Sunday, August 28, 2016

My second e-zine is available to Patreon subscribers today; my first e-zine is available to my blog readers today

If you subscribe as a Patreon of my blog at $10 for the month, you receive access to the Patreon feed, which includes information and recipes on duplicating products, as well as the monthly e-zine.

I have to note that your subscription doesn't start until the day the money comes from your account, which is the 1st of the month. So if you subscribe today, you aren't a subscriber until September 1st when you'd be charged for it. You would get access to some of the Patreon feed - like the Q&A section and some of the duplicating products section - while you're waiting to pay, but you wouldn't get the e-book until after the 1st of the month. Meaning, if you subscribe now, you won't get the gels e-zine. You'll get next month's e-zine, which is all about bubble baths, body wash, and bath bombs!

Subscribers for August will receive the e-zine on gels - carbomers, Sepinov EMT 10, and Sepimax ZEN - in toners, spot treatments, facial sera, eye gels, body washes, and more. It weighs in at 34 pages of recipes and information!

If you missed the Gels: Ooey Gooey Fun! e-zine as a subscriber this month,  you can get it a month after it's offered to subscribers, so look for this one in October!

Click here to see the e-zine and e-book section of the blog. The summer products e-zine is on sale now! (Click here to see the write up for it from last month!)

Please note: All the money raised by the sales of e-zines and subscriptions through Patreon go to me and my family. The funds raised through the e-books continue to go to our youth programs, Rated T for Teen. 

If you wish to subscribe to the blog for September through Patreon, you have to be subscribed by September 1st! (If you subscribe after that date, you'll be subscribing for October 1st.)

And a message to everyone who reads this blog: Thank you so much for supporting the blog and us through this pretty tough time in our lives. I really appreciate all your lovely sentiments, prayers, and good wishes! I really am blessed, eh?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Announcing the fall line-up of classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle!

It's that time of year again, and I'm pleased to link you to the Voyageur Soap & Candle website for the dates I'll be teaching my five usual classes - Lotionmaking 101, Advanced Lotion Making, Facial Products, Back to Basics, and Hair Care - along with two half day classes - bath time fun and gels! We're also looking at offering some classes during the week, so if you're interested but can't make it on the weekend, please offer some suggestions for the class and days that might work for you. (Evenings, unfortunately, aren't an option as the classes are too long and the store isn't open then.)

Look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: A bunch of stuff to share with you

Thank you so much for all your kind words and good wishes for my family this week. I have the loveliest readers, and your good thoughts and prayers for us have really helped me so much in what I think may be the worst month of my life.

My mom is out of the hospital, but she's still quite ill, so we're caring for her at home. (Since writing this this morning, she's gone back in and I'm writing this from the ER.) Unfortunately, this doesn't leave me much time to work on the blog, answering your comments and questions, but I will do my best as writing makes me feel slightly more sane for a while. (It's really hard to find a solid hour in which to write, and I don't do well with interruptions.) I continue to ask for your patience as we figure out how to adapt to these new and exhausting changes.

On a happier note, check out my new column in Handmade Magazine, "The Science of SPF". I'm happy I can spread information on sunscreen as well as why we shouldn't make our own.

And I encourage you to take a look at the new series for Newbie Tuesday - Facial products. I've put up a shopping list if you want to play along!

Are you getting into your workshop and making things in this horrible hot weather? Or are you, like me, yearning for the cooler months? (I hate summer more than I can express in mere words, so just picture me shouting and stamping my feet as I say this!) What are you making this week? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sorry for the silence...

I'm sorry I haven't been responding to your posts and messages. My mom went into hospital earlier this week, and I've been spending all my time there as she was stuck in the ER in a chair, and only received a bed yesterday around dinner time. Now that she's in a less crowded and more stable place, I'm able to link my iPad to my phone, so I can do some writing that way as not even the Starbucks in the hospital has wifi.

These are some flowers my mom's friend Sheila sent from overseas. Aren't they lovely? When she finally gets a room, I'll bring them to her to enjoy! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Sunday: Equipment list

If you're following along with our upcoming Newbie Tuesday series for making facial products, here's your equipment list. (If you take $20 and go down to the dollar store, you'll get just about everything you need there!)

Digital scale: You'll want something that can weigh 1 gram (meaning there's no decimal on the scale). You can use a diet scale from somewhere like London Drugs, or find these are your favourite supplier.

We weigh everything we make as weighted measurements are more accurate than volume. (Click here for a post on this topic...) If you try to convert my recipes into volume, they will not work.

If you want to make loads of facial products, I recommend getting a tiny scale, one that measures to the 0.1 grams. You can get these at jewelery stores, drug stores, and those kind of drug stores (if you know what I mean). I bought mine for $25 on sale at London Drugs, and I use it all the time for extracts, cosmeceuticals, preservatives, fragrances, and so on in my products.

This is my favourite little scale, and it's super inexpensive! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: How much oil will Lotionpro 165 emulsify?

In this post, Emulsifiers: Lotionpro 165 in a lotion, Alana asks: Can LotionPro emulsify 38% shea butter and 3% stearic acid along with 3% menthol crystals? What is the max capacity of this emulsifier to emulsify oils?

As Lotionpro 165 (aka Simulsol 165) is an oil-in-water emulsifier, we know the oil phase has to be 49% or lower.

Okay, this isn't strictly true because the determination of whether something is an oil in water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion isn't just about the amount of water or oil in a product. It's actually about the phase in which the emulsifier is more soluble. The higher the HLB value, the more soluble in water the emulsifier can be. Considering that Lotionpro/Simulsol 165 has an HLB value of 11, it's more soluble in water. So anything made with this emulsifier is considered an oil-in-water emulsion. 
If you're interested in knowing more, click here to learn about the Bancroft rule. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Facial products series - A shopping list

Sorry for the delay in posting the ingredients you'll want to get for the first few projects for our Newbie Tuesday facial products series. The plan is to make these products...

Facial cleanser
Foaming facial cleanser
Exfoliating facial cleanser
Micellar water
And three gels - a gelled toner, serum, and an eye gel

We'll be starting the making part of the series on September 6th, which gives you at least 4 weeks to get your ingredients delivered. (I hope this is enough time! If it isn't, talk to me!)

THE SERIES HAS STARTED! Join us in these posts! 
Facial cleansers - the base recipes
Facial cleansers - the modified recipes with humectants

We will also be making a lotion based moisturizer at the end of the series. I'm not suggesting you buy the ingredients now as your lovely oils may not be so lovely by then, but I will promise to give you loads of notice before we get to those posts.

What you see below are the shopping lists I suggest for different skin types. If you're in doubt, the normal kit can be easily modified for oily and dry skin types. (Click here for my posts on skin chemistry and types!)

If you want to see the suggested equipment list, please click here

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Not heating and holding with cold emulsifiers?

In this post on Emulthix: A light to medium weight lotion with botanicals, Emily asks:  I love the sounds of cold emulsions and have always wanted to try one, but I have been worried that there would be beasties in my oil if I didn't heat and hold it - I'm guessing that this is overridden by the preservative? 

I know, it's weird, right? I'm normally all about the heating and holding and all that good stuff, so using cold emulsifiers is a strange thing to me, too!

In general, we don't worry about beasties in our oil soluble ingredients as almost all of our potential contaminants are found in the water phase of our products. When we're making cold products, we need to be especially careful to clean our creating containers - a spray with 70% alcohol is a great choice - and utensils before using them. Clean your stick blender or mixer well with alcohol, and only use distilled, reverse osmosis, or de-ionized water.

Only use clean containers when you're making products. Do not re-use old ones. And don't clean ones that are fresh from your supplier. It's assumed they are clean, and by cleaning them, you can introduce icky things that ruin the packaging.

And use a good broad spectrum preservative at the recommended level. I like to use liquid Germall Plus at 0.5% in most of my products, and I rarely have problems.

Preservatives should be there to battle the things to come, not the things already in the mix, so if we adhere to these good manufacturing processes, we'll have a nice, clean product!

Related post:
Why do we heat and hold with anhydrous (non-water containing) products?
How to preservatives work?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Compare and contrast Emulthix and Aristoflex AVC?

In this post, Emulsifiers: Emulthix, Srjnm asks: How would you compare Emulthix and Aristoflex? I know you have worked with both these cold emulsifiers. When would you use one over the other or what are the pros/cons of each? Which one do you like best? Thank you for sharing your experience with these ingredients. I've been interested in trying them.

I like both of them quite a lot. Aristoflex AVC is great for a light lotion without a lot of oils or electrolytes. If I wanted a facial moisturizer with lots of water soluble ingredients - like this one with n-acetyl glucosamine, allantoin, quaternized rice, and Yerba santa glycoprotein - Aristoflex is compatible and super easy to use. It can't handle a lot of oils - I've been using 5%, but you can go as high as 10%, I understand.  The down side is that I can't use electrolytes or proteins with Aristoflex as they ruin the viscosity, but that could be solved by adding a new polymer I have called Sepimax ZEN* to the mix. (I'll be writing more about this ingredient shortly.)

If you want to use electrolytes, proteins, extracts, and higher levels of oils, then Emulthix is more your thing. I've been experimenting with it at up to 25% oils, and it's worked well. I find I can make heavier feeling lotions with Emulthix, which is something I just haven't been able to do with Aristoflex AVC.

You use less Aristoflex AVC in a product at up to 2%, while Emulthix is used at 3% to 6%. They're roughly the same price, too.

Aristoflex AVC can handle a wider pH range - 4 to 9 versus Emulthix's 5.5 to 11 - so Aristoflex might be a better choice for thinner moisturizers with things like salicylic acid or AHAs.

It's hard to choose as they have different roles in my head. Aristoflex is for light lotions and gel-creams, while Emulthix is more like a traditional emulsifier that can handle a lot of oils. Hmm, I don't think I'll be able to make a decision any time soon as to which I prefer. I guess I should get into the workshop and make a few more things, eh?

Point of Interest: I do get free things from time to time from suppliers, and Jen at Lotioncrafter has given me the Emulthix and Sepimax ZEN. The quaternized rice protein and Yerba santa glycoprotein is from the Formulator Sample Shop. None of the links you click to any site on this blog affiliate links - I just learned what those were and thought I should re-assure you, my lovely readers, that I make no money and gain no reward if you buy something from any supplier anywhere. I provide you with buying information for those harder to find ingredients because you've said you wanted it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Emulsifiers: Emulthix - a light to medium weight lotion with all kinds of botanical ingredients

Last week, we took a look at Emulthix, a cold process emulsifier. We made a nice, basic lotion with pumpkin seed oil, water, preservative, and emulsifier, then we made it a bit more complicated by adding humectants, proteins, extracts, and more! You know me, though, there's no way I can stop there! Let's make a few versions with some of my favourite things!

I always start with my goal or purpose. In this case, I want a light, slightly occlusive moisturizer for my hands and body. I think I'd like it a little thicker than last week's version, but I still want it to be slippery and easy to apply. My hands get really trashed during the day with crafting and too much washing, so I want something that is protecting, soothing, and moisturizing with loads of hydrating ingredients.

For the oils, we can use anything we wish, but I think I'm going to create one with my favourite combination, kukui nut oil and babassu oil. (You had to know I would try this emulsifier with these oils!) I find this combination offers a less greasy feeling, silky, extremely moisturizing combination.

The babassu oil thickens the product slightly and creates a light, occlusive layer, which is just lovely. It's a great substitute for coconut oil, which can be a bit greasy in recipes. (You could use coconut oil here, if you wish...)

Kukui nut oil has a lot of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids, which help speed up skin's ability to repair barrier damage and decrease transepidermal water loss.

No, I don't work for the babassu advisory council. I don't think there is one, but if there were, I wouldn't work for them. I just have a serious love for this solid oil! 

Remember, you can use whatever oils and butters you want here by substituting your favourites. These are just the ones I really like.

I think I'll use a little thickener here in the form of cetyl alcohol. If you want something slightly less greasy feeling, you could use behenyl alcohol. If you want something more waxy, consider using cetearyl alcohol.

A lotion isn't a lotion for me without a humectant. These hygroscopic ingredients draw water from the atmosphere for extra hydration. I've got all kinds in my workshop, but the ones I use the most are glycerin and sodium lactate. Either would be great in this product, but I think I'll go for glycerin in this as it can withstand washing, and I tend to wash my hands a few times during the day. I'll use it at 3%, but you could use a number of different humectants here like 2% sodium lactate, 2% sodium PCA, 3% honeyquat, and so on.

I think I'd like to include some chamomile extract in this product. It's an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It also reduces transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours, which is pretty awesome. I think I'll use a powdered extract at 0.5% in the water phase.

And what about marshmallow extract? I have a nice water soluble one that can offer film forming and anti-inflammatory properties. I think I'll use it at 5% in the water phase. And what about this water soluble calendula I have? It offers anti-inflammatory properties and soothes inflamed and chapped skin, which sounds pretty awesome to me!

I can't not use panthenol as it's exactly what I want in this recipe. It will help with chapped or wounded skin. It improves hydration and helps speed up skin's barrier repair mechanisms. I definitely have to use it at 2% in this recipe!

I think I'll try some water soluble colloidal oatmeal* (from Formulator Sample Shop) at up to 10% in the water phase. It's supposed to soothe and moisturize, which is exactly what I want.

And I'm adding allantoin as it's awesome and does all these things I want, from soothing chapped or broken skin to forming an occlusive layer. Why wouldn't I use this awesome ingredient?

Please remember that you have to use distilled, de-ionized, or reverse osmosis water in this recipe as we aren't heating it. Filtered water just doesn't cut it here.

10% babassu oil
10% kukui nut oil
5% Emulthix
3% cetyl alcohol

45.5% distilled water
10% colloidal oat
5% marshmallow extract
5% calendula extract
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

COOL DOWN PHASE (if necessary)
2% panthenol
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% liqud Germall Plus

Weigh your oil phase into a larger container, as the water will be poured into the oil. Heat the oil phase in a double boiler until the babassu oil and cetyl alcohol are just melted. (Your oil will be clear when you have heated it enough.)

Weigh your water phase into a container. You can heat the water slightly before adding to dissolve the powders a little easier.

Pour the water phase into the oil phase in a slow stream while mixing with a stick or immersion blender. And you're done! Woo!

What do I think of this version? I really like it! It's glidy and slippery without being watery. It's just occlusive enough to make me feel like I have something on my skin when I apply it and an hour later. I've been using it for a few days now, and my hands definitely look better than when I started with my cuticles looking far less dry than they did earlier in the week. I like this recipe! And I really like not having to heat and hold!

Point of Interest: I do get free things from time to time from suppliers, and the emulsifer, Emulthix, is one of those things that Jen at Lotioncrafter has given me. None of the links you click to any site on this blog affiliate links - I just learned what those were and thought I should re-assure you, my lovely readers, that I make no money and gain no reward if you buy something from any supplier anywhere. I provide you with buying information for those harder to find ingredients because you've said you wanted it!

Join me tomorrow for more fun with Emulthix when we create a light facial lotion with Emulthix.

Related posts:
Emulsifiers: Emulthix
Emulsifiers: Emulthix - a light, cold process lotion
Emulsifiers: Emulthix - a light, cold process lotion with white tea, pumpkin seed oil, and baobab protein

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Can I use a solubilizer after making something with oils?

Thanks so much for supporting the blog by visiting! I can see a rise in the stats and comments already, and I appreciate it! Also, thank you for supporting us on Patreon! This month's e-zine for subscribers will be about gels - carbomers, EMT 10, ZEN, xanthan gum, and more! I've been having great fun making all kinds of gels from under eye moisturizers to after shave to toners. 

In this post, Oil based sprays and perfumes, Jo asks: I'm fairly certain you've answered this question above, but I'm a newbie to all this and I made some body mists using a combination of essential oils, aloe, almond oil, witch hazel and hydrosols and I ended up with major seperation. Can i tip it all into a larger container and add solubiser to fix it? I'd really hate to waste what I've made - any advice woukd be awesome.

Also, do you do classes? It's so refreshing to find someone who truly understands this stuff.

To answer the last question first, yes, I do! I teach classes in spring, autumn, and fall at Voyageur Soap & Candle. Normally I teach back to basics (anhydrous products), hair care products, facial products, lotion making 101, and advanced lotion making, but I think we're adding a gel making class as well this fall. (These relate to the e-books I have written on each topic...) 

I have plans to do some on-line courses and videos, but these are still a while off. For now, I encourage you to check out the newbie section for tutorials for all kinds of things, like lotions, whipped butters, and conditioners! 

But back to your question, unfortunately, no, there's really no saving it at this point. Normally we would take the oil soluble ingredients like essential oils and almond oil and mix that together at a 1:1 ratio with a solubilizer like polysorbate 80, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, Caprol Micro Express, or PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, to name a few possibilities, before adding it to your product. (It isn't always perfect at a 1:1 ratio, but that's a starting point.) Then add it to the water part of your product. 

At this point, you can try adding enough solubilizer to cover how much oil soluble ingredients you've added already and see what happens, but my experience has been that this probably won't work. But it's better to try than to throw it all away. At the very least, you've learned what not to do next time! 

As an aside, when we make anything containing water, we must use an appopriate preservative. Check out the preservatives section to see the comparison chart for some ideas for what you could use here. 

Related posts: