Tuesday, August 4, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Dimethicone in hair care products

Dimethicone is a great addition in any hair care product as it offers conditioning, film forming, and de-frizzing. It increases hair's softness and shine. You can use it in shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, cream rinse, or anti-frizz sprays.

The easiest recipe I make is this one for an anti-frizz spray.

90% cyclomethicone
10% dimethicone

Weigh each ingredient into a spray bottle. Close lid. Shake. Use. Rejoice.

See, so easy!

I love to include dimethicone into my hair conditioner because it increases the shine and decreases my frizz! This specific conditioner recipe contains coconut oil for moisturization, glycerin for hydration, and cetyl alcohol as an oil free emollient. If you want to increase the detangling abilities of this conditioner, add up to 2% cetrimonium chloride into the heated oil phase and remove 2% water from the water phase to compensate.

61.5% water
10% aloe vera
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
3% glycerin

3.5% cetyl alcohol
5% coconut oil

1% fragrance or essential oil blend
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
2% panthenol

Please use the general conditioner making instructions for this recipe!

Want to know why I'm using what I'm using in this recipe? Check out the posts on conditioner in the hair care section of the blog, starting with what is a conditioner and working your way forward by hitting "newer post" at the bottom of the page! 

Feel free to add up to 5% dimethicone in any conditioner to increase the amount of shine in your hair or to help with frizziness. If you do this, remember that when we increase one ingredient, we have to decrease the water phase to keep the recipe totalling 100%. So if you like a recipe that doesn't contain dimethicone, feel free to add it and remove the same percentage from your distilled water!

Related recipes:
Hair care section of the blog - scroll down for more conditioner recipes

Join me tomorrow for a few more dimethicone recipes!

Monday, August 3, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Dimethicone

I'm a huge fan of silicones in just about any application in which you can put an oil. Dimethicone is my favourite by far. It adds slip and glide to a lotion, offers oil free moisturizing in a moisturizer, helps to defrizz my hair in a conditioner, offers conditioning in a shampoo, and more!

What is dimethicone? Dimethicone is a non-volatile silicone you can add to your hair and body care ingredients. It mixes well with oils, and if you want to add it to something that contains water, you have to add an emulsifier to make it mix well.

In body care products, it works as a barrier ingredient, emollient, lubricant, carrier/diluent detackifier, and and skin protectant (one of three approved by the FDA). You can use it in products as diverse as body lotion and lip balm to offer shine, glide, and protection from the elements.

In hair care, it improves wet and dry combing, helps with shine, improves hair feel (softness), reduces static charge, and works as a humidity resistor. And in colour cosmetics, like foundations, it is a lubricant, spreading agent, emollient, and diluent/carrier ingredient.

Dimethicone tends to migrate to the surface of your hair or skin, forming a nice film that not only protects your skin, but keeps all the good stuff you've put into your lotion or conditioner to your skin or hair.

Dimethicone is rated by c.s. or centistrokes. The higher the c.s., the thicker you'll find your dimethicone. 350 c.s. is considered as thick as mineral oil (so thicker than shampoo, but not as thick as ketchup), whereas dimethicone 1000 c.s. is going to be as thick as motor oil (so thicker than ketchup, but not as thick as molasses). So why should you care about the centistrokes? The lower the centistrokes, the quicker surface coverage...so if you have the 350 c.s., it is going to spread quicker than the 1000 c.s.

How can we use dimethicone in our products? I use it the same way I'd use an oil, meaning it can be mixed with other oil soluble things in an anhydrous product like a lotion bar, or mixed in with an emulsifier for water containing products. I use it in the cool down phase as that's the way I see it used in my textbooks, but I understand it can be used in the heated phase of a product as well. (I plan to continue using it in the cool down phase as it works for me, but you can try it in either!)

Let's take a look at dimethicone over the next few days with a few of my favourite recipes!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Beards, water, and workshop time!

If your name is Jean and you donated for a facial products e-book today, please send me an address at which I can contact you! The one you sent me doesn't work! 

It's too hot to think around here lately. I know it's not that incredibly hot city in Iran, which reached an almost record breaking heat index of 70˚C - which is hot enough to make lotion on a counter - but it's far too warm for my tastes! I can't get into the workshop because it's too warm and I can't do much around the house in rooms where there isn't an air conditioner. I feel like summer brings out Grumpy Swift, who might be slightly amusing in her cantakerousness but can get quite annoying to the people around her, I suspect!

As a quick note, all the ingredients on this blog are safe for us to use at the suggested usage rates. I would ask you to think about this for a moment. Would I use ingredients that weren't safe on people I love? Would I give these products to co-workers, friends, and family if I thought I was putting them at risk? Would I bring them to my youth programs and let the kids use them if they could be bad for them?

If you want to know more about ingredient safety, I encourage you to check out Cosmetics Ingredient Review for studies, reports, and more! 

I've been seeing loads of beard conditioners around lately, and wanted to remind you of this recipe I call "Hey Beardo" that I made a few years ago on the blog. It's a version of a leave in conditioner with linoleic acid containing oils that would be good for skin and hair. You can substitute any oil you like here.

Here's another version of a beard conditioner in this post, and you can find some links to other shaving and beard related products in this post.

I've been seeing a lot of people using a lot of aloe vera or hydrosols in place of most or all of the water phase of a product. You really don't need that much of those ingredients to get the benefits! You might get a feeling of stickiness, you are messing with the chemistry with high levels of electrolytes from things like aloe vera, and you are inviting problems with contamination when you have loads of botanicals.

Water is a great ingredient in our products! It isn't a filler - it's a moisturizer! It's a necessity to keeping our skin elastic and reduce transepidermal water loss.

As well, it reduces the cost of making our products. If you ever want to sit down at a spreadsheet and do a little math, compare the cost of making a body butter with water versus a whipped butter without! It's quite a large difference, and it might make you a little woozy, so make sure you're sitting down when you work it all out! Water is a great ingredient that also saves us money!

Related posts:
Is water important or just a filler?
Water as filler! 

I have a message for those of you who have yet to make your first product: Stop reading and get into your workshop! Print out that recipe, get the supplies off the shelves, heat up that double boiler, and make something! I'm a big fan of knowing one's ingredients, but how can you know them if you haven't touched them? How can you know about the skin feel, the hair feel, the after effects, how they rinse off, and more if you haven't made something with them in your workshop? How can you know that neem oil smells so bad you don't want to use it, or that virgin coconut oil smells so good you want to bath in it if you haven't formulated with either of them?

I know it's worrisome to think about "wasting supplies", but it's part of what we do. We get into the workshop, we try something, we figure out what we like and don't like, then we either make it again or chalk it up to experience. You've learned something from those wasted supplies - you learned what you like and what you don't like. You've learned how to make a new product or how to follow a process.

Related posts:
What's making you nervous about making a lotion?

This leads me to today's question - What have you made for the first time recently? I'd love to hear stories of what you've tried lately! For those of you who are more experienced, modify this question as you wish. Have you tried a new ingredient or technique that inspired you?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Water soluble shea butter

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I like water soluble olive oil! It gives me a chance to add some moisturizing to products that normally wouldn't contain oils, like body washes or toners. Today's favourite ingredient is similar to yesterday's - water soluble shea butter (INCI: PEG-50 shea butter). Like the water soluble olive oil we met yesterday, water soluble shea butter is an esterified oil that has been modified to make it more hydrophilic or water loving. We can use it in many different products from body washes to shampoos, toners to facial cleansers, and we can do it without using an emulsifier to make sure the oil stays in the formulation.

25% SMC taurate or other really gentle surfactant
15% Amphosol CG
12% lavender or chamomile hydrosol
18% water
10% aloe vera
up to 5% glycerin
3% hydrolyzed proteins of choice
5% water soluble shea butter

5% honeyquat or condition-eze 7
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative

5% Crothix
2 to 4% 60/100 jojoba beads

Mix together all the ingredients in the heated water phase. Heat to 70˚C and hold for 20 minutes. When the mixture is at 45˚C, add the cool down phase. Let cool to room temperature, then add Crothix at 1% at a time, mixing after every addition, to ensure the product is thickened to your liking. Add the jojoba beads - or other exfoliating ingredient - and mix well. Bottle, then rejoice! 

You can substitute water soluble shea for any of the recipes from yesterday's post or you can substitute any of the recipes from today with water soluble olive oil.

Related recipes:
Gelled after shave with minimally processed ingredients
Cucumber extract in an apres shaving spray
Maxed out toner for dry skin
Creamy exfoliating facial cleanser for dry skin
Formulating a body wash for dry skin
Low surfactant cleanser with oat surfactant
Extra hydrating body wash
Modifying the body wash with esters
Japanese themed body wash with esters

Monday, July 27, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Water soluble olive oil

I love love love water soluble oils! Water soluble oils are oils that have been esterified to become more water soluble. Some of them can be used as emulsifiers - like Cromollient SCE - but all of them can be used in water only creations, like body washes or shampoos.

One of my favourites is water soluble olive oil (INCI: PEG-7 olivate), also known as olive oil esters.

PEG-7 olivate is an odourless and clear to pale yellow ingredient with a pH of 5 to 7, an HLB of 11, and a shelf life of three years. It's soluble in water and alcohol and dispersible in oils. It can be used as a light solubilizer for other ingredients like essential or fragrance oils, and it plays well with gels! Although it's a light feeling ester, it isn't a non-greasy one like cetearyl ethylhexanoate or IPP, and won't reduce the feeling of greasiness in your products. (If you use PEG-7 olivate instead of olive oil in your creations, it will feel lighter and less greasy than the same product with olive oil, but it doesn't feel less greasy on its own.)

I am a huge fan of this ester because you can use it in just about everything! It's used as an emollient, lubricant, anti-irritant, solubilizer, and thickener. It won't reduce foaming in your lathery surfactant products, and it will offer slightly creamier feeling suds, emolliency, and "oil free" moisturizing. It also acts as a thickener, although the thickening I've experienced has been very minor and I wouldn't consider it a true thickener like Crothix or glycol distearate. In my experience, it will thicken water based products, like toners or make-up removers slightly. And as an anti-irritant, it will increase the mildness of your foamy surfactants to make for a more gentle facial or body cleanser.

PEG-7 olivate is a fantastic inclusion in hair care products - shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, styling gels - as an "oil free" moisturizer. You can use it in your cleansers as an additional cleansing ingredient - it's safe for your eyes! - and you can use it in toners or water based body sprays to increase the emolliency. You can use this in a moisturizer as your oil portion to create an "oil free" moisturizer.

51.5% water
2% honeyquat
3% PEG 7 olivate (water soluble olive oil)
10% SMC Taurate (liquid)
8% Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
10% aloe vera
10% chamomile
3% hydrolyzed protein
2% panthenol
0.5% preservative (Liquid Germall Plus)
1% fragrance or essential oil (optional)

Mix together. Package in foamy bottle. Rejoice.

Related recipes:
Using PEG-7 olivate in body wash recipes
Using PEG-7 olivate in shampoo recipes
Oil free gel moisturizer
Formulating an eye gel - version 2
Recipe round up: Make-up removers
Using PEG-7 olivate in a body wash (again!)
Foamer bottle facial cleanser
Combining esters in a leave in conditioner
Creamy exfoliating facial cleansers for different skin types
Another foamy facial cleanser recipe
3-in-1 body wash and shampoo 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A few administrative things for a video game filled Saturday!

For the record, my recipes are pH balanced. Unless you're adding something really alkaline or really acidic, you shouldn't need to alter them. If you need to alter the pH of something, those strips really aren't great at testing anything accurate. I encourage you to get a pH meter if you're going to be altering the pH of your products regularly.

If you'd like to know more, please check out this post on testing your pH with tons of links

As a quick note, I answer comments and messages in the order in which they are received. You don't need to send your message to me repeatedly to get my attention. You're on my radar - I'm just really backed up at the moment. I can respond to quick messages during the week, but if you're asking for more than a few minutes of my time, you'll have to wait for the weekend for a more detailed response.

Please contribute your thoughts to this post - what's your favourite thing? The more ideas you contribute, the more I can write!

And please contribute to the blog by leaving a review of a recipe you've made! People who write up recipes may win an e-book of your choice!

I better run! We have Rated T for Teen video club today at 1:30 and I can't wait for today's Mid-Summer Day's Massacre!

Friday, July 24, 2015

These are a few of my favourite things: Chamomile extract

I love love love chamomile extract! You can find it in a few different versions - essential oil, water soluble powdered extract, and hydrosol. I prefer the powdered extract and hydrosol as I can't really stand the smell of the stuff. I think it smells a bit earthy and musty, which is something I just can't tolerate in my products. As the powder is less expensive than the hydrosol, I tend to go with it, unless there's a place where I'm worried about colouring. It can make a lotion go a bit beige at 0.5% in the cool down phase.

Why do I like chamomile so much? It's a great anti-inflammatory (an anti-phlogistic, meaning it reduces inflammation and fever), as well as being a good anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic, and wound healer. I've seen claims it might ameliorate the look of UV damaged skin and reduce stinging and irritation. And it can reduce transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours, which means it's a fantastic addition to any product for all skin types!

You can use water soluble powdered chamomile extract in any product that contains water soluble ingredients. It's a great addition to a toner, lotion, cleanser, body wash, and so on.

This is my favourite body wash recipe, but it's a bit complicated, so let's see if we can make something with fewer ingredients that's just as awesome as this one!

As it's getting harder to get ACI and I can't access polyglucose/lactylate blend any more, I'll have to find two gentle and moisturizing surfactant blends in their place. I think I'll choose SMC or SMO taurate to replace the ACI as it's a nice mild blend with good foam and lather. I'll use that at 10% in the heated water phase.

As a note, I could use solid SCI in its place as it has all those great qualities I love in ACI, but it's a pain to melt. When I have offered recipes with SCI in a body wash in the past, people have complained that they didn't get the same results at home, and I would hate to offer you a recipe that won't work for everyone, so I'm not using SCI here. If you wish to use it, use it at up to 10%, heat it with the other surfactants before adding the water, and be careful what thickeners you add to the mix as it will thicken things up nicely! 

I think I'll use BSB in place of the polyglucose/lactylate blend. BSB is a blend I get from Voyageur Soap & Candle that contains a lot of different ingredients. BSB stands for "baby safe blend", so you can use any baby blend you find at your local supplier's shop. If you can't find it, use any surfactant you have in your workshop!

I like to have a cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or honeyquat in my body washes to film form and moisturize. If you don't have this, leave it out and add 3% to the distilled water amount. I also like to have a hydrolyzed protein of some sort in my product to add extra film forming and moisturizing. I'm going to use hydrolyzed oat protein in this recipe, but you could use any other one you like here.  And I have to have some kind of humectant in the product. Glycerin is always my first choice for a body wash. It not only offers moisturizing to your skin, but it makes your foam and lather more fluffy! It's a two-for-one kind of ingredient!

You can add a water soluble oil to this body wash at up to 10% in the heated water phase. If you do this, remove 10% from the water phase to have the recipe balance out!

10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% SMC or SMO taurate
20% BSB
21.5% distilled water
14% aloe vera
11% chamomile hydrosol
5% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein of some sort
3% polyquat 7

0.5% powdered chamomile extract
2% panthenol (liquid)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil (white chocolate - yum!)
(additional) up to 5% liquid Crothix

Combine all the surfacants into a container and mix well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, taking care not to create too many bubbles. Let come to room temperature and check the viscosity. If it isn't thick enough, add 1% Crothix. Mix well. Add another 1% Crothix at a time and mix after each inclusion up to 5% Crothix.

Related recipes:
Dry skin body lotion with chamomile extract and hydrosol
Six ingredient body butter - evening primrose, oats, and chamomile body butter
Modifying the six ingredient body butter with chamomile and evening primrose
Six ingredient lotion - evening primrose, oats, and chamomile lotion
Modified shaving lotion
Facial cleanser with a ton of extracts
Modifying the low surfactant cleanser
Formulating a body wash for dry skin
After shave gel
Cucumber extract in an apres shaving toner
Under eye gel
Facial moisturizer with chamomile extract