Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: A few things I've noticed in looking through messages and comments...

As I go through the comments and messages you've sent me in the last few weeks, a few thoughts arise. I thought I should probably link to these posts...

Why are you making products from scratch when you're new to bath & body products? If you've never made anything, find a recipe that you know will work and try that out, then make your changes. I liken this to cooking. If you've never made a cake, would you find a recipe that works or would you throw ingredients into a bowl and hope for the best? I can't stress this enough - find a good recipe and use that.

Beeswax is NOT an emulsifier. It isn't. There is nothing about beeswax that makes it an emulsifier. It can be combined with borax for a water-in-oil recipe, but you cannot use it on its own as an emulsifier.

If you're thinking about starting a business, think about what you need to know. Here are my thoughts in a post I called Would you start a bakery with a Duncan Hines recipe?

Back to the very basics: Anhydrous products. The reason you can't mix glycerin or other water soluble ingredients into non-water containing products is because they don't contain water. You'll need an emulsifier to use a water soluble ingredient in an anhydrous product!

If you look to the right, you'll see I've tried to organize parts of the blog into categories. You may find the recipe or answer your seek in one of those categories.

And two administrative things...

1. Please put your name on your comments. All you have to do is write "Bye, (name)" - you don't need to have a Google account. It's sad that I've had to delete some really great questions lately, but I feel it important to apply this policy to every comment without at least a name in the body of the comment. If you want an answer to your question, please be courteous and sign off with your name so we know who you are!

2. When it comes to writing to me please don't write to me two days after your first e-mail to see if I received it. I can't stress enough that I answer the e-mail in the order in which it is received, and I haven't had much time lately to respond to anything (see this post...). Please remember that I do not have time to consult for your business, and this includes doing any detailed analysis of your recipes. I'm happy to answer questions for businesses if the answer isn't found on the blog, but I need to reserve the limited time I have for homecrafters.

The picture of the puzzle pieces above is from our Yarrow melt & pour group earlier this week! I love that unfortunately now unavailable silicone ice cube tray mold! 

Join me tomorrow as I take a look at some comments you've been making lately!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I wanted to share my latest experiment with you, in case you're looking for ideas for another ingredient post. I used Bamboo Bioferment in a water based leave-in spray detangler and it worked marvelously! The bamboo bioferment is said to be an natural alternative to silica, and lends a nice silky feeling to hair. I used it with horsetail and marshmallow extract, aloe, and silk protein. A light product great for very fine hair.

Happy Spring!


Sandra said...

I have a feeling you have written about this topic before, so I automatically thought of you when I read that Lush has a new innovative way of formulating products without any preservatives.

Take Charity Pot as an example, with water as a first ingredient.


Water (Aqua, Fair Trade Olive Oil, Glycerine, Organic Jojoba Oil, Moringa Oil, Fair Trade Organic Colombian Cocoa Butter, Stearic Acid, Fresh Aloe Gel, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Triethanolamine, Geranium Oil, Rosewood Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute, Cetearyl Alcohol, Citronellol*, Coumarin*, Geraniol, Linalool*, Limonene*, Perfume

What do you think about this? Can this actually work or are they hiding something?

Ged said...

Have you checked IKEA for the puzzle ice-cube trays? I could send you one of mine if we weren't oceans apart!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ged. Thanks for the lovely thought, but I have two of them. I meant the comment for people who can't get one of them! They are so awesome, and the kids just love them.

Hi Nicole. I'm trying the bamboo bioferment in my next detangler! I was researching ingredients yesterday and stumbled upon this - weird that we were thinking of the same thing!! How much did you use?

Hi Sandra. Great idea for a post! The short answer is that they're fibbing, hiding the preservative in perfume. There is no way this product can exist without a preservative. Although I think it's interesting they continue to use the stearic acid-TEA emulsifier. I would have thought there would e greener emulsifiers they could use....

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sandra. I went into your question in further detail in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that the UK site is the only site that doesn't list parabens in the ingredient list.

Anonymous said...

As far as why start from scratch... it's pretty simple. I can't find recipes that use the ingredients I want to. If I used someone else's recipes, I would have to buy a complete group of ingredients for each and every recipe I want to try. Even your recipes use either ingredients I'm not comfortable with or ones I can't source or ones I just don't want to use. You have a full playroom at your disposal, I have a limited budget and need multipurpose ingredients. When you look for recipes on a supplier's website, they are trying to sell their products (as they should). It's easy to say "find a recipe you know will work." Finding a recipe that works for your ingredients, budget and preferences is almost impossible. Which is why we make our own products to begin with.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Shira. I don't have a full playroom - for most of my ingredients, I pay full retail price and shipping. (The only ones I don't are those given to me by the Formulator Sample Shop.) I have a limited budget like my readers, so I don't want to buy things I might use in only one recipe. I like multipurpose ingredients I can use in tons of things!

My point in the post not that you shouldn't create your own recipes, but it's a better idea to find one that works and modify it to fit your needs as you learn what each ingredient does. If you look at my recipes, I tend to write things like "oil" or "butter" in my base recipes so you can modify them. I'm talking about starting there when you're a newbie instead of trying to create a lotion when you aren't sure what each thing does.