Voyageur Soap & Candle this morning on hair care products, so I don't have a lot of time to write, but I thought I'd share few thoughts about lotion making arising from e-mails and comments I've seen this week.
Related post: Compensation for evaporation
Heat and hold. I can't stress that enough. There are two huge reasons lotions fail - not heating and holding, and not using enough or the right type of emulsifier. Why not wait that 20 minutes of heating and holding to make a better lotion than you would without heating and holding?
The argument for heating & holding
The argument for heating & holding in separate containers
What if you go over 70˚C while heating and holding?
If you're new to lotion making, don't make your own recipe from scratch. You simply don't have enough information to make something that won't fail on you as you don't know what it looks like to succeed! Find a recipe you like and make that. Use that as the baseline for future recipes. Make it exactly as directed the first time, then change it the second. But make it the way you're directed the first time. I cannot stress this enough. Would you make a cake from scratch when you'd never tasted or seen one? Yeah, you've used a lotion before, but have you used your homemade lotion before?
Check out this lotion making PDF I put together with a great beginner recipe you can alter to include any oil or butter you like! Or check out the newbie section to see the body butter or cream making recipes and process.
Here's a list of all kinds of questions that might arise when you're making lotions, and the link is the start of the formulating series on the blog. Start there and hit "newer post" at the bottom of the screen to get to the next installment.
If you write to me to ask for help, telling me you didn't include the recipe because you used one of mine doesn't help me help you figure out what went wrong. I don't have the more than a thousand recipes on the blog memorized, and this means I have to try to figure out which one you used. Please just write up the recipe and process and make my life easier.
I can't stress enough how much I love hearing from you, my wonderful readers, but I also must stress that I can't help you if you don't write up the exact recipe and process you used to make the product with which you aren't happy! I won't be doing the back-and-forth e-mails to drag it out of you any more as it takes up too much time I could be using for just about anything other than trying very hard to help you. I know I've said this before, but I was being nice by writing to people and trying to help so I have been writing to ask for more information...I just don't have the time to do it any more, especially with the incredibly busy crafting and teaching part of my year as we ramp up to Christmas!
Please don't hesitate to write to me, but if you're asking for help, give me all the information I will need to be of service! I'm happy to answer questions about ingredients or recipes or processes, but please don't ask me to create something from scratch as I'm sure there's a recipe that could help you somewhere on the blog. There isn't a lotion making section - I'm trying to find time to create that - but there is a hair care section and a newbie section, both of which contain hair care recipes and newbie recipes. (If you write to me to ask if I have shampoo or conditioner recipes, I know you haven't really taken then time to read beyond the first section where I give out my e-mail address.)