Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Point of Interest: Preservatives!

I'm so happy when I hear people want to use preservatives, but a few questions have been posed to me lately that I thought required a blog post. Preservatives are ingredients we add to our products that contain water soluble ingredients or will be exposed to water. They prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, yeast, and fungus. (Click here for more information...) Without a good broad spectrum preservative - one that works for all kinds of ick! - your product has a shelf life of 3 to 7 days.

Polysorbate 20 is not a preservative: It's a solubilizer that will help you incorporate small amounts of fragrance or essential oil into your product.

Propylene glycol isn't a preservative: It's a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to our skin. It acts as an anti-freeze, reducing the freezing point of water and water soluble things in our products, making it easier to ship things in cold weather.

Stearic acid isn't a preservative. It's a fatty acid that we find in our oils and butters that makes them thicker, as well as a thickener we can add to our lotions.

Preservatives are ingredients like liquid Germall Plus - INCI: Propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate - or Germaben II - INCI: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben - or Phenonip - INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Methylparaben (and) Ethylparaben (and) Butylparaben (and) Propylparaben (and) Isobutylparaben - or Optiphen ND - INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Benzoic Acid (and) Dehydroacetic Acid - and so on.

If you'd like to learn more about preservatives, I encourage you to check out the section of this blog on that topic, or check out the comparison chart if you want some quick information. It's a fascinating topic, and one that will keep your products safe and effective!

Related topics:
Why do we need preservatives in products containing water?
Preservatives: How the heck do they work?
What you need to know about making products (part one)
What you need to know about making products (part two)
Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, not a preservative
Packaging and preservation

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe

Two weeks ago we talked about adding chemical exfoliants in our cleansers: Today we'll look at turning them into foaming facial products using these cute foamer bottles.

Sorry for being a week late on this. As you know, things have been pretty awful around here and we're still trying to figure out how to do everything that needs to be done in a day, and the blog was a casualty of the chaos. 

Foamer bottles require a very thin product, generally one that's about 2/3 or 66% water. Most of our recipes have about that level of water, so it's simple to add a bit more and call it a foaming cleanser! And we generally don't want a ton of extracts as they can precipitate back into a powder and clog up the tiny tube that pumps the cleanser.

Check out this post on adding aloe to our facial cleanser. These recipes would all work in a foamer bottle the way they are f you aren't thickening them, but I'd encourage you to modify them slightly by reducing the surfactants and upping the water. For the normal skin recipe, I'd reduce the surfactants to around a total of 15% and increase the water amount. You'll notice here that I added some rose water as it seems to be all the rage right now. If you don't have it, just add 10% more water to the product.

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR NORMAL SKIN WITH ALOE VERA & ROSE HYDROSOL
SURFACTANT PHASE
5% LSB
5% BSB
5% cocamidopropyl betaine
3% glycerin
3% cationic polymer - I like polyquat 7
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

WATER PHASE
56.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
10% rose water or rose hydrosol (or just add more water)

Add all the surfactant phase into a container and warm slightly to make it easier to mix well. Add the cool down phase, pour into foamer bottle, and you've got yourself a lovely facial product!

The recipe we find here in a post on modifying your recipe to be in a foamer bottle is a great choice for a foamer bottle with just a few modifications.

Remember: Anything water soluble and liquid is considered water for our purposes. So in the next recipe, we have 45% distilled water, 10% aloe vera, and 25% rose hydrosol for a total of 80% water! Yes, the glycerin, protein, cationic polymer, and preservative are water soluble too, so really, you have a grand total of 87.5% water soluble ingredients. The problem is that the glycerin, cationic polymer, and preservative are thick and aren't helping with the idea that we want a really liquid product, so I tend not to include them in my final tally of the amount of water in my product.

LOW SURFACTANT FACIAL CLEANSER WITH SUITABLE FOR OILY SKIN TYPES
HEATED PHASE
45% distilled water
5% C14-16 olefin sulfonate (Bioterge AS-40)
5% disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
2.5% cocamidopropyl betaine
10% aloe vera liquid
25% rose water, chamomile hydrosol, rosemary hydrosol
3% glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein of choice
2% cationic polymer, like polyquat 7

COOL DOWN
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Add all the surfactant phase into a container and warm slightly to make it easier to mix well. Add the cool down phase, pour into foamer bottle, and you've got yourself a lovely facial product!

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

WATER PHASE
59.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
10% rose hydrosol (optional)

Add all the surfactant phase into a container and warm slightly to make it easier to mix well. Add the cool down phase, pour into foamer bottle, and you've got yourself a lovely facial product!

In any recipe, reduce the surfactants to 10% to 15%, add water to make up the difference, you've got yourself a foamer bottle of awesome facial cleansing!

This isn't to say you can't use the awesome power of powdered extracts in your foaming facial products, but I would suggest using a little less - say 0.25% instead of 0.5% - or find some liquid extracts that'll do the same job. For instance, this liquid green tea extract from Lotioncrafter or this willow bark extract from Formulator Sample Shop could easily take the place of your powders.

You can see how much I love powders in the picture to the left. My bloody looking grapeseed extract foamer bottle cleanser has all the awesome power of grapeseed from a powdered extract.

Lest you think foamer bottles are a waste of time - they're a great way to present a surfactant mix that you don't want to thicken or one that refuses to do so.

Related posts:
Weekend Wonderings: How do I turn a recipe into a foamer bottle recipe?
Modifying the low foaming facial cleanser to be a foamer bottle recipe
Facial cleansers: Foaming bottles
Facial cleansers with tons of extracts
Formulating a facial cleanser good for lash extensions #1
Formulating a facial cleanser good for lash extensions #2
Creating a foaming soy cleanser
Creating a foaming rice cleanser
Creating a foaming protein cleanser

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
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants

Join me next Newbie Tuesday as we take a look at toners, then the week after that when we dive into creating gels. After that it's your favourite and mine, oil based facial serums and moisturizers!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New e-zine! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I've just put out my Christmas e-zine - It's the most wonderful time of the year! - filled with all kinds of ideas for Christmas presents, like wax tarts, whipped butters, bath salts, lip balm, and more! (Click here for the table of contents! or click here to buy!)

I put these e-zines or short e-books of 25 to 40 pages out every month for those who subscribe at my Patreon page for $10 or more. Then the next month, you'll see them here for purchase. I'm also basing some of the classes I'm offering at Voyageur Soap & Candle around the e-zines like the Gels: Ooey Gooey Fun class and the Bath Time Fun Class! I am doing a Christmas gift class, but it's sold out. (Get in touch with Voyageur to get your name on the waiting list or to see if we can offer another one before Christmas!)

Take a look at all the e-zines available in this link!

I've just issued a men's products e-zine - This isn't your father's shaving book (part one) table of contents - to my $10 Patreon subscribers. If you join Patreon today, you'll get a copy right away. Otherwise, that'll go on sale in mid-December.

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

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. I really wanted to make that distinction. 

Thank you for your continued support of this blog! You're all so awesome!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Can we use Optiphen in sugar scrubs?

In this post - Preservative chart download - Susan asks: Help! Ok, I see your preservative chart and I read the Brambleberry interview regarding Optiphen. I also read the article- Optiphen revisited. I am confused as the chart was not updated. Bottom line: Can you use Optiphen in sugar scrubs?

In this post, Optiphen revisited, I note that I think it's safe to say that Optiphen is suitable for anhydrous creations, so it should be good for sugar scrubs. But the bigger question is this: Is a scrub anhydrous? Kinda. We make them anhydrous - oil based or emulsified, there isn't any water in it - but it will be exposed to water, so we treat it more like a hydrous product when it comes to preserving. 

In this post - Debate: Water soluble or oil soluble preservatives in a scrub? - it's argued that we want something that is both water and oil soluble in a scrub, which is a great idea. As Optiphen contains ingredients that are oil soluble and water soluble, it seems to be a good choice. 

No, sorry, the preservative chart wasn't updated, but it's on the never ending list of "things to do" around here. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Why does the EU restrict the use of liquid Germall Plus?

In this post, Preservatives: Liquid Germall Plus, zignorp asks: I went to Lotioncrafter to order more liquid germall plus, and I notice that in the EU it's restricted from being used in body lotion or body cream. Do you have any idea why that is? 

I contacted Jen at Lotioncrafter, and she sent me so much great information, which you'll see linked below. It seems that it to do with one ingredient in liquid Germall Plus, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.

This is from the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food products Intended for Consumers (July 1, 2004): Considering the biological and physiological properties of iodine in potentially different populations at risk in Europe, the SCCNFP is of the opinion that the daily bioavailable intake of iodine from cosmetic products should not exceed 20% of the recommended daily intake of 150 μg (This is, for example, equivalent to approximately 0.002% IPBC in all cosmetic products at a daily use of 18 g and at a percutaneous absorption rate of 20%). 

This opinion is based on the idea that IPBC contributes iodine to our bodies that can be absorbed through the skin. There's 0.4% IPBC in liquid Germall Plus. If we use 0.5 grams liquid Germall Plus in 100 grams of lotion, we would have 0.002 grams IPBC. If we used 18 grams of lotion we'd use 0.36 mg IPBC. 20% or 0.20 is absorbed, so we are at 0.072 mg or 72 μg. I'm guessing that there's something like 30 μg iodine in this 72 μg IPBC, so that's how they work out the math? (I wasn't able to find out this last bit...)

I've seen the suggestion that it not be used for lotions and creams, and I'm guessing that's because a leave on product will see more absorption of the preservative than a rinse off product, which makes sense. But there are things we leave on our skin that aren't lotions and creams - toners, gels, facial sera, and other water based things - that are accounted for above under the word "all cosmetic products". So I'd say play it safe and avoid it in all leave on products unless you see otherwise. (This only applies to people selling things. If you're using it at home for yourself, make your own decisions.)

For us Canadians, the government suggests we aim for 150 μg a day, and don't go over 1100 μg a day. I think we're well within this limit with using some liquid Germall Plus now and then. The suggested intake for Americans is the same at 150 micrograms a day. 

Why does the EU suggest this while North American governments don't? I have no idea, to be honest. But it doesn't mean liquid Germall Plus is bad. I see sites all the time implying that if something isn't used or allowed in the EU it's bad - I'm looking at you, Food Babe - but that's not the case. I can't bring Kinder eggs into the States, but that doesn't mean they're poisonous or deadly, and it doesn't mean that Canada doesn't care about its citizens because we sell it here. It just means there are different standards and regulations in different countries.

As a final thought...18 grams a day a normal amount of various products to use in a day? I honestly don't know. I have given this some thought and I have no idea how much I use...but I'll be keeping track for a while out of curiosity. Anyone out there have some ideas? I'm really curious about it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser with chemical exfoliants in the form of powdered extracts

I know sometimes when people see the word "chemical" they stress out, but it shouldn't! The word chemical only means "something that contains elements", which is to say everything on earth. Your hair, your window, your cup of tea, arsenic, mushrooms - everything on earth is a chemical. So when we talk about chemical exfoliants, we're talking about those exfoliants that work through chemical reactions with your skin to exfoliate! These include such ingredients as AHAs, salicylic acid, and extracts, like willow bark, papaya, or pineapple.

Rather than re-write the post on chemical exfoliants again, I'll refer you to that post - chemical exfoliants. Don't worry: I'll be here when you get back.

Okay, so now that you know all about chemical exfoliants, please keep this in mind: We generally don't want to combine a few different ones together in one product. More is not better in this situation. We want to keep well within the suggested usage guidelines, lest we end up with severely reddened and sensitive skin.

Can we combine physical and chemical exfoliants? I don't recommend it because we could end up with really sensitive and annoyed skin.

So how do we include them in our facial cleansers? We can use them at the suggested usage rates in any product we make. We can take a recipe we've made before - like this one for oily skin from the Newbie Tuesday on modifying our recipes to include hydrolyzed proteins - and modify it to include our chemical exfoliant.

For oily, problem skin, I like to use extracts like willow bark or honeysuckle as they help with oiliness and exfoliation. The suggested usage rate for powdered honeysuckle extract from Voyageur Soap & Candle is 0.5% in the cool down phase. (Your supplier's information may vary, so check when you're buying it.) So I'll add 0.5% in the extract phase. I'm adding some water there to dissolve the extract before adding it to the rest of the cleanser.

Related post: How do I use liquid and powdered extracts in a product?

You could use this recipe as well for oily skin because it doesn't contain any other exfoliants! And you'll notice this looks just like the posts on how to add a powdered extract to your product. That's because we treat these powdered extracts the same way we treat all of them - dissolve, then add to the product.

FACIAL CLEANSER FOR OILY SKIN WITH CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS (HONEYSUCKLE)
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

EXTRACT PHASE
5% distilled water (slightly warmed above room temperature)
0.5% powdered honeysuckle extract

WATER PHASE
46% 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.

Dissolve the powdered extract in a small container with slightly warmed distilled water. Add to the surfactant container, followed by the water phase. 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!

What would you do if you wanted to use another powdered extract that behaves as an exfoliant, like willow bark, papaya, or pineapple? Add them the same way. Dissolve, mix, add at 45˚C or lower! So simple, eh? Remember, though, these exfoliants will add a colour to your product, as you can see from the picture to the left. If you really hate the colour, consider using a liquid extract that is less likely to be so intense.

You can add a powdered extract into any of the cleansers we've made so far. Just remember not to combine the exfoliating extracts together. Have fun with an aloe vera, chamomile, and willow bark extract facial cleaner for dry skin, but don't add pineapple to the mix as well. Go nuts with a witch hazel, rosemary, and papaya extract facial cleanser for drier skin. Run away for a long weekend with rose water, aloe vera, and honeysuckle. But don't use those latter ones together unless you want red, irritated skin!

Join me Friday for more information on how to incorporate AHAs into your cleanser!

Then join me next Tuesday, November 22nd, to learn how to turn your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe. On Tuesday, November 29th, we'll start work on our toners - both gelled and non-gelled - then move on to making eye gels, micellar waters, and water based facial sera.

Some time before the 29th, I'll write up a post asking for all your comments on the various cleansers we've made so far and what you think!

When we get to making emulsified products, we'll be making a moisturizer or seven with a number of different emulsifiers, a creamy lotion based cleanser, and facial scrubs. As it'll be the new year when we get making these products, I'll put up a shopping list shortly for these products, if you want to play along.

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
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Do we need to use product-only equipment?

In this post, Equipment for newbies, Nerium asks:  I have been a long time reader and finally took the plunge and made my first solid shampoo and conditioner today using your recipes and tutorials for guidance. Thank you so much for sharing all of this excellent information. Unfortunately, it's not feasible for me to have a separate workshop, so I did it in my kitchen using my regular kitchen utensils and dishes. Do you think it's necessary to keep a separate set of equipment for making cosmetics? I don't see a problem as long as things are well washed afterwards, but would love to hear what you think.

I think in some cases yes, and others no. For example, I have a fondue pot I use as a double boiler for making products. I have trashed it beyond belief - I've left it running without any water in it (so bad!), melted things directly in it, and so on - so there's no way I'd use it for food. There are other things, like my Kitchenaid stand mixer, that I use for both food and products, like sugar scrubs. I have a metal container that I clean vigourously after every use regardless of product, but a beater I use just for bath & body products.

In general, I think anything wooden or plastic should be reserved for cosmetic making, while metal or glass could do double duty. Wooden spoons or plastic spatulae should be single use, while a Pyrex jug cold do both.

Having said this, I do think having cosmetic exclusive equipment is a good idea as we do put our things through so much! When I compare my husband's food scale to my cosmetic scale, I can see the damage I've done to it with loads of grease in the form of oils and butters, acids like citric or lactic, and general goopiness from surfactants. I'm not saying I wouldn't measure food in a container on it, but it looks pretty awful! The same goes for my Pyrex jugs. I abuse the heck out of these compared to those I use in the kitchen, and I definitely have them separate.

If you're looking for bits and pieces, the dollar store is an invaluable resource when we're looking for things. Spatulae, spoons, forks, plastic jugs, funnels - so much is so cheap there!

In reality, almost all of our products are safe enough to eat. They'd taste terrible, but it's possible. (No, I'm not going on Jimmy Fallon to dip chips into my lotions. You'll just have to trust me on this, or try it at home yourself. I have no desire to use my kukui nut & babassu body butter as a sauce!)

Which ones aren't safe to eat? I'd argue that anything with a low pH that contains AHAs, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid probably aren't. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Condensation in bottles, and filling them!

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a lovely Sunday. Sorry I haven't been around much lately, but I've finally had a chance to sit down and read the comments.  I've really enjoyed reading your questions and suggsestions, and I'm getting through them one by one. I continue to ask your patience as I'm still in October, but I'll be current soon enough. Again, I thank you all for your kindness and support during this horrible time in our lives.

In this post, Bunni asks a question and makes a great suggestion! I have a question and a suggestion, for whenever you get around to them. First regarding condensation. If the bottle had condensation and you gave it a good shake, wouldn't the condensation liquid become part of the preserved lotion or is that not enough mixing for it to work? 

One of the reasons we don't bottle our products when they're warm is to avoid condensation in the bottle because that evaporated water isn't preserved and can collect in the lid of the bottle leading to serious grossness and contamination. To answer your question - I think it depends on the bottle. If you have a screw on or disc cap, it'll could be okay as it doesn't have a ton of parts in which the water could hide. For a mister, pump, or foamer bottle top that's another story, as the water could get into the mechanisms and stay there.

If I had to give a short, one sentence answer to this I'd say that I wouldn't take the chance on using a bottle cap in which I'd found condensation. Better to use a different cap and be safe.

Bunni makes a great suggestion about filling our bottles!
The suggestion, unless you've found a better way by now, is in regard to filling bottles. I bought a six pack of 32 ounce (1 litre), wide-mouth, squeeze bottles with yorker caps. When my lotion is cooled I put it in those and store them upside down (on a wire rack). They make it very easy to fill bottles because they are so squeezable. The lotion shoots to the bottom of the bottle being filled, even if it is pretty thick. There is a bit of waste and it does slow me down right at the end - getting the last bits out - but it is a great improvement over anything else I have tried. I hope that is helpful. 

That is very helpful! Thanks, Bunni! I tend to make smaller batches, and I find using piping bags work great for me, but I'm going to get some of these bottles use them for storing extra lotion for filling later.

Just curious - how do you find them for washing or re-using them?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two)

How do we turn the facial cleanser with botanical extracts (part three) into an exfoliating cleanser by adding a physical exfoliant? I'm so glad you asked!

Check out the first part of this post by clicking this link, or scroll down to see the other posts in this series.

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

Instructions can be found in the original post...

So let's say I want to add 5% 60/100 jojoba beads to this product, how do I do it? Whenever we add something to a product, we have to remove the same amount to keep the recipe totalling 100%. In this case, if we want to add 5% jojoba beads, we take 5% from the water amount. The recipe will look something like this...

HONEY, CHAMOMILE & CUCUMBER FACIAL CLEANSER FOR DRY OR SENSITIVE SKIN WITH EXFOLIATING JOJOBA BEADS
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
41.5% distilled water
10% aloe vera liquid
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% powdered cucumber extract

CROTHIX PHASE
up to 2% liquid Crothix

ADD 5% jojoba beads and mix well

Notice the distilled water amount is now 41.5% so the recipe totals 100%. 

Let's talk about jojoba beads for a second...In this post, Kaylee asked about the size of jojoba beads. She has 20/40 and I suggested 60/100.

The purple 60/100 are 150 to 250 microns or very small, and suggested for light exfoliation on your face or sensitive areas.

The orange 24/40 are about 250 to 600 microns, which is still pretty small, and are suggested for use in body products as well as facial products, like masks.

So the smaller the number, the larger the bead and the more scrubby they will feel on your skin. You can use whatever level you want on your skin - I've used the larger sizes on my face without issue, but I do notice they don't wash away as easily as the little ones do.

If you'd like to learn more about jojoba beads, check out this link! And look for a longer post on jojoba beads in the near future! 

What about adding other exfoliants to our products? Add them at the end of the process after you've added your Crothix so you can see how thick the product will be. And make sure the product is cooled. If you're adding something like clay or jojoba beads, which have melting points, you'll end up with a bottle of goo if it isn't cooled properly.

Let's say we want to add 5% dermabrasion crystals to the cleanser. How would we do that? Add 5% in the end of the process as you did with the jojoba beads.

In this post in the comments, Missy noted that she felt 3% dermabrasion crystals weren't enough, so I'm suggesting 5% based on her recommendations. 

If you'd like to use other physical exfoliants in our products, please check out this post in which I use clay and dermabrasion crystals, or this post in which I use Australian clay and cranberry seeds.

Join me next Tuesday, November 15th, to learn more about adding chemical exfoliants to our products, and the Tuesday after on November 22nd to learn how to turn your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe.

On Tuesday, November 29th, we'll start work on our toners - both gelled and non-gelled - then move on to making eye gels, micellar waters, and water based facial sera.

When we get to making emulsified products, we'll be making a moisturizer or seven with a number of different emulsifiers, a creamy lotion based cleanser, and facial scrubs. As it'll be the new year when we get making these products, I'll put up a shopping list shortly for these products, if you want to play along.

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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What ingredients do you love?


I'm experimenting in the workshop with various emulsifiers and gellants, and I'm wondering what ingredients interest you? What would you love to try on your face, body, hair? What do you spend the big bucks on or what fancy thing caught your eye? I'm curious to know what you like or want to know more about, so post your thoughts here. (If you can post a link to where you found it or bought it, that would be awesome!) I can't wait to see what you suggest!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: How to turn your facial cleanser into an exfoliating facial cleanser

So you've made a facial cleanser you really like. What's next? Let's turn it into an exfoliating cleanser! There are two ways we can exfoliate - using chemical exfoliants or physical exfoliants.

Physical exfoliants are ingredients like loofah, jojoba beads, sugar, salt, fruit seeds, and anything that removes dead skin by abrading it. For facial products, we want to stick to less scratchy things like jojoba beads, baking soda, clay, dermabrasion crystals, or bamboo exfoliating powder, to name a few things.

As we're making a water based product, anything that can dissolve or become water logged is right out, so leave out the sugar, salt, coffee grounds, shells, baking soda, and some seeds.

Okay, you could create a saturated solution of dissolved salt or sugar in your container, then add more as that additional amount wouldn't dissolve, but you'd be left with a cleanser so salty or sticky, you'd hate it. If you want to try it for super happy chemistry time fun, let me know! (Check out this link on solubility to learn more!

There are a few great choices for a scrub...

Jojoba beads: These are little spheres of jojoba that come in different colours and different sizes. The smaller ones are suitable for your face, the larger ones for the rest of your body. I tend to use the 60/100 in a facial product. I've used them at up to 5% in a product, but you will have to tinker to see what you like. These don't dissolve in water or oil, but they can melt, so don't use them in anything that isn't around room temperature.

Clay: This a great choice as a very mild exfoliant. They're easy to add to our facial cleanser at up to 10%, but I suggest starting at 5% and see what you think. There are loads of great choices from kaolin clay for oily skin, rhassoul for sensitive or dry skin, glacial clay for all skin types, and Dead Sea mud, to name a few. If you're using clay, make the product, add 5%, mix well, then decide if you still need a thickener. I've found that just about every facial cleanser I've made with clay didn't require thickening after I'd added it.

Aluminum Oxide - Dermabrasion Crystals: These are white aluminum oxide crystals I found at Lotioncrafter (although they might be found at other suppliers). They are used at 1% to 10% in your water or oil based products. They are 120 size grit (102 microns). Lotioncrafter advises we shouldn't use AHAs or retinoids on reddened skin. (For more information visit Lotioncrafter* and read the listing.) I recommend using 3% to start, then work your way up as these can be really exfoliating!

Pumice: It comes in many grades, from very fine to coarse. It might not be the best choice for facial products, but it is lovely for foot scrubs. It isn't water or oil soluble and can be added to warm or even hot products. Consider the fine pumice on par with sand. Start with 1% to 2% and see what you think before adding more.

If have I have to make a suggestion about what to use in your facial cleanser, I'd suggest jojoba beads. You can get them in all sizes and colours, but I generally choose the 60/100 size, which is the smallest I could find at my suppliers. I use them at 5% in my favourite recipe, and I find they are just scrubby enough for my oily, rosacea prone skin. These will float to the top of your bottle, so be prepared to shake it up every use. (There are ways to suspend these beads, and we'll get into that discusssion soon...)

As a note, jojoba beads are not those little plastic microbeads that are being banned everywhere. They are little beads created out of jojoba wax! 

The quick summary is this: Make the facial cleanser you like, then add a suitable amount of physical exfoliant. Start with the suggested amounts I list above, then add 1% more at a time untl you reach the scrubbiness level you like. Please don't also add a chemical exfoliant - something like papaya extract, pineapple extract, AHAs, Multifruit BSC, salicylic acid or BHA, honeysuckle extract, or willow bark extract - as it can be too exfoliating, which is not a pleasant sensation and can damage your skin. (Besides, we'll be getting into chemical exfoliants next Tuesday! If you want to run ahead, check out this post - chemical exfoliants!)

I'll be sharing a few recipes based on those you said you liked over the next few days before we get into chemical exfoliants next week!

Please share your experiences with making these scrubs in the comments below. What worked? What didn't work? What can we troubleshoot together? I'm eager to hear your thoughts!

Blog posts specifically related to making facial cleanser scrubs:
Physical exfoliants (part one)
Physical exfoliants (part two)
Adding physical exfoliants to the cleanser base
Creamy exfoliating cleanser with jojoba beads (for dry to normal skin)
Creamy exfoliating cleanser with jojoba beads (for oily or sensitive skin)
Facial cleansers: Using the surfactant base to make scrubs (part one)

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