Experiments in the workshop: A 3-in-1 that might be good for swimmers, Marg asks: Can you explain your thinking on adding white willow bark extract to your 3 in 1? I love that product, and use it in my aftershave lotion to soothe tiny nicks or scrapes, but not sure if its purpose in a rinse-off cleansing product.
I've always used willow bark extract in my body washes because it increases mildness, offers anti-inflammatory properties, and makes the product feel more astringent. It is a keratolytic, meaning it behaves as an exfoliant, which is the main reason people use this ingredient. I use it in a lot of rinse off products - like this facial cleanser - because I can't handle it on my skin for a long period of time, like in a toner or moisturizer. I can't find the reference now - I have looked for quite a while this morning! - but I read that it can be used in a cleanser as it doesn't need to be on the skin for long, hence its usage in my cleansers as well as toners.
White willow bark: Formulating skin cleansing products
Preservatives: What can get into our products?, Thalia asks: I also make my own cleaners using distilled water, vinegar, castile soap, baking soda and borax. I wonder if I should also include preservative when I make those. I don't want to spray beasties on my countertops when I'm supposed to be cleaning them. Would cosmetic preservative work in my cleaning mixes?
Yes, a cosmetic preservative will work for your product, and yes, I would use one if I were you. Every time we use water, we need to include a preservative because things can grow in our products. I think it's even more important in a cleaning product as we are using that to clean up, not spread around even more problems! I use 0.5% liquid Germall Plus in my products, and that seems to work well.
Preservatives section of the blog
Using d-Limonene in your cleaning products
Shampoo: Formulating with greener ingredients? Laura asks: Would it work if I made some castile soap and added panthenol, and silicones, and phytokeratin--to make a shampoo? I'm wondering if castille could work as the surfactant. Then add other things to make it into a shampoo. Would the castille lose its lathering ability? Any insight?
I write at length about why we don't want to use soap as a shampoo in this post, so I encourage you to visit that post, but the short answer is that the pH of a soap is far too high for our hair and scalp. We want our hair care products to be from 5 to 6 or so, and the pH of a castille soap is always above 8, which is far too alkaline. Most of us using any cold process or handmade soap as a shampoo will find our hair feels brittle or very tangled or generally in poor condition. Adding those lovely things your hair likes, like hydrolyzed proteins and panthenol, aren't going to make a difference to your hair if the pH is out of whack.
To those of you who want to use castille soap as a shampoo, I'm asking the question - why? What is it about castille soap that is so appealing as a shampoo? I get asked this question once a week, and I'm just curious why castille for a shampoo? Why not another liquid soap? Why not another type of solid soap? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun with niacinamide!