Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What do you want to know?

I'm working on the essential oil series of posts, but I'm thinking about the next series. I'm still working on the facial products e-book - it might be a while, I'm getting rather busy - but I'm wondering what you want to learn? I've been looking at the pages that you like the most and right now the top three pages are chemistry: the atom, biology of the hair strand, and cationic quaternary compounds: cetrimonium chloride, and the hair care section gets at least double the hits of the emollients section. So I'm left to conclude that you want to know more about hair...but what more? (To be honest, I'm not really sure how much more there is to say on hair care - click here for all the posts on that topic - but I'm open to more, if there is more!)

What more do you want to know about any topic (not just hair care)? What is confusing you? Baffling you? Taunting you because you want to know more, but aren't sure what more you want to know? Do you want to know more chemistry? What have you been researching or playing with lately? Do you want to know more about lotions? Skin care? Hair care? Anhydrous products? Was there a post that touched on something but made you want to know more? Be as specific as you can about what you want to know, and I'll do my best to write posts about it. (And feel free to comment on questions posted by other people - this blog is about sharing information, and it doesn't have to be me doing all the sharing!)

As a note, I'm not going to ask you to know every post on the blog - there are 1533 posts and I certainly don't know them all - so let loose on your questions or comments in the comments section of this post! 

Let me know what you want to know and I'll get it on my schedule. (Please note that I still don't want to do any more duplicating, but I'm open to just about everything else!)


Ruth said...

Face Skin care for women..
normal/dry skin..starting to age..
With all those fantastic ingred. I read about..but have no clue how to put them make them work right..
Extra special care for around the eye.
Cleansers, Toners, Moisturizers, Gells, Creams,
Serums, ect.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Susan,
The biology/chemistry behind coily-kinky hair and if it needs different care than straight hair...

I'm researching a bit about this myself and would love additional input...

Tara said...

How about a surfactants e-book for everything but hair care: shower gels, bubble baths, skin cleansers for different skin types and all the ingredients that can go into surfactant formulas.

I am also having problems formulating a simple (or complicated) spray detangler. Cetrimonium by itself is too gummy when left in on the hair (and the CIR only recommends 0.25% for leave on applications). 2% Incroquat CR is pretty thick to spray; maybe I should try BTMS-50? I've also ordered some dimethicone copolyol since I was told that would be a good detangling ingredient, but I have no idea where too start with that one.

Evik said...

Dear Susan,

I would like to know, whether you ever attempted to make your own emulsifiers from scratch, and if yes, what is your experience with this subject?

You may ask, why to make them, if it is so easy to buy. But it might not be so easy everywhere and then, just for the pure pleasure of discovering things and understanding how they work.

There is a number of French bloggers sharing this passion, and I recently felt into this too. However, this subject is relatively new and I am searching for all advice I could get. As you are quite an expert in cosmetics, it would be very interesting to see your opinion on this subject.



Anonymous said...

I would like to see posts on building emulsifying systems. If the large manufacturers want to throw away hobbyists and boutique formulators then it makes sense for us to be less reliant on their products.

Nene said...

Hi Susan.

I would love to see a chemistry series on pH measurements re. cosmetics

Also.... I am trying (with some difficulty) to formulate a recipe for a creamy clay masque, that does not include parabens (at the request of a friend, as I am not opposed to parabens for personal use). I considered making a anhydrous masque and have been experimenting, but I am not not satisfied with with the results thus far. Do you have any ideas for creamy clay masque that I could try.

Thanks so much.

ebuzzle said...

ooh, i am just starting to experiment w/ lotionmaking, creams & body butters next.

but what i am most interested in as of late is facial skin care products- making my own. cleansers, moisturizers, serums- i'm 39 and want to preserve what i have in texture & tone of my skin:)

how do you formulate an anti-aging type facial moisturizer...there are so many additives it gets overwhelming! (if this is in the e-book i apologize, i haven't read it all yet;P)

LOVE your blog, never disappointed

Anonymous said...

I would like to know the best way to use xanthan gum (and other thickening agents) without getting air mixed into it (as it suspends the air and you can't get it out).

Beehive Alchemy / Petra Ahnert said...

I am working on mustache wax and would love to learn more about formulating those. I found a couple recipes that are intriguing, but I have issues with how they are produced (we can probably do better). If you're interested, I can send you the links.

In a similar vein, I am also working on a hair balm. Seems like it should be easy, but I keep getting bogged down in details. Ideally it should have a bit of hold in addition to moisturizaton.

Will said...

Ruth said...
Face Skin care for women..
normal/dry skin..starting to age..
With all those fantastic ingred.

UMMM, what about guys, too?

We don't want to get overly wrinkled either!

Sara @Osmosis said...

I've seen your posts on co-washing, but wonder about the washing of hair with baking soda and then rinsing with vinegar... seems to be all the rave in blogland.

Anonymous said...

I've read somewhere that it needs certain other things (Vit C is one of them) to work properly, so how to make a cream or serum that'll include copper peptide's pre-req's.

The main reason I'd like to learn to make a copper peptide cream/serum is that I've read that it's one of those things that we have to get used to, starting with a small percentage, then build up slowly. Well buying many different strengths will eventually get expensive, AND what if it only takes 1-2 weeks to get used to a certain strength, but the size we bought has 8 weeks worth of product.

So knowing a base cream/serum, then knowing how to make it exact percentages would be lovely, thanks!

Anonymous said...

mineral makeup- foundation bases for the various skintone like yellow to pink and veils. What ingredients will be suitable for different types of face like how you blogged about the mineral eyeshadow.B een a reader for a few monthss I love your blog!

Alex said...

i would love a post about ingredients that are safe for around the eyes to put into eye creams, makeup remover, face wash, and facial moisturizer. if i missed this info somewhere on the blog, i apologize! :-D

Catherine said...

- What's the maximum antioxidants/special ingredients (percentage, etc) I can put in a facial moisturizer? In a toner?

- Will the book tell me whether to put certain ingredients in the heat phase vs. cool down phase?

- How will I know the special ingredients are still "active" after the lotion is made? Does heating do something to the ingredients? As long as I put in the ingredients in the proper phase does that mean their characteristics are intact?

I'm a total newbie to lotion making so my questions might seem pedestrian or even not make any sense. My lotion idea...I would buy it if I could find a product that contained all these ingredients...but I can't find it. Maybe it'll turn out I can't make this product because the number/percent ingredients is too high, etc. We'll see.


elaine said...

i second alex's comment: i would love to formula a serum or light cream for the delicate eye area that is safe & effective. under eye puffiness, dark circles, crow's feet preventative..tone the skin around the eye. can this be done?

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with just about everyone's ideas here. I am especially interested in facial products for all skin types but most particularly sensitive and rosacea or couperose skin types.

Sciarretta Farms said...

Hand/facial skincare for dry/very dry skin. You have tons of great recipes for oily skin but very few for dry skin. ;)

Leman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leman said...

I would love to see anti-aging, skin lightning, sun damage repair facial skin care products including lotions, creams, serums etc and all the active ingredients that we can use.

I would love to find out about active ingredients such like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Niacinamide, Glucosamine, Idebenone, Co-Enzyme Q10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, ferulic Acid.

I especially would love to find out about creating AHA type of products and incorporating things like lactic acid and glycolic acid.

Anonymous said...

To echo some of the other comments, I'd like to learn more about the maximum amount of antioxident/anti aging special ingredients advisable for efficacy in serums and moisturizers.

Ben said...

Hi Susan,

As I understand it, different types of product absorb differently. Some will sit on the top of your skin and others will be absorbed.

Can you describe what and why this is, and maybe an example or list of ingredients and how they interact with our skin?

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in writing more about hair care, I'd love another post about hydrolyzed proteins. I've been eyeing the hydrolyzed jojoba protein from DIY Cosmetics, and the hydrolyzed quinoa and milk proteins at Ingredients To Die For, but I haven't found a lot of information about what, exactly, differentiates them from some of the other proteins out there. Just a bunch of junk about how they're unique and special and they can give your hair the benefits of all the other proteins combined...

ELLBIE said...

I would like to learn more about treating young skin with acne. That said, really I learn something from all your posts. I have learned reading newbie Tuesday, even though I have been doing this for about a year (pretty experienced, ay??). I love chemistry day, makes me remember what I learned in school and why it matters. I constantly go back and read old posts to look up something or another (usually to figure out if I have the ingredient but by a different name).
Love this site!

Angelica said...

I remember you had started a series on eye creams. I'd love to see what more you have to say about it.

Also, I loved your sewing tutorial on cosmetic bags. It was so helpful! Maybe more sewing if you want to write more about it.

Ann said...

How about a list of ingredients, and other ingredients that can be substituted for them? For example, if I don't have cetac, what other ingredients can be used in its place? I think many people would find they could make much more than they thought, with the miscellanious ingredients they have around.

Anastasia said...

In the light of the other comments: If you've done this already and I've missed it, then totally I just need to spend more time reading your blog. Which won't be hard! I've always wanted to make my own face and hair care products, and after reading your posts, I've been trying them! :)

I used to use a hair styling product which looked like a liquid in the bottle, but came out as a foam - it was in a foamer bottle. I loved it. The only problem is that the company quit making it. I have fine textured, somewhat wavey hair, and it made the waves more prominent. It was a little sticky feeling when it went on, but it didn't dry hard (unless I went way overboard). I would love to know how to make something like that :)

Leman said...

I agree with Ann!; list of ingredients, and other ingredients that can be substituted for them.

Nedeia said...

Dear Susan,

What a wonderful post:)

1. Skinpenetration enhancers: which are they, how do they work?

2. Which ingredients can go further than stratum corneum?

3. Serums - all kind of serums, emulsions, oily etc

4. How to make your own glycerin extracts ( e.g. Willow bark extract, comfrey- starting from dried plants)

5. Skincare products' pH for different skin types (mature, dry, oily, acne, rosacea etc. - especially toners, cleansers)

6. Chamomile essential oils ( roman, german)

7. Carrot seed EO

8. Ylang ylang essential oil

9. Dental and mouth care- toothpaste, mouthwash

10. Mucilages in cosmetics ( i have heard of linseed

And there are so many orher things :)

Thank you for this opportunity!

Ellbie said...

Also, I really liked your series of "Why did I buy this".

Debbie said...

I would like a resource with substitution lists for everything in one place! Starting with oils, butters, and going on and on and on. I would also like formulations for very dry skin. Thanks!!

Will said...

Nedeia said... Dear Susan,
1. Skinpenetration enhancers: which are they, how do they work?

I agree, I've found info on this difficult to both find and understand.

Thanks, Will

Anonymous said...


Firstly, thanks for an amazing blog, I’ve learnt so much here.

I’d really like to know what uses, if any, Oudh/Agarwood/Aloeswood essential oil has for skin and hair care.
I’ve search without success for information on this and was hoping your wonderful, chemistry-capable brain (I envy anyone whose brain doesn’t melt when confronted with chemistry) could provide me with some answers!


Merilyn said...

I would love to know about botanical extracts and how to incorporate them in to lotions, etc...I picked up so many when I first started out from NDA: licorice root, cucumber peel, olive leaf...etc...they have so many that sounded good. I put them in my cold process soaps but not sure if I'm really getting the benefits.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Debbie & Ann. I've written a post about substitutions - look for it in the next few days!

My Soap Factory said...

Hi Susan,

I would lik to know more about a facial transparent gel(with a transparant Xanthaan gum and a lot of water?), hairstyling products and how to make your own deodorant.
And how to use botanical extracts in lotions and creams.



Anonymous said...

Generous post indeed!

Hair care question:

I hear two arguments, one that says
- combing the hair is bad as it breaks the hair due to friction... and
- combing the hair is good because it speeds up shedding rate and then faster regrowth?

I'm just really confused as to which of these are worthy of believe! Combing or not combing?

Thanks <3

Anonymous said...

Me back :p!

Other than my previous hair care question... I have

"delivery system" question! Can you talk to us about these? Liposome and these stuff, I hear about them and how they deliver ingredients to the skin but can't get my head around them :(
Most places get too technical for a newbie!

Thanks a lot

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Karin! I don't make hair styling products, but you can find information on deodorants in these posts (click here - the ones under the label "deodorant" if you look to your right). Here's some information on xanthan gum. There's another link within that post. I don't really have a specific recipe, but I'm sure you could make one up based on the information!

sweeteababy0427 said...

I want to thicken a shampoo formula I have. I am using Polyquat 10. I'm a little unsure when to add it in. From reading tips on the Making Cosmetics site it says to add the gum to all the liquids. Are the surfactants considered as the liquids? If so, I would add in the gum after I missed the water phase, surfactant phase and extracts, correct? It seems like whenever, I just add it to the water phase it separates out.

Would love to get your insight on this.

Evik said...

Dear Susan, another thing that came to me is the story of the "hydrophilic oil". You can find it everywhere as a cosmetic product and I find it bizarre.. the only hydrophilic oil I know is the sulfonated castor oil. I believe it is just a marketing name for a mix of oils and emulsifiers? What do you think about this?

FG said...

Hi Susan,

Not sure if this post is still being reviewed, but there is something I'd like to know! I went on an ingredient buying spree two years ago and for various reasons didn't have a chance to use most of them. I am looking through the MSDS sheets and a good number of them seem to be past their recommended shelf life. From your experience, are there some ingredients that would remain stable/usable for longer than specified, especially if they haven't been opened, or do I have to bin the whole lot? And if there are ingredients that can be used past their recommended shelf life, how would we discern what they are? I know that it is easy to tell with oils going rancid, but how would I know with something like silk amino acids or honeyquat?

Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Farah. If you could give me an idea of what ingredients you have, it'd be easier to help out. I can't really say as a rule you can do this or that in this situation.

FG said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you so much for replying!! You are right, that was a bit of a lazy question. I will cull the ones that are past their shelf life as per the MSDS data sheets and come back and list them.