial moisturizer for men

It seems like I can't turn around without seeing an ad for men's products these days. From pomades to moustache waxes to moisturizers to beard conditioners, it seems like it's hipper than ever for men to use products. And rightly so! Men like and deserve to be moisturized and protected! I have a whole section for men's products on the blog - check it out here! - but I haven't added to it for a while, and thought it was time to take a look at making a moisturizer for men.

We can generalize about men as much as we can generalize about women, which is to say that we can't. For every man who loves patchouli and musk, there's a guy huffing Clementine cupcake or chocolate. What I have noticed is that guys seem to prefer drier looking and feeling products that don't leave a sheen on the skin, hands, or nails. I go into great detail in this post - and a few posts after it - about how to formulate a drier feeling lotion, which will be the basis for this lotion.

What kind should we make? I wrote about a few products that men might like last week - check out this kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG - so let's make a facial moisturizer!

When it comes to a drier feeling and looking lotion, we have two main choices for emulsifiers: Incroquat BTMS-50 and Ritamulse SCG. Both will produce a less shiny appearing and less greasy feeling product than those formulated with Polawax or e-wax. Although I've already made a drier feeling lotion with Incroquat BTMS-50 in this post, it really is the best choice for this product. Ritamulse SCG would be lovely, but it'll produce a much thicker product than one with BTMS-50, and my husband doesn't want a "goopy feeling" on his face, which this could have as a thicker product. As well, BTMS-50 is a skin conditioner, which means you will get extra moisturizing and a softer feeling face after using this emulsifier!

If you want to modify this with Polawax or e-wax, just use the 4% in the recipe below. Yes, I know it's higher than the 25% rule, but 2.5% emulsifier leads to an unstable product for this recipe! I don't say ask this of you very often, but please just trust me on this! 

The easiest way to keep a lotion feeling less greasy is to choose less greasy feeling oils and esters. As much as I adore soy bean oil, this is not the application for it! For moisturizing one's face, I turn first to the lighter feeling oils like fractionated coconut oil, pomegranate oil, squalane, and so on. For this recipe, I think I'm going to use pomegranate oil because it contains a ton of punicic acid, which has been shown to help regenerate skin cells, offers anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with wind chapped or sun burned skin. It also feels very light and less greasy feeling than some of our other oils.

Seriously, if you haven't tried pomegranate oil yet, I encourage you to do so. It isn't cheap - it's one of the most expensive oils - but it has so much to offer! Just order an ounce or two and try it. I apologize in advance to getting you hooked on it! 

If you don't have pomegranate oil, think about using something very light like the few things I've listed above or an ester. Esters are a great choice. I've made a version of this with cetearyl ethylhexanoate that my husband really liked!

When I'm formulating for men's skin, I think of the damage shaving can cause. It can create nicks and cuts and very tender spots, and I want to do anything I can to help that feel better. One of the first ingredients I turn to is panthenol. This ingredient that we can add to the cool down phase of our products has been shown to help with inflammation, increased wound healing, improving skin's barrier repair mechanisms, and reduces redness. I'll use this as my main humectant at 5% in the cool down phase of my product to help with all those issues.

I also have to think about using non-comedogenic ingredients. My husband hates it that he breaks out from using products. Pomegranate oil is listed as a 0 to 1, so that works.

As a note, the comedogenic scale is not the end all and be all for information on whether you'll break out. It's a good starting point, but it's not for sure you will or will not break out. For instance, I break out with any natural oil or butter, while others can take a bath in cocoa butter and shea butter and feel great. You have to keep records about what bothers your skin! 

I want him to have an occlusive layer on his skin to protect it from the world, but I don't want to use cocoa butter as it will definitely make him feel like he has goop on his face, and it'll likely make him break out. I'm thinking allantoin here as my occlusive ingredient at 0.5% in the heated water phase. Dimethicone might be a nice choice as well, but I'm thinking allantoin will also act as a moisture binder and skin softener.

What else could we use to moisturize that won't feel thick and goopy? Hydrolyzed proteins are a great choice here. I'm thinking I'll use lupine protein because it is drier and silkier feeling (to me) than the other proteins, it offers a reduction in transepidermal water loss, and it can penetrate into our skin. You can use any other protein you have - this is the one I like today!

And finally, I think I'm going to add 15% witch hazel to the mix. This ingredient is both an anti-inflammatory and astringent that has good wound healing effects.

Finally, we'll modify the basic moisturizer recipe with these ingredients to see what we have in the end! (From this post...)

64% water
0.5% allantoin
3% lupine protein
15% witch hazel

10% pomegranate oil
4% Incroquat BTMS-50

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
3% panthenol

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. You could add a fragrance to this at 0.5% in the cool down phase, if you wish. Essential oils would be nice here, too. I don't fragrance my products for the face as neither me nor my husband like it, but you can, if you wish.

How could you modify this? So glad you asked! Join us tomorrow for more fun creating moisturizers!

Related posts:
Men's section of the blog! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Modifying the six ingredient evening primrose, oat & chamomile body butter - oil phase and recipe

Continued from yesterday...

If I want this to be a bit thicker, I could add some cetyl alcohol. It'll increase the glide and slip as well as thickening it. I think I'll use 3% in the heated oil phase. This means I need to increase my emulsifier and reduce the water by the re-calculated amount.

And I think I want some dimethicone in here as another occlusive that will reduce the whitening effect. (You know, that white soapy look you get with some lotions. Learn more about it here!) I'll add it at 2% into the cool down phase. Again, I'll have to reduce my water amount and up my emulsifier.

Iff we're using Polawax, we'll need to add 1.25% more to accomodate 5% more oil. (Polawax is used at 25% of the oil amount. 5% x 0.25 = 1.25%). I'll add that to the heated oil amount, and remove 6.25% from the water amount.

Please note, you cannot use Ritamulse SCG with this recipe as we have over 25% oils. It will fail. Trust me on this!

51% water
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein
2.5% sodium lactate
0.5% allantoin

10% evening primrose oil
14% cocoa butter
3% cetyl alcohol
7.25% Polawax

2% dimethicone
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
0.5% powdered chamomile extract

There's the recipe! We've increased our occlusives - heck, we're using all three approved occlusives in this recipe - and we've added another humectant. There really is no limit as to how you could modify this recipe to include ingredients you have at home. 

Join me tomorrow as we play a bit more with the six ingredient lotion idea when we make a moisturizer for men! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Modifying the six ingredient evening primrose, oat, and chamomile body butter - water phase

As much as I've been enjoying the six ingredient lotions, let's take a moment to look at how you could modify the lotions to include more ingredients that you love. We'll use yesterday's six ingredient evening primrose, oat, and chamomile body butter as our starting recipe.

60.5% water
3% glycerin or other humectant of choice
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

14% cocoa butter
10% evening primrose
6% Polawax

0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
0.5% powdered chamomile extract

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. When you add the powdered chamomile extract, hold a little water back from the heated water phase - say 5 grams or so - to dissolve it before adding.

What could we add to this recipe and how could we do it?

Whenever we add something to a product, we remove the same amount from the water amount. (For more information, please consult this post, which goes into more detail!) Let's say we want to include 10% aloe vera in this body butter. We would remove 10% from the water amount  - so we'd have 50.5% water and 10% aloe vera in the heated water phase. If we wanted to add 0.5% powdered green tea exract to the cool down phase, we'd remove 0.5% from the water amount, so we'd have 60% water in the heated water phase. If we wanted to add more oil to this product - let's say 4% more evening primrose oil - we have to remove that 4% from the water amount - meaning we have now 56.5% water - and add more emulsifier.

If we are using Polawax, we want to use 25% of the oil phase in the emulsifier. So if we have 20% oil phase, we would use 5% Polawax. If we have 24% oil phase, we would use 6% emulsifier. And so on. So if we add 4% more oil, we must add 1% more emulsifier. So we would remove a total of 5% from the water phase. (4% more oil, 1% emulsifier.) To learn more, please visit this post in the FAQ.

And yes, if we reduce or eliminate something, we increase the water amount.

As a note, on a lot of recipes, you'll see the term "water q.s.", which means to add as much water as you need to reach 100%. I tried this on a few recipes but found it frustrating when I was in the middle of formulating in the workshop to do that little bit of extra math, so I don't use it. 

Remember too that if we go around reducing the water amount all the time, it means our product might be thicker than the original.

We know that dry skin really likes humectants, so let's add a second one. I really like sodium lactate, but it can make us sun sensitive at more than 3%, so let's put that in at 2.5% in the heated water phase. (Remove 2.5% water.) You can use another humectant you like - for instance, Hydrovance or sodium PCA - at whatever level is suggested.

And I really like allantoin as an occlusive ingredient as well as one that softens skin, so let's add that at 0.5% in the heated water phase.

As a note, I know there are some people who swear by using allantoin in the cool down phase. It can handle heat, and as we know, solubility of an ingredient increases when we increase the heat. This is why I use it in my heated water phase. I have never had a problem with shards, so I would argue that my way is super effective! 

57.5% water
3% glycerin or other humectant of choice
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
2.5% sodium lactate
0.5% allantoin

Notice my water amount has changed to include the new ingredients...

Well, this is getting really long, so join me tomorrow as we modify the heated oil phase and cool down phase further! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Heating & holding revisited...

I know I mentioned this only a short while ago in the Why did my lotion fail? Heating and holding post, but I'm getting so many questions about heating and holding this week, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you how important this process is to making emulsified products, including lotions and conditioners.

I know there are some well respected resources out there that say you don't have to do this, that heating your ingredients in the microwave until they are melted is enough, but it really isn't. Your ingredients can tolerate exposure to heat for a very long time - longer than we heat & hold, anyway - and they need this heat to make a lotion that will emulsify when combined and stay emulsified for ages to come.

The summary of heating and holding is this...We heat and hold our separate heated water phase and heated oil phase for 20 minutes at 70˚C/158˚F. Remove the containers from the heat, combine, then mix well with either a mixer or a stick blender. This process is what we do for every emulsified product from lotions to body butters to creams to conditioners and everything in between.

Why do we do this? To make the emulsion work better. If we heat and hold our ingredients at 70˚C for 20 minutes, we are assured that our emulsifier will be very oil soluble, which means it will create a water-in-oil emulsion that will eventually become an oil-in-water emulsion, which is very stable. We are assured our micelles will be a nice size, and we have eliminated many of the nasty contaminants that could ruin our lotion. In short, by heating and holding, we are ensuring we have a stable lotion that will remain emulsified and bug-free for a very long time!

When I teach classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle, we don't have a water bath to create a double boiler, so we can't heat and hold. We warm our water in the kettle and heat the oils in the microwaves. We use recipes I know will work well, but we still get failures. Why? Because we aren't heating and holding. You can make a lotion the microwave way, but you have a higher chance of failure than when you make it using the heat and hold method.

Why do some people forego the heat and hold? I really don't know. I've seen people say that our ingredients can't handle heat - they can! - and I've seen others say it takes too long, but neither of these are good reasons not to follow this process. It is the best practice for making emulsified products, and every professional recipe you see in a cosmetic chemistry textbook or from a large company that makes supplies has heated and held phases. It's standard practice to heat and hold because it makes for a better and more stable product every time.

I can't stress enough how important this process is to making a great lotion. I would say that half of the failed products that you write to me about are due to a failure to heat and hold. I'm not kidding about this. All those lovely ingredients, all that time, all that packaging could have been saved by heating and holding for 20 minutes. If you're not heating and holding yet and you've had a failed product, try it again with the heat and hold. If it's a well written recipe, that failure should be a success with this one small change.

Related posts:
Why we heat & hold our ingredients!
Why we heat & hold our ingredients separately
Weekend Wonderings: Heating & holding
Creating products: Heating & holding
What if you go over 70˚C when heating & holding?
How to heat & hold over a stove?
Does heating and holding damage our oils?