Monday, October 22, 2012

Confounding factors or why we need to test our products for a while

My hair always feels softer after washing it on Monday morning. Why? It could be that I always use my intense conditioner on Monday. It could be Monday is exfoliation day (I do love my sugar scrubs!), which means the conditioner stays on my hair longer or that the ends of my hair get some of the cocoa butter from the scrub on it. Or it could be the day on which I try out new products I made on the weekend. Or it could be I don't go in the pool that day. Or it could be the morning I daydream or sing all of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the shower, leading to longer hair conditioning time.

There are tons of factors that could account for me having softer hair on a Monday, and it is hard to know exactly which one is key. Which is why you really do need time to test your products.

It could be that new cleanser is making you break out or it could be the oil you had on your hands after making bread. It could be your hair really hates that new shampoo or you might be drier than normal due to low humidity. It could be that new body butter makes your skin feel really moisturized or it could be the inclusion of glycerin.

Give your products time and document everything you might think important to know - the more data, the better!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I'm still alive!

Thank you to my wonderful readers for showing such concern about where I went! I didn't go anywhere - I'm here, I'm just really busy. I've started working out - aquafit four times a week, weights twice a week - to help with my sore back, which means my mornings are about getting to the gym. And I'm taking 7 hours a week of classes, both of which are morning classes. My normal time to write is in the morning when my brain is fresh and excited, and that time has been taken up by these other activities. I'm trying to figure out how to write in the evenings, but it just doesn't come easily! (And yes, I'm still working full time. I think I took on a little bit much this semester!) 

Add to that preparation for my craft groups, the big Hallowe'en party, and International Games Day @ the library on November 3rd, and I don't have much time to do anything right now! The blog is one of my huge priorities, but the youth programs take precedence right now. (We just celebrated our seventh anniversary of Games Night! Wow! Four of the first eight kids still attend, and three are in their twenties!) 

The picture above is Olivia's henna tattoo she did earlier this week while helping teach the class. The strange purple creature is my half-pony half-monkey monster from last year's Hallowe'en costume. I was an evil genius from the song Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton. (Click here for an unofficial video!) 

The good news is that I'm feeling better. I'm getting over a nasty cold, but the herniated disks in my back only give me trouble when I don't get to my workout or do something stupid like bend down without using my legs. 

I'm hoping to finish up the eye cream recipe later this week, then more Newbie Tuesday! I'm also working on responding to your comments and e-mails! 

If you want to know more about International Games Day @ the library, click here. We're the library in Yarrow (British Columbia). And we're sponsoring the Speers library in Saskatchewan! (My best friend's mom is the librarian there. It's a town of 96 people! Awesome!) If you're in the Fraser Valley, come check us out from 11 to 6 Saturday, November 3rd at the Yarrow library! We've rented the gym, and we hope to see everyone - not just teens! - at the library. We're challenging the parents to an adult Rock Band competition! Click on the link to see if a library near you is offering this great event! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thought for the day: Trying recipes!

If you've never made a recipe before, try staying as closely to it as you can. On my blog, there are generally a few different versions of the recipe to be found! Let's say you like this recipe for my emulsified sugar scrub, click on the links in the post or click on the labels at the bottom to find other versions of this recipe. (You'll know if there are other versions as I generally tell you that in the post.)

If you don't have the ingredients I mention, substitute them for something close if you want to stay near the original recipe. If you don't have sunflower oil, substitute a light, greasy feeling oil instead. Sweet almond, safflower, or soy bean would be good substitutions. Don't substitute avocado or olive oil - they're both too heavy. If you don't have hydrolyzed silk protein, look at what that ingredient brings and substitute something similar. (Any hydrolyzed protein would bring film forming and moisturizing qualities, so choose one of those.)

I know I sound like a broken record or skipping CD or whatever happens to MP3s when they degrade, but knowing your ingredients makes it so much easier to make products. If you don't know your ingredients, you are stuck buying ingredients you might not need to follow recipes, you won't be able to make changes when you run out of an ingredient, and you won't know which ingredients to change when you don't like the skin feel of your product!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Experiments in the workshop: Making an eye cream (part 1)

For about a year now, I've been messing around with eye creams. I made one last year that I really liked, but my mom felt it was a bit heavy for her tastes. I made an anhydrous version with the cera bellina, which I quite liked as well, but I wanted to use some water soluble ingredients, so I need to make an emulsified eye cream with water and oil. I based it upon this recipe - Emulsifiers: Hand lotions with Ritamulse SCG - because I've been using this lotion as my eye cream for the past few months and I love it! 

What's the goal of an eye cream? I want something that will moisturize my under eye area without feeling too greasy or heavy. I would like something that will reduce inflammation and reduce dark circles. 

FORMULATING THE OIL PHASE
If I'm basing this product on the hand cream (link above), then I want about a 28% oil phase. 20% oils and 8% Ritamulse. (I ended up measuring weird and have 8% Ritamulse SCG and 19% oils!) 

To get something less greasy, we'll want to use lighter and less greasy oils for our product. We will want to use an emulsifier that offers a more powdery feeling - Incroquat BTMS-50 or Ritamulse SCG - and a thickener that isn't too heavy or greasy. Cetearyl alcohol can feel quite waxy and stearic acid is way too draggy, so those two ingredients are out. This means I'll want to use cetyl alcohol or behenyl alcohol. Or I could leave the thickener out entirely. I like the oil free moisturizing offered by the fatty alcohols, so I'm leaving them in, but you could choose to not use them and add more oils. I'll be using about 3% behenyl or cetyl alcohol in this recipe. (I have 16% oils left in the oil phase.) 

For the oils, our choices for less greasy oils are...
  • avocado - easily absorbed by our skin, but it's kinda heavy feeling; 
  • grapeseed - very dry feeling, but a really short shelf life (3 months); 
  • hazelnut - light and dry feeling with high levels of Vitamin E, long shelf life (up to 12 months); 
  • macadamia nut - light and dry feeling with palmitoleic acid (good for cuts & scrapes), high levels of phytosterols that can reduce inflammation, and a long shelf life (up to 12 months). 
You can choose some of the more exotic oils - borage, evening primrose, camellia seed, and so on - as they are generally drier feeling than our carrier oils, but I thought I'd go with something less expensive for a first time try of a recipe. You can also use something like fractionated coconut oil or one of our esters - cetearyl ethylhexanoate would feel great and IPM (isopropyl myristate) would feel quite dry - but these won't offer the awesome phytosterols, polyphenols, and fatty acids we find in our vegetable and seed oils. 

Remember - always check to see if your emulsifier works with the ingredients you want to use! Sucragel AOF advises it works well with vegetable and seed oils and doesn't work well with esters or silicones. Ritamulse SCG doesn't work well with more acidic ingredients or cationic ingredients, while Incroquat BTMS-50 likes silicones a lot! I know this seems like a really basic concept, but you'd be surprised how often you start formulating a recipe only to find it something won't work with something else and you have to start all over again instead of playing in the workshop! 

I like the long shelf life and Vitamin E levels of hazelnut oil, but I don't have any in the house, so macadamia nut oil is my new best friend! I'm using about 11% macadamia nut oil in this recipe. It is a light and less greasy feeling oil with lots of phytosterols and that wonderful palmitoleic acid. As well, it contains a lot of oleic acid, which offers softening and moisturizing to my skin. And it contains squalene - about 185 mg per kilogram of the oil - which can benefit chapped and cracked skin, help with cell regeneration, and may have some anti-bacterial properties.

Sometimes this is how we make decisions about the oils we use. I might aspire to use evening primrose and pomegranate oils, but the best oils are the ones you have on hand right now. It's better to use an oil you have than miss a day in the workshop because you need to go to the store! 

I'm planning on including arnica oil in this product as well because it's supposed to be good for inflammation and swelling, and that's one of my issues with my under eye area. Arnica contains caffeic acid - a great anti-inflammatory - and kaempferol (a phytosterol), a strong anti-oxidant and strong anti-inflammatory found in witch hazel, strawberry extract, chamomile extract, and green tea. 

Check what you have as arnica will be found mixed with another oil. The version I have is 1 part arnica to 5 parts sweet almond oil, meaning I have 20% arnica in my arnica oil. The safe usage rate for 1:5 is 15%, which means I'm getting a maximum of 3% arnica in the product. Please visit this link to learn more about it. 

Side note...I know it's tempting to try to cram as many oils as you can into a product, but we really are better learning about our oils and choosing the right one for the job. I have 18% oils in this product, and I'm planning on using 3% behenyl alcohol, 11% macadamia nut, and 5% arnica in the product. I really suggest doing this kind of thing - choosing one or two oils that you really like rather than 2% this and 2% that and 3% of the other because you're not really getting the benefits of any of them. When you're starting out, choose one oil and one butter for your product and see how you like them. 

So here's what my oil phase looks like right now....

HEATED OIL PHASE
8% Ritamulse SCG
3% behenyl alcohol
11% macadamia nut oil
5% arnica oil

Join me tomorrow for part two of making an eye cream - choosing the water phase ingredients! 

Related posts: 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Question: How do I prevent my lotions from getting a bit of oil on the top?

From a post that wasn't ready for prime time, Anonymous asked: I find a lot of my emulsions get little bit of oil leaking out after several days or even longer. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this? I never see that happening to store bought products, and those are on shelves for months sometimes! Am I not mixing long enough? Any advice would help. 

This means your emulsion hasn't worked. An emulsified product should see no separation at all, no oil or water on the surface of the product or at the bottom of the bottle. A lotion, cream, or any other emulsified product is called a homogeneous mixture. Think of homogenized milk. It looks like a white milky liquid. You can't see little globules of fat floating in water - you see milk! This is how a lotion should appear. It should be a white-ish liquid or semi-solid with no obvious water or oil leaking out of it.

Without your recipe and your process, I'm only guessing at what could have happened, but here are a few thoughts. To all of you, my wonderful readers, if you don't send me the process and the recipe, I can only guess. Save me the time and send me that information in your first e-mail or comment! 

What happened to your lotion? Here are a few thoughts...
  • you didn't have enough emulsifier for the product (for instance, 25% of the oil phase for Polawax);
  • you used the wrong emulsifier (for instance, using esters with something like Sucragel AOF); 
  • you used something that isn't an emulsifier (for instance, using beeswax on its own as an emulsifier) or something that isn't an all in one emulsifier (related link); 
  • you used a preservative that doesn't like your emulsifier (for instance, using Tinosan with a cationic emulsifier like BTMS-50 or Rita BTMS-225); 
  • you didn't heat and hold the product at all or for long enough, so the emulsion really didn't happen; 
  • you might not have mixed it for long enough; or 
  • you added something in the wrong phase (for instance, adding your preservative to a Ritamulse SCG lotion before the mixture was at 45˚C). 
There are a few other things that might happen that might have made this emulsification fail, but these are generally the biggest culprits. Check the links below as well to diagnose your problem! Good luck on the next batch!

Related posts:
Creating products: Combining the two phases - mixing 
Troubleshooting an epic lotion fail
Basic lotion making instructions
Emulsification - what's that then?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: A few tweaks to consider...

Welcome back to part two of this week's Newbie Tuesday. Did you figure out your hair type? Have you taken a look at some ingredients that you might like to use? All right, let's get to it, then!

Let's say you have normal thickness, dry, slightly curly hair that you dry with a hair dryer. We want to increase moisturization, increase film forming, and increase heat protection. Dry hair likes oils and butters, and my first suggestion is always coconut oil as it has an affinity for hair. And dry hair likes moisturization, so we'll want to include some humectants - panthenol is a good choice for all hair types, glycerin is inexpensive and doesn't wash out - and we'll want to include some film formers. I'd go with silk protein as it seems to be good for dry hair, and I'll include dimethicone to help seal the moisture in the hair strand.

Let's say you have fine, dry, slightly curly hair that you dry with a hair dryer. They key here is to get some moisturization without weighing down your hair. The first thing to do is reduce the amount of BTMS-50. I'd go to 2% to 3% at the most (replace the missing amount with more water). If you want to add some oils, consider some very light esters or light oils, like fractionated coconut oil. You might want to consider using dimethicone as a film former and heat protector, but you'll want to use a thinner version, say 350 cs instead of 1000 cs.

Let's say you have normal thickness, oily, slightly curly to frizzy hair that you allow to air dry. They key here is to condition your hair and moisturize without the use of iols. Leave out the oils, butters, and fatty alcohols as they'll only speed up the oiliness of your hair. (And drying your hair with a dryer will make it go oilier faster. I know, not something you expect, eh?) You'll want to leave out the humectants as frizzy hair doesn't like them at all. If you really want an oil, consider using an ester like ethylhexyl palmitate, although it will still increase the speed at which your hair gets oily.

Let's say you have hair that's hard to brush. You'll want to add a detangling ingredient like cetrimonium chloride at up to 2%. Or hair that is very staticky. You might consider using 2% Incroquat CR to increase the softness of your hair.

To sum this all up - Figure out your hair type, then take a look at which ingredients might work for it. Then figure out what conflicts with another feature of your hair. If you have fine and dry hair, consider adding moisturization with very light oils instead of heavy ones. If you have oily hair but want moisturization, consider using film formers like hydrolyzed proteins instead of oils. Consider the goal of your product - I want a conditioner to moisturize, condition, and protect against heat damage - and this will bring you to which ingredients to use.

I'll be posting some recipes next week, but I really encourage you to do some thinking based upon your experiences making your conditioner. Post them here and I'm happy to help out in the mean time. 

WHAT IF I WANT A THINNER CONDITIONER?
7% BTMS-50 will create a fairly thick product. You can reduce the amount of BTMS-50 to as low as 3% and increase the water amount by 4% to compensate. If you choose to use cetrimonium chloride at 2% as a detangler, you'll be amazed at how thin the product gets just by adding that tiny amount!


HOW MUCH CONDITIONER TO USE?
Here's an aside for you...the odds are pretty good you don't need as much conditioner as you think you do. When I used commercial products, I laughed at the idea of using a dime sized amount of conditioner for my coarse, waist length hair. Now, I use about a quarter sized amount of conditioner (5p piece for those of you in the UK).

Related posts:
The great conditioner experiment
The great conditioner experiment - results
The great conditioner experiment - modifying the recipes
How much conditioner to use and how long to leave it on our hair?

WHAT IF YOU HAVE BTMS-25 INSTEAD OF BTMS-50
Check out this post - How to use BTMS-25 in place of BTMS-50. 

I think that's more than enough for today! I'm suffering from information overload! Join me tomorrow as we take a look at some of the specific questions posed from last week's Newbie Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: Tweaks and questions

If you're just joining us, we made conditioner on Newbie Tuesday two weeks ago, and last week we bragged about it. Last week was all about the questions, and this week is about the tweaking!

You've made your conditioner, but now you're looking for a few ideas on how to customize it to your hair type. Where to start? First, figure out your hair type.

Is your hair straight, curly, or frizzy? Do you have African hair or grey hair? Is your hair dry, normal, or oily? Do you have virgin hair? Or is your hair mechanically or chemically processed? Your answer to these questions will determine what tweaks you'll want to make to your conditioner.

If you have straight hair, you can play around with any ingredients you wish depending upon whether your hair is normal, dry, or oily.

If you have frizzy hair, you'll want to create a barrier on your hair strand that keeps moisture out! Consider using silicones (cyclomethicone and dimethicone) or silicone like ingredients to create a barrier between your hair and the world so you aren't absorbing moisture from the air around you. You probably don't want to use humectants either as you're encouraging water to be attracted to your hair!

As an aside, frizzy hair doesn't mean you have dry hair. Click here for a post on this topic

If you have curly hair, you could also benefit from using silicones or silicone like ingredients to create a barrier between your hair and the world. You might also want to stay away from humectants...unless you have dry hair.

If you have African type hair, you could probably benefit from adding quite a lot of oils and film formers - like proteins, but not necessarily - to your products and avoiding humectants. Silicones might help to keep water out while sealing in the moisture you have in your hair strands.

Please note, I am not an expert on African hair types, and what I'm presenting to you is what I've learned about in my various textbooks and studies I've found online. I'm not saying that every person who has the African hair type needs to do exactly what I've quoted here either. The whole point of this exercise is to make something your hair will love.

If you have grey hair, you could probably benefit from more moisturizing and conditioning because grey hair tends to be coarser than non-grey hair. As well, people with lots of grey hair tend to have drier scalps - this is more about the reduction of sebum as we get older. So you'll want to treat grey hair the way we treat dry hair...more about that in a minute.

Related post:
Chemistry of your hair: Straight, curly, and frizzy hair!
Question: Is frizzy hair always dry hair?
Chemistry of your hair: Virgin hair
Chemistry of your hair: Quick summary about damaged hair

Do you have normal, dry, or oily hair? This one's a little easier to figure out. How long does it take your hair and scalp to get oily? If you have to wash your hair every day or every other day, you're probably an oily. If you can wash every third day, you're probably a normal. If you can go a week without washing, you're probably a dry. Most of us know which one of these we are, although I do find people with normal hair want to call themselves oily most of the time...but that isn't a big deal!

If you have oily hair, avoid the oils, butters, and fatty alcohols as they'll only make your hair oilier. You can get away with using lower levels of BTMS-50 in your products. Consider using some extracts or essential oils that offer degreasing properties, such as orange or lime (lemon can make your hair go lighter, although you might like that), or rosemary hydrosol, extract, or essential oils.

If you have dry hair, moisturization and conditioning are the key concepts. You can use oils and butters or add some fatty alcohols that will increase the substantivity of the conditioner. You can go with vegetable oils and butters - coconut oil should always be on your list of hair friendly oils - or you can go with esters and silicones. I've found that hydrolyzed silk protein is a good choice for dry hair as it will penetrate the hair strand.

If you have normal hair, you're a lucky person! You can make whatever choices you wish. I know, this is actually harder to work with because the field is wide open, so I suggest figuring out whether you lean towards oily or dry and trying some of those things.

If you have dandruff prone hair, generally this means you have oily hair. You can try using something like tea tree essential oil in your product. (I'm not making any claims, just a suggestion....)

If you have fine hair, you might want to make a really thin conditioner, say 1% to 3% BTMS-50 or consider making a cream rinse without any oils. Stay away from anything that might weigh down your hair, like oils and butters and maybe even silicones at higher thicknesses.

If you have thick hair, there aren't a ton of differences in your conditioner, although you might want to make sure you have good slip and glide and perhaps a slightly thinner product so you aren't using too much conditioner!

Do you use heated styling appliances on your hair? You'll want to use heat protecting type products that will protect your hair from severe heat damage, act as a lubricant to reduce drag and friction, and act as a barrier that slows diffusion of moisture from the scalp and environment to the hair which could ruin your hairstyle. You'll also want to add things to your conditioner like silicones - which is what you find in those heat protecting type products - and moisturizers - like oils or film formers, like proteins.

Related post: Mechanical processing of our hair.

Do you dye or chemically treat your hair? Chemically processed hair really wants those lovely cationic quats and fatty acids. Use a good conditioner with a leave in conditioner, even for very fine hair. And don't forget the benefits of the silicones - studies have shown dimethicone can reduce combing forces (reduced mechanical friction) and form a seal on your hair to repel the water.

Related post: Chemical processing of our hair. 

By now, you should have a good idea of what hair type you have, and from there, what kind of tweaks you want to make. Let's take a minute to look at some ingredients we might consider. (We'll deal more with the specifics tomorrow.) Remember, the best way to know how to create a good product is to know the ingredients. I know, I know, this is so boring, but it's true. If you know what each ingredient brings to the party, it's easier to figure out what you want to use.

What kinds of ingredients can we add to our products? We can add film formers, moisturizers, oils and butters, proteins, silicones, extracts, hydrosols, and other great things.


Take a look at some of these ingredients, then join me tomorrow as we figure out what you might like to use in the next batch of conditioner you make!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Argh!

Anyone else suffering with this cold from hell? It hit me out of the blue on Tuesday and I've been off for the last few days, even cancelling craft group last night! I know I have to rest - it is the only real treatment for a cold - but it's so boring!

Keep those comments and questions about conditioner coming! As for me, I plan to spend today and tomorrow in the couch reading Game of Thrones and watching season 10 of 90210.

Here's a random picture of a ring one if the teens from my craft group taught me to make on Tuesday. (I'm encouraging the kids to teach some classes, and this one was about wire wrapping!) I'm calling it my spiral arm galaxy ring! (I can post a link to a pattern if you want to make your own!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Newbie Tuesday: Conditioner - questions and comments

You made conditioner, but you had some questions and comments about the recipe. So let's take a look at those, then consider some tweaks we might try for next week!

If you're just joining us, we made conditioner on Newbie Tuesday two weeks ago, and last week we bragged about it. This week is all about the questions, and next week we tweak it! 

Rosi writes: I am reading the blog from Brazil, we are visiting our family and i can't wait to go back to USA to get my hands on making hair conditioner. Can we use petrolatun or lanolin in a conditioner? 

Yes, you can use any oils you wish in a conditioner, although there are some that are more hair friendly than other ones. For instance, coconut oil has been shown to have an affinity with the proteins in our hair and avocado oil can be absorbed by our hair strands. Using any oil will reduce friction and increase moisturizing, two things that help prevent damage and make our hair look nice!

Related posts: Conditioners with coconut oil

Anastasia asks (and Julie seconded it): I have a question related to conditioner and emulsified products in general. I'm getting foaminess in a lot of my emulsions. It seems like they get air in them when I'm mixing the ingredients, and it doesn't go away! Instead they sit in the container with little air bubbles in them. Do you have any ideas that might help this problem? Store bought products don't have air bubbles. I don't want mine to either!

Don't mix it on a high speed. When we use something like a hand mixer - my preferred mixing machine - we add a lot of air into the product. Don't blend on the higher levels - 1 or 2 should work - and don't use a whisk. Try to keep the beaters under the surface of the product. This is why some people prefer the stick blender. It mixes well but doesn't add a ton of air to the product. And never ever ever use a machine to mix your surfactant based products like shampoo, body wash, or bubble bath. You will never get rid of those bubbles!

Anonymous writes: Quick question :) I know oil is neutral, but doesn't it adsorb to hair strands?

No. Adsorption means the molecules accumulate on the surface of your hair. Absorption is "a condition in which something takes in another substance", or something goes into something else. You can think of it like a sponge, which takes in liquid and becomes damp. Our hair strands might absorb oil and it might create a coating on our hair, but that coating isn't adsorption.

Gwucci sent me a happy e-mail - she made conditioner! - with some questions...

a) pH balance: the pH testing was 3 according to the test strips ( refer to picture).  Is there a way to adjust the pH to 4.5 - 5.5 without using citric acid or sodium lactate. Is it possible to adjust the pH using the ingredients only? 
b) I know you have explained the heat and hold method a couple of times but could you do a video of how it is done. Pretty please ;;) 
c) I have kinky hair and would love more slip to the conditioner. I guess this can be achieved with further experimentation with oils and butters.  But how can I use ground slippery elm bark in future?
d) I have gone through a lot of your articles and would love to try adding micas in conditioner for shine. Is this possible?

a) That's a really low pH. I'm not sure it should be that low! If you want to alter your pH upwards, you would use a base. (Citric acid and sodium lactate are acids, and they'll make the product more acidic, so that's a bad choice!) If you want to increase the alkalinity of your product (raise the pH), you can use a 10% lye to 90% water solution and add it at 0.1%, test, then another 0.1% if needed, and so on. You can also use triethanolamine (TEA) (pH of 10 to 11) at 0.1% at a time to increase the alkalinity of our products.

b) I can show you the steps that lead up to heat and hold, but 20 minutes of watching me kill time as my products sit in the double boiler might be boring! (I have been making videos of some things, but I can't find the time to edit them!)

c) I have no idea what slippery elm bark would bring to your product or how you can use it, but I can help you increase the slip and glide in other ways. See the hair care section for more information or check out the posts below. This is something we'll be looking at when we're tweaking the conditioner next week!

d) If you want to make the product itself shiny, you could use micas. If you want to make your hair shiny, I wouldn't use micas. Consider adding silicones - dimethicone is the key for shine - or esters that mimic silicones - like ethylhexyl palmitate - to your product to make your hair more shiny. Or consider using a leave in conditioner or anti-frizz spray with silicones or silicone substitutes to increase your hair shininess. (You might not have the kind of hair that will shine well. It's all about the way light bounces off your hair, and if you have curl, kink, or frizz, your hair reflects back less light than someone with bone straight hair!)

Related posts:
Adding slip and glide to conditioners with fatty alcohols
Adding slip and glide to conditioners with oils or butters
Adding slip and glide to conditioners with esters
Using silicones in rinse off conditioners
Chemistry of our skin: ph and the acid mantle
Adjusting the pH of our products

Thanks for your great questions and input this Newbie Tuesday! Join me next week as we take a look at some tweaks you can make to your product! Keep your questions and comments coming as I still haven't randomly chosen who will get a copy of my Hair Care e-book! Plus, the more we share, the more we learn!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ramblings: Making your own detergents, Game of Thrones, and food for thought

If you really want to make your own laundry or dishwashing detergents, there are a few blogs you should visit.

A quick disclaimer: I really don't recommend making your own products to put in machines like dishwashers or washing machines because these are picky appliances and expensive to replace! A friend of mine used non-high efficiency detergent in her front loading washing machine, and she had to replace the barrel after two years because it got very gunked up! So use these products at your own risk! 

Homemade powdered laundry detergent (Nature's Nurture Blog)
Homemade laundry detergent (Instructables)
Make your own dishwashing detergent (The Simple Dollar)

I love making my own household cleansers with d-LimoneneClick here for my post on making various surface cleansers with this awesome citrus based ingredient!

Have I mentioned I'm obsessed with Game of Thrones? I watched the series earlier this year, and I'm almost half way through book three since I bought my Kobo on August 25th. (I have the four books in one, and I think I'm on page 2159 out of 3500 pages!)

And when I like something, I need to craft about it. So I made myself a Game of Thrones charm bracelet. You can see a raven, a crown, a shooting star, a snowflake, Dany on a horse, a dragon, a fish, and another snow flake in the picture.

Raymond says I see everything as a crafting opportunity. A friend gets pregnant? Let's make stencilled onesies and a diaper bag and stretch mark balm! A child is toilet training? Let's make tiny bath bombs they can throw into the toilet as a reward? Raymond gets type II diabetes? He'll need a cute bag to hold his glucose meter! And so on...

I thought I'd share this video with you as food for thought for an October Monday morning. It's okay to not like things...and if you find something you don't like, it's okay to move on without commenting on it. You don't need to be mean and call someone names or comment they should "get a life" or comment that you hate what they like. Just move on and look at something you do like! I realize this should be obvious, but you would be surprised how often it's not! Just look at the comments on a YouTube video for your favourite band some time. You will weep for the direction humanity is heading! (If you hate Iron Maiden, why are you watching the video?) And you will have this song running through your head all day!