Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Take a look at my newest e-zine - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As you're no doubt aware, it's been a really hard month, and I'm so grateful that I've been able to escape from reality by writing. And that I was able to take time off work to be with my mom thanks to the kind support of my Patreon subscribers.

My newest e-zine, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, is available for my Patreon subscribers. It's filled with all kinds of recipes suitable for gift giving, like wax tarts and tea light candles, body butters and hand protectants, whipped butters and lip balms, and more!

Take a look at the table of contents! 

If you want to get a copy of this e-zine without having to wait to buy it next month, subscribe before the 31st and download it through Patreon! (It's also cheaper to get it through Patreon, plus you have access to the patron only feed, which includes product duplications!)

If you'd like to know more about being a Patreon subscriber, click here.

My previous e-zine, Bath Time Fun, is available now through the e-book and e-zines page of the blog. It's packed full of recipes you can enjoy in the tub, like bubble bath, bath bombs, bath salts, body wash, and more.

I'm teaching classes on both these e-zines in November and December at Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C. Check out the schedule, if you're interested! 

As a note, all the money raised by the sale of these e-zines and Patreon goes directly to me and my family. The proceeds from the e-books still goes 100% to the youth programs my husband and I run called Rated T for Teen. Just wanted to make that distinction. 

Thanks to all of you, my lovely readers and subscribers, for supporting me and this blog. You're just wonderful!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts...

I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness I'm seeing here and in various Facebook groups about my recent losses. Thank you so much for thinking about my tiny family in our hour of need. This last week has been harder than I thought thanks to the bureaucracy of death as we meet with this person or call that organization, and during all that it's been lovely to see your kind thoughts arriving in my inbox to remind me about what's really important. You really are the loveliest readers, and I am so grateful to have you and this blog!

I'll be back shortly as I need to write to keep my sanity. I'll be answering comments and, I hope, writing posts early next week again. I'm almost finished the e-zine for my Patreon accout, and I hope to take the last pictures for it on Sunday.

I know I've said it a hundred times but thank you so much for your kindness and generosity of spirit. Your compassion has made the most brutal month of my life less horrible.

Thank you, Michele, for the beautiful flowers. They are bringing happiness and lovely fragrances to our home. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bloglovin' is holding my blog hostage until I post this link to them...

Please don't read my blog on Bloglovin'. I would prefer you come here to read it and interact with me and other readers. But Bloglovin' wants you to read my work on their site so they can make money from it. They're holding me hostage and won't release information on my blog until I put the link at the bottom of the page on my site.

I don't make money from this blog. I take no ads because I don't want to annoy you and because I don't believe in the kinds of ads that would want to be on this blog, telling you about the amazing benefits of coconut oil or how some celebrity looks awful without making. 

Bloglovin' is making money from my blog - and hundreds of other blogs - and they do so without permission. They are making me put this link at the bottom of the page so I can gain access to my own blog on their site/app. I put this here only so I can access information they have about my blog. 

Enough people are making money from my work - I see you pirating the e-books, copying my words wholesale without attribution or links, linking directly to downloads instead of to the blog as I've asked you to do, copying recipes and claiming them as your own, teaching classes with materials - and I think it's time it stopped. I ask for one thing for all this free information - just visit the blog instead of using another program. If that's too much to ask, then maybe there's no place for the way I present information any more.

Lest you think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, my Bloglovin' feed showed me the newest posts from this blog and recommended ones about my dead dog and my dead mom. (I didn't include a picture of my mom in my own blog post as I couldn't stand the idea of seeing her picture in some feed from this company.) And I have no way to stop them doing this. Please don't encourage them. 

Please don't follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I ask for your patience yet again...

My mother, Muriel, died yesterday from a possible blood clot related to lung cancer. (It was an infection from pseudomonas, according to the doctor. Not that it matters much...) There are no words for the extent of our grief.

I have taken down my e-mail address so Raymond and I can have some time and space to process our pain. I will do my best to send out e-zines and e-books as soon as I can, but I ask for your patience as I'm not checking e-mail very often.

Thank you for all the kindness you have shown our tiny family in the past. We are grateful for you, my lovely readers, for your prayers and good thoughts. I hope to be back soon...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Making facial cleansers - feedback

You've been awesome in sharing your thoughts about the facial cleansers you've been making, but I'd like to hear more from you.

What do you think of the recipe you made? (Please specify which recipe you made or share if it's your own version)
What do you like?
What don't you like?
Is there something you'd like to include we haven't covered?
Do you have some different surfactants you'd like to try?
And so on...

I'd love to hear from you so we can get tweak this facial cleanser to be even more awesome! Once you've made something you love, we'll move on to making an exfoliating facial cleanser and one in a foamer bottle, then move to making toners and eye gels. Woo!

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe

Newbie Tuesday on Friday: Using botanical extracts in your facial cleansers (part three)

As we saw in yesterday's post and Tuesday's post, we can use all kinds of lovely botanical extracts to take our facial cleansers from great to mega-super-lovely-awesome!

If you followed the shopping list for this series, you would have purchased rosemary and chamomile for oily skin, chamomile and green tea for normal skin, and chamomile and cucumber for dry skin. Let's take a look at some modifications you could make using these extracts.

As a quick note, if you like the recipe you've made so far with the cleanser, just add 0.5% of each powder into a small amount of water - say no more than 10% of the water in the recipe - and mix well until dissolved. You may need to heat the water slightly to dissolve them faster. Then add to the total water phase and enjoy!

In this next recipe, I'm increasing the glycerin to 10% to give dry and sensitive skin more hydration. Normally this much glycerin would be sticky, but it's being rinsed off, so I'm not worried about including that much. If you don't like it, as usual, leave it out.

We're adding cucumber extract for its soothing and hydrating abilities, and chamomile extract for its soothing properties as well as its ability to reduce transepidermal water loss. Add each at 0.5% in the water phase as noted above.

Remember, when we add or increase an ingredient, we have to remove something else so the recipe totals 100%. In this case, we have increased the glycerin by 5%, added 0.5% chamomile extract, and 0.5% cucumber extract, so we have to remove 6% water (5 + 0.5 +0.5 = 6).

If you don't know why I'm doing what I'm doing here, please check out the other posts in this series, starting from the base recipe post. 

As an aside, I suck at coming up with names for products. Part of that is that I don't think it's helpful for you, my lovely reader, to see names like "sweet almond & aloe lotion" and think that's the only way to make that lotion. The part is that although I'm a writer, I'm not much for flowery language and description. So it's easier for me to come up with names like "basic lotion with humectants" or "toner for dry/sensitive skin". I'm trying to be more flowery and pretty Pinterest-like, so you'll see slightly more descriptive names in the future, but I'll always make it clear that you don't have to use named ingredients if you don't have to do so...

I share this with you because I'm including honeyquat in this recipe. It's a cationic polymer or like polyquat 7 that adsorbs or forms a fine film on your skin to condition it. Honeyquat is also a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to your skin, which means it's a two-fer ingredient, which makes me happy. The reason I'm including it in this recipe is that I really wanted the next cleanser to have a really lovely name. (Hence the lengthy story above...) If you don't have it, please use the polyquat 7 in its place.

HONEY, CHAMOMILE & CUCUMBER FACIAL CLEANSER FOR DRY OR SENSITIVE SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
10% BSB
5% SLeS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% glycerin
3% cationic polymer (honeyquat or polyquat 7, for instance)
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
49.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% powdered cucumber extract

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

Weigh the surfactant phase of the product into a container and mix. I suggest using a fork and mixing so you don't get a ton of bubbles. It's not the end of the world if it gets bubbly, but you'll have to wait a few days for the bubbles to go down.

Measure out a bit of water into a small cup, like a shotglass, to dissolve the powdered extract. Do your best to dissolve it, but don't stress too much if you can't get all the lumps out. It'll dissolve more when you add it to the rest of the water.

Add the water phase, phase then mix again until it is blended. Again, try to avoid too many bubbles.

Add the Crothix 0.5% or 1% at a time. Mix well with the fork. It will likely fall to the bottom, so I suggest stirring from the bottom to make sure you're integrating the Crothix. If it isn't thick enough, add another 0.5% to 1%.

What do you do if you have water soluble liquid cucumber extract? Use it as part of your water amount. So add 5% to the water phase - that's what's generally suggested, but check with your supplier - and remove 5% distilled water. (Remember, when we add something, we have to subtract something - usually the distilled water - to keep the recipe at 100%. Scroll back up to see more...)

Related posts:
One ingredient, five posts: Cucumber extract (this post has the links to all the previous posts, so I encourage you to scroll down and look at them all!)

Let's stop for a second and talk about water soluble versus oil soluble extracts. We can find extracts in all kinds of different liquids - oil, alcohol, glycerin, water - and we have to check to see if they're compatible. This lovely little bottle of green tea extract from Brambleberry* is oil soluble, so it won't mix into some surfactant blends - like our facial cleansers - easily without an emulsifier. It definitely won't mix into our toner or gel easily without an emulsifier.

This green tea extract from Lotioncrafter* and this one from Formulator Sample Shop are both water soluble.

Check the solublility of the ingredient - for instance, it should say "soluble in water" - or check the INCI name (the International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients) to see the full name of the product, and that should give you an idea of its solubility. If it says "sweet almond oil" or "something something triglycerides", it's oil soluble. If it says "water" or "glycerin" or "alcohol", you can use it in a product that contains only water soluble ingredients, like facial cleansers, toners, gels, and so on.

For normal skin, I recommended chamomile and green tea extract. As I mentioned above, chamomile is great for reducing transepidermal water loss and reducing redness, so we include it for all skin types. Green tea extract has much to offer as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and maintainer of collagen and elastin.

CHAMOMILE & GREEN TEA FACIAL CLEANSER FOR NORMAL SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
15% LSB
15% BSB
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
39.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% powdered green tea extract

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% Crothix, if desired

Weigh the surfactant phase of the product into a container and mix. I suggest using a fork and mixing so you don't get a ton of bubbles. It's not the end of the world if it gets bubbly, but you'll have to wait a few days for the bubbles to go down.

Measure out a bit of water into a small cup, like a shotglass, to dissolve the powdered extract. Do your best to dissolve it, but don't stress too much if you can't get all the lumps out. It'll dissolve more when you add it to the rest of the water.

Add the water phase, phase then mix again until it is blended. Again, try to avoid too many bubbles.

Add the Crothix 0.5% or 1% at a time. Mix well with the fork. It will likely fall to the bottom, so I suggest stirring from the bottom to make sure you're integrating the Crothix. If it isn't thick enough, add another 0.5% to 1%.

If you'd like to play along with this series, please start at the top and work your way forwards to make awesome cleansers!
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Newbie Tuesday on Tuesday: Modifying the recipe with aloe vera
Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Modifying the recipe with botanical extracts (part one)
Newbie Tuesday on Thursday: Modifying the recipe with botanical extracts (part two)

Join me on for Newbie Tuesday - actually on Tuesday next week - as we create some more variations on these cleansers! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Quick link about snail ick in cosmetics

I had to share this link to Dr Joe Schwarcz's column on snail secretions in cosmetics as I'm seeing a lot about these products lately. My thoughts? Ewwww, really???

Newbie Tuesday on Thursday: Using botanical extracts in your facial cleansers (part two)

Let's take a look at including some of those extracts about which I wrote yesterday in our cleanser recipes! You can modify any recipe you wish to include them: I'm using the one we modified on Tuesday with the aloe vera.

If I wanted to create something for oily skin, my first thoughts are always about rosemary extract as it's awesome for taming sebum. I also like to include grapeseed extract as it reduces oiliness as well. And a little chamomile is fantastic for reducing redness - if that's an issue for you - and decreasing transepidermal water loss and leaving our skin feeling much more hydrated. I don't like to use three extracts in one product because it can lead to precipitation in the container, so I'm thinking of using chamomile and grapeseed extract in my cleanser.

But wait...is there another way to get all the awesome power of one of these extracts in another form? Why yes, yes there is! We can try using hydrosols (aka floral waters or distillates) or essential oils!

HYDROSOLS
The easiest way to explain hydrosols are that they are the water soluble portion of the plants used to make essential oils. You might see them listed as hydrolats, floral waters, or distillates.

When buying your hydrosols, make sure you're getting a hydrosol. Check the INCI name to ensure it's a floral water - for example, like this one from the Herbarie or this vanilla one from the Formulator Sample Shop - instead of a blend of essential oils and solubilizers in water. Not that there's anything super wrong with having the latter, it's just that it's a different product than we're getting with the floral water.

There are all kinds of floral waters or hydrosols you can try from chamomile to lavender to champa (which smells freakin' amazing!) and more. In general, they smell a bit like the thing they are - so neroli will have that orange smell, while peppermint is a bit...well, minty, of course!

So I could do something like use chamomile hydrosol with rosemary extract or peppermint hydrosol with chamomile extract or grapeseed extract with neroli hydrosol, and so on. There are loads of ways to combine these ingredients, and we'll see a few over the next few days.

WITCH HAZEL
We need to pause for a moment and talk about this lovely liquid. It isn't just for oily skin - all skin types can enjoy the hydrating goodness of witch hazel! It's full of lovely tannins, which do make it a bit astringent, but also contains polyphenols which behave as strong anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories on our skin. It can reduce swelling in tissues, and is a great wound healer.

Check to see how much alcohol is in the one you buy. I get one that's about 14% alcohol from Voyageur Soap & Candle*, and I find my oily skin responds well to it. (You can find this version at the Personal Formulator in the US). Or choose one that doesn't contain alcohol, like this version from Windy Point in Alberta

We must stop and pause for a moment and ask ourselves a question: Is there any point of including these lovely botanical ingredients in a product like a cleanser, something that will be washed off? The answer is both yes and no...I know, I'm annoying, right?

I've said this before, but I tend to wash my face and go more often than not, so I want to pack as many goodies into my facial cleanser as possible. I find cleansers containing aloe vera or witch hazel increase the mildness of my products, so my skin feels less tight and more hydrated. I find including chamomile in my products make my skin feel more hydrated, too, and reduce the normal redness I get from my rosacea. I also find that include grapeseed extract helps reduce sebum production and makes my skin feel less oily. But that's just my experience. Yours will vary, and that's the fun of making things!

If you're using a toner, moisturizer, serum, and so on after cleansing, then it might be a thought to leave the botanical ingredients for those products where they'll have contact with the skin longer. Since they aren't super expensive and we only need a titch, I'll encourage you to play a bit with these extracts to see if they bring anything to the cleanser that you like. As usual, try one extract at a time and see what you think. Keep good notes so you know what you like and don't like.

Here's one of my new avourite versions for my oily skin. Note that I'm including 10% witch hazel, which means I remove 10% from the distilled water amount, and 10% peppermint hydrosol, which means I remove another 10% from the distilled water amount. I'm including 0.5% powdered chamomile extract as well, so I need to remove 0.5% from the distilled water amount. Any time we add something to the recipe, we need to remove that same amount from the distilled water amount. In this case, I'm adding 20.5% more ingredients to the mix, so I'm removing 20.5% from the distilled water amount.

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR OILY SKIN WITH ALOE VERA, WITCH HAZEL, PEPPERMINT HYDROSOL, AND CHAMOMILE EXTRACT
SURFACTANT PHASE
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% DLS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
21% distilled water
10% witch hazel
10% peppermint hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
0.5% chamomile extract

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

Weigh the surfactant phase of the product into a container and mix. I suggest using a fork and mixing so you don't get a ton of bubbles. It's not the end of the world if it gets bubbly, but you'll have to wait a few days for the bubbles to go down.

Measure out a bit of water into a small cup, like a shotglass, to dissolve the powdered extract. Do your best to dissolve it, but don't stress too much if you can't get all the lumps out. It'll dissolve more when you add it to the rest of the water.

Add the water phase, phase then mix again until it is blended. Again, try to avoid too many bubbles.

Add the Crothix 0.5% or 1% at a time. Mix well with the fork. It will likely fall to the bottom, so I suggest stirring from the bottom to make sure you're integrating the Crothix. If it isn't thick enough, add another 0.5% to 1%.

For oily skin, don't go over 2% as it can feel a little too moisturizing. For other skin types, you can go as high as 5% if you wish, but this will be very very moisturizing. If you can't get the visosity you want right now, it's okay. This is why we have pump bottles!

If you'd like to play along with this series, please start at the top and work your way forwards to make awesome cleansers!
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Newbie Tuesday on Tuesday: Modifying the recipe with aloe vera
Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Modifying the recipe with botanical extracts (part one)

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at more recipes we can make using botanical extracts! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Adding botanical extracts to your facial cleansers (part one)

I'm a big fan of using powdered extracts to add some extra oomph to my facial cleansers. They tend to be inexpensive - for instance, $3 to $5 for 10 grams - and we only need a bit to go a long way. Let's take a look at these botanical extracts and see how they can fit into our facial cleanser!

There are a few ways to use botanical extracts, but the most common versions I see are liquid or powdered.

The powdered extracts I get from Voyageur Soap & Candle* are designed to be very soluble in water, and you only need a little to go a long way. I use 0.5% in the cool down phase (less than 45˚C or 100˚F) in a product to offer all the awesome power of that botanical ingredient, like grapeseed, green tea, rosemary, and more.

You can get liquid extracts, which we'll visit in a few minutes....

For this series, I suggested that you get a few extracts, so let's take a look at those, and a few others you might use in a cleanser. (Click on the bolded names to read more!) For the powdered extracts I list below, they are used at 0.5% in the water phase unless otherwise indicated.

Chamomile extract: I've recommended this for all skin types as it's a magnificent ingredient that can reduce redness and inflammation while reducing transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours for all skin types. It will make your product a little yellow if you're using the powdered extract.

Rosemary extract: This is recommended for oily skin as it's an astringent ingredient that reduces oiliness and acts as a great anti-oxidant. This is a green-ish brown-ish extract that will be more brown than green in your products.

Grapeseed extract: This one is great for oily skin as it's an astringent ingredient that acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory in our products.

Green tea extract: This extract is great for all skin types as it offers all kinds of benefits, like behaving as an anti-oxidant, reducing water retention, and reducing inflammation, to name a few things. (I encourage you to hit "newer post" at the bottom of the green tea write ups as there are quite a few of them, and it's a fascinating ingredient!)

Cucumber extract: Anyone can use this extract, but it's especially awesome for those with dry skin as it's emollient, anti-inflammatory, and soothing. It may be astringent, but that doesn't mean that it's drying to your skin. It creates a light layer of moisture on your skin, which is exactly what dry skin needs!

There are loads of other extracts you could use like chrysanthemum or willow bark for acne prone skin, strawberry for oily skin with bigger pores, marshmallow to create a slippery emolliency for normal to dry skin, liquorice for skin with age spots or uneven skin tone, and more. (We'll go into more detail about extracts when we get to toners as many of these are better in that application than a cleanser...)

Why use liquid extracts? Often they tend to be less colourful and less fragrant than our powdered extracts, but that's not a given. Check the description of the extract at your supplier before buying. It's not a bad thing to be colourful or fragrant - heck, I pride myself on being both every day! - but it might not work with the product you're making.

This is my cleanser with grapeseed extract. It looks like blood!!!

Because they're pre-dissolved, they won't precipitate or end up as gunk at the bottom of the container the way the powders might.

Make sure you get the water soluble extracts if you want to use them in cleansers, toners, gels, and water based products. You can use a bit of an oil soluble extract in a product - see below - but it's so much easier to use the water soluble ones in the products we're making in this series.

What about using an essential oil? You can do that in a facial cleanser without having to worry about emulsifying it into the product as many surfactants are great emulsifiers as long as you're only using 0.5% to 1% maximum. I would caution you, though, as essential oils carry fragrances with them, so really think hard about whether you want to smell the earthy tones of chamomile or the camphory smell of rosemary under your nose and on your face all day.

We'll be choosing one or two powdered extracts for the recipes you'll see tomorrow, using them at no more than 0.5% in the water phase. There's no reason to use more because you'll end up with precipitation, where the powder clumps at the bottom or starts to clog up the pump or foamer part of the bottle. (Click here for a short post on solubility...)

A final thought on extracts for now: Never mix exfoliating extracts in one product! For instance, papaya and pineapple are awesome on their own, but together they can work too well and create redness and sensitivity. Check your extracts before mixing them to ensure you're getting goodness, not face pain!

Posts specific to extracts and hydrosols:
The extract section of the blog
How to use extracts and hydrosols in our products
What exactly is an extract?
Extracts: Powdered or liquid?

Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Newbie Tuesday on Tuesday: Modifying the recipe with aloe vera

Join me tomorrow as we learn more about the botanical extracts we can include in our facial cleansers!

And I want to remind everyone to take a look at this post - Did you make a cleanser? - as I'd love to collect the versions you've made in one place! Please don't forget to share your recipe with your fellow readers! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Tuesday: Adding aloe vera to your facial cleanser

Adding aloe vera can take your facial cleanser from great to freakin' awesome, so let's take a look at why we might include this ingredient to a facial cleanser!

For this series, I encouraged you to get aloe vera liquid. I generally add 10% of this wonderfui liquid to act as a film former, emollient, and anti-inflammatory. It increases mildness and can thicken your product thanks to all those electrolytes, so you may need to reduce your use of Crothix or other thickeners when you add this ingredient.

I need to be clear that we aren't using the gel here as it's thickened with a carbomer, and that can break down in a surfactant mix. You can use the gel if you want, but it is easier to incorporate the liquid.

You can aloe vera it at higher levels than 10%, but I find this is the optimal level for skin feel and thickening the product.

If you bought the aloe vera extract organic 200x from Voyageur Soap & Candle*, or if you have any of this powder that you re-hydrate, here's a tip from me on how I use it! I measure 1 gram of the powdered aloe vera and add it to 198 grams of distilled water and 1 gram liquid Germall Plus, mix well, then use in my products as if I was using aloe vera liquid. So when my recipe below calls for 10% aloe vera, I use the re-hydrated aloe vera powder liquid at 10% of the recipe.

The preservative is not optional. It never is in a water containing product, but especially with a botanical product like aloe vera! Feel free to choose from an array of suitable preservatives, like Geogard Ultra, Germaben II, Optiphen ND, and so on. (Check this chart for broad spectrum preservatives that work with water only or water soluble products.)

RE-HYDRATING ALOE VERA 200x POWDER
99% distilled water
0.5% aloe vera extract organic 200x powder
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Put into a container. Mix well. Rejoice.

If you are using a 100x aloe vera powder, like this one from Lotioncrafter,* then you'd use 1 gram in 98.5 grams of distilled water and 0.5 grams of liquid Germall Plus to make your liquid.

A quick aside before we modify the recipe: Water is not a filler! It's important to have water in our products for a number of reasons, the least of which being that it's inexpensive to use distilled water over aloe vera or other liquids. It's also great for our skin, and it doesn't mess with the chemistry of the product the way using 100% aloe vera as our liquid might do.

As usual, if I add something to the recipe, I have to take something away so it'll total 100%. Why do I care if it totals 100%? Because it makes it easier to ensure I'm using the safe as used or recommended levels of a product. It's easier to figure out 0.5% of 100 grams for liquid Germall Plus than 0.5% of 125 grams in my head. So if you're adding 10% aloe vera liquid, we need to remove 10% from the distilled water amount to ensure our recipe balances.

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR DRY OR SENSITIVE SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
10% BSB
5% SLeS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
54.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR NORMAL SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
15% LSB
15% BSB
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
39.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% Crothix, if desired

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR OILY SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
15% DLS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
41.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

Weigh the surfactant phase of the product into a container and mix. I suggest using a fork and mixing so you don't get a ton of bubbles. It's not the end of the world if it gets bubbly, but you'll have to wait a few days for the bubbles to go down.

When the product is uniform, add the water and aloe vera, then mix again until it is blended. As usual, try to avoid too many bubbles.

Add the Crothix 0.5% or 1% at a time. Mix well with the fork. It will likely fall to the bottom, so I suggest stirring from the bottom to make sure you're integrating the Crothix. If it isn't thick enough, add another 0.5% to 1%.

For oily skin, don't go over 2% as it can feel a little too moisturizing. For other skin types, you can go as high as 5% if you wish, but this will be very very moisturizing. If you can't get the visosity you want right now, it's okay. This is why we have pump bottles!

As a note, if you are allergic to aloe vera or don't want to include it, make yesterday's version of this recipe instead or just take out the 10% aloe vera and use water instead. In the follow up recipes you'll see, do the same thing! Isn't the whole point of making things to customize it to your skin type, preferred ingredients, climate, and more?

If you want to play along, here are all the posts in this series!
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe

Join me tomorrow for Newbie Tuesday tomorrow and the rest of the week as we consider which botanical extracts we can include in our facial cleansers! Woo! Yes, woo indeed!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Monday: Modifying the facial cleanser even further with hydrolyzed proteins

I'm so glad you're enjoying the facial cleansers you've made (original recipe, then the modified recipe can be found in those links)! So let's add a few more things to the mix!

As I modify recipes, I ask myself a few questions...
What's the goal of this product?
What will I be using after this recipe on my face? Toner? Moisturizer? Serum?
What did I like about the previous version? What didn't I like? What did I miss?

As someone with greasy skin, the goal of my cleanser is to wash my face gently to remove sebum, dirt, chocolate, and make-up. I don't want it to be too foamy, and it would be nice if it didn't sting the heck out of my eyes when I use it. I don't want my skin to feel tight or dry after washing. I think it's safe to say that all skin types would like what I've just written here, so let's move on to the next question...

What will I be using after this recipe on my face? I generally use a toner and nothing else as I have greasy skin and I don't get along with oil based products, like a moisturizer, oil based serum, or silicone based serum. (I do like my oil-free moisturizer, though, but I've run out and don't get time in the workshop these days...) Believe it or not, this is a really big deal because what you'll put in your cleanser will depend on what you're using next. If this cleanser is the first step in a larger regimen, you may want to stop with the modified recipe we made the other day and rejoice!

Having said this, I encourage you to keep going and modifying this recipe to see if you really need those next steps or if this facial cleanser is exactly what you want!

What kind of modifications could I make to this product to make it more moisturizing, more hydrating, and more awesome?

The short answer is that there are more modifications than I could cover in a month of making facial cleansers, but we'll review a few more ingredients today. In the last post we covered humectants and cationic polymers. Let's meet another of my favourite ingredients...

HYDROLYZED PROTEINS
I admit it; I'm addicted to hydrolyzed proteins. I love the way they film form and hydrate my skin without oils. There are so many to choose from, but my favourites are hydrolyzed silk protein, which can be found as silk peptides or amino acids, and hydrolyzed oat protein. (Although I'm kinda loving the hydrolyzed baobab protein from Lotioncrafter* and the pisum sativum from the Formulator Sample Shop* as it has a dry, silky feeling I've never seen in a protein before!)

I recommend hydrolyzed oat protein for normal to oily skin as it forms a film that hydrates our skin. I recommend hydrolyzed silk protein for normal to dry skin as it can penetrate our skin and hydrate from within. You can use either for your skin type, or choose another one. Let's use it at 2% to 5% in our cleanser to increase mildness, hydrate or film form.

Why would I choose 2% over 5%? More isn't always better. I've found that 2% offers me the right amount of film forming and hydrating on my skin, while 5% can get a bit sticky at times. I'm finding some of the newer proteins I'm using, like the pisum sativum, don't get that sticky feeling, so I've been trying it at higher levels. I quite like 4% as well for that one...

As an aside, if you've always wanted to make shampoo, if you have the ingredients to make cleanser, you have the ingredients to make a shampoo! So check out the hair care section of the blog to see how you can make that, too. Oh, and you can make body wash. Check out this section or do a search for "body wash" - I make so many and I haven't updated the section yet - and you'll see those recipes! And a bubble bath! And a hand cleanser! I know, mind blown, right? 

Do you need it in a facial cleanser if you're using something else next? I would argue yes, because it increases mildness in the product and hydrates your skin. Some would argue "no" because you're washing it off, but I do notice a difference with as little as 2% in my products. As with all our products, it's up to you to see what you think! Always keep great notes!

I do blind product testing sometimes, getting Raymond to pour something into a bottle without telling me what it is, and I have noticed a difference in non-protein body washes and facial moisturizers. I haven't noticed a great difference with my shampoo, but notice it when it's missing from my leave in conditioner. 

So how would this recipe look if we were to add 2% to 5% hydrolyzed protein to the facial cleanser? If I adapt the recipes we made the other day - check out this PDF - then I would add 2% into the surfactant phase and remove 2% of the distilled water to balance the recipe to 100%.

Notice I've added 2% hydrolyzed protein to the surfactant phase and removed 2% distilled water to ensure the recipe totals 100%. You can do this with all the recipes we've created so far!

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR DRY OR SENSITIVE SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
10% BSB
5% SLeS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
5% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
64.5% distilled water

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR NORMAL SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
15% LSB
15% BSB
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
49.5% distilled water

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% Crothix, if desired

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR OILY SKIN
SURFACTANT PHASE
15% C14-16 ole[in sulfonate
15% DLS
10% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
51.5% distilled water

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

Weigh the surfactant phase of the product into a container and mix. I suggest using a fork and mixing so you don't get a ton of bubbles. It's not the end of the world if it gets bubbly, but you'll have to wait a few days for the bubbles to go down.

When the product is uniform, add the water, then mix again until it is blended. Again, try to avoid too many bubbles.

Add the Crothix 0.5% or 1% at a time. Mix well with the fork. It will likely fall to the bottom, so I suggest stirring from the bottom to make sure you're integrating the Crothix. If it isn't thick enough, add another 0.5% to 1%.

For oily skin, don't go over 2% as it can feel a little too moisturizing. For other skin types, you can go as high as 5% if you wish, but this will be very very moisturizing. If you can't get the visosity you want right now, it's okay. This is why we have pump bottles!

If you're playing at home, here's how you can catch up and play along!
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Can we add carrier oils to cleansers?

In this post, Why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it Wednesday: Sea kelp extract, Carmit80 asks: For foaming cleansers I see you don't add any carrier oils as an emollient. Would this be possible or even effective? Would l we then need to add the emulsifiers? Thanks!

There are a few questions here that I would like to address...
Why don't I add oils as emollients?
Would it be possible to add oils to a foaming cleanser?
Would we add an emulsifier to a foaming cleanser?

The answer to the first question is that I generally don't add carrier oils to foaming products like body washes, facial washes, bubble baths, and so on as oils can suppress and even destroy the bubbles, lather, and foam in a product.

There are other ways to add emolliency to a foaming cleanser that won't suppress the bubbles. We can use ingredients like glycol distearate or Crothix to both thicken and moisturize, or add ingredients like water soluble olive oil (or PEG-7 olivate), water soluble shea oil, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, myristamine oxide, and so on. These ingredients are less likely to suppress foam and lather than an oil.

Is it possible to add oils to a foaming clanser? Yes. A lot of surfactants - the ingredients we use to make the products foamy, lathery, and bubbly - are good emulsifiers, meaning they can incorporate oil easily into the product. If you have something like C14-16 olefin sulfonate, you can easily add something like 5% carrier oils along with your 1% fragrance or essential oil and see it mix well. Use something like disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and you'll need a solubilizer. If you really want to use carrier oils, then you'll have to check each surfactant to see what it can handle.

If your surfactants can't emulsify well, you'll have to use a solubilizer like polysorbate 80, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, Cromollient SCE, Caprol Micro Express, and so on. (You can't use an emulsifier like Polawax or Incroquat BTMS-50 as they aren't suitable for these kinds of products.) Some of these solubilizers - especially the last two - are great emollients on their own!

Related posts:
Esters: Using PEG-7 olivate in a body wash
Body wash with esters
Check out this section for loads of cleanser recipes: Surfactants, not including hair care products

And look for the continuation of the Newbie Tuesday facial cleanser series shortly as we add non-carrier oil emollients to our products.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Classes, lively debates, and more...

Thank you to you all for your lovely thoughts, wishes, and prayers for my little family. Your kindness has brought us much solace in a really horrible time.

I'm teaching a few new classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle this fall. We're adding another bath time fun class (related to the bath time fun e-zine, which I'll post here shortly) and two Christmas gift classes (which are also based on an upcoming e-zine). We also added another facial products class on Tuesday, November 22nd. There are also a couple spaces left in the gels class on November 5th, advanced lotion making on October 22nd, and hair care on December 3rd.

There's been a really lively debate on a few posts...
Do you have to declare all the ingredients in a product?
Are companies hiding preservatives in other ingredients?

I encourage you to take a look at the interesting things people are saying over there on those topics and share your thoughts!

I am getting through your comments, and I'm preparing the next Newbie Tuesday with all your thoughts about the facial clenasers. I'm hoping to get that out shortly. (Sorry I can't be more specific, but it seems that if I make plans, the universe does everything in its power to destroy them, so I'll just say "soon".)

As for e-mail, I have no idea when I'll get to it. I'm back logged to August right now, and I don't know how I'll find time to answer all of it. If you have written to me and I didn't respond, may I suggest finding a suitable post and writing it as a comment there? I can't always access my e-mail as it ends up on my laptop and not my phone, but I can usually access comments, so I can work on them when I have a few minutes to kill waiting somewhere.

Thank you again for all your upport and patience! I don't know what I'd do without this blog and you, my lovely readers.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I'm taking a few days off line...

I am taking a few days off as my little Blondie dog died today and my mom is back in hospital. I don't know how to stop crying, and I need time to feel the pain and work through it.

My mom is home from the hospital, but still quite weak. I'm so glad she's here! 

I won't be responding to messages or comments during this time, but I will be sending out e-books and e-zines as they come in. 

Newbie Tuesday will resume shortly. I don't want to give you a hard date as something hideous will no doubt happen before then, but it will be in the next few weeks. 

Thank you for your kindness and understanding.