Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What interests you?

I thought I'd re-post this post asking for your input because I really do want to know what you want to know! I'm finding it a little hard to be inspired lately as it seems like I'm not sure what you want to learn, so please visit that post or comment on this one so I can plan for the future. I like to have a list of things I can research or I can experiment with in the workshop, and your input is essential. Right now I only have a few things on the list, and I can't get to any of them as I'm waiting for supplies and such.

I really need some ideas for Newbie Tuesday. I see you're interested in hair care - specifically conditioners, it seems - but I'm not sure what I could write about that I haven't covered in the hair care section. Can you shed some light on this for me? I'd really like to have a series we're working on weekly!

I do have some posts on liquid crystal emulsifiers coming shortly, but I'm waiting on my testers' opinions as well as the test of time to see how stable they might be.

I can't wait to see what you say!

As an aside, the bread in the picture is called Chop Suey bread found at a bakery on Pender Island, B.C. It's absolutely lovely! Well worth the incredibly steep ferry rates from Vancouver! 


LSG said...

I would like to try making a crystal deodorant using alum. Could you come up with something in that area?

Anonymous said...

For hair care, how about products specific to keratin-treated hair? I have to use sulfate-free and salt-free shampoo, I currently use Ion brand (but I am not asking for a copycat, just giving an example of what I can use).

Preservatives - sometimes you recommend using different preservatives together for hard-to-preserve products such as botanicals. Which preservatives work well together? In what applications? At what rates? Would I use maximum amounts of both Liquid Germall Plus AND the maximum of Germaben II? Or would I have to cut them down? Or do those two not work well together? Or are the similar enough that it would be redundant to use both? Any guidance is very much appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I remember reading somewhere that you were in the works of making another e-book focused on facial skincare. Was wondering if you had an update on that project? Would like to learn more on making gel-cream hybrids. Maybe also texture modifiers. Thank you for all your hard work. Love your blog.


Kat said...

I'd love to hear a bit about making oil/lotion cleansers that rinse off cleanly. I can't use surfactants on my face, as I find that they dry out my skin far too much, but at the same time I've got quite oily skin and need to get my face thoroughly clean. At the moment I make my own clay-based cleansers (most consist roughly of some type of clay or mud, glycerin, vinegar or multifruit BSC, aloe vera, witch hazel, extracts such as chamomile and a preservative), but when I've tried to make a cleansing cream I haven't been sure how much emulsifier to add and have found that it still feels like there's a bit of an oily layer left on my skin when I rinse it off. If you could offer some guidance here, it would be much appreciated. I'm also interested in making anhydrous cleansers such as cleansing oils or thicker mixtures with exfoliating granules in them, but I'm not sure whether I should use a solubiliser ( and if so, which ones are oil-soluble, as I can't find any that are) or an emulsifier, and what quantity of it I should add in order to get it to rinse off completely cleanly. I bought some polysorbate-80, which I read was partially soluble in soybean oil, and tried to make a cleansing oil by mixing it with soybean oil and a bit of neem and tea tree oil, but found that it just settled to the bottom of the mix, and hadn't mixed into it properly. Any advice in this area would be fantastic. Thank you very much for your wonderful blog! Kat x

Kay Stary said...

I would love a recipe on probiotic deodorant. I saw on another site but it wasn't scientific. I would like to see a more science based recipe that is proven effective!

p said...

I second gel-cream hybrids and texture modifiers, and probiotic deodorant! In general I'd like to know more about the skin's microbiome and how our ingredients interact with it (are they prebiotic? do they screw up our microbiota? what's pH got to do with it).

In this post, you talk some about the chemistry of beeswax & borax emulsions -- I'd love a more in-depth post on that topic!

Thanks for being so awesome, Susan.

mamirican said...

Susan, I think more information about formulating with cosmeceuticals would be useful.

Mokhe said...

Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine! My hair doesn't like BTMS (surprisingly) but loves Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine. I know it's a secondary emulsifier and have gathered a few other tid-bits about it from the web, but would love to know more! Thank you!

Lisa Sigrist said...

I'm loving playing around with quite a few of your recipes. My question is this. What exactly can still be called Organic? Say for instance, you've added Citric Acid or Stearic Acid to your recipe..can it still be called Organic? or even All Natural? This is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately? I think a lot of people get hung up on these terms because they don't really understand them. So it can be important whether you can continue calling something by those titles. Thanks Lisa

Lynda said...

HI Susan,

I'd like to learn more about reverse engineering. Take my fav de-puffing eye cream has 50 ingredients(!), including five different preservatives. I suspect many ingredients are repetitive, unnecessary, or may be used at ineffective levels. Could we get this down to 10-15 ingredients?

In case you want to go with it, I'll list the ingredients and what I've found below. If you can give any input on what's important, what's superfluous, and anything else that seems important, I would be most appreciative. I'd also love any input on swapping out some of the hard/impossible to find ingredients for something more readily available to a home maker. Here goes:

1. Water (easy!)
2. Myrtus communis (myrtle) leaf water (one can buy myrtle leaf at the Florida Herb House))
3. Cammomile flower water (easy to find)
4. Butylene glycol (easy to find, humectant, penetration enhancer)
5. peg-100 stearate (can we just use stearic acid as a thickener?)
6. dimethicone (easy to find, fills in fine wrinkles)
7. cetyl rincinoleate (can we just use cetyl alcohol for a little slip and glide?)
8 silica (easy to find)
9. olea europaea (olive) fruit oil (seems straight forward)
10. glycerin (easy to find humectant)
11. behenyl alcohol (easy to find, thickens, stabilizes)
12. cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract (found this at the Herbarie)
13. Panax ginseng root extract (I think this is a key ingredient, how much do you suspect is needed?)
14. Chestnut seed extract (any idea what chestnut has that ginseng and green tea doesn't already have? This is not readily available).
15. Green tea leaf extract (easy!)
16. Cordyceps sinensis extract (an anti-inflammatory, can get this at vitamin shops)
17. Magnolia grandiflora bark extract (I can only find it in a capsule as a supplement)
18. Apple fruit extract (you blogged about this on 7/22/11)
19. Scutellania baicalensis root extract (I found it on sale at Amazon- expensive!)
20. Pantething (can be found in vitamin/supplement shops)
21. Panthenol (easy)
22. caprylic/capric triglyceride (easy to find
23. Butyrospermum parki (shea butter - really far down the list...can't be using much)
24. caffeine (easy)
25. Coleus barbatus extract (an herb, easy to find at vitamin/supplement shops)
26. Yeast extract/faex/extrait de levure (wow -I found a LOT of this is being used high end products...I don't find it as a raw ingredient. Any thoughts?)
27. folic acid (Vitamin B)
28. hydrogenated lecithin (easy to find)
29. Jojoba wax peg-120 esters (really far down on the list...there can't be a lot of this...thoughts on swapping out regular Jojoba oil?)
30. biotin (B vitamin 7 or vitamin H)
31. Tribehenin (glycerin and behenic acid -- seems important, I can't find it as a raw ingredient)
32. Myristyl alcohol (available at Ingredients to Die For)
33. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 (in Matrixyl)
34. Trehalose (a sugar substitute?)
35. Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid)
36. Ascorbyl tocopheryl maleate (diester vitamin C and E, swap out MAP-stable form of C-- and vit E?
37. Hesperidin methyl chalcone (helps with darkness under the eyes, can buy it on Amazon)
38. sodium sulfite (preservative)
39. sodium metabisulfite (preservative)
40. steareth-20 (emulsifier - will e-wax or pola-wax work?)
41. dipeptide-2 (found it as snake peptide at making cosmetics, paralyzes muscles, use at 1 to 5%, expensive and has a short shelf life)
42. Carbomer (easy)
43. Sorbic acid (preservative)
44. Chlorphenesin (muscle relaxer)
45. Ethyhexylglycerin (preservative and skin conditioner)
46. Tromethamine (ph adjuster, masks fragrance)
47. Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
48. Titanium dioxide (to make it opaque?)
49. Mica (for color)
50. iron oxides (for color)

That's a lot of ingredients!

Many thanks for your fantastic blog,


Lynae said...

I would love to learn more about stabilizing and thickening in the water phase with things like carbomer or xanthum gum. I was hoping you'd go into that when you tried the Lotionpro since it lends itself so well!

bene59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bene59 said...

wondering what is your opinion about this?

A.J. said...

Personally I'm obsessed by two things. Anti aging/ wrinkle removing and weight loss. :) Would like to see a duplication of a vitC serum and well do they really work? Regards

Maudie said...

Hi, I am really interested in you telling us about your passion for your work, how you got into it etc... It might fire up your inspiration again.

Perhaps list of the best ingredients that a newbie would need to do the more simple moisturisers, hand & body lotions. Thank you, Love your blog!

A.J. said...

Personally I'm obsessed by two things. Anti aging/ wrinkle removing and weight loss. :) Would like to see a duplication of a vitC serum and well do they really work? Regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

As a newbie from Europe with an interest in hair care (thick, dry and heavy hair; irritable and dermatitis-prone scalp) I'm constantly on the lookout for the dream ingredient that would fix all that for me. In the meanwhile, I'm working on the best combination of BTMS, coconut and avocado oil and panthenol which is what I have to work with at the moment, and scouring your archives for intense conditioners, hair masks/butters/custards or in that general direction. My dream hair product would be something that could be put in a squeeze bottle (since butterfingers here always drops the new jar of painstakingly made hair mask in the shower) and still had awesome conditioning and scalp-soothing powers.

Whatever you decide to formulate and/or write up for your blog, it's going to make for great and inspiring reading.Love, Elisabeth

Sherry D said...

By the way Linda, just wanted to say that she actually does have some posts on reverse engineering products. Check through her past posts and you'll probably find them. :D

Also, Susan, I forgot in my last post! I saw a previous comment mention an ebook ... where can I find it?! Is it on Amazon? Also, do you sell any products anywhere?

Laura Lisauskas said...

I would love more LIGHT FACE MOISTURIZER recipes, that are SIMPLE and have mostly natural ingredients. PLEASE!!! Can't find decent tried recipes anywhere...SPF is also challenging, should I get Totanium Dopxide, Zinc Oxide and how the hell to use them...thank you, you're awesome!

Lucy Townsend said...

Hi Susan,

Big fan of your blog and you've covered so much it makes it hard to find anything to ask..but my personal concerns are the following;
1) I STILL (!) haven't been able to make a shampoo with greenish ingredients that doesn't irritate my scalp. tried the taurates/ isethionate but when I tried decyl & coco betaine...not cleansing can I try? I am thinking of buying next some coco glucoside, what could I combine this with in recipe?
2) Is it possible to make an anhydrous body butter type product but that does not block pores? Would sucragel work?
3) I have seen recipes for adding corn starch to body butters and hand creams to make them less greasy, would this work, or does it just make a mess? I presume you would need a preservative of some kind?
4)I am dabbling with fragrance products, so blending essential oils is something I'm struggling with at the moment.
5) I want to make a bath milk or emulsifying body scrub, but want to avoid the polysorbates as they are not "eco". What could I use?
Many many thanks and happy nearly spring ;-)

Brandi Yates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandi Yates said...

I usually find exactly what Im looking for in your search. I tried your facial moisturizer with macadamia nut oil and rose hip oil and Ive already received compliments. Are there anymore wonderful ingredients that could be included for scars?

Im also interested in the hype of the body wraps and how to make them.

Sue said...

Hi Susan, absolutely loving the blog! It is my mandatory daily reference point and I get lost in your blog for hours - still!!!

I'm with the ladies wanting to know when your e-book for facial/skincare information is going to be available - absolutely hanging out for that one! I would like to learn more about creams, lotions, gels etc for the face, have read what you already have posted but am hungry for more!

Another thing I've been curious about, sometimes I notice that ingredients found in the cool down phase you sometimes add into the heated water phase (hydrolysed oats comes to mind), and wondering why?

Having given all my current requests, I'm thrilled with any and all information you so passionately give us THANK YOU!!!


Brandi Yates said...

I have some fake chinese MAC makeup knockoffs and the containers look like the real thing. How would you or could you find out what is in them?

Deb said...

Hi Susan,
I am also a fan and love your blog! I have been making skin creams with different combinations of butters and oils. I have made progress getting a consistency and feel that I like. I am interested in the claims made by some companies that their products "reduce the effects of aging, decreasing fine lines, etc., etc." What are the ingredients that are used to make these claims? I am sure that we can make them for a lot less than what I perceive as astronomically high prices that the cosmetic companies charge for them.. Thanks for all your time and expertise.

Anonymous said...

Why did you post that delicious looking bread? I love making bread but i have never put anything other then flour, milk, sugar, yeast, salt and olive oil. I'm so hungry now. You have thought us so much, for me you thought me everything i know about beauty products and i don't know what else i would like to learn that i can't find in your blog already, but i'll think about something.

Frances said...

I also thought this post was going to be about the bread! haha but I am also interested about making my own anti-aging products. Thanks!

Nancy said...

It looks like BTMS-25 is the same thing as BTMS-50, minus butylene glycol. Could butylene glycol be added to BTMS-25 to make it BTMS-50?

tq said...

Thanks for all you do Susan! I get lost in your blog like many others, and I LOVE your e-books. I'm SO glad that I found your blog, and wanted to make sure I said a HUGE thank you before adding a suggestion :) You are so generous with your knowledge and curiosity and we all appreciate it.

What about clay facial masks? Or using clay as an exfoliant? My skin is super sensitive to friction, but I DO need to exfoliate my face - and I was thinking that clay or activated charcoal might do the trick! Could something with clay and Foaming Silk PF (from the Formulator Sample Shop) work as a gently exfoliating cleanser?

Nicole said...

oohhhh can't wait to read about your experience with liquid crystals! I am about to head to my "lab" and try one out (arlatone 2121). From what I have read, they can be tricky to work with, so I am anticipating needing your help for some troubleshooting!

And as far as what interest me, I gobble everything up but find posts about cosmeceuticals particularly interesting. Thanks!

Lynda said...

Sherry D, many thanks to you for your comment...I had actually already read the reverse engineering blogs, but got overwhelmed by the list of 50 and gave up quite prematurely. So I went back to the drawing board, which has been quite fun. I haven't found the 1% line yet, but I'm learning a lot. My guess is I will still love Susan's input, but after I've done more work myself.

Katie Ziegler said...

Nicole, I had a lot of fails with Olivem 1000 (another liquid crystal emulsifier) until I discovered the secret to using it successfully. I pour my water phase into my oil phase and then start the hand mixer on a low speed. As long as I keep the hand mixer going until it's time to add the cool down phase (I do it at or below 45C), then all of my emulsions come out fine. If I even stop for a moment to scrape down the sides of my beaker, then the chances are pretty high that the water will start oozing back out of the oil phase.

I hope you have much better luck than I did!

Susan, I am jumping on the cosmeceuticals bandwagon. There are so many out there, and they all claim to do miraculous things. It's hard to tell which ones are worth the extra money.

Thank you for all you do for us! I'd still be trying to figure out what to do and whose wacky instructions to trust if I hadn't found you! <3

AMJ said...

Hi Susan,

Two suggestions:

1) As a newbie I often struggle with the best ways to weigh and transfer small amounts of ingredients. What's the best way to transfer ingredients that are thick and sticky like preservatives from bottle to pyrex jugs? What is the best way to get get the last bits of product out of the jugs or weigh boats when ingredients are viscous? Also, I recently used airless containers to package some serum I made. After a while the bottles leaked around the edges. What causes these problems, and how to avoid?

2) I bought some GuarSilk from the Herbarie. It seems like it ought to be a nice ingredient but I don't find it makes that much difference to my hair. Have you used silk much and what do you think about it?

Ann Marie

Iman said...

I'm really interested in cosmeceuticals! Would really like to see if vitamin C serums are really as cracked up as they're touted to be (and it seems like others are interested in that as well, haha).

Oh, and maybe a recipe for that bread. ;)

Aljonor said...

Hey Susan:
Keep up the great work.
I love making different hair conditioners. I will like to see your ideas on using polymers like carbopol polymer in conditioners. I am seeing it in commercial conditioners, but wondering why. also, I will like to see your idea in using PEG-40 in a leave in hair conditioner spray. Lastly, I will like to make a brow gel to help my brows lay flat. Hope this helps

Iman said...

Oh! This is probably slightly unrelated, but I was wondering if you could talk about steaming your face. I keep hearing conflicting information on whether or not it's good (opens pores! products get deeper into skin for extra working power!) or bad (can break capillaries! causes redness and irritation!) without any apparent scientific backing and would love your take on it, since you're likely have real sources!

Krista said...

I read over Lynda's comment about reverse engineering an eye cream and read the ingredients. Lynda, youy can find Magnolia grandiflora bark extract at NDA. Note: their shipping to U.S.A, however, is staggering. It's not worth it unless you buy over $150 in product.

Krista said...

Hi Susan, thank you for all the time you take for all of us on your blog! I love it, and your e-book on Hair is my bible!
I'm interested in making an olive hair balm using olivem and oliwax. Is it possible?
I'm also interested in reverse engineering some eminence products. Looking at their ingredients, it seems pretty easy. But I'm stumped as to how they preserve their products, unless they are using amticide...(I'm having a helluva time working with it)
Lastly, is using an ingredient obtained from a capsule bought at say the Vitamin Shoppe (i.e. creatine, herb, or vitamin) have any real effect as an ingredient in a skin, or hair care product?I've always avoided buying those, because I don't think they have any active properties, topically.

Also for any or all of you in the biz, I sometimes share my crazy customer stories for comic relief.
A recent customer inquiry: "I'd like to buy "a 1/4 oz sample of your serum". The serum is 1/2 oz.
Another one: "I'd like to buy your shampoo and conditioner. But if it doesn't work for me, can you just deduct the amount I used? Or perhaps I can return it, and you can resell it..."
Thanks, awesome lady!

Sherry said...

Awesome, Linda, glad you found them. I agree, it's overwhelming, especially for a beginner like me!

Lynda said...


Thanks so much for pointing me to NDA. I think I'll use the extract for now, which is not so expensive. I wonder if you have any leads on panex ginseng? I can find the American version as an extract at Mountain Rose Herbs, however, it has different properties than the red/Chinese version...which I can't find unless I want to buy an 1,100 barrel. Well, MRH sells a piece of red root, but then one has to do their own extraction. I also found one other place that sells enough to add to 4 oz of base cream, but that's not a financially sustainable route.

And Swift, I so appreciate not only your work, but the wonderful community of support that is being created. Your generosity seems to be infectious...way to go.


AMJ said...

Hi Susan,

I use a commercial face mask that has hydroxy and lactic acid in it. Have you made any products with lactic acid? I am a bit nervous to try making something like this myself but I could start with a low percentage of lactic acid and take the percentage up as tolerated. It would be great to hear about your experiments with exfoliating facial masks.

What about a BHA leg cream recipe?

Also, I saw a post you wrote on eaux micellaires. I like those products - great for after a workout or taking off makeup quickly. I've been experimenting with recipes but I haven't come up with a formulation I really like yet, at least not as much as the commercial products (crazy prices though).

Ann Marie

AMJ said...


Yet another idea. What about taking one ingredient and showing 10 ways to use it? This would be a great way for formulatiors to get the most out of a single purchase. Could an 8-oz bottle of a special oil be used to make hair conditioner, body oil, facial cleansing oil, lip balm, body lotion, body milk, etc? The idea would be how to maximize the purchase of one product and use it all up before it goes off.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

To those of you interested in cosmeceuticals, have you visited the section I've created on this topic? Could you be more clear on which ingredients interest you? Please note, I can write up posts on things on a theoretical basis, but I can't possibly afford to buy all these things! Cosmeceuticals are expensive creatures!

Hi Kay. A probiotic deodorant? I've never heard of such a thing, and my searches bring up nothing but other DIY sites without any science to back up the idea. Can you please send me a few links I could read because I'm not getting this idea?

Hi Lisa. I'm not the person to ask about this as I really have no idea what "all natural" could mean. As for organic, isn't there an organization that designates this? I have a list of things from something like the NOF (could be wrong about this...) that sets these out. But what wouldn't be natural about citric acid or stearic acid. Those things are abundant in nature! Citric acid is found in citrus fruits and us, which stearic acid is found in almost all (if not all) animals, our butters and oils, and in our bodies. What could be more natural than that?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi bene59! I couldn't figure out the link. It looks like it is from South America? I'm sorry, but I only speak English! Can you give me more information?

To those of you interested in Vitamin C sera, could you please post a few links with some ingredient lists as I've spent far too much time with few results lookng for them. Thanks!

Hi Laura! Take a look at my moisturizer recipes and substitute your own preferred ingredients to get a more natural product. Check out the posts on different emulsifiers to see what fits your philosophy and incorporate those in the moisturizer recipes you find in this post. As for using physical sunblockers, we can't make our own sunscreens as it is too dangerous. (Click here for more information.)

Hi Nancy. BTMS-25 isn't the same as BTMS-50. Check out this post on INCI names to learn more. There are a few differences.

Hi AMJ. Have you looked at the post on cationic guar gum? (It's the same product as GuarSilk, which is one of the reasons we want to learn our INCI names of ingredients! Click on the post in my response to Nancy to learn more or check out the FAQ.)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Aljonor. What purpose is there to add PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil to a leave in conditioner? It's a non-ionic solubilizer that will bring nothing to the conditioning of your hair. It might help incorporate some oils or fragrance oils, but it brings nothing to the party for your hair! What have you heard the reason might be?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lucy! I'm answering your question about making anhydrous products that won't block your pores on Tuesday, March 4th. The short answer is that anhydrous products don't necessarily block pores or cause breakouts through comedogenicity. The long answer? Check out the post on Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Dear Susan,
Thank you for your blog. Based upon what you have posted, I now have a lab in my basement--right across from the washer/dryer. I made my first concoction: shampoo. It came out really well, then I realized too much crothix was added. Thinning it with water helped, but lathering suffered; lesson learned. Then my niece asked for a face wash to help with acne. The foaming face wash recipes on your site, along with descriptions of ingredients and substitutions enabled me to use what I had on hand. My niece is so happy with her white willow bark, low concentration of surfactants foaming wash. Next up will be a conditioner, then more. I have a wonderful new hobby, and I thank you so much.
Mary Beth

Mary Beth Doyle said...

Susan, Please can you tell us about a "new" mild surfactant called Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside - or "SugaNate 160?" Thank you. Mary Beth

Iman said...

I asked about cosmeceuticals and I am a bit ashamed to say that I don't actually recall what it was that I wanted to learn more about - I wrote that comment right after reading through your cosmeceutical section, too! I feel a bit silly that I didn't expand in my original comment now.

Regarding a vitamin C serum, though, most DIY recipes I've found are short-term make-every-month recipes. For example, one recipe is just 1 tsp L-ascorbic acid, 8 tsp distilled water, 1 tsp glycerin (for easier application). Another one I've come across is a C&E recipe that is supposed to be a Skinceuticals dupe:

1 tsp L-Ascorbic Acid
1/4 tsp Ferulic Acid
1 cc/ml of Vitamin E Oil
1 cc/ml of Hyaluronic Acid
1 1/2 tsp Sea Kelp Bioferment
4 tsp Distilled H2O

And some others are simply tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate mixed in with a carrier oil at about 5-10% concentration. I can't seem to find much info on tetrahexydecyl ascorbate outside of people trying to sell it to me, or skincare sites without sources, though.

I did some Googling on the oxidation of ascorbic acid and came across this (unsourced) webpage that says dehydroascorbic acid will degrade to products that are more acidic (and thus more irritating). I tried to find more information on the rate that ascorbic acid degrades and came across this one about vitamin C in drinking water, but I don't have access to the full article unfortunately. From the abstract, it suggests that there's "modest" degradation of vitamin C in water without copper present - I was hoping to find out what "modest" means in this case to see how quickly vitamin C actually degrades and whether or not a DIY serum that is created monthly would still be effective and not irritating. This post, for example, says that degradation happens on the scale of days.

I'm also particularly concerned about the colourless degradation into things like oxalic acid (although I'm not sure if that only appears with the presence of copper) where prolonged skin contact can be dangerous, according to Wikipedia.

Anyway, um, sorry about the wall of text - I felt bad for asking what could be a repetitive question or for just requesting a recipe without doing any of my own work!

Mary Ann said...

Love your books!!! Have them all and they are lifesavers to me! I am also one who is really interested in your book on face care products. Right now I am trying to figure out a good face wash, a body wash and really luxe bubble bath. Thanks, maf

Krista Errickson said...

Ok, trying to post this for the 3rd time.

Lynda: you can get panax ginseng extract @ FSS (Formulator Sample Shop)

Commenters: many asked for a Vitamin C Serum. I make a good one without silicones - I'll post it when I can. Unless you plan to use it right away, stick with Vitamin C Liposome. Vitamin C is extremely unstable in formulations. If you plan to use it right away, use the ester.

Then, Susan, I've been working on an a natural intimate cleanser, but I'm unsure of what the pH level should be, and what ingredients I must avoid. Any ideas?


Krista Errickson said...

Forgot to add this about Vitamin C Liposome: It's stable, and the perfect delivery system for the skin. In fact, I prefer all skin Vitamins in the form of Liposomes (P, E, CO-Q10). And, it doesn't take alot. .25 oz for 4 oz serum

MsClogs said...

My wish would be to see a blog post about clay masks. I saw your three posts on the inactivation of preservatives through various ingredients and you briefly touched on kaolin and silica in there, but I'd like to find out more about it. How does this deactivation mechanism work?

I've been researching activated (wet) clay masks in some detail and have found a number of companies that sell activated clay masks without preservatives which seem to contain relatively high amounts of alcohol.

For instance, look at this mask from Neal's Yard:, a well-known large British skincare manufacturer. I have no doubt that this mask isn't rampant with microbes (they would've had to have it challenge tested under the new EU regs anyway to demonstrate that it is safe) and yet somehow there is no preservative in it. How does alcohol work to preserve a clay mask at what I reckon must be less than 25% weight? Surely this would have a horrible drying effect on the skin? Any insight you can offer would be very welcome. :)

Bonnie said...

Hi Susan! Can I just say how much I love this space, and its well reasoned scientifically based discussions? It's awesome!

On to the question: as a cold process soapmaker, I've always wondered about the benefits of superfatting with fancy oils. As I understand it, some amount of superfatting can counteract the oil-stripping effects of soap on skin. And of course, superfatting is a way to ensure that you never have extra lye hanging out in the soap.

But if I superfat with expensive jojoba and tamanu oils that supposedly impart XYZ properties to the skin ... do they actually impart those properties? I would think the soap would just dissolve most of the fancy oil and wash it down the drain. That's what people use soap for in the first place, right? To dissolve oil and get it OFF the skin?

Rolanda said...

Hi Susan,

I would like to learn more about how to create anti aging products. Specifically, lotions and creams that target fine lines, wrinkles, and dull dry skin.

Mary Beth Doyle said...

Could we make a hair mousse which is dispensed in a foaming hand soap bottle? Rusk has a product which has that kind of pump instead of the compressed style dispenser. I would be so excited to make a hair mousse! Thanks for all your help. Mary Beth Doyle

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Maudie. I've written a bit about my background, as boring as it is, in this post.

Hi Bonnie. Sorry, but I know nothing about soap making and no time to learn about it at this time. Perhaps Anne-Marie of the Soap Queen could offer more information?

Hi Krista. I'm afraid I have no knowledge about making those kinds of products. May I refer you to Google books to see if you can find some kind of textbook?

Hi Kay and p. I can't find any information outside of various blogs and people selling probiotic deodorants on this topic. There's nothing in my textbook or study searches about this topic at all. So I'm afraid this isn't something I can write about until I can find some science behind it.

AZ Linda said...

Susan, I would love to delve into hair care products for specific geographical areas. I live in the desert and we have numerous types of cacti. They thrive in the hot, dry climate. FSS sells various cactus extracts. I would be interested in knowing if they would really benefit products formulated for this climate. Just a thought.

Also, I ditto the gel creams.

Thanks for such a great blog site.