Monday, August 9, 2010
Point of interest: When trying out a new product for the first time...
Pick a recipe and make it as close to the original as possible. The writer of the recipe has posted it because it worked for them, and odds are it will work for you. It might not be exactly what you want - you want a foot cream and it's a body butter - but you can tweak it like silly once you know what the final consistency should be and how your skin or hair likes it.
Please don't start out wanting to formulate your own recipe. There is a recipe out there for just about anything you might want to make. If you've never made a conditioner, don't get stuck formulating one for days and days. Find a recipe that looks nice and try it!
My first conditioner was 7% BTMS, water, preservative, and fragrance because I couldn't find a recipe I liked but I read somewhere 7% BTMS would make a thick conditioner and that's what I wanted. I added protein next, then the panthenol, and so on with every successive batch. Eventually, I had made a conditioner I loved. I did go through a ton of BTMS, but I created something I love! Why go through all that trouble when I've already made all the first time mistakes?
There are exceptions to the above paragraph including recipes from suppliers that might use ingredients specific to their company and recipes that you suspect might be missing something. Please read this post on how to know if a recipe will work if you have your doubts about it.
On this blog, I start out with a basic recipe for most products then tweak it. Let's say you want to make a shampoo. Choose a basic recipe - here's my starter recipe - and make it. Try it on your hair. If you like it, then do a happy I'm successful dance and make sure you print it out and keep it somewhere safe!
If not, then read more about what you can do to change those qualities you don't like. If it isn't removing enough oil, then change surfactants. If it's too much for your hair, then lower the surfactant amount or choose different surfactants. If you want to increase the moisturization level, add some oils, emollients, or esters. And so on. This way you know what you like and don't like and it's easier to tweak.
With a lotion, again choose a basic recipe and one oil, one butter, then make it. Again, after you've made it you can tweak those tweakable parts to make something you love.
I'm not saying experiment - I'm all about the tweaking, which is one of the reasons I could never sell my products 'cause they'd be different every time - but it really is much easier to follow a recipe exactly the first time and tweak it from there.