Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Separated shampoo? Heating and holding surfactant based products?

It's been an action packed week at our house with both a music recital and boxing match yesterday, and loads of work to be done at my day job! Please forgive my lack of posts, my lovely readers, as it's a reflection on my inability to manage my time and not a reflection on how much I want to interact with you! I'm eagerly looking forward to next weekend when I have scheduled loads of time and to my holiday time at the start of February to get some posts written and things done. I've been playing in the workshop; I just haven't had time to take pictures and share the recipes with you!

If you've posted a comment and I haven't responded to it, please give me a bit more time. I'm not even halfway through those posted this week and I've run out of time to answer them. I might not get to them until next Saturday. Thank you for your patience. 

In this post, Shampoo: A conditioning recipe, Srjnm asks: I don't know what I did wrong here. It looked like a good formula. So I bottled it. But eventually it looked like it separated? There is white thick foam floating on top. (Click the link to see the recipe...)

Without pictures it's hard to say for sure, but I think what you're seeing here are the bubbles coming to the top of the bottle, rather than any form of separation. (You have less than 5% oil soluble ingredients in the bottle, and you've included polysorbate 80, which is why I don't think it's separation, although that is possible...) As you can see from the picture to the left, the tall bottle is still going through the de-bubble-ization process - what? it's a word! - to become what you see in the smaller bottle, which is crystal clear. Leave your bottle in a room temperature space for a bit - not sure how long, it could be days - and your bubbles will eventually come to the surface and disappear. You may be having these issues with bubbles because you used SLSa, which is a great bubbler?

What can you do about this? My suggestion is to use a gentler hand when mixing your products in the future to avoid bubbles or to give your product time to de-bubble!

If this isn't the issue, please email me pictures so I can take a look at the product and help further.

In this post, Body wash, Leanne asked: I have a lot of experience making cold process soap and lotion, butI want to venture into body wash creating, so I don't have to lug bars of soap to the swimming pool on my "lap" days. Perhaps this is a dumb question, but do you have to heat/hold the water (and additives, such as aloe, glycerin, etc.) portion of body wash, as you do in lotion making? I know part of heat/hold in lotion making is to ensure proper emulsification, but you have also discussed how it helps ensure the water is not contaminated with "cooties" :) Do you heat/hold with any body wash recipes?

 Body washes are so much fun! They are one of my favourite products to make!

Can you keep a secret? I don't tend to heat and hold my body washes, bubble baths, shampoos, and other surfactant based products for a number of reasons. The first is that there isn't much evidence that heating and holding actually helps with contamination, especially if you're using distilled water, clean containers and utensils, and ingredients that already have preservatives in them. (This is a new thing I've been gathering information about and hope to post on the blog soon...) The second is that heating means I have to wait until the product reaches room temperature to thicken it, and I'm an impatient woman.

Short answer: If you aren't using surfactants and other ingredients that might need heating or melting, you don't need to heat and hold with body wash recipes!

If you want something that works for your hair and body, check out my favourite body wash/shampoo/conditioner for swimming! This version is for oily hair, but you could modify it easily for normal or dry hair using other surfactants!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Susan. I'm so excited... I signed up for the emails yesterday and last night formulated a hand and body wash without heating and holding. The ingredients. I wasn't melting or emulsifying and I clean and sanitize my equipment. Also, I too used a few ingredients that were preserved already. I'm never exactly clear on what is and what isn't a surfactant and I have read dictionary and encyclopedia definitions as well as surfactants used in chemical compounding unrelated to skin, hair, beauty products. I mean.... Oil cleansing with a few oils and say an ester... We are creating a formula that penetrates the skin, attaches/ mixes with a sebum, dirt, dead skin and even make up. In that case, is, say jojoba oil a surfactant?

I'm only sue about emulsifying wax being a surfactant. And I thought the heating and holding was more about getting the right temp for the water and oil phases to mix...

I mixed a can of coconut milk (coconut, water and guar gum, aloe Vera juice, lavender Hydrosol ( another thing I try to avoid is plain distilled water just because the water phase seems like a great place to add more to your overall formulation. Like tea bags.) Aloe Vera gel, Castile soap, glycerine and tocepherol. I used lavender and vanilla essential oils for fragrancef. I preserved it with Germall Plus. This was my first serious body wash and hand soap.

Claire said...

I want to make Shampoo and Conditioner , Can you please share the recipe. Can't wait to see this on your blog.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Claire! I have many many recipes for shampoo and conditioner on this blog. Check out the hair care section of the blog, visit the newbie section, or do a search for a recipe you want. Or click on the links in this post!!

Maria said...

FWIW, I don't heat and hold either for shampoos or body washes. I did at the start, but it doesn't seem to be required because I haven't bothered for months.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I just realized... In my skin cleansers, without a surfactant, are they cleaning my skin? I'm using Castille soap and glycerine gives it some bubbles as well as moisturizing. . Reading your posts on surfactants really cleared up what they do as opposed to the dictionary.... I add ingredient that are Antimicrobial but now I wonder if the dirt actually comes off or of its just cleaner?

Jodi5868 said...

Oops, my name is Jodi.... These darn tiny buttons!!! :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jodi! Soap is a surfactant, and it's a great cleanser! Some skin types can't use them because they're alkaline - my face hates soap! - but they are great cleansers.