Monday, July 6, 2015

Write a review! Win a prize!

I asked you to share your thoughts last year and it was a rousing success - in my humble opinion - so I'm asking you to share your thoughts and recipes with the readers of this blog again!

I'm very interested in hearing what you have to say about the recipes you've tried on the blog! I have a number of reasons for asking you to contribute your thoughts...

1. Your review will help other readers decide whether or not to make a product, which is always a good thing. As well, it'll give readers information on how to modify the product, if they wish.

2. It gives me an idea of which products and ingredients you like, and which ones you don't like.

3. I'm hoping to compile the most popular recipes into a collection to share with you, my wonderful readers. I recognize it can be hard to find what you want when I have almost 2500 posts, and if I get an idea of what you like the most, it'll make it easier to figure out how to categorize them on the blog and in future e-books.

4. It helps me spend my time formulating recipes and using ingredients that interest you.

What I am seeking in your reviews?
  • How did you make the recipe? Did you change anything? Did you add something? Did you remove something? If so, why? 
  • How did you make it? Did you use a stick blender or a mixer? Did you heat and hold?
  • What was the final skin feel of the product? How did you package it?
  • Would you make this product again? If not, why not?
  • What else do you think other makers of this recipe should know?
You don't have to post your version of the recipe if it's really close to my original, but if you've changed it dramatically, we'd love to see your modifications. Please write any recipes you post in percentages so it's easier for others to follow. (For information on how to do that, please check out this post.)

Here are the basic rules I'll ask you to follow:
  • Please put the review for the recipe in the correct recipe, not in a random post. If you can't find the post for recipe - for instance, if it came from an e-book - then write to me directly and give me the page number from the e-book or the complete name of the recipe as it is written in the e-book, and I'll post it. 
  • You have to put your name on the post. If you don't have a Google account or prefer not to leave your name, please use your name or a nickname in the comment - a friendly, "Bye, (first name or nickname)" will do. 
  • You really should subscribe to or bookmark the post in which you put your review so you can see if you won. If you win, I will post the information on that blog comment on the Saturday of every week. 
  • You have to be honest. If you didn't like the product, please be really clear about why you didn't like it or why you won't make it again. (This will not count against you when it comes to drawing the names for the prizes. I really want your feedback!)
  • You can write as many reviews as you want in a week. There is no limit. 
I will randomly draw two names per week on Saturday morning for the e-book of your choice. I'll put the names on the front page of the blog and the post in which you commented with your review.

The prize? I will draw two names at random a week to win an e-book. If you win and already own the e-books, we'll have to figure something else out...hmm, suggestions? And, the best of all, you'll have the wonderful feeling of knowing you've contributed something positive to the bath & body making community and helped your fellow crafters!

How long will the contest run? That depends upon you, my wonderful readers! If this works and you contribute your thoughts, then I'll keep it going for as long as you want to participate! I can't wait to see what you write!

Six ingredient lotions: Evening primrose, oats & chamomile hand and body lotion

What six ingredient lotion could we make specifically for dry skin? What things could we include to make sure that dry skin is getting all the hydration and moisturization it can? Because dry skin suffers from lower hydration levels and an impaired barrier mechanism, we need humectants to draw water to our skin and occlusives to trap it in.

I know I have to include glycerin in the mix as it's a great humectant that offers a lot for a small amount. You can use other humectants if you wish, but this is my go to humectant when I'm making lotions!

When it comes to oils for dry skin, I want something that contains a lot of linoleic acid or gamma-linoleic acid. Sunflowersoybeansesame, or rice bran, or wheat germ oils are great choices, but these can feel a bit greasy on your skin. (I don't want to suggest grapeseed oil or hempseed oil as they have very short shelf lives - 3 months - but they are also high in linoleic acid.) Vitamin E is very good for dry skin, so my suggestions would be wheat germ or soybean oil as my first choices for dry skin, but these are both greasier feeling oils than sesame and rice bran, for instance.

You could choose a high gamma-linoleic acid oil, like evening primrose or borage oil to help with dry skin, or consider using cranberry oil or rosehip oil, although the latter is known to aggravate acne. These exotic oils will feel less greasy than the carrier oils (for various reasons), but they are definitely more expensive!

I think I'll choose evening primrose as it has a ton of gamma-linoleic acid and is less expensive than borage. It's also a less greasy feeling oil.

What about my occlusives? We have three choices - dimethicone, cocoa butter, and allantoin. If I'm going for a less greasy feeling lotion, is cocoa butter a good choice? It'll thicken up the product nicely and offer an occlusive barrier, but it will definitely make it feel greasier. If I don't want it to feel greasy, then my other choices are dimethicone or allantoin. I really like dimethicone. It is a non-greasy feeling silicone that offers occlusion and reduces the soaping effect or whitening effect of the lotion on my skin. At 2% in the cool down phase, it offers these great features along with moisturizing. I think I'll go with dimethicone for this product. (I'll show you a version with cocoa butter tomorrow when we modify this into a body butter...)

What emulsifier should we use? I like Polawax, but if we're talking less greasy feeling, Ritamulse SCG or Incroquat BTMS-50 might be better choices. Lotionpro 165 would be awesome as well, leaving us with a lighter feeling lotion than the other two emulsifiers. Hmm, what to do here? I think I'll go with Polawax today because it's the easiest emulsifier to use, then we could modify it to use other emulsifiers in another post...)

I think I'm going to add some powdered chamomile extract to this product as it's been shown to reduce transepidermal water loss for up to 48 hours, which is pretty amazing for something we'll add at up to 0.5% in the cool down phase. It's an inexpensive ingredient that offers amazingly cool results, so I think it's a no-brainer to include it for dry skin!

What else? What about a protein? They can film form and penetrate our skin to offer more moisturizing, which is kinda the goal for dry skin. We could use something like hydrolyzed silk protein, which will penetrate our skin, or we could use something like hydrolyzed oat protein, which will form a film on the top of the skin. As I don't have any silk protein at home right now, I think I'll use the hydrolyzed oat protein.

What kind of lotion do we want to make? I'm going to choose something that has a lower water amount than I would normally use for a body lotion as I don't have any thickeners in the mix. I think I'll use the thick cream recipe with 60% water and leave out the butters.

Let's begin!

60.5% water
3% glycerin or other humectant of choice
2% hydrolyzed oat protein

24% evening primrose
6.5% Polawax

0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
2% dimethicone
0.5% powdered chamomile extract

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product. When you add the powdered chamomile extract, hold a little water back from the heated water phase - say 5 grams or so - to dissolve it before adding. 

If you want to leave things out or change the oil, have at it! You can always substitute one oil for another in any recipe, you can substitute some of the oil for a combination of oils, or you can substitute the dimethicone for another oil if you don't want to use it. 

Join me tomorrow as we turn this body lotion into a six ingredient body butter with a few small changes! 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some summer tips for our products and ingredients

It's summer 'round these parts, which means it's hot! This affects our products and ingredients in so many ways...

Our lotions take some time to cool down to the final temperature with some thickeners and emulsifiers taking up to 48 hours at room temperature to make it to the final viscosity. In general, we want our lotions to be around 20˚C or 70˚F, and when it's 30˚C in the house, this may take some time to reach. You could put your lotions in the fridge to cool down, but I don't recommend you put anything that contains water into the freezer.

This also applies to conditioners, which are effectively lotions, and things like body wash or shampoo. If you're planning to thicken anything with Crothix, remember to wait until it reaches room temperature!

Remember to hide your coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, and babassu oil in the fridge or freezer as they will melt at 76˚F or 24˚C, temperatures that are easy to attain in this weather. Remember to keep your oils in a cool dark place or in the fridge/freezer as higher temperatures can speed up oxidation, which means a shorter shelf life.

Related post:
Heating, holding, freezing, and thawing our oils

This may not be the weather to make or transport anhydrous whipped butters, balms, or emulsified scrubs. Beware when you put things in your purse or backpack because they could melt - I'm thinking about lip balms and other balms here - and be careful what you leave in your car as it gets hot in there very quickly.

And keep hydrated! It's horrible out there!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Where can I find supplies? Why add a humectant in the summer?

In this post, Six ingredient lotions: Rice bran & mango butter body lotion, WEND asks: Where can I buy allantoin? I never heard of it before but then again I'm new to lotion making. 

You can find more information on suppliers in your part of the world in the FAQ section under "shopping for supplies". I get mine from Voyageur Soap & Candle in Surrey, B.C., but you can find it at loads of places!

In this post, Making a lotion for my mom, Marg asked: Can you explain why you would increase the humectant (glycerin) in a summer lotion especially in humid climates? I thought you would increase in the dry, winter months, so now I'm confused!

I increase the humectants for both the summer and the winter months around here. I tend to get really dry skin in the summer because it's hot and the transepidermal water loss in our skin increases. I add a humectant to draw water from the atmosphere to my skin to make it feel cooler and to replace that water I'm losing. Where I live, it's humid in the summer, so adding a humectant makes sense.

In the winter, we tend to have a little less water in the air, but not by a lot, so I continue to use humectants to try to get what water I can from the air to my skin.

This is an important consideration when making products - where do you live? We'll be delving into that a little more over the summer.

In this post Six ingredient lotion with Ritamulse SCG, Megan asks, Also, have you noticed that Kukui nut oil has a bit of a weird fishy smell to it? Maybe that's why mine was on sale? I notice the smell directly out of the bottle, though it seems to dissipate after applying it to skin. It has a smell similar to linseed, which can sometimes be funky, too. (I also paint, thus my familiarity with linseed odors.)

I haven't noticed it. What about you, my lovely readers? 

Friday, July 3, 2015

We're home!

We arrived home last night after hours and hours of battling traffic through the Tacoma-Seattle-Everett area to a ridiculously warm house and an adorable dog. It was so chily at the beach this week, I bought and wore a pair of pants! (This may not seem like a big deal to you, my lovely readers, but considering I wear capris and shorts during our relatively mild but still cold Canadian winter, my friends were shocked and amazed!)

So how was Cape Disappointment near Long Beach and Ilwaco, Washington? It was lovely...but there were a few let-downs. We couldn't have a camp fire, despite the fact that it was so wet our tent was covered in so much dew every morning. We were almost kicked out because the Washington state government couldn't put together a budget and that would have closed the park. It was so foggy that we couldn't see the sun set...until the last night, which was magnificent! Nope, it didn't live up to the disappointing name. We had a really lovely time.

To everyone who donated during our vacation, thank you for your patience. We couldn't get any cell service at the camp site, so we had to go into town to get even one bar and further still to find wi-fi.

Now that I'm very well rested and have a few more days of holidays, what should I make in the workshop? That is to say if I can get into it. It's incredibly warm right now - 35˚C, but it feels like 38˚C. Ick!

What are you making in the workshop this weekend?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG

Let's take another look at a six ingredient lotion we could make! We've already made a rice bran oil & mango butter body butter and a rice bran oil & mango butter body lotion...what should we do next?

What's a six ingredient lotion? It's one that contains six ingredients not including the water, preservative, and fragrance or essential oil. It helps us get back to the basics when it's so easy to go nuts including every ingredient we have in the workshop!

Let's take a look at my favourite oil and butter combination - kukui nut oil and babassu oil. Kukui nut oil is a light, non-greasy feeling oil with an amazingly silky after feel. And babassu oil is a lot like coconut oil, only it's not as thick with a less greasy feeling that feels silky after a minute or so. It won't add a ton of viscosity to a product, so if you want something thick, you'll have to add something like cetyl alcohol or stearic acid to get some serious thickening. This is a great combination with any emulsifying wax, but I really like it with Ritamulse SCG, which will keep that drier feeling and increase the viscosity.

Do I want to thicken this lotion further? No, probably not. If I were to make this with Polawax or e-wax, I'd probably add cetyl alcohol or stearic acid or another thickener, but Ritamulse SCG already makes thicker lotions than other emulsifiers.

So I have three ingredients - Ritamulse SCG, kukui nut oil, and babassu oil. What's next? I really like allantoin, so I'm going to include that at 0.5% as an occlusive ingredient. We can get our occlusion through using dimethicone, cocoa butter, or allantoin. Since I already have my oil phase complete, allantoin seems to be the best choice.

I do love humectants. I think I'm going with 3% glycerin here as it's simply a great humectant that offers all around awesomeness to the lotion.

So one ingredient left. Hmm, what to use? What skin type am I making this for? I'm making it for my slightly oily skin that gets quite dry in the summer when it's less humid. I have a humectant - could I use another one? I could. Sodium lactate is a great choice, but at more than 3%, it can make you sun sensitive and I'm already not a sun lover as it is! I think honeyquat would be a lovely choice. It's a skin conditioning agent and a humectant that can go into the cool down phase. I think I'll use that one.

I'm going to base my recipe on this one, my mom's favourite lotion, only we'll modify it keeping in mind that we can only use six ingredients!

60% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

8% Ritamulse SCG
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

What do you do if you don't have Ritamulse SCG but want to make this product? Why you tune in tomorrow to see how we could make this with Polawax!

**NOTE: I have mentioned in the past that Ritamulse SCG doesn't like cationic ingredients. Honeyquat is a cationic ingredient. However, I've made this lotion and it is holding up well, so it looks like they can be combined. But I'm not going to recommend it for everyone as I would hate for you to have an epic lotion fail and have it be my fault. Instead, think about using 2% sodium lactate in the heated water phase, or another lovely ingredient that isn't positively charged in place of the honeyquat. Thank you for my lovely readers for remembering this when I didn't. This is what I mean about the heat of the workshop! When you're in the moment and surrounded by lovely ingredients, your best recollections can go out the window when faced by an awesome product like Honeyquat!

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Polawax or e-wax

Yesterday we took a look at how to make a six ingredient lotion with kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG. Today, let's modify that recipe for those of you with Polawax or e-wax.

Recipes made with Ritamulse SCG tend to be thicker than those made with Polawax or e-wax, and a lot thicker than those made with Lotionpro 165. If you want to adapt a Ritamulse SCG lotion for one with Polawax, remember the 25% rule! (And remember, this rule is only for Polawax.) Figure out the size of your oil phase, which is to say you'll calculate your oil soluble ingredients.

60% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

8% Ritamulse SCG
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

In this case, the oil phase is 12 + 12 = 24. (We add up the oil soluble ingredients, which would be the oil and butter.) Then we multiply by 0.25 (or divide by 4) and get the result. This means we would use 6% Polawax. (Add 2% back to the water amount to have the recipe total 100%).

If you are using e-wax, you generally use 25% of the oil phase plus 1%. Calculate to get the Polawax amount of 6%. Now add 1% to that for 7% e-wax.

Should we thicken this product? We could. It will be thinner than the version we made yesterday, but not by a huge amount. It will be the thickness of a body or hand lotion. Should we change any other ingredients? No, I really like this lotion and think it works with the ingredients we used yesterday!

62% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

6% Polawax
12% babassu oil
12% kukui nut oil

3% honeyquat
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil

Use the general lotion making instructions for this product.

If you want to use another emulsifier, then follow the rules for that emulsifier. For Lotionpro 165, you'd want to reduce the emulsifier to 4% and add 2% to the water amount. If you're using Incroquat BTMS-50, I'd reduce it to 4% or 5% or you'll get a very thick lotion. 

Join me on Thursday for more fun with six ingredient lotions! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's time for a holiday!

We're off on a camping adventure to southern Washington state! Canada Day is upon us, and we're celebrating by leaving the country for a week! We'll be back on Thursday, July 2nd or the 3rd, depending upon our whims!

As a result, I might not be near wi-fi every day to send you out an e-book or even see that you have donated. The moment I get near a wi-fi location, I'll check my mail and send out your e-book! Thank you so much for your patience.

I'll still be posting this week, so keep checking back for some more six ingredient lotion ideas! The great news is that I have more holiday time when I come home, which means fun in the workshop with loads of new ingredients!

Hope you're having a great week. If it's too warm where you live, make sure you're using loads of sunscreen, drinking tons of water, staying in the shade, and enjoying some swimming! See you later this week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Six ingredient lotions: Rice bran & mango butter body butter

Yesterday we took a look at a six ingredient lotion with rice bran oil and mango butter. Today we'll take a look at another six ingredient recipe we could make using the basic lotion recipe.

68.5% water

24% oil
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)

1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

I mentioned yesterday that the amount of thickener you choose can change the viscosity of this lotion. So if you want to use 20% butter, you'll get a thicker product than something with 10%. I thought it would be fun to make a body butter using the same ingredients I used yesterday.

I'm choosing rice bran oil and mango butter again, but I'll use them in different proportions. Yesterday, I used 15% rice bran oil and 6% mango butter. Today, I'll use 15% mango butter with 6% rice bran oil. Combined with 3% cetyl alcohol, this will be a thicker product more akin to a body butter than a lotion. If I use an emulsifier like Lotionpro 165, this will be a light and fluffy body butter. If I use Polawax, it'll be a thicker and slightly greasier product. If I use Incroquat BTMS-50, it'll be a thicker and less greasy product. If I use Ritamulse SCG, it'll be a thicker and less greasy product. I think I'll go with Polawax in this lotion as I like the skin feel it offers. (If you want to use e-wax in this recipe, add 1% to the emulsifier.)

I will go with 3% glycerin again because I love to include humectants and I think I'll use the 0.5% allantoin again.

My big changes are to switch the amounts of oil and butter here. What will that recipe look like?

65% water
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

15% mango butter
6% rice bran oil
6% emulsifier (BTMS or Polawax)
3% cetyl alcohol

1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Please use the general lotion making directions for this product.

Join me tomorrow as we make another six ingredient lotion!