Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: How to preserve slime, a review of natural preservatives, and thickening after lotion creation

Well, it looks like autumn is just about here, and in my part of the world, we'll finally get some relief with rain! Woo hoo! I'm not saying I like my hair all frizzed up and water swollen - I'll be living with a bottle of my anti-frizz spray in hand- but it's so much better than having the kitchen at 26˚C for weeks on end! I like to sit with my family and eat dinner, not alone in the air conditioned bedroom, so I'm a happy camper. The only thing that annoys me is everyone asking me if I'm cold wearing shorts. No, I'm not. I just hate pants.

In this Weekend Wonderings post on polysorbates, Karen asks: I have not figured out how to contact you directly, but Halloween is coming up. There are lots of recipes going around for slime, and my son would like such a recipe. How can I safely make and preserve some neon green slime?

I've never made these as I have a really weak stomach and anything that looks like mucus makes me want to run from the room. (Excuse me for a moment...All right. Better now.) I haven't tried these recipes, but I suggest this site at About Chemistry. I'm so happy you want to preserve it, and because these contain water, it's a good idea. It looks to me like you could use any water soluble preservative from liquid Germall Plus to Leuicidal. Check out the downloadable chart to see what you could use!

You can e-mail me from the link found on the upper right hand side of the page!

Bart: Hey, Lisa. Wanna touch Strangles? He's not slimy at all, he's scaly.
Lisa Simpson: Eww, he is slimy!
Bart: That's because I dipped him in slime!

One of my favourite lines, for some strange reason, and one that I yell all the time to my friends when they touch things in my house! 

In this long Weekend Wondering, Jane wrote to say: Susan, thanks so much for all your very helpful & informative posts on preservatives. I've also been looking at Ecocert preservatives which are broad spectrum. I've put together a detailed list of "natural" ones (INCI, how to use, etc.) and would be interested to have any comments you might have (more specifically on Mikrokill ect /geogard ect as that looks like it might be ok with a neutral rather than acidic ph)

Great read, and I encourage anyone interested in what might be considered more natural preservatives to take a look! I'm wondering if phenoxyethanol, found in preservatives like Optiphen, is considered natural? I'll offer more comments later this week, but it looks like a really great review!

In this post on using thickeners, Scented13 asks: Can we thicken our lotions after making them if they haven't thickened up enough? My lotion contains Emulsifier NF & Cetyl Alcohol but I feel it's too thin and just wondering if there is any remedy to this? 

If you can find an ingredient that doesn't need to be heated, then you could add that to a lotion to thicken it, but we can't use anything that needs to be heated as it can destroy the cool down ingredients we use, like fragrance or essential oils, preservatives (and that's a really big concern), silicones, extracts, and other heat sensitive things. You might be able to use a little xanthan gum when it's cold, but I haven't tried this, so I can't guarantee it'll work.

Next time, try a few things I mention in the posts below. As well, consider reducing the water a bit. It's amazing how much a 60% water recipe can be thicker than a 65% water recipe!

Does anyone have suggestions for Scented13? I'd love to know what you think! 

Related posts:
Learning to formulate: Butter, oils, and thickeners
Learning to formulate: More fun with thickeners
Learning to formulate: A few small changes continued...
All the posts labelled "thickeners"

I'm still working through the comments I've seen over the last two weeks, so I'll get to your comment soon! Keep checking back!


Ingrid said...

Hi Susan and Scented13,

On occasion, my lotions or body butters did not turn out as thick as I would have liked.
I remedy this by making a duplicate batch, but much thicker, and mixing the two batches together.
To make the second batch thicker, I either do as Susan suggests - use at least 10% less water or I increase the amount of cetyl to make it much thicker. Much cheaper to just reduce the water amount in the second batch.

Hope this helps,
Cheers, Ingrid

Kim Aue said...

Brilliant, Ingrid! So logical...a real "duh" moment!!!

Kim Aue said...

A"duh" moment for myself...

Jennifer Bullock said...

After I've done the heat and hold to 70, I scoop out some of the lotion and stick it in the freezer for a bit. It takes less then 10 minutes for it to set up and then you can add more thickener if it needs it. If your freezer sample is nice and thick, then go ahead and cool the entire batch down so you can add your cool down ingredients.

Robert said...

According to the lotioncrafter website, Sodium carbomer can be used to modify the viscosity of finished products. It may be worth trying to thicken a lotion post emulsion using Sodium carbomer.

Phenoxyethanol was delisted by Ecocert a number of years ago so this preservative probably cannot be considered natural.

Simone said...

Hi Susan,
I was about to ask the same question as Scented 13. I know my cream was overloaded with extracts and so I know why it lost consistency but I was looking for an ingredient that could be added now that wouldn't result in a 'sticky feel'. With my product I packaged half in an air-less pump container and the other half in a plastic 100ml pot. The pump has lost consistency and is more like "half & half" whereas the pot (still in the refrigerator) has kept it's original consistency of being a light mousse. I imagine the refrigeration is the reason the cream in the pot has not changed.
I found a range of products at Making Cosmetics titled ICE .
ICE BLEND Instant Cold Emulsion (ICE) Powder for Making Instant Creams
Description: Instant-cold-emulsion powder made of emulsifiers & sodium polyacrylate. Can be added to water forming instant thick creams. No heating required, saves time. Heat sensitive ingredients such as actives are safe and can be added easily. Compatible with many oils INCI Name: Stearic acid, ceteareth-20, cetearyl alcohol, sodium polyacrylate
They have another 2: "ICE ALGINATE - Instant Cold Emulsion (ICE) Powder with Moisturizing Alginate and ICE CONDITIONER - Conditioning Instant Cold Emulsion (ICE) Powder for Instant Creams."
I was wondering if anyone had tried any of these and if they would be of help to Scented13 and myself.
Robert suggested trying Sodium carbomer. How would you recommend adding this to the finished lotion? would I make up a gel and then add the gel or can I use the lotion as the water percentage? The latter conjures up images of a very lumpy finished product if the carbomer doesn't get completely absorbed.
I look forward to reading what your other readers have to say on this subject.