I hope I've offered you enough information on the blog to learn about your ingredients, to give you some ideas on how to use them, and to support you when you're experimenting and feeling a bit nervous. I really can't stress enough how important it is for you to get into your workshop, kitchen, or lab and play with the ingredients because you can't know whether to include cetearyl alcohol or cetyl alcohol unless you know the difference between the two ingredients...and the only way to know that is to play with them in different products!
DUPLICATING PRODUCTS IN SIX STEPS
- Get the complete ingredient list.
- Look at what each ingredient brings to the product.
- Figure out what's really important and what's there for label appeal.
- Figure out how much of ingredient to use.
- Create a starting recipe in percentages.
- Make the recipe, then tweak it to get the skin feel and viscosity you want.
Step two is to look at what each ingredient brings to the product. Take a look at every ingredient and ask what it is doing in the product. Something like an oil is probably an emollient, something like "...paraben" is a preservative. If you don't know what an ingredient does, look it up. On this blog, I have a list of ingredients on the right hand side as well as sections about groups of ingredients, like surfactants, emollients, humectants, and preservatives, to name a few. If you can't find something on that list or can't remember what section you might find it, do a search. (I search this blog all the time. I know it's big, and I try to categorize things as I can, but it's still a really handy way to get around!)
Newbie Tuesday: Learning about our oils and butters (start of the series.) If you're new to bath & body products, I really encourage you to follow along to learn more about our emollients!
Where do I get my information? (research related post with my resources)
How do you know when to add an ingredient?
How do I know how much of each ingredient to include in a recipe?
Step three is to figure out what's important in the recipe. We want to think about the skin feel, the viscosity, and what skin benefits each ingredient brings to the mix. Consider what's in there just for label appeal and what's really benefitting your skin or hair. Things like infusions of something are generally there to sound pretty, but there are also benefits to using chickweed extract (for instance) that might be good in one ingredient but pointless in another.
Step four is to figure out how much you're going to use of each ingredient.
Newbie Tuesday: Learning how to read a recipe and convert it into percentages
If you are new to the product - for instance, if you've never made a conditioner before - please please please don't try to create your own recipe for your first go. Seriously. You will drive yourself insane, and drive me insane in the process as you ask questions. You need to know the product and your ingredients before you can even ponder the idea of creating a recipe. So please, find a recipe that works for the kind of product you want to make, and make that. Then tweak it.
Why are you trying to make recipes from scratch?
How can you tell if it's a good recipe?
Step six is to tweak the recipe to get the skin feel and viscosity you want. If you make this, try it out and see if it matches what you want in a lotion. How to tweak it? That's up to you! I have some ideas in this post on formulating, but you're the one making the product, so you have to be the one who tweaks it!
Duplicating products, the series. Start with this post, then scroll to the bottom and hit "newer post" to see the next one.
Join me tomorrow as we work a little bit more on the gel liner sealant product!