Friday, October 9, 2009

Lotions - what do you want to know?

My headache is still here, hence the visual tutorial on shampoo bars - I was preparing it for a few weeks from now. But I'm wondering what you want to know about lotions. I am going to be working on a few posts on oils and butters - more chemistry about what they are, how they work, the benefits of each and so on - but I'm sure there are things you want to know about lotions that I haven't written about yet!

Do you want to know more about the HLB system? Do you want to share your experiences with emulsifiers? Are you annoyed or confused or elated by something lotion related?

I am working on more posts on solid shampoo and conditioner bars (and some lotion bar stuff), so please share your thoughts and ideas for these products!

Or do you have something else in mind? Please remember I do not know anything about CP soap, so I can't offer any help there! (I am still trying to get around to researching extracts!)

Again, my brain isn't working all that well so I ask you to share your thoughts so I can come up with a few posts when the pain subsides!


madpiano said...

Definitley more information about emulsifiers, not only in Lotions but also in general. What does each one do ? What is the difference between the similar sounding ones (Polysorbate 20, 80 etc, Cetyl and Cetearyl alcohol, etc). How do they behave in different PHs and products ? There really isn't much info out on the net and most places just say "try which one you like", which is fine, if I ever win the lottery, but until then at least a starting point would be good.

Julie van Oosten said...

Hi Susan, I would like to know about the types of oils and effects on hair and skin, the levels of greasiness or dryness, but most of all what type of emulsifiers that do not drag on the skin and which ones are best. I have Emulsifing NF, Polawax (yet to try),Olive Emulse (which I love the texture but not the drag) and I am waiting on an order from ND to try Glyceryl Stearate & PEG100 Stearate. I particulary like lotions that "sink in" and in winter body butters. I also like to make solid lotion bars and if you have anything to share on that subject I would be so grateful. Thank you so much for your wonderful posts on this blog, I get so much out of it and find your "talks" so informative.

Ai Shiang said...

I read about these titles "butter", "oil" and "preservatives". They are all very informative.

I was having some trouble with preservative especially Optiphen Plus but I change it to Liquid Germall Plus.

Using Optiphen Plus is troublesome because I read that olive oil and avocado oil are actually more alkaline. Not sure if that is true.

Do you always test the pH of your creations? Do you actually find out the pH of each individual oil/butter before you use them in your lotion/cream?

Mich said...

I too would like to learn more about ingredients and pH. When do you really need to worry about it? (It seems like formulary recipes--usually at places that sell pH meters!--often say to add citric acid, etc. as needed. But then similar recipes elsewhere--e.g., here, on the Dish, etc. don't have that step.)

Also, another thing you see some places but not others are chelating agents. What's that all about? When do we need those?

Thanks for explaining it all!

Row said...

This request is in the shampoo-conditioner category. The question is , is there a chart somewhere to give us absorbtion rates. We make the creations usually in pairs(1 shampoo & 1 conditioner) and someone usually wonders " How long should we leave this in for". Most store bought products state a time be it 1,2 or 3 minutes. Or longer depending on the product. Can you give us your opinion or suggestions on where to read up on this.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Madpiano: There are two problems in writing about emulsifiers for, I don't have access to a lot of them, so my experience with specific emulsifiers is limited. And two, it really is a personal choice based on many factors, such as skin feel, ease of use, presence of various ingredients, organic vs, synthetic, and so on. I can share with you how they work from a chemical perspective, but the final decision is really your own.

If you want my opinion, I love Polawax. It is multi-functional, easy to use, and inexpensive compared to some of the other emulsifiers. It's non-ionic, so won't inactivate some of your ingredients - like preservatives.

As for my HLB emulsifiers, I like glycol distearate and ceteareth-20 so far. It feels really nice, but I do have to play with it more.

I will be working on posts on emulsifiers in the near future, but it won't be a very lengthy series as I haven't had a chance to play with many.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Julie. I'm working on a series about oils and butters right now...look for it in the next few weeks.

As for emulsifiers and drag - I find it's more about the oils and extras (like cetyl alcohol and silicones) you add to a lotion as opposed to the emulsifier (although BTMS is a pretty dry emulsifier!) But I might find myself wrong as I do more experimenting!

I like sinking in kind of lotions, and will be doing more about those in the next few weeks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

As a note, the pH of your lotion should be relatively the same for each one. You might have a facial moisturizer that is a little acidic because of additives like AHA or salicylic acid or Multifruit, but for the most part lotions should be between 6.0 and 7.5 or so. There are reasons to get a lotion outside those pH levels, but as homecrafters, those are the pH levels we are seeking.

I have an idea for another post!!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mich! I'm writing about chelating agents later this's like you know what I'm going to write about before I do it!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Row. The whole leaving on conditioner thing is a personal thing. The longer you leave in a conditioner, the longer you give the ingredients a chance to work, like the oils, butters, and other goodies. Plus the conditioning agent has more time to be substantive to your hair.

A lot of the intense conditioners you see on the market are intense for two reasons - they have high levels of conditioning agents and oils, and they are meant to be left on for a longer period of time. You can make an intense conditioner like mine and leave that on for longer period of time. (The reason I consider this intense is due to the increased levels of oils and the Incroquat CR).

If you take any conditioner and leave it on for more than a minute, you're going to get better results as the various ingredients get a chance to deposit on your hair.

As for shampoo, I'd wouldn't leave that on my hair. I put all the really good stuff in my conditioner!