Thursday, June 8, 2017

Weekday Wonderings: Am I using liquid or powdered sodium lactate?

In this post, Iron Chemist: Sodium lactate, Raffella asks: I bought sodium lactate in powder form. When you say to use 2% in your recipes, can I just weigh out the powder or are you talking about liquid sodium lactate? If so, how do I reconstitute the powder? 

In my recipes, I'm generally talking about the liquid, which is 60% sodium lactate, although I've started using the powder, and I'll note which one I'm using so you can alter the recipe at home.

It is super important to check the concentration of your ingredient! While preparing a niacinamide & willow bark hydro-gel using Sepinov EMT 10 recipe for the 2017 Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild conference, I worked with 60% liquid sodium lactate at 2% (so 1.2% sodium lactate). I shared the recipe with Jen at Lotioncrafter, who used 2% of the 100% sodium lactate powder she carries, and the tiny difference of 0.8% caused the gel to fail! You'll notice in that recipe that I call for 0.5% sodium lactate (powder) to ensure you won't get a fail of that nature!

So if I use 2% sodium lactate liquid, that means I'm using a total of 1.2% sodium lactate in the recipe, and you would alter your recipe accordingly when using the powder.

You don't need to reconstitute the powder. Just add it to the heated water phase and mix well. If you are adding it to something at room temperature, you can warm the water slightly if you think it'll help. In the EMT 10 recipe above, I just added to the room temperature water and mixed.

I noticed something on a suppliers' site that relates to this...You don't need to make a tincture to use powdered extracts, for instance. Just add it to a little warmed water, glycerin, alcohol, or other thing you could use to dissolve it - check the instructions for your specific ingredient - then add it to the product you're making. 

Related post: How do I use powdered extracts in my products?

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