Sunday, February 28, 2016

A few thoughts for the last Sunday in February: Thickening lotions, measuring by weight, dissolving liquids

A few points of interest for the last Sunday in February...

I've been asked to write a monthly column for Handmade magazine, and the first one just came out - The Science Behind Citrus! I just received my copy on Friday, and I'm thrilled to bits about it!

For those of you asking about my back, thank you for your kind thoughts! Things were really bad this week. I was off work again and was feeling kinda hopeless. And then yesterday, I had an epidural shot of steroids into my back, and already things are feeling so much better! (My calf muscle has been in a Charley horse spasm for over two years, and last night was the first time it didn't hurt since January 2014. That is what I call a freakin' miracle!) I have two more shots to go in the coming weeks, and I should be good for three to six months! I'm feeling well enough to back to work tomorrow and do some writing today, which is amazing!

I'm milking this shot-into-my-spine thing for all it's worth! "I'm allowed to have five cookies! Did I mention I had a needle going into my spine this morning?" 

As a result of all this exciting pain, I've fallen behind on posts and answering email and comments. Please be patient with me! I will catch up soon. (I find it hard to write huge posts and longer comments when lying on my side in bed with my iPhone. You may have seen me on Facebook writing things. That's because I can type short notes very well on my phone!)

Let's talk about lotion thickening! In general, a lotion won't reach its final viscosity for 24 to 48 hours after making it. This is one of the reasons I suggest letting the lotion cool to room temperature before bottling it. You don't know if you have a body butter or a body lotion until it reaches that final thickness, and you won't want to put something in a treatment pump bottle if it needs a jar! Some emulsifiers thicken quicker than others - I'm thinking about Ritamulse SCG here, which can be super thick in as little as half an hour - so leave that lotion alone for a bit and go make something else while you wait!

Please measure your ingredients - all your ingredients, including the essential oils - by weight for accuracy. I can't stress enough how much this idea of using essential oils in drops is not accurate. Is that a drop from an eye dropper, a small pipette, a big pipette, a big eye dropper, a small or large dropper cap, and so on? Better to use a scale and know exactly how much you're using! You can get tiny scales, like my favourite one from London Drugs, the Salter diet scale, for less than $40, and it's worth the money.

In the past, I've had to go into one of those other kind of drug shops to get my scales and pH measuring liquids. I walk in and declare loudly, "I'm here looking for a tiny scale for my cosmetic chemistry projects. Yep, I like making body washes, facial cleansers, lotions - you know, that kind of thing. That's why I'm here, all right!" And so on. 

When you're dissolving liquids, you will often need more water than a titch. In the class I led last weekend, we were dissolving allantoin in a bit of hot water. It has a solubility of 0.5% in 100 grams of water, so you aren't going to see it dissolve well when you're putting 0.5 grams into 10 grams of water. Other things are more soluble than this, but consider that when you can't dissolve 0.5 grams of that lovely powdered extract into 10 grams of water!

Finally, if you want to criticize me, grow the hell up and attach your name to the insults! I'm so sick of anonymous cowards telling me to "do my research" or calling me names. I'm glad you want to defend a big company like Lush against my criticisms, but put your name on your post and we'll have a conversation. If you don't, like every other anonymous comment, you'll be deleted.

Hope you're having a lovely Leap Year Day Eve! (It's not really a thing, but I wanted to end on a positive note!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with NAG, ceramides, and quaternized rice

I don't know if you noticed, but I seem to be having a torrid love affair with this new emulsifier, Aristoflex AVC, which can create lotions and gels cold!

N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) It is a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, and has been shown to work well when combined with niacinamide. It can also increase hydration of our skin by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin. It can increase the collagen production and elasticity of the skin, increase the speed of wound healing, and increase exfoliation. Not bad for something you can use at 4% or so!

If you're curious, I bought mine from Lotioncrafter. And I used it in this silicone serum

Phyto-oil C3 from Formulator Sample Shop (INCI Name: Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract & Ceramide 3). It has a suggested usage rate of 1% to 5%, and it's oil soluble. Ceramides are essential for the normal organization of our tissues into structures that are responsible for keeping the barrier function of the skin functioning well, like preventing transepidermal water loss and keeping other things out. They are found in our skin at about 50% by mass. A decrease in ceramides - through aging, exposure to high or low temperatures - can lead to dry skin and itchiness due to a decrease in the efficacy of the stratum corneum's ability to keep water in and other things out. Having said this, I can't guarantee that the Phyto-Oil will do all these things, but I'm really hoping it will!

We all know I'm a big fan of allantoin, so I'm adding it at 0.5% in this lotion.

I do love my cationic polymers, so I'm using quaternized rice protein at 2.5% in this product to offer skin conditioning. You can use any cationic polymer you like from polyquat 7 or honeyquat and so on. Use what you have!

Yerba santa glycoprotein (INCI: Lactobacillus/Eriodictyon Californicum Ferment Extract) is the extract of the yerba santa plant, which is found in California, Oregon, and Northern Mexico. It is a water soluble extract used at 1% to 5% to offer moisturizing and hydrating to our skin. It contains polysaccharides, like aloe vera, that moisturize our skin. It contains glycoproteins that also help with moisturizing our skin. I've seen versions that contain tannins, so this might be an astringent extract, too. It has been used traditionally for respiratory ailments and as a cough medicine. It apparently has a nice flavour, but I'm not trying it to find out! I'm using it here because I can't use aloe vera because of all its lovely electrolytes. I thought this ingredient would offer me those lovely polysaccharides without the gel killing properties of salt!


ARISTOFLEX MOISTURIZER WITH NAG, ALLANTOIN, AND CERAMIDES
4% NAG (N-acetyl glucosamine)
0.5% allantoin
3% Phyto-oil
2.5% quaternized rice
3% Yerba santa glycoprotein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
87% distilled water
1% Aristoflex AVC

What do I think of this? I'm really enjoying this one. It's the thinnest of all the products I've made so far with Aristoflex, so it's more like a serum than a lotion. I'm sending this out to my testers, so I'll have more opinions shortly on what they think.

I love the idea of what it does, but I haven't had enough time to see any changes.

What will I do differently next time? I'll add the niacinamide at 2% because that helps boost NAG's efficacy. And I think I'll try using a thickener so I can get more of lotion consistency than a serum consistency. It's not a bad thing to have that consistency, but I do like a lotion!

Related posts:
Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with dimethicone and moringa seed extract
Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with pumpkin seed, allantoin, and sea kelp bioferment
Aristoflex AVC - a serum with Vitamin C and ferulic acid

Please note that, as usual, I have not been compensated in any way for using ingredients or writing about them on the blog. I have been sent free ingredients by Formulator Sample Shop that I am using in my products, but I do that because I love them! When I mention a shop, it's because I love that shop, not because I've been paid to like them! There are no ads on this blog and never will be! 

For those of you interested in finding Aristoflex AVC, Michele at Windy Point Soap (Alberta) has it coming in a few weeks! If you're in Canada, this is a woo hoo situation for us! If you're in the States, your dollar is worth something like ten of ours, so order from her too and rejoice that you have spent way less than you expected!

I have to stop for a moment and tell you how much I love this new emulsifier. No, you're not getting a body butter using this, but you can get some really lovely light lotions and moisturizers. There are so many possibilities - I've barely scratched the surface, and really need to try using butters and thickeners to see what happens there, then try it in a proper lotion to see how it feels in that - and I will definitely be playing with all these things in the next few weeks and months.

It isn't a cheap emulsifier, but considering you only need 1%, the 500 grams I have will last a freakin' lifetime!  If you are worried about cost, get 50 grams and see how you like playing with it. It's strange to make lotions cold, but so satisfying. Just make sure you use distilled water and the maximum allowable amount of your preservative to make sure you're preventing as much contamination as possible.

 Join me tomorrow as we make another Aristoflex AVC lotion. Next week, we'll be taking a look at a few more cold process emulsifiers, like Emulthix and Sepiplus.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC - a facial serum with Vitamin C and ferulic acid

I liked yesterday's lotion and I really liked last week's lotion with Aristoflex AVC. But there are more experiments to be done, so let's take a look at a Vitamin C and ferulic acid serum made with this new emulsifier!

The main ingredients in this recipe are ferulic acid and Vitamin C, a combination that is purported to do all kinds of lovely things for our skin. It is the combination found in a very expensive serum, and I think it's one of the things that DIYers try when they learn about making products.

Ferulic acid is a polyphenol that offers good anti-oxidizing properties that can moisturize skin, help with light and weather damage, and might help tone down age spots. It might help stabilize Vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) in our products. It should be good for protection against skin cancer and wrinkles and age spots caused by sun exposure because it protects against oxidative stress. It isn't cheap - 1 gram goes for $2.95 at Lotioncrafter - but we only use a titch in a product at around 0.5%.

Ferulic acid isn't very soluble, so we have to mix it into propylene glycol or glycerin before adding it to the product. Mix it very well, then add it to the lotion or other product you're making.

I'm adding the glycerin as it's a great humectant, but also a vehicle for dissolving the ferulic acid. I'm not using propylene glycol, even though it's more effective, because I don't have any. If I did, I'd use it in this recipe at 3% or so.

MAP liposome - Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, INCI Water & Phospholipids & Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, from the Formulator Sample Shop - is an oil soluble Vitamin C product that we can add to our products. I've used it like an oil in this recipe. It has been proven in studies to be an anti-inflammatory that can stimulate collagen formation, lighten skin, treat hyperpigmentation, and heal wounds. Vitamin C is a very unstable ingredient - you can't just get some ascorbic acid and put it into the water phase of something and hope that it works - so you use a version made more stable in some way.

Why am I adding it? Because I'm constantly asked for a Vitamin C serum, and thought this could be a great time to try it. There are some good studies to show that it can be effective for our skin, but I'm still not sold because there seem to be a lot of things one has to do to make sure it's stable in a lotion, like have a low pH, use opaque containers, and so on. I don't know that there aren't other cheaper and easier to use ingredients that will have the same effect. That's why I'm making this and sharing with my testers to see what they think.

If you want to make this and you have some ascorbic acid, you can't just add a bunch of it to the recipe. As I mention above, it's not stable in water, so you'll need to get another version that is stable in a product, like the MAP I mention above. 

ARISTOFLEX AVC VITAMIN C & FERULIC ACID SERUM
89% distilled water
5% MAP liposome
3% glycerin
0.5% ferulic acid
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% Aristoflex AVC

Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container. Measure the glycerin into a small shot glass, then add the ferulic acid and stir until dissolved. Add this to the container. Add 5% MAP, liquid Germall Plus, then the Aristoflex AVC. Mix well. Bottle and rejoice!

What do I think of this lotion? I like it. It feels very nice on my skin, very light, more like a serum than a lotion. It's thinner than the last two lotions by quite a bit, and I'm wondering if I couldn't make it a bit thicker with a titch of cetyl alcohol or behenyl alcohol?

This one is definitely going out to my testers for their opinions, which I'll share as they come in!

Please note that, as usual, I have not been compensated in any way for using ingredients or writing about them on the blog. I have been sent free ingredients by Formulator Sample Shop that I am using in my products, but I do that because I love them! When I mention a shop, it's because I love that shop, not because I've been paid to like them! There are no ads on this blog and never will be! 

For those of you interested in finding Aristoflex AVC, Michele at Windy Point Soap (Alberta) has it coming in a few weeks! If you're in Canada, this is a woo hoo situation for us! If you're in the States, your dollar is worth something like ten of ours, so order from her too and rejoice that you have spent way less than you expected!

Join me tomorrow for another Aristoflex AVC lotion with N-acetyl glucosamine, ceramides, and more! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC - a light lotion with pumpkin seed oil, allantoin and bull kelp bioferment

I've been in the workshop playing with Aristoflex AVC, a new to me all-in-one emulsifier that creates gels and light lotions at only 1%! It's also a cold emulsifier, meaning no heating required, which is why I can make 8 in one day! On Thursday, I introduced you to a moisturizer with moringa seed oil extract (or C12-15 alkyl benzoate) and dimethicone as our only oils. Today, I tried something different.

You may know of my love of pumpkin seed oil already. It's no secret I think this oil is inexpensive, well balanced, and slightly greasy. I decided it could be the only oil in this recipe. I added sea kelp bioferment - as a film former and oil free emollient because I'm not sure yet if I can use proteins with this emulsifier.

Mine is a gel from the Formulator Sample Shop, but you may find it in other viscosities at other shops. Lotioncrafter's version is also a gel

I included allantoin at 0.5% as it's a great barrier protector, moisture binder, anti-irritant, and keratolytic that's approved to help chapped, chafed, cracked, or windburned skin. I love this ingredient, and you use so little and get so much from it!

I included glycerin as it's not a proper lotion to me without a nice humectant. I used 4% in this recipe because my hand slipped! I originally wanted 3%, but I guess 4% it is!

I want to note that I based this recipe on one I read from Nanette in the Aristoflex AVC Facebook group. I saw she had used the sea kelp bioferment and figured I'd give it a try! Good job, Nanette! 

MOISTURIZER WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL, ALLANTOIN, AND BULL KELP BIOFERMENT
84% distilled water
5% pumpkin seed oil
5% sea kelp bioferment
4% glycerin
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% Aristoflex

Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container, then add the glycerin, bull kelp bioferment, and allantoin. Add Aristoflex AVC, and preservative in that order. Mix well. Bottle and rejoice!

I did mention these lotions are made cold, right? It's amazing to realize that it probably took more time to come up with the recipe and get the ingredients from their boxes than it did to actually make hte lotion. It's pretty amazing!

What do I think of this lotion? It's an awesome light lotion, and it feels quite lovely on my skin. I really like the extra greasiness I'm getting from the pumpkin seed oil and I think I can feel a difference in the amount of hydration I'm getting from the product. I think it's weird that it feels thinner than the lotion I made on Thursday as I'm using a thicker oil.

This emulsifier can get picky around proteins and electrolytes, so perhaps the sea kelp bioferment was too much, hence the thinner viscosity? Not sure, but I do like the texture very much.

Working with Aristoflex means you have a small oil phase, and I'm working hard to find water soluble ingredients that do what I might find in oils. I'm also not able to work with proteins - which I love - and possibly cationic ingredients, so I have to choose from ingredients outside my regular rotation. I love a good challenge, which is why you'll see many more lotions with this ingredient!

For those of you interested in finding Aristoflex AVC, Michele at Windy Point Soap (Alberta) has it coming in a few weeks! If you're in Canada, this is a woo hoo situation for us! If you're in the States, your dollar is worth something like ten of ours, so order from her too and rejoice that you have spent way less than you expected!

Please note that, as usual, I have not been compensated in any way for using ingredients or writing about them on the blog. I have been sent free ingredients by Formulator Sample Shop that I am using in my products, but I do that because I love them! 

Join me tomorrow when we'll make a Vitamin C and ferulic acid serum using Aristoflex AVC!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why I don't heat my ingredients in a microwave!

I'm asked all the time why I heat and hold my lotions a double boiler instead of using a microwave to melt our ingredients. There are a few reasons.

I heat my ingredients for lotions in two separate containers: One for the heated water phase and one for the heated oil phase. I heat them to 70˚C for 20 minutes, then remove them and mix well. I heat and hold them because this is how it works best for me. It ensures all the ingredients are well melted - stearic acid melts at 69˚C, for instance - and it ensures that when I combine them, they'll emulsify well.

Remember that a good emulsion requires three things: heat, mixing, and chemistry. The chemistry comes from using a good, all-in-one emulsifier at the proper rate. The mixing comes from your stick blender or hand mixer after you've combined the two phases. The big thing is the heat. When you heat everything up to melted in a microwave, have you added enough heat to get it to emulsify?

Maybe, maybe not. When I teach classes, we don't have time for heat and hold. We heat the oil phase in the microwave until they're at 70˚C, use water that has previously boiled, and mix like silly. We use recipes I have made many many times in the last nine years, and almost once per class, we have a lotion fail with a well written, tested recipe. The only real difference is the heat.

But here's the other reason I don't use a microwave.

A seasoned participant in my class yesterday heated her oil phase in the microwave. After 45 seconds, the BTMS-50 and cetyl alcohol hadn't melted. After another 30 seconds, they were at 45˚C - too cold. After another 30 seconds, it was boiling and melted the plastic container and tablecloth. Thank goodness we were all so aware of the situation that no one was hurt! Boiling oil on your skin would have meant a hospital trip!

I know there are loads of you out there who are successfully using a microwave to make your products, and I don't want to dismiss those experiences, but these extreme temperature shifts simply don't happen with a double boiler, and I would hate to suggest something that could put you in peril!

On this blog, I'll always suggest you heat and hold your lotions in a double boiler because that's what works for me when I'm creating these recipes in my workshop. If you choose to do differently, the recipes might not work out the same way. And I would hate to see another picture like the one I just posted again!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thank you for supporting our youth groups!

Thank you so much for all the support you offer our youth programs by donating for the e-books! We've been offering groups to youth since 2005, and continue to welcome new kids every week. Every penny you pay for the e-books - here or at other retailers - goes to pay for the groups in the form of supplies, treats, games, video game systems, and so on. 

Last night, we made sushi! Yum! You made this possible! (Okay, now I'm hungry!) 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Emulsifier: Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with silicones and oil soluble extract

I introduced you to a new emulsifier, Aristoflex AVC, yesterday. Today I'll share the first recipe I tried with it!

As with anything I get new, I like to make a small batch of the product so I can see what I think. I made a 100 gram batch of this product, and it filled five of these 15 ml or 1/2 ounce bottles. It had the viscosity of a light moisturizer, and was silky and light on my skin.

I based this recipe on one written by Esther. (Thanks, Esther! You rock!) I modified it slightly to include the extract instead of coconut oil. You can use any oil you want at 5% (no more) in this recipe. I'll show you a few other versions over the next few days.

LIGHT LOTION WITH ARISTOFLEX AVC, DIMETHICONE, AND C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE
90% distilled water
3.5% glycerin
2% dimethicone
3% moringa seed extract oil soluble
1% Aristoflex AVC
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container, then add the glycerin. Add the dimethicone, oil soluble extract, Aristoflex AVC, and preservative in that order. Mix well. Bottle and rejoice! 
As an aside, I originally thought I was using moringa seed oil, but it's an extract (20%) in C12-15 alkyl benzoate (80%). This is a very light ester that feels non-greasy. Which is why this lotion feels so light and non-greasy! Moringa seed extract behaves as an anti-oxidant, which is nice for a light lotion. 

This is an awesome lotion! It is very light and non-greasy feeling. It sinks in well, but still feels like it's there an hour later. It is thin enough to go into a treatment pump bottle or a regular pump bottle. 

What could I do differently next time? Because this has such a small oil phase, we really want to focus on water soluble ingredients and extracts. The problem is that this emulsifier isn't a fan of some extracts, but I haven't been able to find out which ones it hates. This will be a lot of trial by error! I found a few though, including bull kelp bioferment and allantoin, that it can handle, so we'll take a a look at those tomorrow. 

Join me tomorrow for more fun with Aristoflex AVC! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC

I was recently sent a large bag of Aristoflex AVC (INCI Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer), a polymer that can create gels as well as emulsify up to 5% oils or silicones. Because it doesn't work well with electrolytes, it's not suitable for thickening things like shampoo or body wash. Don't use things like aloe vera, sodium PCA, sodium lactate, some extracts, or some proteins, and don't use hyaluronic acid at 0.1% or higher. (It looks like we can use niacinamide, so yay!)

It can potentially make clear gels. It's suggested that you use up to 5% glycerin to help make it clearer. I have not tried a clear gel, so I can't speak from experience. 

You can use it with up to 50% ethanol to make hydro-alcoholic gels. (This could be good for use with salicylic acid.) In this case, add the water and alcohol mix to the Aristoflex. If you have dissolved an active ingredient in alcohol like bisabolol or salicylic acid, make the gel with the Aristoflex and water, then add the alcohol mix to the gel slowly while mixing. 

This is how you use this ingredient on its own: Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container. Then add your other water soluble ingredients. Add your active ingredients, then the oil, then the Aristoflex AVC and your preservative. Mix well. Bottle it and rejoice! 

Did you notice something in those instructions? Yep, there's no heating and holding with this emulsifier. You can if you want, but it isn't necessary to make a light lotion with 5% oils or silicones. 

If you want to use it in a lotion to give it a more cushiony feel, add 0.3% to 0.8% Aristoflex AVC in your oil phase in place of other thickeners, like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid. Check your lotion recipe for things you shouldn't have in there, like electrolytes, and you'll find your lotion feels lighter than the regular recipe without it. 

What do I think? I love this stuff! It is so easy to make a lotion - maybe 10 minutes at the most, and that includes getting the ingredients, bottle, and mixing container ready, plugging in my stick blender, and getting it into bottles. It doesn't take much oil - 5% for oils and silicones, including oil soluble ingredients - so it's not going to make you a body butter, but it's amazing for body milks, facial moisturizers, gels, and light lotions. The lotion itself is quite soft and easy to use. I've made quite a few versions, as you'll see over the next few days, and they all feel quite silky and less greasy than I expected. 

In North America, we have one choice for this emulsifier: Windy Point Soap (Canadian). It'll be $10 for 50 grams, $17 for 100 grams, $37 for 250 grams. 

I know this might seem like a lot, but compare this to Polawax at $17 for 454 grams (1 pound) or $19.75 for 227 grams for Incroquat BTMS-50 and it seems more expensive. But if you consider how much you're using -  compare 1% Aristoflex AVC to 4% or more Polawax or Incroquat BTMS for a light lotion - and it's around the same price range. (35 cents for BTMS, 15 cents for Polawax versus 20 cents for Aristoflex AVC.) 

If you know of another supplier anywhere in the world, please email me at sjbarclay@telus.net and let me know so I can update the post! 

Quick summary: 
Aristoflex AVC (INCI Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer
A white powder
Works in pH 4 to 9. (Higher than pH 9 will release ammonia! Not good!)
Suggested usage 0.5% to 1.2% to emulsify up to 5% oils. 
Can be used warm or cold. 
Can be used to thicken lotions or on its own. Add to the heated oil phase in a lotion at 0.3% to 0.8%. 
Doesn't like electrolytes. 


A huge thank you to Jane Barber of Making Skincare for all the information she has provided about this emulsifier. And a huge thank you to Esther for sending the product out to me and for the starter recipe she shared! 

Join me tomorrow to see one of a few recipes I've made with this ingredient! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Formulating a foaming facial cleanser good for lash extensions - version #2

We took a look at a foaming facial cleanser that might be good for lash extensions yesterday, and I thought we'd look at another version today.

WITCH HAZEL & MARSHMALLOW FOAMING FACE AND LASH CLEANSER
58.5% distilled ater
10% foaming soy surfactant
10% witch hazel
5% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% marshmallow extract
5% white tea extract (liquid)
2% panthenol
2% quaternized rice (or another cationic polymer)
2% oat amino acids (or another hydrolyzed protein)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus (or preservative of choice)

Weigh all ingredients into a container and mix well. Pour into foamer bottle. Rejoice! Please note: If you aren't heating and holding this product, please use distilled water only.

You'll notice many of the ingredients are the same as yesterday's version. That's because I like those ingredients and think them to be a good fit. I changed a few things, like the marshmallow extract and the quaternized rice. Marshmallow extract forms a film on your skin that helps to moisturize well. Make sure you are using the water soluble version, not the oil soluble one as it won't mix into this product well.

I used the quaternized rice because it is a positively charged cationic polymer that will offer conditioning to our skin. I love the rice version as it seems lighter than some of the other ones I've used.

What do I think? I really like this! I have to admit that I miss my honey matte from my previous version as that ingredient really helps my skin feel less greasy, but I really like the moisturization and conditioning I get from this cleanser.

If you have dry skin, you can still make this! I actually think this version would work well for you. If you wanted a little more moisturizing after using it, consider a water soluble oil like PEG-7 olivate or water soluble shea at up to 5%. If you do that, though, it may not work with lash extensions. (I haven't been able to confirm if water soluble oils work with lashes yet!)

What do you do if you don't have all these ingredients? Read some other versions and make one you'll like. Use whatever surfactants you like, but please include the cocamidopropyl betaine as it will increase mildness of your product. Use the extracts you like and see what you think.

One note about this recipe: It will last you ages! I make 100 ml every other month and it lasts me at least 60 days of washing morning and night. So when you try this, please only make 100 grams and see what you think of it!

Other versions of this recipe:
Creating a low foaming facial cleanser with silk surfactant
Creating a recipe using the foaming rice surfactant
Facial cleansers: Creating a low surfactant foaming cleanser (foaming silk)
What the heck is this and what can I do with it? Foaming silk
Modifying the low surfactant foaming cleanser with foaming oat
Modifying the low surfactant foaming cleanser: Substituting surfactants
Modifying the low surfactant foaming cleanser: Substituting hydrosols
Modifying the low surfactant foraming cleanser: A few sample recipes with substitutions

*Formulator Sample Shop sent me these ingredients for free, and they expect nothing from me except my honest opinion on them. I receive no compensation from anyone for anything for this blog. My opinions expressed are my own. I take no advertising and do not write sponsored posts. I admit I have my biases about companies I like, but I like those companies because I like them, not because I have been paid to like them! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Formulating a foaming facial cleanser good for lash extensions - version #1

I'm a huge fan of my foaming facial cleanser with foaming soy surfactant, but I thought I'd try a variation on this recipe that would be more suitable for normal to dry skin.

I started getting eye lash extensions in October because I have short eye lashes and I was tired of messing up my mascara. I get them filled every three to four weeks, and I'm so happy with them. It's easier to apply and remove make-up with my cleanser, and I'm wearing more eye make-up as a result.  The big thing to remember is that we can't use oil soluble ingredients with these lash extensions as it can ruin the cyanoacrylate glue. This isn't generally an issue for me as I avoid oils on my face because I'm already greasy enough, thanks! But I thought I'd put together a nice, mild facial cleanser that could be used as a make-up remover for someone who has lash extensions. Again, my foaming soy cleanser does this job well, but I had time in the workshop and wanted to play with some new ingredients, so I started formulating.

As always, ask yourself what you want this product to do. In this case, I want a facial cleanser that I can put into a foamer bottle. The cleanser has to be thin enough to come out of the bottle, and it needs to clean well without leaving one's skin feeling tight or dry. (This feeling is because the surfactants weren't rinsed off your skin properly, so we want to use lower concentrations of surfactants in this product.) I want it to remove the normal oils and dirt that I get every day, as well as removing my eye shadow and liner.

After choosing my surfactants - foaming oat and cocamidopropyl betaine - which are good for all skin types, I thought I wanted to use some extracts.

I added pomegranate extract (from The Formulator Sample Shop) as an anti-oxidant and conditioning agent. If you don't have this, add another anti-oxidant, like green tea extract, or add a conditioning agent like honeyquat or polyquat 7 at up to 3% in the cool down phase. Or leave them out entirely. I thought I'd include some white tea extract because it would be a nice anti-oxidant and offer a bit of astringency. I added oat hydrolysate (aka hydrolyzed oat protein) because I like to have a light film to offer moisturizing after I use my cleansers. And I used bamboo extract (from FSS again) as an anti-irritant and anti-oxidant. Finally, I added witch hazel as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient.

If you'd like more in-depth information on why I used these surfactants and such, please click on the link at the top of the page to see how I formulated the previous version. 

WHITE TEA & FOAMING OAT FACE AND LASH CLEANSER
50.5% distilled water
15% witch hazel
10% foaming oat surfactant
5% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% white tea extract
5% bamboo extract G
5% pomegranate extract (water soluble)
2% hydrolyzed oat protein
2% panthenol
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Weigh all the ingredients into a container, and mix well. Pour into foamer bottle, and you're done! Rejoice!

Please note: If you don't plan to heat this recipe, please use distilled water only. 

What do I think? I'll let Wanda share her thoughts: It works great! Leaves my skin feeling clean with no residue. I think it would work great for oily, normal, or combo skin.

That's lovely praise!

What do you do if you don't have all these ingredients? The key ones are the surfactants. You can use any surfactant at 10% and add the cocamidopropyl betaine to increase mildness and add a bit of foaminess. Add the extracts you like and have in your workshop, and see what you create!

One note about this recipe: It will last you forever! I make 100 ml every other month and it lasts me at least 60 days of washing morning and night. So when you try this, please only make 100 grams and see what you think of it!

Other versions of this product:
Creating a low foaming facial cleanser with silk surfactant
Creating a recipe using the foaming rice surfactant
Facial cleansers: Creating a low surfactant foaming cleanser (foaming silk)
What the heck is this and what can I do with it? Foaming silk
Modifying the low surfactant foaming cleanser with foaming oat
Modifying the low surfactant foaming cleanser: Substituting surfactants
Modifying the low surfactant foaming cleanser: Substituting hydrosols
Modifying the low surfactant foraming cleanser: A few sample recipes with substitutions

*Formulator Sample Shop sent me some of these ingredients for free, and they expect nothing from me except my honest opinion on them. I receive no compensation from anyone for anything for this blog. My opinions expressed are my own. I take no advertising and do not write sponsored posts. I admit I have my biases about companies I like, but I like those companies because I like them, not because I have been paid to like them! 

Join me tomorrow for another version of this recipe!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Heating & holding lotions, using lots of oils in a lotion, and perfume lockets

I notice there's been some controversy about whether we need to heat and hold our lotions, and here's my position on it: It works for me. I have been making lotions for 9 years - I can't believe it's been that long! - and in that time I have only had a few lotions fail or go bad on me*, even when I was a complete newbie. Yeah, I know it adds some time to making a lotion and it takes more time to reach the cool down phase, and I've read quite a bit lately that says that it's not doing much for killing nasty bugs that might be found in our ingredients, but it's a method that's worked to create an amazingly stable emulsion for me more times than I can count, and I trust that it is effective. I was taught by a cosmetic chemist I trust to follow this method every time I made a lotion, so I do.

If you choose not to heat and hold, don't. It's really up to you to make that decision.

To be honest, I'm writing this as I don't really want to get into debates about this topic at this time. It's not that I don't enjoy at good debate or that I'm closed to discussion, it's just that there are a ton of new things crying out for my attention, and those take precedence! My brain can only focus on so much at any one time these days! 

An aside, there are I've used two emulsifiers that are used cold. One is Sucragel AOF. The other? Why, you'll meet that one later this week!

For the curious: I had one Polawax recipe fail because I added water that was too cold. I had one Ritamulse fail because the oil phase was too high. I had one Montanov 68 go gross on me, which I attribute to not using enough preservative. And I've had Olivem 800 and 1000 fail on me because I hate those emulsifiers! (And yes, I plan to give them another try in the future...)  

Using tiny amounts of this oil and that oil is completely pointless in a lotion. To get the benefit of an oil, you want to use it at 5% to 10% at least. Making a lotion with 1% this and 2% that and 3% the other is kinda pointless. You want all the goodness that a larger amount can offer.

An aside: Can I offer my two cents as an English grad and writer? You may be using "myriad" incorrectly. It's used as such: "There were myriad dogs in my house, which makes me a lucky girl!" Not, "There were a myraid of dogs in my house". The "a" and "of" are wrong.  Here are a few examples: "There are myriad emulsifiers in my workshop." "I wish I had myriad toasters so I could make many Pop-Tarts at a time." And, "The number of sentences that one could use to demonstrate the usage of 'myriad' are myriad." Use it like you would a number. "There were seven dogs at my house," rather than "There were a seven of dogs at my house."

I know, I know, I'm a grammar nazi, language evolves, I'm an old, and so on. I've heard it all. I love the word "myriad", and I just wanted to share how it can be used so you can love it, too! I will never ever make fun of your grammar or writing on this blog! I'm offering this rant as a way of sharing my love of language, not to shame anyone! 

I wanted to share this lovely idea of a perfume locket with you! Make some solid perfume, pour it in, and you have a lovely scent that follows you everywhere you go! We made this a while ago in our youth programs, and they were a big hit! Just remember that any recipe you make cannot contain water, or the locket will rust!

Join me tomorrow for my new face & lash foaming cleanser!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A few thoughts for a lovely Sunday at home...

Just a reminder that if you're interested in taking a class with me, I'm teaching at Voyageur Soap & Candle over the next four weeks. We had a great time with anhydrous products yesterday, and we have hair care, lotion making, and facial products still to come. I'm taking a break in April to go to the Soapmaker's conference in Niagara Falls - woo! - and may teach again in May.

If you are new to making products, I cannot stress enough how much you should visit the newbie section of the blog. I can promise you that almost all the questions you have about products - when you need to use a preservativehow much stuff to order when you're buying supplieshow to make an emulsified body butter, and more! - are answered there. I've tried to create a section filled with things that I wanted to know when I was starting out, and I'm always adding new posts as they come up. The frequently asked questions section of the blog is also a great place to visit to learn more about this lovely craft!

Just wanted to remind you that you cannot put a product that contains water into a metal container or you will get rust. The only products you can put into one of these lovely jars are anhydrous products, those that only contain oils. You cannot put something that might be exposed to water, like a sugar or salt scrub, in a metal container either.

If you change a recipe, it isn't going to be the same as the original recipe. I know this sounds pretty obvious, but it's something that comes up quite a lot. If you leave out the thickener, the product will be thinner. If you switch oils, it may feel more or less greasy. If you change emulsifiers, all kinds of things can happen, and the product might be thicker, thinner, more greasy, less greasy, more powdery or silky, and so on. Change recipes all you want - that's the whole reason for this blog, after all! - but be aware that a small change can make a difference.

I'm so excited that Windy Point (Alberta) is now carrying Lotionpro 165 and low fatty acid SCI granules! Click here to see my favourite body butter recipe using Lotionpro 165. I'm so excited we can get it in Canada!

Just a reminder that I don't write sponsored posts, and I am beholden to no one but myself and you, my lovely readers. When I suggest something, it's because I like that ingredient or company, not that I've been paid for it. 

So those people who are sending me messages every day suggesting sponsored posts, go away. I don't want to talk about your spa in Florida or overpriced lotions. And stop implying that it's okay to send me your PR garbage because I ended up on a list somewhere. In Canada, it's not okay to send spam, and I can report you for each incident.