Monday, March 27, 2017

My new e-zine: Cold emulsifiers


I've just released my newest e-zine, Using cold emulsifiers: Aristoflex AVC, Emulthix, and Sucragel AOF.

If you'd like to see the table of contents, click here.

If you'd like to buy it for $13.00, click the PayPal link below.


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!

If you're interested in seeing all the e-zines and e-books I offer, please check out the e-zine and e-book section of the blog by clicking here!

The e-zine I'm offering to $10.00 subscribers to my Patreon page this month is part one of a few on cosmeceuticals in facial products. It won't be available outside of Patreon, and it's only available until April 3rd.

Please note that the proceeds from the Patreon subscription and my e-zines go to my family, not to my youth programs. Proceeds from the five e-books go 100% to the youth programs my husband and I run from the Neighbourhood Learning Centre in Chilliwack, B.C. Click here to learn more.

Thank you so much to all of you for supporting my blog and my youth programs! I'm such a lucky woman to have such wonderful and supportive readers!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Plumping peppermint & jojoba oil lip scrub

On Wednesday we looked at making a fractionated coconut oil lip scrub. Yesterday, we altered the recipe to be all about the jojoba oil and peppermint essential oil. Today, let's look at an anhydrous or non-oil containing ingredient we could add to this recipe.

Confession: I've been playing with so many active ingredients over the last year in anticipation of writing a new e-book on the topic. You'll see a great many of them here, along with tons of new recipes. I just have to find time to take pictures to make them look all pretty! 


Dehydrosome plump (from Formulator Sample Shop*) is Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil & Lecithin & Yeast Extract. It's an oil soluble liquid we use in our products at 1% to 10%. The claims are that it can plump your lips by reducing transepidermal water loss

The lecithin is filled with phosolipids or phosphatides, and all kinds of lovely fatty acids. In our cosmetic ingredients, lecithin can come from a number of sources like soy, egg, or sunflower oil. The soy and the egg lecithin do differ a little. The soy has a fatty acid profile of 20% palmitic acid (C16), 4.3% stearic acid (C18), 11.4% linoleic acid (C18:1), 56.6% linolenic acid (C18:2), and about 7% linolenic acid (C18:3). The egg lecithin contains 30% palmitic acid (C16), 15.9% stearic acid (C18), 26.4% oleic acid (C18:1), 16.2% linoleic acid (C18:2), and no linolenic acid. It does, however, contain arachadonic acid at about 6%. Both of these contain little to no Vitamin E, but they contain B vitamins (choline, Vitamin B8), and they contain 60% to 70% phospholipids (made up of the fatty acids listed above). Most of what we find on our suppliers' shelves is the soy version of lecithin, but if you're vegan or have any restrictions on your diet, ask before buying.

Choline has been shown to increase skin hydration, so it can act as a humectant to bring water our skin. In one study, the application of lecithin to skin increased water retention by 40% and it lasted about 2.5 hours! Another ingredient in lecithin - inositol - has been shown to decrease trans-epidermal water loss in  animal studies. It's also been shown to increase moisture retention in our hair. And it's an anti-oxidant - it's three great things in one!

Lecithin is considered a great moisturizer with those high levels of oleic and linoleic acids, which will moisturize and help restore a damaged skin barrier. The stearic acid is also very moisturizing!

Lecithin can act as an anti-oxidant in our products, scavenging to prevent lipolytic rancidity at 0.01% to 0.25%. It can help boost the efficacy of Vitamin E and Vitamin C as anti-oxidants (science isn't really sure why this is...)

Yeast extract is filled with B vitamins and amino acids, while the sunflower oil is a lovely, light feeling but a bit greasy emollient.

In this recipe, I've used 4.3% Dehydrosome Plump in place of some of the jojoba oil. You could use up to 10% in any lip scrub recipe you chose to make. If you don't have it, just replace the 4.3% with another oil or oil soluble ingredient you like. This recipe is the same as yesterday's lip scrub with the tiny change of the dehydrosome plump ingredient.

PLUMPING PEPPERMINT & JOJOBA LIP SCRUB
69.5% finely ground or berry sugar
17.1% golden jojoba oil
8.7% fractionated coconut oil
4.3% Dehydrosome plump active ingredient
0.4% peppermint essential oil

If you don't have berry sugar, put your sugar into a coffee grinder and blend for maybe 10 seconds to produce a fine sugar. You don't want to grind it too long as you'll end up with powdered sugar, which won't scrub that well. (Ask me how I know this!)

Into a container, weigh the jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil, and mix well. Add the sugar, mix until it is like wet sand, then spoon into your container.

Package this in a small container - I'm using 30 ml jars from Voyageur Soap & Candle* - and use a small spatula* or spoon to remove it from the container to put on your lips.

I've seen people using things like cinnamon or clove essential oil to plump up lips by annoying the heck out of them. I haven't tried that as I'm pretty sensitive to those kinds of things, so I really don't have an opinion of doing it that way.

I've been testing an ECOcert, oil soluble ingredient called Sepilift DPHP* (from Lotioncrafter) that I'll tell you more about next week as I finalize some of the recipes I've been working on and hear back from my testers.

Please note, clicking on a link with an * beside it takes you to another site. I am sharing these links as these were the things I used and I thought I'd do it rather than having someone ask me. These are not affiliate links, and I don't receive anything if you click on them and buy something. I'm just sharing because I'm big fans of these sites! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jojoba & peppermint lip scrub

Yesterday we tried a pear coconut lip scrub; today, let's take a look at changing a few things!

The original lip scrub my best friend loves contains jojoba oil and peppermint essential oil as the flavouring, so I thought I'd try that. As per yesterday, I took my regular boring ol' white sugar for a spin in a clean coffee grinder to turn it into very small crystal berry-type sugar. (This is not the place for something like large crystalled plantation sugar!)

PEPPERMINT JOJOBA LIP SCRUB
69.5% finely ground or berry sugar
21.4% golden jojoba oil
8.7% fractionated coconut oil
0.4% peppermint essential oil

If you don't have berry sugar, put your sugar into a coffee grinder and blend for maybe 10 seconds to produce a fine sugar. You don't want to grind it too long as you'll end up with powdered sugar, which won't scrub that well. (Ask me how I know this!)

Into a container, weigh the jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil, and mix well. Add the sugar, mix until it is like wet sand, then spoon into your container.

Package this in a small container - I'm using 30 ml jars from Voyageur Soap & Candle* - and use a small spatula* or spoon to remove it from the container to put on your lips.

Why did I use jojoba oil? I used it because it was in the original recipe and I thought I'd try it. I added the fractionated coconut oil because I thought the product was getting too expensive and too thick with just the jojoba oil. The lovely yellow of the scrub comes from the jojoba, but you could try something else and see how you like it!

Could I leave out the fractionated coconut oil? Of course! Try it with all jojoba oil, if you wish.  Or try it with another oil entirely.

What about the peppermint essential oil? As a rule, you shouldn't ingest essential oils, but peppermint essential oil is one of those we can put in a lip product. Do not - I repeat - do not go over 0.4% in your product as it is very strong at even a titch over that. One of the reasons I ended up making 100 grams of this product was thanks to my heavy handed use of peppermint essential oil! You could go lower - I encourage you to start at 0.1% and see how you like it - but don't go higher.

Please note, clicking on a link with an * beside it takes you to another site. I am sharing these links as these were the things I used and I thought I'd do it rather than having someone ask me. These are not affiliate links, and I don't receive anything if you click on them and buy something. I'm just sharing because I'm big fans of these sites! 

Could we make this product more awesome by including an active ingredient? Of course we can! Join me tomorrow as we add a lip plumping ingredient to the mix!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Yummy pear coconut lip scrub!

As we continue to spend all our freakin' time working on getting the links to the PDFs working on the blog, please enjoy this post on making a lip scrub! 

My best friend, Wanda, is in love with a certain company's lip scrub, which seems to consist of a few ingredients like jojoba oil, peppermint, and sugar. I thought I'd make my own version of this for her birthday!

If I were to make an ingredient list for the first version I did using the pear coconut sweetened lip balm flavouring from Windy Point*, the first ingredient would be sugar. The second, oil, and the third, flavouring. That's it. You could make this more complex - and I did, as you'll see - but this turned out so nice!

PEAR COCONUT LIP SCRUB
67.4% berry or finely ground sugar
31% fractionated coconut oil
1.6% pear coconut flavouring (pre-sweetened)

If you don't have berry sugar, put your sugar into a coffee grinder and blend for maybe 10 seconds to produce a fine sugar. You don't want to grind it too long as you'll end up with powdered sugar, which won't scrub that well. (Ask me how I know this!)

Into a container, weigh your fractionated coconut oil and pear coconut flavouring, and mix well. Add the sugar, mix until it is like wet sand, then spoon into your container.

Package this in a small container - I'm using 30 ml jars from Voyageur Soap & Candle - and use a small spatula* or spoon to remove it from the container to put on your lips.

Why did I choose to use fractionated coconut oil in this recipe? Fractionated coconut oil is a very light feeling, flavourless, colourless oil, which created a very light feeling, colourless product that allowed the pear coconut flavour to shine!

Could you change the oil in this recipe? Of course you can! Make sure you choose something that isn't heavily flavoured, like olive oil or hemp seed oil. And think about how the colour and viscosity might change.

Also consider that you pretty much lick this off your lips when you're done with it, so you might want to avoid something like castor oil, which can act as a laxative in larger quantities. There's probably not enough to have that kind of effect, but it's always something I consider.

Could you change the flavouring in this recipe? Of course! I made another version for me with Windy Point's cupcake frosting flavoured lip balm oil* and I just love it! If you don't have access to a sweetened oil, try it without as the sugar can make it taste sweeter as you scrub it on your lips. You could use Lorann's flavouring oils for chocolate, but use the tiniest amount. When I've used it in the past, I dipped a toothpick into the container then mixed it with the oil, and a little goes such a long way.

Join me tomorrow as we try another version of this scrub with jojoba oil!

Please note, clicking on a link with an * beside it takes you to another site. I am sharing these links as these were the things I used and I thought I'd do it rather than having someone ask me. These are not affiliate links, and I don't receive anything if you click on them and buy something. I'm just sharing because I'm big fans of these sites! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I know the links to the PDFs aren't working

Thanks for letting me know. As I wrote in the previous post, I know they aren't working and I'm trying to figure it all out because I haven't done anything to Dropbox to cause this. I know the search has changed as well, something I mentioned in the previous post. I can't change that, lamentably.

Update: Dropbox decided that free users would no longer be able to share files with links as of March 15, 2017. They claim they sent out email about this, but no one seemed to have received these messages. They are discontinuing public folders for business users in September, so it's not like spending $13 a month would solve the problem. Besides, I don't want to reward Dropbox's jerky behaviour by signing up for a monthly account. I would still have to do all kinds of work to get the links working again.

Anyone have suggestions for a reliable, affordable file hosting site? I'm a die hard Mac user. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Update of update: You can download the charts and the tables of contents for the e-zines and e-books now. My husband has been working on this all day, and there's still miles to go before he sleeps. Thank you, adorable husband!!! We will return to your regularly scheduled programming soon...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I'm still alive...

Hi everyone! I'm still alive, albeit a little beaten up by what I think is another bout of the stomach flu. The last year in our lives has been hell, and I'm finding I get sick really easily and bounce back from even the smallest upset really poorly. I really have no resilience at the moment, as evidenced by crying when I miss a traffic light or when I see or remember something that reminds me of my mom. I'm generally a pretty sappy girl, crying at the end of Terminator 2 - he sacrificed himself to save mankind! - and movies like that, but this is a whole other kind of weepiness. I know things will get better and it takes time, but will it hurry up already? 

I know the links to anything on Dropbox aren't working, but I have no idea why. It's on the top of my to do list.

I know the search bar produces different results in long post form, but that's a Blogger thing and I can't change that. It's still a great search engine. 

I am trying to get to your email and comments, but I'm falling behind. Sorry.

Thank you for your patience. I will get things back on track soon, I hope. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of melt & pour soap Popsicles in cotton candy and vanilla cupcake fragrance oils. Aren't they adorable? 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Newbie Tuesday: Using Sepimax ZEN to create an oil free moisturing gel

As I mentioned in a previous entry in this series, Sepimax ZEN (INCI: Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6) is a pre-neutralized gellant we can use to incorporate things that other gels can't handle, like electrolytes and surfactants as well as lower pH ranges to incorporate ingredients like AHAs. It can also incorporate oils, so you can make a gelled serum or moisturizer.

Let's take a look at making a simple aloe & rose water gel with aloe vera using Sepimax ZEN. You could use this as a toner to apply, then wipe off, or as an oil-free moisturizing gel.

I love aloe vera at 10% in any kind of moisturizing gel as it offers some film forming and hydrating properties, two things that help moisturize our skin without oils. I'll add some rose water (rose hydrosol or rose floral water) at 10% to offer more hydrating power as well as a lovely fragrance. I'm a huge fan of allantoin as a film former at 0.5% in the slightly heated water phase to act as a barrier protectant and skin softener, and I think we should add panthenol at 2% to act as a humectant and help improve skin's hydration. and wound healer. (I'm using the liquid, but you could use the powder.)

ROSE & ALOE MOISTURIZING GEL WITH SEPIMAX ZEN
SLIGHTLY HEATED WATER PHASE
74% distilled water
10% aloe vera
10% rose water
2% panthenol
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

ZEN PHASE
3% Sepimax ZEN

Using room temperature or slightly above room temperature water, add the ingredients in the slightly heated water phase and mix well. Sprinkle Sepimax ZEN on the water. Wait 8 hours. Do not mix during that time. I know you want to, but don’t! After 8 hours – ta da! You have a lovely thick gel!?"

Or you can put the powder in the water, mix lightly with a fork until the product is wetted, then start mixing. Start at a lower speed with a beater on a hand mixer, then move to a higher speed for about 10 minutes.

This will create quite a thick gel, so if you want it to be thinner, feel free to reduce the ZEN to 2.5% or even 2%. It will be thinner if you mix it than if you let it sit for 8 hours.

You can add ZEN to any of the toners we've made in this series or on this blog by adding 3% at the end and letting it sit for 8 hours to hydrate. What the heck: I'll share a few of those recipes with you tomorrow before we take a look at how to add oils to ZEN to create a gelled serum and how to add surfactants to make a gelled 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
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)
Creating a facial toner (part three) - cosmeceuticals
Creating a facial toner (part four) - adding cosmeceuticals
Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20
Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN
Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20
Making a lavender & chamomile gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Making a chamomile & cucumber gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20