Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Question from Patreon: Why isn't my toner spraying properly?

On Patreon, Susan asks: My question is regarding toners and the spritzer bottle.  I have been making your toner recipe (from Newbie Tuesdays) with distilled water, rose hydrosol, witch hazel, glycerin, sodium lactate, allantoin, cucumber extract, chamomile extract, and liquid germall plus - % same as yours (I'm in the midst of moving, so my formulation book is packed, but it's the recipe from newbie tuesday). Specifically the spritzer - I find that this toner does not spritz nicely out of the spritzer bottle, so I tried a few different bottles in case it was just the pump. Still not a nice spritz (more like a blotch to the face, not a nice mist). I then tried the bottles with just water, and they spritzed nice and fine. Have you noticed this?  I am thinking, although its a very water like toner, the viscosity might just be too much for the spritzer, or one of the ingredients 'pulls' the molecules together more than just water.  Thank you for your thoughts! And if you can suggest a specific spritzer that you find works well, please let me know!  

Bear with me as I work through your question by thinking out loud.

I've been using mister bottles for my toners for forever. I get mine from Voyageur Soap & Candle, and I don't think they're anything unique. I use the natural HDPE 4 ounce bottles with mister cap* and I have found they work really well. (Having said that, I think I'll get a few of these with the trigger mister this weekend as I really like those for hair care products.)

I thought it might be because the misters that go with the 120 ml HDPE bottles are wider than those for the cosmo ovals or Boston rounds as those latter bottles have smaller openings and get smaller pump bottles, for instance, but the misters look the same when it comes to the tube in the bottle and the mister opening.

I know that some of the powders can be problematic if there's a little too much in there - like this toner I made where I added just a little too much powder each time - but it doesn't sound like that's your problem as you're using a recipe I've been using for years in a mister bottle.

It could be that different hands make different things. I might be the type who measures a little under 0.5 grams while my best friend measures slightly over, and that might cause some issues? This isn't to say you've done something wrong, but it could be a difference of 0.05 grams here and 0.05 grams there equals a slightly thicker product than I make? Or maybe I'm measuring under, so those of you who are measuring exactly 0.50 grams are getting too much? Hmm...

The idea about some molecules pulling others together to make it more viscous is an interesting idea. We can see that sometimes when glycerin or other humectants bind water a bit, so it makes it thicker even when used in small amounts. Could that be happening here? It is possible.

I've seen this happen with things like cyclomethicone before. I make the same anti-frizz spray all the time - 10% dimethicone, 90% cyclomethicone - and some times it comes out in a weird stream instead of a mist, and I can't figure out why it does that. It doesn't seem to be the problem of the mister or the product, as far as I can tell.

So what't the answer? I genuinely don't know for sure. The easy fix is to put it in a disc cap bottle and use it with a cotton pad each time. I will do some experiments and see what I figure out and will share the results here.

Is anyone out there having a similar problem? Do you have some suggestions for Susan? Please share in the comments below!

Check out this post with more information on types of misters that might work! 


Brynna Stefanson said...

YES!!! I'd been meaning to ask this too and never got around to it. It comes out as a stream for me, whereas trying the same mister with water works great.

firegirl said...

Same here! I ended up putting my moisturising spray back into a pump bottle to use as a toner. I really wanted a hydrating spray with a quite a few ingredients that are good for your skin. I might have to go back to my hydrating face mist that just contains water, rose water, glycerin, silk peptides, panthenol and LGP - it sprays nicely and hydrates my skin. I also made a nourishing summer fragrance spray and that comes out in a stream as well. I might try to thin that down as the fragrance is pretty strong and I really want it to be a spray. It seems that as soon a spray has a texture that is a bit 'thicker' (as in not like water) the spray bottles can't cope.

Susan said...

Thank you for tackling this question. I tried several different sprayers (including a few from Voyageur) and no luck in getting a nice fine mist ... just the glob into the face. When I measure, I try to be as accurate as possible. So, once I get all my goodies unpacked, I am going to make the same recipe without any glycerin and test it. Then make with a lesser amount of glycerin, and see where the mist changes to the stream. I know that location (elevation) and environment (humidity, time of year, etc.) affects products differently, but I didn't think that would be the case with this toner. I like the little trigger bottles as well and might add a few of them on to my next voyageur order :). For the time being, I am using the cotton ball method, and just a floral water spritzer.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I'm only getting to this now. I've written a post on the topic that'll be up on Friday, Septemver 8th, 2017. I hope this helps.