Friday, June 24, 2011
Banana fruit extract (INCI Musa sapientum (banana) fruit extract) comes in a powdered form that is water soluble, so we'll want to add it at up to 0.5% in the cool down phase of our product. (I like to dissolve my extract in a little warm water before adding it to most of my products!) I've seen the same write up at far too many different suppliers, so I think it's important to quote what they're saying.
"Banana fruit powder extract is rich in potassium and Vitamin A. In formulations it has proven to be great for dry skin, and contains no known substance to aggravate or irritate the skin. Some users have used banana fruit extract by itself as a rich, moisturizing facial mask. The recommended usage rate should not exceed 0.5% of the weight of the final product."
What does this mean? Potassium is found in our stratum corneum in our natural moisturizing factor and it has has been found to reduce irritation to our skin when studied in Dead Sea Salts, so it could help reduce irritation to our skin.
Vitamin A is an oil soluble molecule that can improve skin barrier function, increase cell proliferation, increase thickening of the skin, and increase collagen production. It can also help increase skin's water retention, and it may be effective in preventing, retarding, or restoring changes associated with the aging process. It is also effective in wound healing. It is the most abundant vitamin in our skin (in the form of ester retinyl palmitate), which is hydrolyzed to form Vitamin A, which is then oxidized to produce retinoic acid (the active form).
I'm not sure about the sentence about containing no known substance to aggravate or irritate the skin. This is a bizarre thing to say in a world in which people have reactions to water, and it seems like everyone has some kind of allergy, sensitivity, or aversion to one ingredient or another. We know that too much Vitamin A can irritate our skin, and there's no evidence that other ingredients in bananas won't aggravate skin. But let's not dwell on this aspect.
Bananas themselves contain inulin, a polysaccharide that can behave as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and surfactant. (It's also a source of fibre you can find in those powdered Crystal Light beverages I like so much!) I don't know if you'll find it in this extract, but you can find it in bananas!
I've been playing with banana extract in my toners and I think I like it. I've been adding it at 0.5% in the cool down phase (dissolved with a little warm water, then added, although you could just add it directly to a toner), and I think it's making the toner a little more moisturizing. I hate to be so non-specific about it, but I put so much stuff into my toners it's sometimes hard to figure out what is causing what sensation. (Which is why I say to start simple, then add things.) I should play with this in the future with just some aloe vera, hydrosols, witch hazel, and preservative to see how it feels. I don't have dry skin, but I want moisturizing in that product!
Join me tomorrow for more fun with fruit extracts!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Alpha hydroxy acids are found in three categories according to the number of hydroxy groups. AHAs like glycolic acid are monocarboxylic acids, AHAs like malic and tartaric acid are dicarboxylic acids, and AHAs like citric acid are tricarboxylic acids. All three groups will behave like AHAs - making skin seem smoother, reducing the look of fine lines, possibly making pores seem smaller - but the latter two groups tend to be quite harsh on our skin, leading to side effects like rashes or sensitivity.
How do we use it? As a pH adjuster and nothing else. The Cosmetics Ingredient Review has determined that malic acid is only safe as a pH adjuster, and that there is "insufficient data to support other uses", such as use as an AHA. It is considered "safe with qualifications", and as such, we shouldn't be using malic acid in our products as anything but a pH adjuster. (If you'd like to see the official reports, click here (PubMed) or click here (CosmeticsInfo.Org) for more information.)
Join me tomorrow for more fun with fruit extracts - banana!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
We can find three different versions of apple extract for our cosmetic formulating - the powder, the distillate, and the oil. I've found very little about the oil, so we'll concentrate on the powder and the distillate (hydrosol) for now, both of which are water soluble.
Apples and their peels contain a ton of polyphenols - quercetin, epicatechin, procyanidin, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid, gallic acid, malic acid, catechins - but it's hard to know what's in the extract without specific information from the manufacturers (click here for a great study).
Quercetin is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and (possible) anti-viral found in a number of different fruits and vegetables - apples, tea, onion, citrus, tomato, broccoli, cherry, raspberry, cranberry, sea buckthorn, gingko biloba, olive oil, St John's Wort, mango, and grapeseed oil.
Procyanidins are part of the proanthocyanidins group, and occur as esters of gallic acid in green and black tea, grapes, and apples. They are quite unstable, reacting chemically in acid or base solutions, reacting thermally, and oxidizing easily. They are considered to have anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-HIV properties, as well as anti-oxidizing through free radical scavenging.
Chlorogenic acid acts as a low level anti-viral and anti-fungal addition to our creations. It offers anti-bacterial properties, which is one of the reasons it is suggested for acne related products. It's a good anti-inflammatory. And, of course, it is a great anti-oxidant.
Catechins are a type of flavonoid, also called condensed tannins. They offer anti-oxidizing features - they have been shown to be more effective than BHT, which is incredibly effective - as well as anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
I've been using the apple fruit distillate from Lotioncrafters for a while now, and I love the smell of it! It's a steam distilled water that can be used at 5% to 100% in your products (it's preserved, so you can use it in a spritzer for a lovely apple-y fragrance). There are no claims for this specific product, other than the wonderful fragrance of apples. It has a pH of 5.0.
I think this would be a great addition to a facial product for someone with oily skin. Combine it with something like honeysuckle extract at 0.5% and rosemary extract or hydrosol and you've got yourself an anti-oily party going on! (I'll be writing up more recipe ideas for these extracts when I reach the end of the series in about a week! Look for more ideas then!) As with other powdered extracts, you'll want to use apple extract in the cool down phase at 0.5%. I'd suggest dissolving it in a little warm (45˚C to 50˚C) water before adding it to your product.
As a side note, there is a cosmeceutical on the market called PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, which is an anti-aging product derived from apples. "PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica is a liposomal active ingredient based on stem cells from the Uttwiler Spätlauber apple." To learn more, please click here or here. I understand you can buy it at LotionCrafter!
And finally, you can find out more information about the apple seed oil here (a short summary). Sounds interesting.
Join me tomorrow for an aside on malic acid before we take a look at banana extract!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
When you're using fruit extracts - and, indeed, most extracts - you'll be adding them to the cool down phase at around 0.5%. For something like a shampoo, lotion, or other thick product, I like to pour a little heated water at 45˚C to 50˚C (the temperature of our cool down phase) - not much, maybe 5 to 10 ml - into the powdered extract and mix until it dissolves. Then I add it to the product and mix well. If I'm adding it to something like a mister or toner - something that's pretty much all water - I don't bother dissolving it!
Here's a blast from the past (March 10, 2010) with a post on strawberries!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Decyl glucoside (click, and scroll down a bit) is a very mild non-ionic cleanser that works well as both a primary or secondary surfactant as it is a good foamer. It has an alkaline pH - 7 to 9.5 - so you'll have to bring your pH down with citric acid or another acidic ingredient to ensure it reaches the right pH for skin and hair. (Another data sheet states the pH is 11.5! EEK!) It is about 48% to 52% active ingredients in the surfactant, and the suggested use is 4% to 40%. This is a great ingredient for a conditioning shampoo or body wash as it improves the cationic conditioning in your products, as well as offer foam stabilization.
Click here for more information on how to adjust the pH in your products.
A few recipes with decyl glucoside...
Philosophy's Purity Made Simple Cleanser
Creating cleansing wipes
Phytokeratin is a proprietary blend of soy, corn, and wheat proteins designed to be the best of all worlds. It has elements with low molecular weight for penetrating skin and hair, and it offers substantivity and film forming through the higher molecular weight molecules. As with other proteins, it is water, glycerin, and alcohol soluble, so this is for products containing water - anhydrous products are right out! Include any proteins in your cool down phase at 1 to 5%. (Having said this, LabRat suggested putting in the heat and hold phase, so I'm going to suggest that as well.) Click on the link to learn more and see some sample recipes!
AquaEm is very much like Caprol Micro Express, and you can use it in the same way, as a solubilizer for oils into water soluble products.
please read this post - as it is really hard to preserve teas and infusions!
And Jackie asked about esters! If you click here and scroll down, you'll see all the posts on esters from this blog. Or you can click here to get to the start at the beginning of the series and click "newer post" to continue.
Join me tomorrow for more fun with why-did-I-buy-that ingredients!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
*Simpsons reference. Milhouse tells Bart that Alf is back "in Pog form", said Pogs purchased with money Milhouse made by selling Bart's soul to the Comic Book Guy. When I'm sick, I watch episode after episode of the Simpsons to make myself feel better. Warning: There will be quite a few Simpsons references in the coming days!
A bubble bath would be a fine thing with SCS-CAB blend because we'd normally use some kind of primary surfactant that likes to foam with cocamidopropyl betaine for thickening and increase mildness. (To see more about creating bubble baths, click here.)
MY USUAL BUBBLE BATH RECIPE
10% aloe vera
30% cocamidopropyl betaine
22% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
6% BSB (a surfactant blend)
0.5% to 1% preservative
2% fragrance oil
up to 2% Crothix (read notes below)
Colouring, if desired
If you're using SCS-CAB blend, you could substitute it for the C14-16 olefin sulfonate and cocamidopropyl betaine at 40%, and increase the water amount by 12% or increase the other surfactant amount by 12%. You could use 5% cocamide DEA instead of the BSB for foam boosting, or use 5% SCI to thicken the product and make it more opaque!
If you want to leave out the aloe vera, feel free to do so. I add it because it increases viscosity of the product, meaning I need to use less Crothix.
Mix your surfactants together until well blended, then add the water and blend well. Add the glycerin, preservative, fragrance oil, and colouring and blend well (but don't be overly zealous in your mixing, as we don't want to generate a ton of bubbles). Let it rest for a bit - say an hour or so - and check the viscosity. If you are happy with it, bottle and label it. If you aren't happy with it, then add 1% liquid Crothix and stir well. If you still aren't happy with it, add another 0.5% Crothix. You can go up to 2% Crothix, but ensure you stir very well in between additions.
foaming scrub with SCI? I've been using this a lot lately and really loving it! I'm substituting the SCS-CAB blend for the cocamide DEA and cocamidopropyl betaine, but you could substitute any surfactant blend with the the SCS-CAB and see how it works out!
POSSIBLY A FOAMING BATH BUTTER BUT DEFINITELY A REALLY NICE FOAMING, LATHERY SCRUB
HEATED SURFACTANT PHASE
21.9% SCS-CAB blend
8.7% polyglucose/lactylate blend
4.5% Cromollient SCE
HEATED OIL PHASE
2.5% glycol distearate
4.5% cetyl alcohol
8.7% soy bean oil
COOL DOWN PHASE
2.6% myristamine oxide
4.4% polyquat 7
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
1% fragrance oil
Weigh the heated surfactant phase into a heatproof container and put into the double boiler. Melt until it is kinda liquidy but mixes well. Also weigh the heated oil phase into a heatproof container and put into the double boiler. Melt until it is liquid.
Add the two phases together and mix well. You can add the myristamine oxide and polyquat 7 at any point, but wait until you reach 45˚C before adding the fragrance and preservative.
Mix this very well with a hand mixer - beaters, not whisks! - until it is fluffy. Add some exfoliants if you want. I added about 50% sugar and I really like it!
I call this a possibly foaming bath butter because I have no idea what that product feels like, but that's what it seems like to me. It's foamy and fluffy and feels very nice on my skin when I've used it in the shower. If you don't have the Cromollient SCE or myristamine oxide, don't worry - you can use some other water soluble esters, if you want, or increase your liquid surfactant amount.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I realize this last month or so has been really chaotic, but it's almost back to normal. If you, my wonderful readers, can indulge me for another week or so, I'll be back with new posts on "why did I buy that" ingredients, experiments from the workshop, duplications, and Iron Chemist challenges (and, I'm hoping, two new e-books!) Feel free to make suggestions for ingredients or posts - inspiration is always a good thing! And thank you for your continued support of this blog and of our youth programs!
Monday, June 13, 2011
SCS-CAB blend is a surfactant blend of sodium coco sulfate and cocamidopropyl betaine (about 34% to 37% surfactants). It has a pH of about 6.0 to 7.5 (great range for making products) and the suggested use is at about 10% to 40% in our shampoos, body washes, and other lathery products.
Sodium coco sulfate is related to the most hated of surfactants - sodium lauryl sulfate - with some differences. Whereas SLS is derived from lauryl alcohol (from coconuts), SCS is derived from coconuts (hence the "coco" part of the name), but contains a number of different fatty alcohols in the mix, like lauryl, cetyl, and stearyl alcohols.
Because of these extra fatty alcohols and because of the increased molecular weight, SCS is more hydrophobic and less water soluble than SLS, so it feels more moisturizing and conditioning on our skin (the way SCI feels). It's a great foamer in hard water and boosts the foam of other surfactants. It's easy to thicken with salt and things like Crothix.
SCS has a Green Star Rating of 58 (rounded from 57.7%), which is a measure of renewable resource content in an ingredient.
When we find SCS in the flake or noodle format (I have the noodle format), it is considered a good thickener and pearlizer for our products. The pH ranges between 9.5 to 12.0, so make sure you test the pH if you're using this as a substitute for SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate), which has a pH that ranges from 4.5 to 6.5 or so.
I've seen SCS used as a substitute for the SLSa and SCI in shampoo bars. If you're planning to do this - and I do plan to do it in the near future just out of curiosity - test the pH when you're still in the melty gloppy stage of the product. If you need to increase or decrease the pH of the product, please consult this post for more information.
The SCS in this product is found in liquid form (because it's in a liquid medium - water) and is combined with cocamidopropyl betaine. When SCS is combined with cocamidopropyl betaine, our products should have increased clarity, mildness, and foam volume, as well as some thickening.
So what should we expect out of this surfactant blend? We should expect a really great foamer that will also boost the foam of other surfactants, increased mildness, some possible thickening of the product, and a mild detergent. If you're using this blend, you will not need to worry about the pH level as it ranges between 6.0 and 7.5, which is where we want it to be.
Where can you use this surfactant blend? Wherever you want! It would work in any body washes, shampoos, bubble baths, and other surfactanty products you like! I think it would be especially nice combined with SCI to create a very conditioning and moisturizing body wash, or combined with something like polyglucoside/lactylate blend to create a really really moisturizing product (probably too moisturizing in a facial cleanser or shampoo for us oily girls!)
Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with SCS-CAB blend!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
What really strikes me about this program is how the people boast with pride that they have enough body wash or deodorant to last forty years! Every bath and body product has a shelf life determined by the life of the oils or butters (generally no more than 2 years for butters, about a year for oils), surfactants (2 years), and preservatives (again, about 2 years). I know you can open a body wash and enjoy its fruity scent five years later, but there are things in there that won't be working so well, like the preservatives. Once you've opened it, you've broken that seal and you could be asking for a world of ick! So please, make sure you're checking the best before labels on your products instead of hoarding them for the time when the zombies rule the earth and we have to hide in our basement bunkers hoping we won't get bitten! (And really, are you that worried about having moisturized skin when your brains might be the main course at an all you can eat undead buffet?*)
For more information on shelf life of our products, may I suggest these posts?
Determining the shelf life of your product
Shelf lives of our products (part 1)
Shelf lives of our products (part 2)
How do anti-oxidants affect the shelf lives of our products?
Or any of the emollient posts, which should have the shelf life of each oil and butter in each individual post.
*Can you tell what nightmares I had last night?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Update: Since people seem to hate this, I've turned it off! Thanks for your suggestions!
Ferulic acid is purported to be good for helping age spots, reducing wind and sun damage, moisturizing our skin, and behaving as an anti-oxidant. So it's a natural ingredient in toners or moisturizers, or even hand and body lotions. We use it at 0.5% to 1% in the heated water phase of our products, and it works synergistically with other anti-oxidants to offer more anti-oxidizing power from both.
click here) and ferulic acid would be a great inclusion in a product of this nature. Since I don't use moisturizers - my skin is far too oily - I load my toner up with moisturizers, humectants, and other cosmeceuticals to make my skin feel awesome all day long! I'm going to modify my min-maxed toner to include some ferulic acid, but you could take any toner recipe you like, add 0.5% to 1% in the heated water phase, and have yourself an anti-oxidizing, moisturizing toner! (Click here for a min-maxed toner with cosmeceuticals!)
Click here for some information on modifying a toner for your skin type and the basics of making a toner.
MIN-MAXED TONER WITH FERULIC ACID
30% witch hazel
25% lavender hydrosol
10% aloe vera liquid
5% liquid green tea extract
2% sodium lactate
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% salicylic acid
1% ferulic acid
COOL DOWN PHASE
3% Caprol Micro Express or another water soluble ester
5% Mutifruit BSC
0.5% chamomile extract
0.5% preservative (I use Germall Plus)
Weigh the heated ingredients into a Pyrex jug and put into the double boiler. Let heat until it reaches 70˚C. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down to 45˚C to 50˚C, then add the cool down phase. Allow to cool down completely, then bottle.
You can put the powdered extracts into a little container, then add a little of the heated phase (when it reaches 45˚ to 50˚C) to it and mix well. Add to the cool down phase with the other ingredients.
Salicylic acid doesn't dissolve well in cold water, but does all right in heated water. If you have sensitive skin, consider removing this ingredient or the Multifruit BSC as the two ingredients together can be quite powerful. Try 1% Multifruit and 0.5% salicylic acid if you want to use the two together.
You don't have to make a complicated toner to make a nice toner. If you want to use something like witch hazel, aloe vera, water, and ferulic acid at 1%, go for it! I use all these ingredients because I don't use moisturizer on my very oily, rosacea prone skin and I'm trying to get all the goodness I'd get in a moisturizer in this product! If you plan to use a moisturizer after washing, then make a really basic toner (if you want one at all) and save the fancy ingredients for your moisturizer!
Here's a list of all the moisturizers you will find on the blog (and click "newer post" at the bottom of the page to see a few more!) Choose one and add your ferulic acid to one of them.
Remember, when we add any ingredient to our recipe, we generally take the percentage out of the water phase. In this case, when we add 1% ferulic acid to the recipe, we remove 1% water from the recipe to keep the final percentage at 100%.
Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with new ingredients!
Friday, June 10, 2011
I love my shampoo bar for oily hair, and I love the conditioner bar, but this time of year I find a need a little more conditioning in the form of my intense liquid conditioner with all the swimming, sun exposure, and running around I'm doing. But when I add more conditioner to my hair, it gets greasier quicker. (Click here for more information on how much conditioner to use and how long to leave it in!) So I thought I'd try a little experiment to see how much conditioner my hair really needs!
INTENSE CONDITIONER WITH A TON OF CATIONIC INGREDIENTS FOR REALLY DAMAGED HAIR
HEATED WATER PHASE
2% hydrolyzed protein
2% cetrimonium chloride
HEATED OIL PHASE
7% Incroquat BTMS
3% Incroquat CR
4% cetrimonium bromide
4% ethylhexyl palmitate
COOL DOWN PHASE
2% cationic polymer
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% to 1% preservative
I'm diluting my conditioner and making notes of how my hair feels!
Experiment one: I added 50 grams of distilled water with 0.25 grams of liquid Germall Plus to 100 grams of product (distilled water!!!) and I've used that for three washings so far with about 3 washings left. Which means I'm using about 25 grams of conditioner per wash. I'm happy with this so far. My hair is soft, shiny, defrizzed, and detangled. It's very watery, so I've taken to just squishing the bottle over my head and running it through my hair with my fingers, with an extra amount on the ends. I've managed to get three days between washings, so that's a fine thing indeed!
If I wanted to keep this version the way it is and wanted to figure out the percentages, I would divide every ingredient by 150 and get the percentage that way. So this version has 4.67% BTMS, 2% Incroquat CR, and 2.67% cetrimonium bromide and ethylhexyl palmitate respectively.
Next experiment, adding 75 grams of distilled water and 0.37 grams of preservative to the product and seeing how that works!
As an aside, I do think some of the comments below the story are sad and alarming. Like this one, "I'd call them ivory-tower-elitism to reflect that ordinary, hockey-watching, Tim Hortons Canadians don't really care." You're wrong! We do care! Idiot...
If you get a chance, I really encourage you to download the podcast for The Infinite Monkey Cage (Stephen Fry is on this week!!!). The fact that this radio show appears on a Monday afternoon in the UK shows me that people are interested in science!
If you had all the power, what would you call the new elements?
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Original post found here)
Let's re-formulate our body butter to make a very moisturizing, less occlusive, more soothing moisturizer suitable for making our sun parched skin happy during the summer months! We're not changing the purpose of the body butter - to moisturize our skin and make it feel good - but we will switch out a few ingredients to maximize its benefits for this time of year.
So what am I changing?
55% aloe vera and/or hydrosols
10% oils (3% olive oil, 7% fractionated coconut oil)
15% butter of choice
6% BTMS, Polawax OR Emulsifying wax NF
3% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.5 to 1% preservative
1% fragrance or essential oil blend
1. Weigh out your water phase in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler.
2. Weigh out your oil phase in a heat proof container and put into your double boiler.
3. When both containers have reached 70C, weigh out your water again (and add more hot water to compensate for any evaporation), then add it to your oil container.
4. Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender for at least 3 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you would like until the temperature reaches 45C.
5. Let cool to 45C, then add your cool down phase ingredients. Mix well with your hand mixer or stick blender, then let cool.
6. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature (a few hours), spoon into a jar and let set before using.
TWEAKING LOTIONS FOR THE SUMMER (Original found here)
yep, I have!) but it bears repeating - you can use any oil and butter combination you want in a lotion as long as you check your emulsifier amount (or re-calculate the HLB value).
TWEAKING LOTIONS FOR THE SUMMER CONTINUED (Original can be found here)
Join me tomorrow for fun more fun from the past!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
WHAT DO WE NEED IN A LOTION? (Original post can be found here!)
For a lotion, you must have an emulsifier and it should be done at the proper ratio. If you see a recipe that contains less than 25% of the oil phase in emulsifier, it may not work. So if you have 20% oils and you have less than 5% emulsifiers, it may not work. Similarly, if you see a recipe that has 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup emulsifier, you know there's way too much emulsifier and will feel pretty waxy.
Acceptable emulsifiers are emulsifying wax, Polawax, BTMS, and things like Natramulse, Sugarmulse, and combinations like glycol distearate and ceteareth-20 (check out the HLB system information for more). Unacceptable emulsifiers are beeswax (without borax), paraffin wax, or no emulsifiers at all. Beeswax with borax can act as a water in oil emulsifier; beeswax on its own will not act as an emulsifier.
If you have no emulsifier a lotion will emulsify for a short period of time thanks to the concepts of heat and mechanical emulsification. Heat something up or mix something well enough and you'll see some emulsification. This will separate in a short period of time, leaving with you with a mess of honey and water and oil and other lovely things you've wasted on a poorly designed lotion recipe.
If you see a lip balm recipe with anything water soluble - glycerin, honey, water soluble oils, stevia in glycerin - this will separate out eventually. I know it's a lovely idea to sweeten our lip balms with honey, but they simply won't stay together and the water soluble stuff will bubble up and taste really awful. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...
A good recipe will be done in weight measurements, not volume. (See this post for reasons why.) A quick summary: Weight measurements are more accurate. It's hard to figure out 1 tablespoon of a pastille type ingredient like BTMS or emulsifying wax. You will see mineral make-up recipes in volume measurements - that's understandable due to small amounts, and you can convert the recipe on your own - but all other recipes should be done in weighted measurements. And preferably in grams.
If you want to convert a recipe in percentages to weight, just convert the percentages to grams. So if you have 10% sweet almond oil, just call that 10 grams. This will give you a 100 gram batch. Then you can multiply by any number to get a larger batch. If you want to make a ton of conditioner, multiply each ingredient by 10 so you can make 1000 grams or 1 kilogram of conditioner. (So 7% BTMS becomes 70 grams of BTMS. And 2% hydrolyzed protein becomes 20 grams and so on.) Most scales have a gram setting on them and it's a lot easier to work with grams than ounces! The metric system rules!
Anything with water must contain a preservative. GSE is not a preservative (click the link for more information). If you're making the product for yourself as a tester, use a preservative. What if you love it? What if you make a large batch and want to keep it? Don't you deserve a well preserved product? Preservatives aren't that expensive and are well worth the cost! If a recipe you think you'll love doesn't contain a preservative, add your own at the rate you know will work!
I don't get this logic - I'm only making it for myself, so I don't need a preservative. So you don't deserve a product free of bacterial, fungal, and yeast contamination? Is your skin or hair less worthy of protection? Please always use a preservative.
Follow good manufacturing procedures for lotion recipes. There are reasons we do these things, and to not do them is to invite contamination and epic lotion fail.
If you find a tutorial that violates these rules, ignore it. You will find another lotion recipe somewhere on the 'net that fulfills your needs.
If you really want to try it because it has some lovely ingredient in it - say, sweet almond oil - remember that you can take a recipe you know and love (or one you know that works) and substitute sweet almond oil for any oil in the recipe. You've learned enough about modifying recipes to know that you can easily substitute one ingredient for a similar ingredient, right?
Remember what I was saying about names of products? Sure the Aloe & Oat Hydrating Conditioner sounds lovely but it can easily be altered to be a Lavender & Silk Hydrating Conditioner or a Rosemary & Wheat Hydrating Conditioner or even a Chamomile & Green Tea Moisturizing Conditioner when you know your ingredients.
If you still want to try that recipe you've found but have doubts about, then you can modify it! Figure out the heated water, heated oil, and cool down phases. Adjust the emulsifier. Add some preservative. Follow good manufacturing processes. But honestly, if you can do this, you should be formulating your own recipes!
There are some recipes out there that can't be saved, and there are so many great ones out there. If you find one that doesn't work, figure out what appealed to you and find a recipe that you know will work!
If you want to know more about formulating lotions, please check out these posts from the learning to formulate series - post 1 (summary) and post 2 (more stuff). And check out those in between as well!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I'm a foodie, and I generally use things like Cream Cheese Frosting and Oatmeal, Milk & Honey (reminds me of marzipan), but in the summer months I switch to more fruity fragrances like Hello Sweet Thang, Lemon Curd, and Jewelled Citrus. But lately, I've been enjoying Yuzu, Wasabi, and White Tea & Ginger as they're fruity with real high notes. I'm also finding the Clementine Cupcake is a good, year 'round fragrance that always reminds me of cupcakes!
Do you switch your fragrances with the seasons? Which ones just scream "It's summer!" to you?
A FEW THOUGHTS ON SUMMER MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS! (Originally from this post!)
If you're travelling, you'll want to make a few bars for easier packing! I never leave the house without a shampoo, conditioner, body scrub, or foot scrub bar. I don't have to shave my legs (I know, envy me) but I like to bring along a shaving bar if I'm doing a lot of swimming! (If the idea of a shaving bar is weird to you, then try a shaving lotion!)
There are many ways you can adapt your products for summer fun. You can add more aloe for apres sun soothing, you can increase the humectants to draw more moisture to your skin, and you can change your oils to increase the linoleic acid oils to help with any barrier damage you might incur! I know I always need products for my feet - a foot lotion, a more intense foot cream, and modified body butter that becomes a foot cream - thanks to my habit of never wearing socks in the summer! And I know I need some serious exfoliation this time of year, and nothing works better for me than an emulsified sugar scrub in a zingy summer scent (Jewelled Citrus and Hello Sweet Thang are always favourites, although I'm really enjoying Melissa's Froot Loops blend - 1 part lemon curd, 1 part cream cheese frosting!)
I love my summer lotions to be light, although sometimes I need something a little more intense, like a body butter, for after swimming and camping fun!
- Adapting a lotion for summer - including more hydrosols and lighter oils.
- Adapting a body butter for the summer.
- My summer time camping fun lotion!
- And another light lotion idea.
cool ties, a sunglass or dual layer sunglass case, and a headband to keep your hair out of your eyes! And if you like food and eating it outside with friends, try making a shrimp boil! These are a summer staple around our house once corn season starts!
IDEAS FOR HOW TO ADAPT YOUR CURRENT PRODUCTS FOR THE SUMMER! (Original post found here.)
You probably change your fragrances for the summer months, so why not tweak your ingredients to suit the climate? (In fact, you probably already do this in adding humectants and the like, so think of it as a possible selling feature if you're in business!) I'm not a fan of hot weather, humid or not, so I like to re-formulate my products to maximize my cooling and moisturizing.
Join me tomorrow for another blast from the past!
Monday, June 6, 2011
How do we define aging skin? It is skin that has...
- dermal and epidermal atrophy (sagging, wrinkling, coarseness)
- reduction in amount of collagen
- hyperkeratosis (thickening of the stratum corneum)
- reduced number of melanocytes, Langerhans cells, and fibroblasts
- shortening of the telomeres on our chromosomes
- reduction in sebum production
- actinic keratosis - thick or scaly patches on your skin
- solar elastosis - vertical creases, deep wrinkles, or loose and sagging skin (thanks to the breakdown of collagen and elastin)
- yellowing of your skin
- senile purpura (age spots)
- solar comedones - small cysts on our skin (treat with acne related products)
- broken blood vessels - like those found in rosacea type skin
- extreme dryness, roughness, or laxity of the skin
- fine or coarse wrinkles (not really all that helpful 'cause we all get these!)
Want to know more about the chemistry of our skin and the various skin types, then click here! This is a permanent link at the right hand side of the page under "links to lists".
Sunday, June 5, 2011
WHAT DOES SPF MEAN? (Originally found here...)
What is sun protection factor or SPF? How is it defined? SPF is defined as...
the dose of UV radiation required to produce 1 minimal erythema dose (MED) on protected skin after the application of 2 mg/cm2 of produce divided by the UV radiation to produce 1 MED on unprotected skin.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SUNSCREEN? (Original found here)
There are two types of sunscreen ingredients - physical blockers and chemical blockers. The physical blockers are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, both of which work by preventing the sun's rays from reaching our skin by reflecting and dispersing them. The chemical sunscreens work by absorbing ultra-violet rays and keep them from penetrating the skin. They are great at blocking about 95% of the UVB rays, but very little UVA. The degree of absorption depends on the type and concentration of chemical sunscreen. Ideally, you'd have a combination of the two in your sunscreen.
To get maximum sunscreen-age, apply it about 15 to 30 minutes before going into the sun so it can penetrate the keratinous layer of your skin. Re-apply it regularly every 2 to 4 hours, and especially if you've been swimming or sweating a lot.
The physical sunscreens are unlikely to cause a reaction on our skin - any reaction you might have is thanks to the other ingredients in the sunscreen - so if you have sensitive skin, stick with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and be okay with looking a little ghostly (I like this on my face, not so much on my legs!) These sunscreens might feel a little draggy, but it's a small price to pay to avoid sunburns!
If you're out in the sun - meaning, if you ever go outside - don't forget to protect your nose and lips. Your nose gets the most sun exposure, so sunscreen it well. And our lips can be protected with as little as your lipstick on a cloudy day, or with a water resistant sunscreen or lip balm during a sunny day.
Don't forget to get a good pair of UV blocking sunglasses. They'll protect your retinas and they'll make you squint less - and less squinting means fewer wrinkles, so you're looking good as well as feeling good!
How does SPF work? It's all about you! Let's say you burn after 10 minutes in the sun. SPF 15 will get you 150 minutes in the sun. SPF 30 will get you 300 minutes in the sun. But you have to re-apply after about 2 hours with a non-water resistant sunscreen anyway, so what's the point if you take 20 minutes to burn and you have to re-apply it after about 120 minutes? Because SPF 15 will block out about 93% of the UV rays, and SPF 30 will block out about 97%. For very fair skinned people, going from SPF 30 to 50 might get them another 1% coverage. Might not be a big deal for someone who has dark skin, but if you're like my husband (more below), that 1% could mean the difference between a slight reddening of his skin and a burn.
So how do we make our own? We don't.
As you may or may not know, my husband has vitiligo, a condition that leaves him without melanin in big patches in his skin and hair. (This is what they say Michael Jackson had, the condition that was making him white. As Raymond is already quite fair skinned, you don't notice it much.) So we buy sunscreen by the bucketload in the summer to ensure he isn't at risk for burning, which can happen in a few minutes for him. If I could make sunscreen that I could guarantee would work for him, I'd make it. But there are so many factors that go into ensuring a sunscreen works, I don't feel confident that it will prevent him from agonizing pain.
If you're considering making your own sunscreen, there is a lot of chemistry to know. You have to worry not only about the pH of a sunscreen but the emulsification of our lotion when making a sunscreen. As well, how do you know how effective your chosen sunscreen might be? Only by going into the sun and seeing if it works, and anecdotal evidence is not data - it might have been a cloudier than normal day, you might have been under a tree, you might have really sun resistant skin that doesn't burn for 30 minutes or more! If you have a fair skinned friend, she might burn in 10 minutes, and the product that works well for you might mean sunburn for her!
There are so many scary things out there on the 'net about sunscreen, and I won't give them any validity by putting them into this post. The way I see it? Sunscreens block out the sun's rays. Sun makes me burn. Anything that prevents unnecessary pain today and wrinkling tomorrow works for me. (Click here for a post on pigmented skin through sun exposure and here for a post on photo-aging.)
Yes, I know anecdotes aren't data and this last paragraph is my opinion, but I really haven't found any valid studies showing that sunscreen causes more harm than good.
If you're worried about sunscreens, then don't use them. Or choose sunscreens containing only certain ingredients, but not others. I hope I've shown you why we shouldn't make our own...