Friday, October 9, 2015

What are you thinking about making for Christmas?

I'm sure it seems a little early to be asking this question, but when you consider that you may need to factor in learning and shipping times, it'll be time for holidays before you know it! 

Please give yourself time and supplies to make a few batches of what you want to major and start small. Don't think you'll make a huge batch of lotions to give away the first time you try. As with everything good in life, it takes time and effort to get these things right. Start now and you may have something you're proud to share by December. 

So what're you making? Do you need tutorials on the product? (First step, check out the newbie section of the blog!) Need some ideas for suppliers have you? (Check out the suppliers' section of the FAQ!) Anything else? Let me know! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekday Wonderings: Additives for commercial hand soap that will be less drying?

In this post, Handsoap with polyquats, Will asked: I love the weird question, and I think I have one. To a commercial handsoap, such as softsoap, is there any additive(s) that can be added into the product to make it less drying/more skin friendly? 

Yes, there are loads of things you can do to a commercial handsoap, with the disclaimer that you will probably have to add more preservative to the mix when you're done, depending upon the amount and the nature of the ingredient.

The simplest one is to dilute the product with water and put it in a foamer bottle, like this one. (Add preservative with the distilled water at 0.5% to 2% as per the instructions for your particular preservative.) I would do a 33% soap, 66% water dilution and put it into the foamer bottle. Because this will be using lower levels of surfactant, it'll rinse off easier and your skin should feel less tight and dry.

The second way is to add ingredients that will increase mildness. I went into great detail about this a short time ago, so I'll refer you to that post - increasing mildness in shampoos. Adding some water soluble oil, a polyquat, a humectant, and so on can decrease that tight or dry feeling after washing your hands, and it only takes a little bit.

Related posts:
What causes tightness after washing?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Can we use castille soap in face cleansers? How can I make an oil only product feel less greasy?

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since I trashed my back! (To be specific, it's my piriformis, hip flexor, and gluteus medius muscles that started off in spasm, and it's moving across my back and up into my mid-back. Yep, it's a big spasm party!) It still hurts to sit up for long periods of time, so when I come home from work, I crash on the couch until bedtime. I'm not feeling very creative right now, which is why there have been so few posts. (I'm so grateful that the new Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer came out or I'd have been more bored than I am!)

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. It is getting better every day, but it's taking more time than I would like. And thank you for your patience with regards to answering your comments and messages. I'm working my way through them slowly, but I'll get there in time.

In this post, Facial scrub: Creating a surfactant based scrub, a couple of people asked if they could use castille soap in this cleanser recipe. Sure, why not?

I don't use liquid soap in my recipes for two main reasons - the first being that I don't make soap, so I don't have any in the house, and the second being that the pH of soap is higher than our surfactant mixes, and I find my skin simply doesn't like alkaline ingredients.

Cold processed and liquid soap have a pH over 8, which makes them alkaline. Our skin has a pH of 4.5 to 5.9, so it's suggested we use products that are around that pH. (If you're interested in learning more about this, I encourage you to check out this post!)

As an aside, you cannot reduce the pH of your soap down to an acidic pH as it will stop being soap by the time it gets into the 7 range. (Click this post for more information...) If you can, you should partake in Dr Dunn's soapmaking challenge! (Click here for more information...) As an aside, as of today, only one person has submitted soap to this challenge. I'm eager to see what the results of that analysis will be! 

This is not to say I don't like handmade soap! I love the stuff, but my facial skin is simply too sensitive to use it on a regular basis.

Related posts:
pH and the acid mantle
pH and our skin
pH and skin care products

A thought for the day: If you make an oil based product like a whipped butter, lotion bar, balm, and so on, it will feel greasy. There is no getting around that as you are making a product in which all the ingredients would be described as greasy! You can try to reduce the feeling by using less greasy feeling ingredients like mango butter, babassu oil, hazelnut oil, and so on, and you can try using esters like IPM, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, and such, but the end product will be greasier than any product made with water.

If you really hate the feeling of that product, consider making a lotion instead with all those lovely oils!

Related posts:
Emollients section of the blog
Men's section of the blog - contains tons of information on making a drier feeling product

In this post, Facial scrubs: Emulsified scrubs, Melissa asks: I'm wondering why the e-wax in the sugar scrub is 10%. Isn't it normally around 2-4%? I made this recipe (minus cetyl alcohol) and it turned out great so thanks very much.

I used 10% emulsifier in this product because that's the amount that worked best after all my experiments. I found that more removed too much oil, and less didn't remove enough.

Using 2% to 4% would be appropriate for the oil phase of a product like a lotion with both a water and oil phase, but this product is all oil phase, and the emulsifier is there to turn the product into a quick lotion before rinse off.

Well, that's it for today! Join me tomorrow to read more comments!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Less than a month until the conference!

Thank you to everyone for sending me all your kind thoughts about my back. It is getting better, but sitting up is still pretty painful. I've been going to massage twice a week, and it helps so much! I'm not ready to get into the workshop as I can't stand for a long time, but I think I can do some writing tomorrow! 

I can't believe it's less than a month until the first Canadian Guild of Soapmakers, Chandlers, and Cosmetic Crafters' conference in Banff! (You can find more information here - I'll be there offering two workshops - lotion making and hair care products - and there are tons of things to do there, including candle making, soap and business workshops, and more! Plus, you get to spend the weekend talking about making stuff! I can't wait to be surrounded by people who will know what humectants are!

If you're going, I'd love to meet up! If you can, keep an eye on this blog for some ideas of where we could meet once we get there and learn what's there! (Anyone want to find a karaoke place with me?) 

And if you are taking one of my workshops, do you have an idea of something you'd like to know or learn? Don't worry, I have a plan, but it's always fun to modify it on the fly as per the interests of the group! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thanks for all the kind thoughts!

It's been a long two weeks, but the pain is getting better every day! I am sitting up for long periods of time, and the shooting pains have stopped. I managed to go to work on Friday for a bit and went out for dinner last night. I'm planning a morning at the gym - nothing too strenuous, just some stretching and light weights. Woo hoo! 

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and wishes. They have been so lovely to read! I really do have the most wonderful readers. I've been developing recipes that I hope to try out next weekend with all kinds of new ingredients! (Pictured below!) 

Thank you again for being so awesome!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sorry for the lack of posts...

This past week was supposed to be filled with all kinds of experiments with my new ingredients as I enjoyed a holiday from work...except I trashed my back organizing the workshop last Monday and I've been bed ridden since! I think this is the worst pain I've endured in my life, which is saying a lot as I fall down more than you'd think! Today is the first day I've been able to lie on my back, which means I may be able to use the laptop soon. 

Having said this, I'm able to use my iPhone and iPad, so I can send out e-books and answer your questions. Just don't expect too much as I'm a bit dopey from all the pain meds! 

This is my sick bed cuddle buddy, Blondie! So cute! And such a good thief! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Designing your products as a line: Shampoo - conditioning agents

When we take a regular or clarifying shampoo and add a conditioning agent or cationic polymer like polyquat 7 or honeyquat to it, we change it into a conditioning shampoo. If you're using a conditioner after washing, should we bother?

Yes! It doesn't take much to make a great impact - say up to 3% - but it makes a world of difference!

Have you ever washed your hair and felt it before conditioning? It can feel like straw, hard and scratchy, maybe a bit tangled. Adding a cationic polymer or dimethicone can make this feeling go away. You don't need much to make a difference, but I think it is an important inclusion in a shampoo. As well, we know that conditioning agents increase the mildness of a shampoo, which means our scalp will feel more moisturized and less irritated. We can also add dimethicone in low quantities - at up to 3%  - to a shampoo to get some awesome conditioning action.

The downside of using a conditioning agent in a shampoo is that sometimes they can build up. Something like cationic guar gum can lead to build up on our hair, so you might want to use a clarifying shampoo - one without condtioning agents - once a week to remove it.

Other posts in this series:
Shampoo - How does it work?
Shampoo - What's in it? Surfactants
Shampoo - What's in it? Other ingredients
Shampoo - Increasing mildness & viscosity

Related posts:
Modifying the clarifying shampoo into a conditioning shampoo (normal hair)
A conditioning shampoo for dry hair
A conditioning shampoo for oily hair
Formulating a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
A 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
A 3-in-1 that might be good for swimmers
An updated version of the 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and body wash