Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: A bunch of stuff to share with you

Thank you so much for all your kind words and good wishes for my family this week. I have the loveliest readers, and your good thoughts and prayers for us have really helped me so much in what I think may be the worst month of my life.

My mom is out of the hospital, but she's still quite ill, so we're caring for her at home. (Since writing this this morning, she's gone back in and I'm writing this from the ER.) Unfortunately, this doesn't leave me much time to work on the blog, answering your comments and questions, but I will do my best as writing makes me feel slightly more sane for a while. (It's really hard to find a solid hour in which to write, and I don't do well with interruptions.) I continue to ask for your patience as we figure out how to adapt to these new and exhausting changes.

On a happier note, check out my new column in Handmade Magazine, "The Science of SPF". I'm happy I can spread information on sunscreen as well as why we shouldn't make our own.

And I encourage you to take a look at the new series for Newbie Tuesday - Facial products. I've put up a shopping list if you want to play along!

Are you getting into your workshop and making things in this horrible hot weather? Or are you, like me, yearning for the cooler months? (I hate summer more than I can express in mere words, so just picture me shouting and stamping my feet as I say this!) What are you making this week? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sorry for the silence...

I'm sorry I haven't been responding to your posts and messages. My mom went into hospital earlier this week, and I've been spending all my time there as she was stuck in the ER in a chair, and only received a bed yesterday around dinner time. Now that she's in a less crowded and more stable place, I'm able to link my iPad to my phone, so I can do some writing that way as not even the Starbucks in the hospital has wifi.

These are some flowers my mom's friend Sheila sent from overseas. Aren't they lovely? When she finally gets a room, I'll bring them to her to enjoy! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Sunday: Equipment list

If you're following along with our upcoming Newbie Tuesday series for making facial products, here's your equipment list. (If you take $20 and go down to the dollar store, you'll get just about everything you need there!)

Digital scale: You'll want something that can weigh 1 gram (meaning there's no decimal on the scale). You can use a diet scale from somewhere like London Drugs, or find these are your favourite supplier.

We weigh everything we make as weighted measurements are more accurate than volume. (Click here for a post on this topic...) If you try to convert my recipes into volume, they will not work.

If you want to make loads of facial products, I recommend getting a tiny scale, one that measures to the 0.1 grams. You can get these at jewelery stores, drug stores, and those kind of drug stores (if you know what I mean). I bought mine for $25 on sale at London Drugs, and I use it all the time for extracts, cosmeceuticals, preservatives, fragrances, and so on in my products.

This is my favourite little scale, and it's super inexpensive! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: How much oil will Lotionpro 165 emulsify?

In this post, Emulsifiers: Lotionpro 165 in a lotion, Alana asks: Can LotionPro emulsify 38% shea butter and 3% stearic acid along with 3% menthol crystals? What is the max capacity of this emulsifier to emulsify oils?

As Lotionpro 165 (aka Simulsol 165) is an oil-in-water emulsifier, we know the oil phase has to be 49% or lower.

Okay, this isn't strictly true because the determination of whether something is an oil in water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion isn't just about the amount of water or oil in a product. It's actually about the phase in which the emulsifier is more soluble. The higher the HLB value, the more soluble in water the emulsifier can be. Considering that Lotionpro/Simulsol 165 has an HLB value of 11, it's more soluble in water. So anything made with this emulsifier is considered an oil-in-water emulsion. 
If you're interested in knowing more, click here to learn about the Bancroft rule. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Newbie Tuesday: Facial products series - A shopping list

Sorry for the delay in posting the ingredients you'll want to get for the first few projects for our Newbie Tuesday facial products series. The plan is to make these products...

Facial cleanser
Foaming facial cleanser
Exfoliating facial cleanser
Micellar water
Toner
And three gels - a gelled toner, serum, and an eye gel

We'll be starting the making part of the series on September 6th, which gives you at least 4 weeks to get your ingredients delivered. (I hope this is enough time! If it isn't, talk to me!)

We will also be making a lotion based moisturizer at the end of the series. I'm not suggesting you buy the ingredients now as your lovely oils may not be so lovely by then, but I will promise to give you loads of notice before we get to those posts.

What you see below are the shopping lists I suggest for different skin types. If you're in doubt, the normal kit can be easily modified for oily and dry skin types. (Click here for my posts on skin chemistry and types!)

If you want to see the suggested equipment list, please click here

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Not heating and holding with cold emulsifiers?

In this post on Emulthix: A light to medium weight lotion with botanicals, Emily asks:  I love the sounds of cold emulsions and have always wanted to try one, but I have been worried that there would be beasties in my oil if I didn't heat and hold it - I'm guessing that this is overridden by the preservative? 

I know, it's weird, right? I'm normally all about the heating and holding and all that good stuff, so using cold emulsifiers is a strange thing to me, too!

In general, we don't worry about beasties in our oil soluble ingredients as almost all of our potential contaminants are found in the water phase of our products. When we're making cold products, we need to be especially careful to clean our creating containers - a spray with 70% alcohol is a great choice - and utensils before using them. Clean your stick blender or mixer well with alcohol, and only use distilled, reverse osmosis, or de-ionized water.

Only use clean containers when you're making products. Do not re-use old ones. And don't clean ones that are fresh from your supplier. It's assumed they are clean, and by cleaning them, you can introduce icky things that ruin the packaging.

And use a good broad spectrum preservative at the recommended level. I like to use liquid Germall Plus at 0.5% in most of my products, and I rarely have problems.

Preservatives should be there to battle the things to come, not the things already in the mix, so if we adhere to these good manufacturing processes, we'll have a nice, clean product!

Related post:
Why do we heat and hold with anhydrous (non-water containing) products?
How to preservatives work?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekend Wonderings: Compare and contrast Emulthix and Aristoflex AVC?

In this post, Emulsifiers: Emulthix, Srjnm asks: How would you compare Emulthix and Aristoflex? I know you have worked with both these cold emulsifiers. When would you use one over the other or what are the pros/cons of each? Which one do you like best? Thank you for sharing your experience with these ingredients. I've been interested in trying them.

I like both of them quite a lot. Aristoflex AVC is great for a light lotion without a lot of oils or electrolytes. If I wanted a facial moisturizer with lots of water soluble ingredients - like this one with n-acetyl glucosamine, allantoin, quaternized rice, and Yerba santa glycoprotein - Aristoflex is compatible and super easy to use. It can't handle a lot of oils - I've been using 5%, but you can go as high as 10%, I understand.  The down side is that I can't use electrolytes or proteins with Aristoflex as they ruin the viscosity, but that could be solved by adding a new polymer I have called Sepimax ZEN* to the mix. (I'll be writing more about this ingredient shortly.)

If you want to use electrolytes, proteins, extracts, and higher levels of oils, then Emulthix is more your thing. I've been experimenting with it at up to 25% oils, and it's worked well. I find I can make heavier feeling lotions with Emulthix, which is something I just haven't been able to do with Aristoflex AVC.

You use less Aristoflex AVC in a product at up to 2%, while Emulthix is used at 3% to 6%. They're roughly the same price, too.

Aristoflex AVC can handle a wider pH range - 4 to 9 versus Emulthix's 5.5 to 11 - so Aristoflex might be a better choice for thinner moisturizers with things like salicylic acid or AHAs.

It's hard to choose as they have different roles in my head. Aristoflex is for light lotions and gel-creams, while Emulthix is more like a traditional emulsifier that can handle a lot of oils. Hmm, I don't think I'll be able to make a decision any time soon as to which I prefer. I guess I should get into the workshop and make a few more things, eh?

Point of Interest: I do get free things from time to time from suppliers, and Jen at Lotioncrafter has given me the Emulthix and Sepimax ZEN. The quaternized rice protein and Yerba santa glycoprotein is from the Formulator Sample Shop. None of the links you click to any site on this blog affiliate links - I just learned what those were and thought I should re-assure you, my lovely readers, that I make no money and gain no reward if you buy something from any supplier anywhere. I provide you with buying information for those harder to find ingredients because you've said you wanted it!