Monday, November 11, 2013

Long weekend wonderings: A new page linking to all the HLB system pages! Altering the pH of your products. Using sea buckthorn in a solid perfume? Why is lotion white? And a request for feedback on my recipes...

There's this sudden increase in people wanting to alter the pH of their products, and what I can tell you is that if you don't have a good pH meter - not the strips, not a guess - then don't. The recipes I write are pH balanced with the ingredients I use. If you are going to change the ingredients dramatically - a common example is using a large amount of decyl glucoside, which has a pH as high as 11, in place of a surfactant that has a pH of 6 or lower - then you might have issues, but for the most part, I make sure that you don't have to do all that work at home.

I wanted to let you know that I've created a new page for all the HLB system links on the blog, including a new arrangement for the pages that I thought might help make it more of a course where you go from an introduction to harder things as well. I'm looking at putting these in a PDF for download over the Christmas holidays.

In this post on sea buckthorn oil, Lea asks: I was wondering what your opinion was on using this for solid perfumes, I know it's expensive. But I am still curious. Everyone seem to use jojoba oil. 

Sure, but there's no reason to use this or any other expensive or exotic oil over another when making a solid perfume. The reason we use oils in a solid perfume is to be the medium that transmits the fragrance to our skin, so you can use any oil for this purpose. Some people use greasier feeling oils, others use less greasy ones. The skin feel for this product isn't nearly as important as the consistency of the stick when applying the product. You want something stiff that will melt when it touches your skin, so you'll want to choose the butter well. But when you apply it, you're using a tiny bit on your skin, so you don't want to worry about what will offer glide and slip and less greasiness and everything else we think about with oils. You just want something that won't melt in the tube and will apply to the skin nicely.

If I were to pick oils for this application, I'd want something with low odour - so nothing unrefined - with a long shelf life. You might want to add some Vitamin E to make the shelf life longer. I wouldn't bother with jojoba oil - an oil that has increased in price really dramatically over the last year - but something light feeling and long shelf lived, like fractionated coconut oil (two year shelf life). You can use any hard butter you wish, but don't use all coconut oil or all babassu oil as they melt around 76F, which is low enough to melt when the product is in your pocket or during a slightly warmer day.

Check out my visual SnapGuide to learn more about making solid perfumes.
Check out the post on the topic on the blog...

I'm afraid I can't find the comment at the moment, but someone asked me how two clear things - water and oil - could come together and create something white, like a lotion or cream. What a great question! And I found a great description about this from the Guardian science question page...

Q Why does milk look so different when it is frozen? asks Laura D

A Milk at room temperature is an emulsion – globules of fat dispersed in a watery solution that also contains tiny protein particles. That's why milk looks almost white – these globules and particles are just the right size to scatter the wavelengths that make up visible light.

Pretty cool, eh?

If you like it, please comment. If you hate it, please comment. If you've tried the recipe and it worked, please comment. If you tried the recipe and it failed in some way, please please please comment so I can work on it.

Beth has been travelling around the blog sharing her thoughts about the recipes she has tried (here's an example), and it's giving me such great information! I want to hear whether you tried it, whether you liked it, what you changed and what you didn't, and everything else so I know what is working and what isn't and what I need to fix! It also tells me what recipes are popular and what I should work on in the future. If I never see a comment about a specific type of product - let's say, a solid scrub bar - then I won't bother posting more about it. If I see loads of comments, I make a point of developing more recipes when I see how popular it is. (This is one of the reasons you're seeing more facial product recipes...)

Thanks, Beth, for taking the time to share your thoughts! It's been lovely seeing your comments every day.


Lise M Andersen said...

I wouldn't mind using more of your recipes Susan, but your and my suppliers are apparantl so different that quite a few of the ingredients you use are not readily available to me. I do keep on the lookout though. :)

Anonymous said...

Ive spent a ton of money on ingredients from recipes on your blog. I have a lot of dls mild and bioterge and would like to make bubble bath with them because Im not happy with the shampoos Ive made. I cannot get the shampoos thick enough. My favorite of your recipes is a foot cream for really damaged feet, many conditioner recipes, and your cuticle cream/lip balm with lecithin.

Brandi Yates said...

I also would like to know how to make the bubble baths with dls mild or bioterge if you have time.

Simone said...

Hi Susan,
I'm not sure where I should post this question. I found an ingredient at Lotioncrafter: EMUL THIX
INCI: Sodium Polyacrylate (and) Dimethicone (and) Cyclopentasiloxane (and) Trideceth-6 (and) PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone
EmulThix™ is a ready-to-use polymer in a silicone base that thickens and emulsifies, while imparting recognized silicone properties such as smoothness without a greasy or tacky feel. EmulThix™ is a water-in-oil emulsion of aqueous sodium polyacrylate in dimethicone.
Do you have any idea as to what I could use as a substitute?
Lotioncrafter's recipe is as follows:
3% EmulThix™
3% Abyssinian Oil
5% Squalane
3% Q-Max Coenzyme Q10
2% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
1% Vitamin E Acetate
1% Lotioncrafter Ester AB

Phase B
3% MicroSilicone Spheres
3% Cyclomethicone

Phase C
66% Distilled Water
9% Lotioncrafter Wrinkle Defense Complex
0.1% Tetrasodium EDTA (powder)
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus

Phase D 0.3% Fragrance (optional)

Also I have finally received the 'Natural Odour Reducer' product and will let you know what the results are. On its own it has no detectable fragrance.
Thank you.