Thursday, September 30, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Min-maxing your toner.

I do love my toners (do a search and you'll be a little overwhelmed), primarily because I use it as both a toner and a moisturizer as my oily, rosacea prone skin really doesn't like oil based lotions or sera! So I decided to get into the workshop and see just how many interesting things I could include in my toner at once!

To min-max a character in Dungeons & Dragons means to get the maximum benefits for the minimum cost, so you generally get a character who is a serious bum kicking machine. Some call this "munchkining" your character - hence the name of the game "Munchkin". I did mention I was a serious geek, right? 

I'm basing it on this recipe for a toner for oily, rosacea prone skin, which is my favourite all time toner recipe! (Click here for the post on why I'm using the ingredients I'm using!)

26% water
30% witch hazel
25% chamomile hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% allantoin

2% panthenol
0.5% white willow bark or salicylic acid
0.5% chamomile extract
3% honeyquat
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

I'm sure you can see a millions ways to tweak this recipe - change the hydrosol, change the extracts, change the humectants, add some esters - so I'll share with you what I did with this one!

I'm happy with my heated phase, so I'm not taking anything out, but I will be reducing the water as I add various ingredients. I've decided I'm including the following: Multifruit BSC, salicylic acid, and Caprol Micro Express (CME). Why?

Multifruit BSC is a type of AHA you can add at 5% to 15% in your creations. I've chosen to use it at 5% in this creation because I haven't really used AHAs on my skin - my focus has been more on stopping the rosacea than helping with wrinkles - so I'll use it at 5% to see how my skin likes it.

I generally use white willow bark instead of salicylic acid, but this time I thought I'd use salicylic acid at 2% in this recipe. And yes, you can dissolve it in warm water instead of alcohol!

The combination of the AHA and BHA (salicylic acid) should help exfoliate my skin really really well, so this will be an interesting experiment.

I'm also playing with Caprol Micro Express, a new ingredient I received from Saffire Blue (but it's not on sale there yet, so you'll have to click on the link above to get it from Lotioncrafter). It's an ester with the INCI of PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides (and) Polyglycerol-6 Dioleate (and) Glyceryl Caprylate/Caprate, and it's used as a microemulsion creator for room and linen sprays (use it as you would polysorbate 20). But it's also a nice water soluble ester that can be used as a moisturizer. You can use any water soluble ester you like in this toner - I've created a recipe here with an ester - but I thought I'd use this one as I was debating including an oil soluble ingredient or two. (I decided not to do it, in the end.) This will offer non-occlusive moisturizing without the oils that might annoy my skin.

For the extracts, I'm going with 5% liquid green tea extract (you can use 0.5% powdered extract) because my shoulder hurt and I couldn't get the powdered extract box down from the high shelf, and I'll include my usual chamomile extract at 0.5% (which, fortunately, was on the counter!). I switched the chamomile hydrosol for lavender hydrosol because I'm out of chamomile, and I thought I had enough with the powdered extract.

So let's take a look at this recipe now!

11.5% water
30% witch hazel
25% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
5% liquid green tea extract
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% allantoin

3% Caprol Micro Express or another water soluble ester
5% Mutifruit BSC
2% salicylic acid
2% panthenol
3% honeyquat
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)

Weigh the heated ingredients into a Pyrex jug and put into the double boiler. Let heat until it reaches 70˚C. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down to 45˚C to 50˚C, then add the cool down phase. Allow to cool down completely, then bottle. 

You can put the powdered extracts and salicylic acid into a little container, then add a little of the heated phase to it and mix well. Add to the cool down phase with the other ingredients. 

I am having a love affair with this toner! I'm surprised that in a little over a week I'm getting comments on my skin. My mom keeps asking what I'm using - the toner in the bathroom! try it! - and co-workers have said I don't look as tired as normal. (I am still suffering from those lovely headaches, so it's little wonder I'm looking tired). I didn't think these small amounts of ingredients would make such a difference, but they do! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Anhydrous butter & body butter modification

So I've decided. I'm making a whipped butter for my best friend with the aloe butter and some lovely oils. Part of this is that my back hurts a lot so I can't be in the workshop for a long period of time while I make a lotion and part of this is that I really like the aloe butter right now! So let's take a look at the final recipe!

Ironically, considering all the agonizing I did about choosing oils that are okay for use on broken skin, her stitches have dissolved and she doesn't have any wounds, although she does have really dry feet!

50% aloe butter
15% arnica oil
23% sesame oil
10% wheat germ oil
1% fragrance oil
1% Vitamin E

Whip the aloe butter and rest of the ingredients. Package. Rejoice.

I chose not to use a fragrance or essential oil here because I don't want her to worry about washing her hands and I don't want to include something that might hurt the tender skin. I really wanted to include the calendula oil, but I don't have any in the house at the moment, so I'll formulate the next batch with it!

If you wanted to make a lovely moisturizing body butter, please check out this post! But remove the essential oils and comfrey extract, and substitute...oh, let's just modify it here!

20% aloe vera liquid
22% lavender or chamomile hydrosol
2% hydrolyzed protein
5% calendula extract
2.5% sodium lactate
3% glycerin

15% shea or aloe butter
10% arnica oil
8% Polawax
3% cetyl alcohol
2% IPM

2% panthenol
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% preservative

I've used the arnica oil as my main oil and added the calendula extract in the water phase. I've used both aloe liquid and aloe butter to offer maximum aloe-y goodness, as well as lavender or chamomile hydrosol to help with inflammation (I went with chamomile here as I have a ton of it). You could add some powdered extracts as well, if you wanted.

And here's a balm that would be great for someone with muscle pain (no claims, just based on the ingredients). This would be great for me right now! You could use arnica at 15% in any of the balms or butters here!

Join me tomorrow for fun min-maxing your toners!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arnica, calendula, and comfrey oils

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm on a quest to make some lovely products to help my best friend's foot heal after surgery. So I'm turning to three oils I've heard might help - arnica, calendula, and comfrey.

I've written about comfrey extract in the past, so let's just go for a summary here. Comfrey oil contains caffeic acid - a powerful anti-oxidant and skin protector - phytosterols like sitosterol and stigmasterol, which are great for reducing inflammation, redness, and swelling. They also help to increase skin's barrier mechanisms by penetrating the skin and they moisturize skin well. It's a major source of allantoin as well, which is a great wound healing and skin protectant. One problem - we're not supposed to use comfrey on broken skin, and she still has stitches, so I think this one is more appropriate for apres bandage removal.

As a note, I made a lovely balm in a deodorant tube with arnica, comfrey, and other exotic oils to help heal the bruising on my bottom after I fell down the stairs on the ferry a few years ago. I loved it, but Wanda jumped around the workshop going "ow ow ow" after putting it on a cut. I don't really want to do that to her again! 

Arnica oil is reported to help with sore muscles, bruises, sprains, wounds, and swelling. In short, it's a good anti-inflammatory. Arnica contains caffeic acid - a great anti-inflammatory - and kaempferol, a strong anti-oxidant and strong anti-inflammatory found in witch hazel, strawberry extract, chamomile extract, and green tea.

We can use up to 15% arnica blends in our creations - my version is a 1:5 mix of arnica to sweet almond oil, but some can be found in sunflower or soybean oil, so check to see how much arnica is in your arnica oil before using!

I've been corrected! You want to use 15% of the 1:5 mix as the maximum for arnica. Remember to check if an oil is safe for pregnant or lactating women before using: Arnica is not recommended for women in either situation. And I found these two quotes, which are contrary to what I had read in my textbooks, "Arnica is generally safe when used topically (externally). However, prolonged use may irritate the skin, causing eczema, peeling, blisters, or other skin conditions. Arnica should not be used on broken skin, such as leg ulcers. Also, people who are hypersensitive or allergic to the herb should avoid it." And this quote; "Oral use of arnica and topical use of arnica on broken skin and open wounds is considered unsafe because sesquiterpenoid lactones in arnica, such as helenalin, are intensely poisonous and cardiotoxic."

As another note, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel states there is insufficient data to make a determination that arnica is safe as used. Click here and here for more information. 

So what can I say, other than thanks to Debby for pointing out my errors! Use arnica with caution.

Calendula oil is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient - you can see an entire post here, but I'll summarize it quickly in a moment - that is reported to help speed healing for wounds and burns. Calendula oil is filled with tannins, carotenoids (strong anti-oxidants), coumarins (great anti-inflammatories that reduce swelling and oedema)

You can get all kinds of calendula extracts and oils, so you'll want to check the ingredients before buying. My version, from the Personal Formulator, is propylene glycol and calendula, while the version at the Herbarie is water and calendula. These will be water soluble, while the oils version will be oil soluble.

The recommended usage for my water soluble calendula is 0.5% to 5%, but you'll have to check with your supplier for their suggested amounts. Mine has a 15 month shelf span, but you will have to find out from your supplier how long this extract will last.

So what should do? I really want some arnica in my product and calendula would be nice as well, but I still haven't decided if I want a water based or anhydrous product.

I've already made a spray that might be suitable - anhydrous itchy skin spray - and it would be easy to get a little arnica in there, but I really do like the appeal of the calendula. Since I don't have the oil right now, I'd have to make something emulsified to get that lovely water based calendula extract to her skin!

Hmm, now I have to do some thinking. Join me tomorrow to see the results!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Healing products for my best friend

As I may have mentioned, my best friend, Wanda, had an operation on her foot about 6 weeks ago, and she is need of some soothing foot products, so I've turned to a few different ingredients to help moisturize the skin around the bandages and to help speed the healing (although I'd never make a claim like that, I'm choosing ingredients that are purported to help).

She had an operation on the other foot last year, so I made her a few things for the post-bandage removal and walking phase of her recovery. You can find those foot products here. These recipes are for the pre-bandage removal and sitting phase of the recovery. 

I could make a few different products based on her current needs. Normally I'd put a ton of menthol in her foot products because she loves the smell (she huffs the container every time she comes into my workshop) and because it's great for the cooling feeling and increase in circulation. I generally add 0.5% camphor to 0.5% eucalyptus to 3% menthol for a Vick's like blend, but as she's kinda couch bound at the moment, I don't want her to have to worry about washing her hands after application. So other minty but tingly ingredients like peppermint or spearmint are right out as well.

I want to make her something jam packed with various healing ingredients, mostly softening, moisturizing, cell regenerating, inflammation reducing, and wound healing properties, so let's turn to a few botanical ingredients for this recipe!

As a note, I'm not sure if I want to make an anhydrous product or a lotion, so this will be a rambling post as I consider what ingredients I want to use then in which products I could use those ingredients. 

My first thought for the base of this product is shea butter (regular, unrefined, golden - any of these would work). It contains allantoin, which is 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. The cinnamic acid can help with cell regeneration from underneath the skin (like AHA), which is great for wound healing, and with inflammation and redness. It can help with water retention, and her feet are really swollen right now.

Are there other butter choices? Mango butter might be another great choice as it contains gallic acid, a type of hydroxybenzoic acid that acts as a fabulous wound healing, and tannins, which can make the butter feel drier. This might be a bonus if I'm using some seriously greasy oils! Illipe butter might be a fabulous inclusion as it's high in phytosterols that are great for inflammation.

Or I could choose aloe butter as I have some stored in my freezer right now. Aloe is a great inclusion in wound healing and protective products, and if I'm making an anhydrous product - which I still haven't decided - this would be a great choice to get the wonderful properties of aloe into an all oil product. Aloe butter is generally made with coconut oil, which contains ferulic acid, a type of cinnamic acid that is a very effective anti-oxidant, more powerful than Vitamin E, that can prevent skin aging, reduce age spots, and help repair light and radiation induced damage. It penetrates skin to soften and moisturize, soothes wind chapped and sun burned skin, and reduces itching and inflammation. Like mango butter, coconut oil contains caffeic acid, which is also a good anti-oxidant.

So we have some butter choices. Maybe we should move on to some botanical ingredients that might help. Join me tomorrow for a look at a few ingredients I'm considering like arnica, comfrey, and calendula!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Better crafting through chemistry: Sorbitol

In this post on humectants, Aesthete asks: I was re-reading this post on humectants and was wondering if you've ever formulated with sorbital? It's described as having "excellent plasticizing & thickening effects providing viscosity & texture, stabilizes gels & provides good clarity, effective moisturizing properties, good smoothing & conditioning effects." It almost sounds too good to be true...I really value your opinion and if you have one on this ingredient, I would love to hear it. Thank you.

Sorry, Aesthete, but I've never formulated with sorbitol, but I can share my book learnin'!

Sorbitol is a water soluble humectant originally derived from berries and fruit that can be used at 0.5% to 15% in our creations. We generally find it in a 70% aqueous solution that is easily dissolved in water but not so much in alcohol. It's a sweetener that can be used in toothpastes and mouthwashes as well as diabetic foods, but it has a laxative effect if you ingest too much (more than 20 grams per day!).

Like other humectants, it's a thickener and a desiccant, meaning it absorbs water away from other ingredients (like those little DO NOT EAT packages we find in computer parts or shoes). It will help thicken your lotions and surfactant based products, increase clarity in bubble baths and body washes, and reduce the freezing point of our products.

You can combine it with glycerin to reduce the feeling of tackiness from that humectant, although it has a little tackiness of its own.

On the scale of hygroscopic abilities, it rates below our other commonly used humectants (the scale looks like this - sodium PCA > sodium lactate > glycerin > sorbitol).

So does it do all those wonderful things you mention? Yep. It's a moisturizing and conditioning ingredient - it draws water to our skin to increase moisturization and make it feel nicer. The smoothing part means it will make your skin feel smoother, and it will do that. It is a plasticizer in that it increases the fluidity of our products. It helps increase clarity of our surfactant based products and decreases the freezing point.

But these features aren't unique to sorbitol - glycerin and propylene glycol will do these things as well. In fact, glycerin is highly recommended for dry or wrinkled skin because of the moisturization and conditioning properties. So why use it?

It's a good substitute for glycerin as it is less tacky than that humectant, and it's a good substitute for propylene glycol for those who don't wish to use it. It won't make you sun sensitive like sodium PCA or sodium lactate. You can use it as a humectant in deodorants at up to 5%, but don't use it as the main polyol in that product as it won't work well.

Hope this answers your question!

Experiments in the workshop: Golden shea butter sugar scrub

I think we all know by now what I think of emulsified sugar scrubs. (Do a search for sugar scrub and you'll find a ton of them), so I thought I'd try this recipe using the golden shea butter. For some reason - and I'm not sure why now - I decided to use 25% golden shea butter in this recipe when I'd normally use about 20% butters and 56% oils. I can't offer an explanation for this change, but I'm pleased with it, so I guess it's a happy accident. (This is why I tell you to write everything down as your play in your workshop!)

25% golden shea butter
10% emulsifier - BTMS-50, e-wax, or Polawax
5% C12-15 alkyl benzoate
10% cetyl alcohol
20% fractionated coconut oil
20% apricot kernel oil
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% fragrance oil
1% Vitamin E
1% Phenonip

125% to 150% sugar

Weigh the shea butter, emulsifier, oils and esters into a heatproof container and put in your double boiler until melted. Remove and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, then put into a fridge or freezer to solidify (the freezer is a better choice with unrefined butters, but since we're adding sugar to this, grains aren't really an issue!). When the mixture has a solid layer on top but some liquid underneath, remove from the freezer and start whipping with the whisk attachment on your mixer. Add your sugar - I like to use about 140% sugar, but it's your choice - and whip until it has almost doubled in size. Spoon into a container and enjoy!

As I'm trying to be more experimental, I chose to use the C12-15 alkyl benzoate as both an emollient and a fragrance fixative, the apricot kernel oil as I haven't used it in a while (and because I'm out of my usual soybean oil), the fractionated coconut oil because I wanted very light oils in this mix, and the two silicones because I wondered why I didn't include those regularly when I really like silicones. I chose BTMS-50 as my emulsifier because I thought it would be interesting to see what this butter would feel like with a drier emulsifier.

As usual, substitute whatever oils you want in this recipe for other ones or esters, and leave out the silicones if you want, just add 2% to the oil phase. And choose the emulsifier you like!

Realistically, I should have made the exact recipe I make every time and just change the golden shea butter, but I really wanted to play in the workshop with something new, so I changed just about everything!

So how did it turn out? I was a little worried it was too liquidy at first, but it solidified very nicely by the next day (this picture shows the consistency just after making it, the one at the top shows it the next day). In the shower, it was easy to scoop and scrub, and my skin felt very nice and moisturized after rinsing. In short, this one's a winner!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Whipped golden shea butter

I admit I'm not normally a fan of unrefined shea butter. It can go grainy much more easily than the refined stuff I use, and sometimes there's a smoky nutty kind of scent that doesn't seem to agree with me. So I was a little apprehensive about using golden shea butter, sent to me by Randi of Creations from Eden in Edmonton.

We all know about the awesome power of regular shea butter - with the wonderful phytosterols, polyphenols, and fatty acids that offer moisturizing, softening, wound healing, skin regenerating, and skin protecting properties - so what does golden shea butter offer that the other doesn't? Golden shea is purported to be a rawer shea than normal shea, and it may contain higher levels of the unsaponifiable portion of the butter, meaning there's more polyphenols like cinnamic acid that can help with skin cell regeneration, a reduction of irritation, and behave as a very light sunscreen (although I wouldn't trust it for that purpose).

This golden shea butter has a really nice scent, and it's harder and thicker than my normal refined stuff. It doesn't feel as greasy as normal shea butter, but it is a little harder to spread on my skin. The golden colour is very appealing - I'm not sure why, but it seems more luxurious to me than the white stuff. It doesn't whip as easily as the refined shea - you can see more about this in the recipe below.

My favourite thing to make with shea butter is a whipped butter, so it seemed logical to start the experimentation with this product. Since I've been having such fun playing with esters lately, I thought I'd whip this shea with some ethylhexyl palmitate and a little IPM to make a lovely moisturizing butter with a little less greasiness than I'd normally feel. (Yes, I generally like greasy products, but I'm experimenting!) And I'm including the Vitamin E for the goodness it offers for my skin, not to increase the shelf life - golden shea is reported to have a four year life span, so I'm not that worried as I know this'll be gone in a month or so!

If you don't want to play with esters, then just add 23% oil of choice to this recipe in place of the ethylhexyl palmitate and IPM. If you want to make this a little more occlusive, choose C12-15 alkyl benzoate or a heavier oil like avocado, olive, or jojoba for the oil portion. If you want to make this lighter, use fractionated coconut oil or soybean, sunflower, sweet almond, or apricot kernel for the oil portion. Cetearyl ethylhexanoate would be an amazing ester to use with this recipe, but I chose not to use it as I really needed a whipped butter with Clementine Cupcake fragrance (from Brambleberry) and we know it doesn't play well with vanilla based fragrances.

75% golden shea
21% ethylhexyl palmitate
2% IPM
1% fragrance oil
1% Vitamin E

Weigh the golden shea, ethylhexyl palmitate, and IPM into a heat proof container and melt slightly. Remove from the heat and add the fragrance oil and Vitamin and whip until fluffy. Pipe into containers with an icing bag and a 1M tip or spoon into a lovely jar and enjoy.

I found this to be really grainy and that's an unpleasant feeling. My suggestion is to melt it completely, then put it in the freezer to cool down very very quickly. Remove from the freezer after about 30 minutes - it should have a solid layer of shea butter on top with liquid underneath - and whip until you are happy with the consistency. When I made this recipe the second time, I followed this process and it wasn't grainy at all!

This feels really lovely on my skin. It's thicker than my regular shea butter, so I had to work a little harder to get it onto my skin (low spreading) but it felt really nice and the occlusive layer of moisturizing stuck around for a long time.

I did make a third version of this butter using Captex SBE (found at the Herbarie as Natrabutter or Lotioncrafter as ButterEz) and it removed the grains amazingly well. But that's for another post!

Join me tomorrow to make an awesome sugar scrub with golden shea butter.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Black cocoa butter emulsified sugar scrub

I had such great success with the yesterday's black cocoa butter solid scrub bar, I had to try it in a sugar scrub! I figured the increased meltiness of the cocoa butter would be an awesome moisturizing ingredient, but I did worry it might be too melty in the container!

Using this recipe, I figured I would modify it in a few ways. I decided to use sunflower and olive oil as I'm out of soybean oil, and I left out the stearic acid, using only cetyl alcohol. I always use Polawax in this recipe as I like the greasier feeling of this emulsifier over BTMS-50, and I used cocoa butter as my entire butter portion because I wanted a really good sense of what the cocoa butter brings to the party!

If you don't have access to black cocoa butter, use 10% shea, mango, or other soft butter and 10% cocoa butter in this recipe.

So let's take a look at this recipe!

10% emulsifying wax (e-wax, Polawax, or BTMS)
10% cetyl alcohol or stearic acid (5% cetyl and 5% stearic is very nice)
20% black cocoa butter
56% oil - I'm using soy bean oil here
1% Vitamin E
2% fragrance or essential oil*
1% Phenonip

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.

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.

Doesn't this look like a wonderful chocolatey mousse? You may need to guard this with razor wire and signs stating "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT EAT THIS!" because it really looks amazing as you whip it!

I love this recipe! It stiffens up like my other sugar scrubs in about 24 hours, but it's so much easier to scoop from the container. I didn't have sugar scrub under my nails afterwards, and my skin felt really soft and moisturized. You will, however, get some flecks of brown on the walls of the shower, which rinse off easily.

My best friend reports - YUM! She wants more of this and I'm grateful I have a few containers of it in the workshop! (Normally she'd make a lot of these products with me, but she's still at home with the post-operational foot, so I had the chance to surprise her with a package of new and interesting products last week!) 

If you're a seller and have to ship products across country in varying temperatures, this might not be the butter for you. If you're had trouble with shea butter going all liquidy, you'll get the same response from black cocoa butter.

I have to admit cocoa butter is my new Saturday night thing! I love this stuff. It behaves like cocoa butter - so you're getting those great polyphenols and the protective barrier layer as you normally would - but it's softer and easier to cut and melt! I don't know if I'd use it in a lotion or cream as the brown colour could be off-putting, but I definitely love it in the sugar scrub and the bar I made yesterday. I think this would be great in a lotion bar or bath melt (with a reminder that one mustn't eat it!) as it would melt at a lower temperature than regular cocoa butter.

So for these applications, I'm giving black cocoa butter one of the highest accolades I can offer - this needs to be permanently in my workshop!

Join me tomorrow for some experiments with golden shea butter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: Using black cocoa butter in a scrub bar.

Randi of Creations from Eden sent me this amazing black African Natural cocoa butter. It's so much easier to chop into little pieces than regular cocoa butter because it's softer with a lower melting point. My knife just cut into this cocoa butter - normally, I wish for a hammer when I'm breaking up cocoa butter for a recipe! - and it melts very quickly in the double boiler. 

Naturally, I had to make myself a solid scrub bar with salt for my shower. I found it melted a lot quicker than my normal scrub bars, but that made it deposit a lot more cocoa butter deliciousness on my skin, and I could still smell the faint yumminess of Cream Cheese Frosting fragrance oil after work. The 60 gram bar will last me two showers instead of three, but I think it worth it for the lovely moisturizing I felt all day! The only down side is that you will end up with some brownish spots on your shower - just spray them with the nozzle and they'll disappear.

I think I'm going to package these for Christmas gifting with a drizzle of pink or purple mica on top and put them in a cellophane bag to make them look like a big bonbon! I will also include a sign that says in giant pink letters DO NOT EAT because it looks and smells amazing (I know, I take terrible pictures, but it really looks lovely). 

If you want the bar to be a bit harder, use 30% black cocoa butter and 20% regular cocoa butter and use a harder butter for the other 20%. I'd go with mango or one of the other exotic butters over shea as that will be far too soft.

50% cocoa butter
20% mango, shea or other butter
3% cetyl alcohol
4% Incroquat BTMS or Incroquat CR
2% wax of choice - beeswax, soy wax, etc. For candellia wax, please use 1% as it is very hard.
3% sodium lactate (as a bar hardener, optional)
12% oils
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
1% Vitamin E (if you are using oils with less than 6 months' shelf life)

Add up to 100% sugar, salt, beads, seeds, loofah, and so on. It really is your preference. If you are using sugar, you may need to add more than 100% because the sugar will melt into the warm oils - if you can stand the waiting, let it cool a bit before adding the sugar. You can add the salt right away into the hot oils. It will melt slightly, but not enough to be concering. Clay and jojoba beads will melt in the hot oils so you will need to let the mixture cool a lot - they really aren't a great choice here because you'll have to wait so long, the bar might actually solidify while you're waiting for the right temperature. Personally, I'd leave those for oil based or emulsified scrubs.

To modify this for your feet, check out this post (scroll down a bit after the click). And if you want some information on other modifications, click here and scroll down a bit.

I'm making a sugar scrub with this cocoa butter next!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Experiments in the workshop: A short series of whatever I feel like making that morning.

Whipped golden shea butter
I've purchased or been sent a ton of new supplies lately, ingredients with which I've never worked, so I thought it would be fun to do a kind of random series of posts on what I've been making lately in my workshop with those ingredients while I do more research for a series on preservatives or more stuff about esters. (Hey, I listened to your suggestions, but it takes time to get to all of them!)

As you know, I'm not beholden to any supplier, manufacturer, or advertiser, so even if I received the ingredients for free, I will be completely honest about my opinions of the product. If I don't like it, I'll tell you why I'm not a fan of it. If I do like it, it's because I like it not because I'm obligated to be positive!

So let's get started with the first new ingredient tomorrow - black African natural cocoa butter!

Esters: A wrap-up

So what have we learned about esters so far? We've learned about the chemistry - click here for that post! - and we've learned they generally spread better and detackify other ingredients in our products, and can help reduce the feeling of greasiness from other oils. We've learned that some are oil soluble and some, like the PEG- or PPG- esters, can be water soluble. We've learned that some are surfactants, behaving as solubilizers and emulsifiers.

In short, we've learned about the awesome power of esters!

If you want to refer back to some of the ester posts, I've linked them permanently on this page, which I've changed to be Emollients: Oils, butters & esters

If you're interested in purchasing esters, I have found the following shops carry them. I have not found a place in Canada to get these ingredients, and I don't know much about Australia or Europe, so these are American suppliers. Feel free to add other suppliers with links in the comment section!
  • The Herbarie - They carry a lot of water soluble esters (look under oils & emollients - water soluble or oils & emollients). 
  • The Personal Formulator - I get most, if not all, of my esters here. (look under oils). 
  • Lotioncrafter - Look under emollients for their esters. 
A lot of suppliers carry IPM (isopropyl myristate), so check out something like the miscellaneous, or lotion supplies or other categories if you don't see it at first. And most, if not all, carry polysorbate 20 or polysorbate 80 and Crothix.

As a final note, this isn't the end of the ester series, but a break for a bit. I need to do more experimenting and research in the workshop with some of the new ones I've purchased and that might take a few weeks!

So join me tomorrow for the fun and excitement of the EXPERIMENTS IN THE WORKSHOP series, where I play with some new ingredients!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Esters: Using polysorbates in your products

I've used polysorbates in my creations for quite some time. I use polysorbate 20 to solubilize fragrance oils in body washes, cooling sprays, and cleaning sprays, whereas I use polysorbate 80 to solubilize carrier oils into those same products. Here are a few examples of how to use each solubilizer.

If you want to make a hand cleanser that contains a lot of essential oils or very light oils - for instance, this d-Limonene foaming hand cleanser - your choice should be polysorbate 20. If you want to incorporate something like d-Limonene into cleaning products, again polysorbate 20 is your choice! Or if you have a toner or water based spray you like but want some essential oils or extra fragrance in there, you can add equal parts polysorbate 20 to the mix and solubilize those oils!

The nice thing about using the polysorbates in cleaning products is the very mild non-ionic cleansing they offer as well as the suppression of foam. You don't want a ton of foam on your kitchen counter as you're trying to get last night's spaghetti sauce off the tiles! So we can use these ingredients for the possibly unwanted effects in certain products.

This spray is one of the easiest products you can make, and it's always a big hit in my craft group!

97.5% to 98% distilled water
1% polysorbate 20
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

Mix polysorbate 20 and fragrance oil together in a small container. Pour the water into a mister bottle, then pour the polysorbate 20 and fragrance oil into it. Shake well. Rejoice and enjoy.

If you want to make a dispersible bath oil, polysorbate 80 is your first choice, because it's all about solubilizing the carrier oils.

78% oils of choice
20% polysorbate 80 (emulsifier)
2% fragrance or essential oil

Mix your oils together, add the polysorbate 80. Add 2% fragrance or essential oil. If you are using oils with a 6 month or less shelf life, please add 0.5% to 1% Vitamin E to the bath oil.

And if you want to make a bath melt, you'd turn to polysorbate 80 to help solubilize the carrier oils in the tub!

16% citric acid
32% cocoa or shea or mango butter
45% baking soda
5% liquid emulsifier (like polysorbate 80) or e-wax or Polawax
1 to 2% fragrance oil

Melt the cocoa or shea butter in a heat proof container in a double boiler until liquid. Remove from the double boiler, then add the baking soda and citric acid and stir well. Add oil soluble colouring (powdered chocolate colouring or micas), fragrance oil, and the polysorbate 80. Pour into molds and let set. If you can set them in the fridge, all the better: They'll be harder sooner, and, if you're using all cocoa butter, they will get a lovely shine that makes them look even more chocolate-y.

If you want to add oils to your body wash, here's a link for that! You'd use the same directions to add it to a shampoo.

Join me tomorrow for the esterific wrap-up!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Esters: Polysorbates

Yep, polysorbates - like polysorbate 20 and 80 - are esters! They're ethoxylated sorbitan esters, which means they start off as sorbitan and are esterified, then they are reacted with ethylene oxide to create a non-ionic surfactant with a water loving head and lipophilic tail. You might find them as "tween 20" or "tween 80", which means they're derived this way, or "span 20" or "span 80", which means they're esters of non-PEG-ylated sorbitan esterified with fatty acids. (I'm not covering the span series of polysorbates here because very few of us use them!)

So what does the number mean after the "polysorbate" part of the name? It doesn't designate the number of oxyethylene groups found in the molecule like it does with the other esters because each polysorbate has 20 oxyethylene functional groups in the molecule. It indicates the type fatty acid used as the base. Polysorbate 20 is monolaurate, polysorbate 40 is monopalmitate, polysorbate 60 is monostearate, and polysorbate 80 is monooleate. These are all based upon the various fatty acids - lauric (C14), palmitic (C16), stearic (C18:0), and oleic (C18:1). They have different things they can solubilize and that's based upon the originating fatty acid. 

These are considered to be non-ionic surfactants in that they have a hydrophilic head and a lipophilic tail that can solubilize ingredients that wouldn't normally come together. (A solubilizer aids in dissolving ingredients that wouldn't normally otherwise dissolve into each other.) As we know, water and oil don't really like each other and will eventually separate into layers of oil and water that need to be shaken. By adding polysorbate 20 or polysorbate 80 (the most common ones we find at our suppliers), we can include something like a fragrance or essential oil (polysorbate 20) or a carrier oil (polysorbate 80) into our surfactant or water based products. Polysorbates will emulsify sebum, so they are also considered to be very very mild non-foaming, non-lathering non-ionic cleansers, which you can include in oil based cleansers, and they will increase the mildness and reduce irritation in surfactant products. They will suppress the foam slightly, so they're not suitable for low foamy surfactant products, but we can use them to suppress foam in things like facial cleansers, where suds and lather aren't welcome! 

Polysorbates are readily biodegradable and polysorbate 60 and 80 are acceptable food additives (look at the Twinkies package next time you snarf one down!), and they are considered non-comedogenic, so you can use them in your facial products! 

Polysorbate 20 has an HLB value of 16.7 and can be used as a solubilizer for fragrance or essential oils. We can use it in combination with a low HLB emulsifier (like glycol distearate) to create an emulsification system, or we can use it alone in water or surfactant based products to incorporate fragrance or essential oils (like toners, body washes, and so on). 

Polysorbate 20 is soluble in water and glycerin, partially soluble in fractionated coconut oil, IPM, and mineral oil. 

Polysorbate 20 has an HLB value of 15 and can be used as a solubilizer for fragrance and essential oils as well as carrier oils. We can use it in combination with a low HLB emulsifier (like glycol distearate) to create an emulsification system, or we can use it alone in water or surfactant based products to incorporate fragrance, essential, and carrier oils (like toners, body washes, and so on). 

Polysorbate 80 is soluble in water, partially soluble in fractionated coconut oil and soy bean oil, and insoluble in glycerin.

You can see the tail on the polysorbate 80 is much longer than that of the polysorbate 20 - this is thanks to the longer fatty acid used. Monolaurate has 14 carbons, whereas monooleate has 18 carbons with one double bond in the middle. 

To sum it up, we generally use polysorbate 20 for essential and fragrance oils - I use it in a pinch with some of the lighter oils like fractionated coconut oil or IPM when I'm out of polysorbate 80 - and we generally use polysorbate 80 for carrier oils. You can use polysorbate 80 for essential and fragrance oils, but you can't use polysorbate 20 for carrier oils. If you can only get one, polysorbate 80 is a good choice as it can do the job of polysorbate 20 as well as its own!

Join me tomorrow for more fun with polysorbates and other esters! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Deodorants: If you want to make a lotion bar deodorant...

Finally, if you aren't interested in making a clear stick deodorant but want to make a lotion bar that works as a deodorant, you can make a lotion bar type product. Take a lotion bar recipe you like, and add your favourite fragrance or essential oil, and add some baking soda and/or corn starch to the mix. You can't use Tinosan in this recipe as it is not compatible with anhydrous products, so you'll have to rely upon ingredients that offer anti-bacterial properties to help with possible stenches or fragrances to help cover them up.

How much baking soda? There's really no reliable guide, but if you're going with the 1 part wax to 1 part butter to 1 part oil recipe, you could start with 1/2 part and see how you like it. You can also try this with corn starch, although I'd suggest using something like Dry Flo as it's intended to be used in products like this and the granules are smaller and easier to incorporate into an anhydrous deodorant.

As a disclaimer, I've made exactly one deodorant lotion bar and I didn't like it. The baking soda felt scratchy and it didn't help with smells, so I haven't tried it again. You'll have to work on the ratios yourself. To make them feel slightly less oily, considering adding 2% IPP or IPM to the mixture, using less greasy oils, or using esters in place of the oils. In fact, the complicated lotion bar with esters might feel quite nice in this capacity. I should try that!

Deodorants: A few thoughts on some additions

There are many ways to tweak the three recipes I've posted, so let's take a look at a few things you could include to make your deodorant more moisturizing, more soothing, and more anti-bacterial. Remember that we want to make the ingredients we include to be water soluble, so you don't want to add oils without adding a solubilizer or emulsifier as well.

If you're looking for anti-bacterial or anti-septic ingredients, consider using aloe vera, chrysanthemum extract, honeysuckle extract, St John's Wort, or comfrey root (powdered extract, also a good anti-inflammatory ingredient). You can add the liquid ingredients in place of water or dissolve the powdered ingredients in some warm water, glycerin, propylene glycol, or alcohol and add it during the cool down phase.

If you're looking for moisturizing, consider using the water soluble esters, cationic polymers like honeyquat or polyquat-7 (if you aren't using Tinosan), lanolin, aloe vera, or a hydrolyzed protein like oat, wheat, soy, or silk. Add them in the appropriate phase.

If you're looking for a cooling or post-shaving kind of deodorant, consider adding witch hazel, white willow bark (will help with inflammation), and other astringent ingredients like cucumber extract. You could also use something like peppermint hydrosol in small amounts or peppermint essential oil at around 0.5%. If you're looking for soothing, consider using aloe verachamomile (hydrosol or powdered extract), or lavender hydrosol.

You can include an ingredient like talc for extra absorbency at up to 5%, although you won't get a clear gel bar any more, or baking soda for more deodorizing at up to 5%. You can add corn starch as well, but I'd suggest using something like Dry-Flo that is meant to be used in watery products.

If you aren't using Tinosan in your products, please use a preservative. Yes, I know alcohol is supposed to be self-preserving, but I still worry about what people will do with a product once I've given it to them! And if you're using botanical ingredients, you really need to use a preservative! I use liquid Germall Plus or Germaben II, but any preservative suitable for water based products will work. Optiphen ND will work, but Optiphen won't. Phenonip won't work here either.

So if you wanted to tweak the first deodorant recipe we made with these ingredients, it might look something like this!

7% sodium stearate
47% alcohol
25% propylene glycol
10% peppermint hydrosol
3% cationic polymer - honeyquat or polyquat 7
3% water soluble ester (Crodamol PMP) or cyclomethicone
0.5% chrysanthemum extract
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% tea tree oil
0.5% to 1% preservative

Weigh the sodium stearate, alcohol, and propylene glycol into a heat proof container, place in double boiler, and heat until the sodium stearate is melted. Remove from the heat, let cool to 50˚C and add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into deodorant tubes and let set. Rejoice!

Join me later today for a final note on making a lotion bar based deodorants, then join me tomorrow as we return to the world of esters by learning about polysorbates!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Administrative stuff: A thought about organizing and a question!

I'm trying to get my life organized - yeah, that's going to happen any day now! - and part of that is organizing the blog. (I've been reading a book on hoarding and I don't want to end up living in a house filled with exotic supplies surrounded by hundreds of stray dogs! I need to make some changes now!)

To that end, I'm trying to find a way to organize the blog in a more manageable way. I see the blog as a repository of information, a place where information has been gathered to help us explore our interest in bath & body products further, to share information with each other, and to learn as much as we can about our chosen craft. To do that, I need to keep it organized with the lists you see to the right and label things well.

That's where you, my wonderful readers, come into the help Swift get organized plan!

Commenting on posts. I love seeing your comments, but I'm wondering if we could organize it a little bit better? 

If the point of commenting is to request or share information, clarify issues, suggest ways of modifying a recipe, or reporting results, then we need to organize it so that information can be accessed by anyone who might be remotely interested. As I've been going through the posts to both organize it and to put together a book or two, I've realized how many great comments are likely going unread because they aren't attached to a post that is relevant to the comment. 

Is it possible to find a post that might be more relevant to your comment, question, or suggestion or am I asking too much? (This is meant sincerely, not sarcastically, as I'm not a commenter on this blog and I can do all kinds of neat searches for information.)

For instance, if you want to know something about conditioners, there are tons of posts on the topic in the hair care link (look to the right under the "Links to Lists" section) that might be better suited than a post on melt & pour soap. Or perhaps posting it under one of the ingredients that might be relevant (again, look to the right to see the "Bath & Body Guides to Ingredients"). If you're interested in a conditioner, commenting in a post about Incroquat BTMS or cetrimonium chloride would be more helpful than a post with hand-outs for my craft groups that week. If we can post things in a place where others might see it, you'll get more than just me answering it - you'll have other wonderful readers who might be able to share their thoughts! 

I'm not going to be ultra-mega-picky about it and refuse to answer something not in the "right" section, and I'm not going to ask you to search the blog looking for an answer to your question or for the perfect place to put the comment - but if you could take a moment to look for something in a really obvious section that might be better suited to your question, I think we can share information a lot more efficiently! 

What do you think? Am I going too far in my attempts to organize this blog or is it reasonable? (Be honest! This organizing thing is new to me and often when we make changes in our lives, we tend to go overboard!) 

And here's the question - I'm wondering if there's any interest in an e-book? I have investigated publishing a hard copy of a book and it's out of the question. The publishing costs would be too high and the shipping too much. I'd have to do a run of some kind, and I don't want to publish 100 copies when there's only interest for one. I've even looked into photocopying it and binding it myself (wire bound, not the elaborate fabric covered type you see to the left!) but that would cost at least and take up a ton of my time, so that's right out. Since I'm writing the book to raise some money for my youth groups (we're out of funds and grants are getting harder to come by these days, so almost all the costs are out of pocket for me now), the most cost effective way to get a book out there is to create an e-book.

I'm thinking of doing something like this - if you donate to the youth groups, I'll send you a copy of the e-book as my thanks for your kindness. So you wouldn't actually be buying it - it's like PBS where I send you a book (or two or three) depending upon the level of donation - so think of it as an incentive to donate to my programs! (If you've already donated over $20 to my programs, you'll see an e-mail from me asking if you want a copy of the book. But don't let that stop you from donating more! Every penny counts around here!) I realize this might seem the same as buying a book, but there's one big difference: Imagine the guilt you'll suffer knowing your piracy takes supplies and food out of my youth groups! Just picture a teenager being a little sad because we spent the evening making bleach bottle dolls with donated yarn instead of making awesome shampoo and conditioner she can be proud of making herself!

I had a book published in 2002, and believe me when I say it's a long process to find an agent or publisher who will take a book idea, I'm not kidding. You have to wait to see if it's accepted, and then it's about a year from acceptance to publishing. And they don't like you to send things to other agents or publishers, so you have to wait for each one to respond! I put in a proposal to a publisher last November, and I'm still waiting to hear about it. Although I plan to send some more proposals out in the near future, I don't think there's a market for the kind of book I'd like to write, which is one that won't be just for beginners, will include some of the chemistry, and isn't really for a mass market audience. And then there's the whole the publisher never pays you what he owes you, and all you can do is hope karma bites him in the bum thing, which is another post entirely. I'm not bitter...

Having said this, if you're a publisher or agent who thinks the contents of this blog could make an interesting book - get in touch! 

So here's the second part of this question - What topic would interest you in a book format? I would like something that fills at least 100 pages or 35,000 words, so I'm looking for a general topic, like the one I've just finished up about anhydrous products that runs about 125 pages. I've heard loads of good ideas so far, but I'm always up for hearing more! I have some ideas, but I won't taint your thoughts by including let me know in the comments!

As a P.S. written September 19th: I am not planning to start charging for anything on the blog. The book is meant to bring together everything written on a certain topic in one location - a longer version of the downloadable PDFs you see linked on the right hand side of the page - that you can search even if you're not on-line. It may contain new recipes I've created since the original post, but this is not going to turn into the kind of blog that says do this this and this, "and if you want to know more, buy my book" - I hate websites and blogs like that! You see something interesting, and then it's cough up some cash! Nope. Not an option.

I will not consider advertising of any sort. If I take advertising from suppliers or manufacturers, my opinion becomes suspect. How can you trust that I really like this product or that fragrance if you see a big banner ad for that company beside the post? My goal for this blog is to share what I've learned and - I hope - pique your interest to learn more about our ingredients, the process, or chemistry! I won't take the random advertising I could get from Blogger because I can't control the content and I am so tired of seeing those "girls in your area want to meet you" ads. I don't want some random ad directing you to buy shampoo or lotion somewhere when I'm trying to encourage you to make your own! So advertising isn't an option.

The whole goal of writing the book is to share information and to raise money for my youth groups. I don't need to raise money for my own needs - I have a great job with a non-profit agency that pays amazingly well considering the sector - I need to raise it for my groups! Every penny I raise from the book will go to our seven library based groups and the group we offer at the alternative school. And, if we make enough, it'll go to help start other groups, like the pregnant and parenting teen activity program starting in October.

I'm also considered offering groups to adults in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley area of B.C. to raise money for my groups. If you think you might be interested, let me know. I'd offer a class with recipes, supplies, and the rest - the logistics would have to be discussed as I really don't have space in my workshop for more than two people without getting ridiculously cramped!

And here ends the addendum...sorry for the really long post!

Deodorants: Recipe with dipropylene glycol and witch hazel

If you find alcohol stings and the glycerin recipe is simply too watery for your tastes, take a look at this recipe for a clear stick deodorant I found at Voyageur Soap & Candle (it's not on the site any more, that's why there's no link).

80% dipropylene glycol
8% sodium stearate
6% witch hazel
2% aloe vera extract
2% turkey red oil (sulfonated castor oil - emulsifier)
1% essential or fragrance oil
1% polysorbate 20

Weigh the dipropylene glycol and sodium stearate in a heatproof container and heat until the sodium stearate is melted. Add the witch hazel, aloe vera, and turkey red oil and mix until fully blended. Mix the polysorbate 20 and essential or fragrance oil in a small container, and add it to the mixture after you remove it from the heat. Pour into a deodorant container and let sit until solid. 

This is a very nice recipe, but I found the turkey red oil wasn't necessary as I could incorporate the fragrance oil with the polysorbate 20 (and since I don't use turkey red oil in anything else, it means one ingredient I don't have to buy!). It goes on very smoothly, and the witch hazel adds some cooling without stinging. I originally used 1% tea tree oil, but it was very strong, so in the next batch I added 0.5% tea tree oil and 0.5% green bamboo fragrance oil and it smelled very nice. 

One down side - it's a bit sticky thanks to the polysorbate 20, so we need to add a detackifier and glide enhancer! You could use any of the PEG- or PPG- esters. I chose to use Crodamol PMP at 2% in place of the turkey red oil. Now this feels nice! As well, we don't have Tinosan in here, so we can include that at 0.3% to offer some anti-bacterial and preserving properties. (If you aren't using Tinosan, I recommend using your favourite preservative at your normal levels in the cool down phase!) 

We don't really need to have the polysorbate 20 in the mix as the water soluble ester will help solubilize the fragrance oil, but it doesn't hurt to make sure your oils won't come out of the solution. 

One of the suggestions I've seen is to include lanolin in this recipe. If you don't have a water soluble ester and want some emolliency, I'd include it! It's very moisturizing and can be mixed into a water soluble mixture at a low percent. Try it at 2% in place of the water soluble ester. And if you don't have witch hazel or aloe vera (or can't use it), try another hydrosol, water, or alcohol as substitutions. 

Dipropylene glycol is also known as DPG and it is a fragrance fixative as well as a humectant and polyol. So this ingredient will actually keep your fragrance around all day long! You can use propylene glycol in its place if you don't have DPG.

I have to say that out of the three recipes I've posted so far, this one is my favourite as tweaked below. It's not absorbing a ton of water, it doesn't sting after shaving, and it's glidy enough without feeling oily. It was easy to melt the sodium stearate in the DPG, although there were some interesting - weird smelling but not dangerous - fumes coming off the Pyrex jug. My final modification of this recipe was to include 0.3% Tinosan as the deodorant active and preservative. If you aren't using Tinosan in this recipe as an deodorant active and preservative, you could include something like honeyquat or polyquat-7 (or another cationic polymer) at up to 3% and remove 3% from the witch hazel or aloe vera amounts.

80% dipropylene glycol
8% sodium stearate
5.7% witch hazel
2% aloe vera extract
2% Crodamol PMP or other water soluble ester
1% essential or fragrance oil (0.5% tea tree oil, 0.5% something else)
1% polysorbate 20
0.3% Tinosan

Follow the instructions above, and add the Tinosan during the cooling phase.

Join me tomorrow for a few other ideas on making deodorants! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Deodorants: A recipe with glycerin and water

So let's say you don't want to use propylene glycol in your product - you prefer glycerin - and you don't like alcohol either. There are options for making a clear deodorant stick with water and glycerin!

Here's a recipe I found from Hallstar for this kind of deodorant!

81% glycerin
10% water
6% sodium stearate
0.3% triclosan
2% emollient
0.7% fragrance oil

Heat the glycerin and water to 85˚C, then add the sodium stearate. Mix until melted and clear. Add the emollient and remove from the heat. When cooled to lower than 50˚C, add the triclosan and pour into deodorant containers.

I used PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate (aka Crodamol STS) as my 2% emollient and I added 1% fragrance oil (again, I used Yuzu from Brambleberry as a light and airy scent, but you could use anything you wanted) and removed 1% from the water amount. It felt really lovely on my skin, very glidy and light.

One small problem, though. About two days later, the container was filled with all the water the glycerin had attracted from the air (I didn't put the cap on as I was taking pictures of it and simply forgot!) and it was slimy. It really didn't help using water in this recipe as well! This is one of the huge down sides of using glycerin as your polyol in a deodorant, especially if you're including water - it's a very hygroscopic (water attracting) ingredient. Propylene glycol does this as well, but not as much as glycerin.

Most of the recipes you'll see for a deodorant contain propylene glycol for this very reason. If you don't like propylene glycol, you can try yesterday's recipe with glycerin in its place, but be warned you might end up with a watery slimy mess!

Join me tomorrow for yet another deodorant recipe!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tinosan SDC: Preservative and deodorant

Tinosan SDC is a water soluble silver salt of citric acid (INCI citric acid (and) silver citrate) that has a pH of 1.4 to 1.6. It is a colourless, low viscosity liquid that works as an anti-microbial preservative (bacteria, yeast, and mould) for our products and a deodorant active at 0.1% to 0.3%. It is water soluble and should be added in the cool down phase at less than 50˚C. It is considered by some to be a natural preservative. (I can't tell you why this one is considered more natural than the others as they are still processed...)

Tinosan is suitable for surfactant mixes, gels, and emulsions that have a pH below 7, and it will not cloud your products. It is not compatible with cationic ingredients so please don't use it in your conditioners or lotions using BTMS as the emulsifier, or any products that include cationic polymers, like polyquat 7 or honeyquat. Don't expose products with Tinosan to light, so make sure you package them in opaque containers, and keep them in a cool dark place. Although Tinosan doesn't have a shelf life as such, it is recommended to use products including this preservative within a year. Store the Tinosan in a cool, dark place in your workshop.

I cannot stress this whole opaque containers, storing in a cool dark place part. This product will degrade with light and won't act as an effective preservative if you are putting it into clear bottles or jars. I know I have the deodorant products you'll see over the next few days in clear containers - that's all I had in the house at the time, and I wanted to test the feeling and consistency of the products that day. Make sure all your containers are opaque! 

It is suitable for clear products and you can combine it with other preservatives if you want. Tinosan is water soluble, so it's not appropriate for anhydrous products. When using this preservative, remember to include it at 0.1% to 0.3% in the cool down phase (under 50˚C) of your product. When we're making deodorants, we use Tinosan around 0.3% in the cool down phase as an anti-bacterial ingredient. It's considered a deodorant active as well as a preservative.

Click here if you'd like to see the data sheet on this preservative.

Join me tomorrow to learn more about using Tinosan in your deodorants.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Deodorants: A recipe with alcohol and propylene glycol

As I mentioned yesterday, every clear gel deodorant stick starts off with sodium stearate and a polyol. Generally we'll use about 6% to 8% sodium stearate, a goodly portion of the polyol - one of the glycols or glycerin - and perhaps a little alcohol. Here's a basic recipe from which we can start, then we'll tweak it! (I found this recipe originally on a pharmacist's formulating site, hence the boring name!)

7% sodium stearate
65% alcohol
25% propylene glycol
3% cyclomethicone

1. Weigh/measure ingredients.
2. Melt sodium stearate
3. Mix in alcohol, propylene glycol, and cyclomethicone and add to the melted sodium stearate.
4. Mix well, cool slightly, and pour into stick molds.

As I also mentioned yesterday, sodium stearate has a melting point of about 245˚C, so we can't just melt the sodium stearate. You'll have to use the alcohol as the solvent for the sodium stearate. You can include the propylene glycol in that solvent, so we'll melt the first three ingredients together and add the cyclomethicone at the end with our fragrance oil and preservative. (The cyclomethicone is there to add slip and glide to the product.)

Doesn't this look boring? Just a clear stick with no nice things for your skin, no destinkifiers, no fragrances. So what can we add to the mix?

Our water soluble esters would offer some slip and glide with some emolliency. Something like PEG-7 olivate would offer some moisturizing, whereas Crodamol STS would offer some great emolliency, as well as detackifying and spreading properties. We can add either of these at around 3%, and you can use it in place of the cyclomethicone. I used Crodamol PMP at 3% in my version and it felt very nice, glidy and not sticky. (And at that level, I didn't notice the weird smell of the PMP.)

You could add some aloe vera or other botanical ingredients at 5% or so, and the addition of witch hazel would make it more astringent and more cooling on your skin (but we have alcohol in this recipe, so the cooling effect is kind of redundant). One down side of using alcohol is the possible sting factor after shaving - test this before making this your post-shaving deodorant!

What can we use as destinkifiers in this recipe? We can add a fragrance oil at 1% - I used Yuzu from Brambleberry, but you could use any fragrance or essential oil you like. Some people like tea tree oil as it is anti-bacterial or lavender as an antiseptic. Or we could use Tinosan, an anti-bacterial preservative that's being used in most of the anti-bacterial products like soaps and hand sanitizers. (More about this ingredient tomorrow.)

As an aside, if you want to use Tinosan, you can't use any cationic ingredients like cationic polymers in this product. If you don't want to use Tinosan, you apparently don't need to use a preservative because alcohol is self-preserving at over 60%. I'd still add one...

So let's take a look at our modified recipe!

7% sodium stearate
60.7% alcohol
25% propylene glycol
3% water soluble ester (Crodamol PMP) or cyclomethicone
1% fragrance oil
0.3% Tinosan

Weigh the sodium stearate, alcohol, and propylene glycol into a heat proof container, place in double boiler, and heat until the sodium stearate is melted. Remove from the heat and add the ester, fragrance oil, and Tinosan. Pour into deodorant tubes and let set. Rejoice!

Join me tomorrow to learn a little more about Tinosan!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Deodorants: An aside...

It seems many of us are looking to make our own deodorants, and although it's not a difficult process to make them, it is hard to find a recipe you like. You'll see recipes for deodorants that look like lotion bars with some baking soda in them and recipes for making a clear gel stick into which you can add various essential oils and other destinkifying ingredients. I'm going to focus on the clear gel sticks as I don't like the feeling of a lotion bar under my arms - I find them far too greasy! But you could make them feel less greasy by including up to 5% IPP or IPM and some esters in place of the oils! (You really can't get away from the greasiness of the butter!)

A clear gel stick is generally made by using sodium stearate and a glycol. Sometimes you'll see glycerin, sometimes propylene glycol, and sometimes a combination of these humectants with alcohol as the base, but you'll almost always find sodium stearate or another sodium salt of a fatty acid.

Why sodium stearate? Sodium stearate is an anionic surfactant that is the sodium salt of a fatty acid, in this case stearic acid (C18:0). It is produced through the saponification process when a triglyceride comes in contact with sodium hydroxide (or lye), leaving us with 3 moles of sodium stearate and one mole of glycerin. And yes, it is considered a type of soap and is one of the main compounds we find in soap!

We buy it as a fine white powder and it's safe to use in leave-in products at up to 25%. It offers lubricity and thickening to the deodorant, and it's what makes it a clear gel stick type product. It also offers a little emulsification to the product, so we can add a fragrance oil at 1% to 2% without it eventually rising to the top of the stick. Sodium stearate is soluble in hot water or alcohol, so you'll want to melt it in either of these two liquids. Some recipes call for you to melt it on its own - you'll be there forever as the melting point is around 245˚C, and we simply can't reach those temperatures with our double boilers!

As an aside, you can use sodium stearate with sodium hydroxide as a kind of emulsification system. The sodium stearate goes into the oil portion, the sodium hydroxide in the water portion, and it creates a type of soap that will keep the lotion together. Unfortunately, the inclusion of anything with an electrolyte will destabilize the emulsion. So if you see sodium hydroxide in a lotion, look for sodium stearate to see if they've used this as an emulsifier! As a secondary note, this happens in our lotions all the time in little ways when we use stearic acid, and that's what causes the "soaping effect". 

So we know we need sodium stearate in our deodorant sticks. What else do we need?

I mentioned the humectant above. We need a polyol, which is an alcohol containing multiple hydroxyl groups. We can use glycerin or any of the glycols (propylene, di-propylene, hexylene, or butylene glycol) to create the clear stick with the sodium stearate. You can use alcohol as well, but you'll need to include one of these polyols with it. (The sticks with alcohol or witch hazel will offer a cooling effect, so there's a bonus to using those liquids.) Some deodorant sticks also contain water, generally to help melt the sodium stearate.

What else do we want to include? Well, you can pretty much any water soluble ingredient you want. I like to add proteins, aloe vera, and water soluble esters, like the PEG- or PPG esters. The esters offer slip and glide as well as detackification, which is a huge issue when you're using a humectant to make a deodorant. The last thing we want is something we have to drag along our sensitive underarm area every morning! You can include cyclomethicone to increase the slip and glide (generally around 3%) and you could include some botanical ingredients if you include a preservative. You can include things like cationic polymers to add a little moisturizing and to increase the mildness as well.

Interestingly enough, a lot of the deodorant recipes you see won't include a preservative. There are three reasons for this - the sodium stearate and polyol create a soap and soaps are supposed to be okay if unpreserved, and because a lot of recipes use Tinosan as the anti-bacterial component. (Tinosan is a preservative that doesn't play well with cationic ingredients, and we'll learn more about it in the next few days.) And products are supposed to be self-preserving if you use 60% or more alcohol. I like to include a preservative anyway, especially if I'm using a hydrolyzed protein or botanical ingredient.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating a deodorant stick!