Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's too hot to craft: Summery floral gel

I've never really thought of myself as a floral kind of person, but it turns out I really love rose, rose geranium, and gardenias far more than I thought. This is what inspired this "It's too hot to craft" summery floral gel using lovely hydrosols and waters gelled with Sepimax ZEN. I've been using this on my skin to offer a lovely fragrance and a bit of cooling in the hot summer months.

81.5% rose water (Voyageur Soap & Candle) or rose geranium hydrosol (Windy Point)
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% calendula extract (liquid)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

3% Sepimax ZEN

Into a container, weigh the rose hydrosol, chamomile hydrosol, calendula extract, and liquid Germall Plus. Mix together, then sprinkle the Sepimax ZEN over top and let sit for eight hours. Mix well with a fork, then put into a lovely jar or tube and enjoy! Or you could sprinkle the Sepimax ZEN over the liquid, then start mixing it with the beater of a hand mixer for about ten minutes to thicken. It will be slightly thinner this way, but still a lovely gel.

Why use rose water? Because it smells pretty, and it might help soothe skin. (I'm afraid I can't find much about this in any of my textbooks or other science-y places, other than it smells nice.)

Chamomile extract or hydrosol contains all kinds of lovely things to reduce inflammation and transepidermal water loss. Calendula extract also offers anti-inflammatory properties and soothes inflamed and chapped skin, which are awesome any time of year.

Feel free to substitute extracts or powders you like in this gel. I like powdered chamomile extract, which you could use at 0.5% by dissolving into the liquids before adding the gel. Powdered green tea extract would be nice at 0.5%, too. Just make sure you like the colour of these extracts before adding as they will alter the colour from this slightly beige colour to a deeper brown or green.

Cucumber extract might be quite nice as it will offer some soothing and hydrating. Try 0.5% powdered extract or up to 10% liquid extract.

Remember, when you add something to a product, you have to remove something to make sure it totals 100%. So if you add 10% liquid cucumber extract, you have to remove 10% of something else, usually the thing in there the most, like the rose hydrosol or distilled water. In this case, you'd have 71.5% rose hydrosol and 10% liquid cucumber extract. 

You could use another gelling agent instead of Sepimax ZEN here as we don't have a ton of electrolytes that might mess up the viscosity. Sepinov EMT 10 would be lovely and offer a more creamy looking gel, and Ultrez 20 would offer just about the same thing as ZEN without the waiting.

Follow the instructions on this post on making an oil free hydro-gel with Sepinov EMT 10 to modify this floral gel.

Follow the instructions in this post on making toners with Ultrez 20 to modify the floral gel.

I know you're going to ask, so I found the lip balm tubes for this gel at Windy Point Soap in Calgary, Alberta. I only bought six of them, but I've used them all for gels and targeted treatments you'll see over the next few weeks. They are just as awesome as you think they look!

Please note, I offer the information on where to get supplies or packaging to be helpful to you, my lovely readers. These are not sponsored posts or affiliate links. I get nothing from no one if you click through and buy something from them. Having said that, I absolutely adore Tammy, Michele, and Jen of Voyageur, Windy Point, and Lotioncrafter respectively as people, and I love these companies. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Using 100x or 200x aloe vera powder in our products

In yesterday's post on cooling sprays, I used aloe vera 200x powder, which is a concentrated powdered extract that we can dissolve into water to make aloe vera.

The easiest way to do it is this: Into a container, measure out 1 gram aloe vera 200x extract, add 198 grams of distilled water, and 1 gram of liquid Germall Plus. This will give you 200 grams of reconstituted aloe vera, which you should store in a bottle for future use.

If you want to use another preservative, please make sure it can be used in an all water product and it can handle high levels of electrolytes. (Check out the preservatives section for more information.)

I can do it straight into the bottle as I have this awesome little MicroMini™ Mixer from Lotioncrafter* Seriously, I love this thing! I've been playing with all kinds of tiny mixers lately, and I'll share that all in a post shortly! 

I've read a few recipes lately in which people are using 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder directly into a product, which isn't a good idea. Why? Because doing this means you don't have water in this product any more - you have aloe vera.

Think of it this way: If you measure out 2 litres (2 quarts) of water and add a package of Kool-Aid into it, you don't have 2 litres of water, you have 2 litres of Kool-Aid. You wouldn't think of using that water to make soup, wash your face, or clean your countertops because it's not water any more, it's (brightly coloured) Kool-Aid. This is what we're doing if we add 0.5% 200x or 1% 100x aloe vera powder directly into a product: We're adding aloe vera, not plain water.

I recognize that Kool-Aid still contains water, but it's not pure water. It's water with colours and salts and sugar and other things, which is the point of that paragraph.

What's wrong with loads and loads of aloe vera? Isn't it great for our skin? It's a lovely ingredient, but using this much is definitely messing with the viscosity of the product. For products made with surfactants, you're pretty much guaranteeing they won't thicken well, even with all the liquid Crothix in the world. When you go past a certain level of electrolytes, they get into the "forget it, I'm never thickening zone" of the salt curve, and nothing will make that watery thin mess back into a just-right gooey loveliness. You can see on the picture to your left that between 3 and 3.5% is the danger zone, and adding 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder to your amazing facial cleanser, body wash, or shampoo probably that point, depending on the surfactants you've chosen.

If you want to see this in action, try this for yourself! Into a container weigh 30% C14-16 olefin sulfonate (Bioterge AS-40) or 30% sodium laureth sulfate (SLeS), 10% cocamidopropyl betaine, 0.5% liquid Germall Plus, and 59.5% distilled water.  Mix well, then add 2% liquid Crothix. Then try a version with 10% aloe vera liquid (meaning you have 49.5% distilled water) and another version with 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder. Can you see the difference in viscosity?

Almost every one of our emulsifiers from Polawax to Incroquat BTMS-50 to Simulgreen 18-2 has a limit on electrolytes, and every one of our gelling agents like Sepimax ZEN, Sepinov EMT 10, and Ultrez 20 has a definite limit on them, so using 0.5% or 1% powder straight into those products will end up in separation and a serious loss of viscosity.

If you have 200x powder and want to add it directly into a product, adding 0.05% would equal 10% aloe vera and 0.10% would equal 20% aloe vera.

If you have 100x powder, you'd use 0.1% to get 10% aloe vera or 0.2% to get 20% aloe vera.

I generally use no more than 10% aloe vera liquid in my products, although I will go as high as 20% or 30% aloe vera for toners or sprays as I don't have to worry about separation or loss of viscosity.

*Please note, I do have a relationship with Lotioncrafter in that I think Jen is awesome and I consider her a good friend, but this is not a sponsored post or affiliate link. I get nothing if you click through, and I'm sharing it because I am having a serious love affair with this tiny mixer! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's too hot to craft: Peppermint & chamomile cooling spray

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you probably already know how much I hate the heat and how much I love cooling sprays. I love to create these combinations of humectants and film formers and things that make my skin less angry with the world during the summer. So let's take a look at the one I made recently for my trip to Las Vegas for the 2017 HSCG Conference in Las Vegas.

My cooling sprays always start with a bit of peppermint essential oil in them as it contains awesome ingredients like 1,8 cineole and menthol that trick our skin into thinking it's cooler than it is, which is always a bonus no matter what the weather.

If I'm adding this at 2%, I have to add some kind of solubilizer to include it in a watery base as oil and water don't mix.

I could use something like polysorbate 20 or caprypyl/capryl glucosidebut these are sticky things, and given I'm already grumpty and annoyed by the heat, this probably isn't the skin feel I'm seeking. In this version, I chose to use PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil at 2% with 2% peppermint essential oil.

I could have used Cromollient SCE at 2% (or slightly higher) as it has a lightly oily feeling, but I didn't have any at the time. That would have been quite nice! 

I want quite a few humectants - ingredients that draw water from the atmosphere to our skin - as this will make my skin feel cooler and hydrated. I could use glycerin, but then we encounter the whole grumpy-Swift-is-also-sticky thing, so let's see if we can't find another choice here.

Sodium lactate is one of my go-to humectants. It's inexpensive, effective, and non-sticky. As I will probably be exposed to the sun and as it can make one sun sensitive, I have to keep it below 3% active ingredient. This means no more than 3% powder or 5% liquid (at 60% active, this means that 5% x 0.60 = 3%). It's far too easy to add a titch more when we're measuring, so I'll use this at 2% liquid or 3% powder to ensure I'm not close to that danger zone. ("Danger Zone!" for all you Archer fans out there!)

I'm also adding 3% propanediol 1,3, my new favourite humectant. It's a naturally derived substitute for propylene glycol that can be used at up to 20% in your water phase. It's a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to your skin to offer hydration. It has a 9 to 12 month shelf life once opened. But I find it's a little lighter and drier feeling than propylene glycol. If you don't have this, use 3% propylene glycol instead.

I like to have some film formers in my products, so I'm adding 2% hydrolyzed quinoa protein as I like the way it works in a cooling spray because it's not sticky and doesn't have a strong odour. If you don't have this, use any other protein you have at home.

I love to include aloe vera extract as an anti-irritant and film forming ingredient, but I don't want too much as it can feel a bit sticky, too. I'm using 5% aloe vera 200x (reconstituted into a liquid) in this product. And I'm adding chamomile hydrosol because it'll offer soothing and anti-reddening properties as well as a reduction in transepidermal water loss. Feel free to leave these out or choose another hydrosol. I know rose water is very popular right now, so that's a nice option.

If you aren't sure how to use 100x or 200x aloe vera powder, join me tomorrow - August 22nd - in this post for more information

I'll two of my usual favourites - panthenol at 2% as it's a humectant, film former, and wound healer, and allantoin at 0.5% as my occlusive - as well as witch hazel, which has some natural alcohol in it that will offer a cooling sensation.

Finally, I'm adding 0.5% liquid Germall Plus to the mix. I know we've been told not to use this in aerosols, and you should never just take my word for it, but it's safe to use in this product. It has to do with how much of something is in here and it's well below allowable levels. (I can't find the link right now, but I'm searching for it!)

There are loads of other things you could include in this formula, such as liquid cucumber extract at 5% as in this formula, alcohol at up to 10% for a cooling sensation, or another hydrosol, like rose or peppermint. It's up to you to modify this as you wish. Remember, when we add something to the formula, we must remove something else to make it total 100%. So if you add 10% rose water, remove 10% from the distilled water amount, meaning you have 51% distilled water now.

Related post: Adding and removing from the water amount

Or you could just make this with 2% peppermint essential oil, 2% solubilizer, preservative, and distilled water, if you want.

Please remember that when we are making things cold, we have to take a few precautions, like using distilled or reverse osmosis water, including the proper amount of a broad spectrum preservative, not re-using bottles or jars, and sanitizing our surfaces.

61% distilled water
10% witch hazel
10% chamomile hydrosol
5% aloe vera extract (liquid, not gel)
3% propanediol 1,3
2% hydrolyzed quinoa protein
2% panthenol
2% sodium lactate (liquid)
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

2% PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil
2% peppermint essential oil

Into a container, weigh the water phase and mix. You can heat this slightly to around 40˚C to make the allantoin dissolve better. If you do that, don't put the liquid Germall Pus in until you've finished heating it and have measured the temperature is below 45˚C.

Into a small container, like a shot glass, measure the PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil and peppermint essential oil and mix well. Add to the water phase, mix well, then put into cute spray bottles. Enjoy!

What did I think of this? To be honest, nothing was going to save me from the heat of Las Vegas in May, but it did make me feel a bit better and definitely made me smell better!

I really like this version of the cooling spray. It's so much less sticky than my previous ones, and I like the dry, almost silica like feel of the propanediol. This one is definitely a keeper!

This makes a lovely toner, but make sure you remove the peppermint as it's a bit too much near the eyes at 2%.

Related posts: I have so many different formulas for cooling sprays and hydrating toners, so I'll refer you to a search as there's just too much to read! Here are a few samples...
Cucumber extract in an apres shaving spray
Making a cooling spray (part three - links to the other parts are in this one)
Aloe vera apres sun spray 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Weekend Wonderings: What's making my lotion sticky? (part two)

Yesterday, we took a look at a formula submitted by BrNy to see what could be making her lotion sticky. Today, we'll see what we can do to reduce that skin feel.

Here's the ingredient list again: Glycerin, resveratrol, n-acetyl glucosamine, water, sea kelp bioferment, niacinamide, dl-panthenol, allantoin, liquid Germall Plus, fractionated coconut oil, and Aristoflex AVC.

What can make your skin feel sticky? Glycerin, sea kelp bioferment, and Aristoflex AVC.

What can we do about them? Loads of things!

Glycerin is the big culprit here, but we need it to dissolve the resveratrol in something like alcohol, glycerin, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, or propanediol 1,3, to name a few solvents. Aristoflex AVC can handle alcohol - up to 50%, but I haven't tested it that high - so we know alcohol is an option. 2% alcohol to 0.5% resveratrol would work. You could do the same for any of the solvents.

I admit it - I'm having a torrid love affair with propanediol 1,3 as a humectant and solvent these days. It has a dry, almost powdery skin feel with no stickiness. I've been dissolving everything in it lately, from salicylic acid to resveratrol, and it works so well in that capacity. I've also been using it as a humectant in my cooling sprays, toners, and other places I really don't want a sticky after feel. It's awesome!

You can see it in action in this Gigawhite & Vitamin C moisturizer with Aristoflex as I dissolve 0.5% resveratrol in 3% propanediol, and it feels just lovely!

I'll be writing more about this later this week as I've just realized I don't have a post on this ingredient. What the heck???

When it comes to sea kelp bioferment, we don't have a load of options because we can't include hydrolyzed proteins in Aristoflex as it messes with the viscosity too much. You could leave it out entirely, or you could see how you like it with just the glycerin removed. I would reduce it down to 2% as that'll be enough for the film forming properties we want. 

With this little tweak, your formula would look like this...

2.0% propanediol 1,3, propylene glycol, or denatured alcohol
0.5% Resveratrol

81.5% Distilled water 
2.0% Sea Kelp Bioferment
4.0% n-acetyl glucosamine
3.0% Niacinamide
2.0% dl-Panthenol
0.5% Allantoin

3.0% Lotioncrafter FCO

1.0% Aristoflex AVC

 0.5% liquid Germall Plus

1.  Mix the propanediol 1,3, propylene glycol, or denatured alcohol with the resveratrol into a small container, like a shot glass. Set aside for a moment. 
2. Measure distilled or de-ionized water into a container. You can heat it slightly - no more than 40˚C - to ensure the allantoin, niacinamide, and panthenol dissolve. 
3. Add your water soluble ingredients to the container, then add the resveratrol to the container. Mix with a stick blender for a few seconds. 
4. Add the oil soluble ingredients. 
5. Add the Aristoflex AVC. 
6. Add the preservative. 
7. Mix well. Bottle, and rejoice! 

So what did BrNy think? The batch I made turned a brownish color so i chucked it (could the resveratrol have caused the discoloration ?) and made a new batch sans glycerin or resveratrol and tweaked a bit. To that old recipe I added NAG at 4%, niacinamide at 2% and honeyquat at 3%. I love this new version of the lotion, it's NOT sticky at all and my skin saw good improvement in tone and texture since i started using it. In my experience making facial lotions, glycerin usually makes my pores look enlarged and it breaks me out so I'm leaving that out from now on. 

So it's a success with less stickiness by just switching out the glycerin. Yay! This is a great example how a small change can have a big impact on the skin feel of your product. 

Yes, the resveratrol could alter the colour of your product slightly. I've had this happen, too. 

Be careful when you're adding something like honeyquat to Aristoflex AVC. It's anionic or negatively charged and Honeyquat is cationic or positively charged, so they can interact and ruin the emulsion or the viscosity of your product. (I've done this before, and it's not a huge deal, just know that this can happen.) 

Before we leave this topic, BrNy asked another great question: Would sodium lactate or sodium PCA be good alternatives in lotions made with other emulsifier like Incroquat BTMS-50 (since Aristoflex AVC can't handle sodium?) Can they be used together in a lotion? 

I love sodium lactate so much - it's one of my favourite ingredients - but, as you mention, it can't be used in Aristoflex AVC. I love sodium PCA, too, it's one I don't use as much as I can't get it easily in Canada. So the quick answer is that yes, you can combine different humectants together to make something super hydrating! 

As usual, my brain spied a "shiny thing" in your question about humectants, and I've gone down the rabbit hole about humectants for a few hours. I'll be writing more about them later this week. Until then, join me tomorrow for an awesome cooling spray chock full of our lovely humectants as we continue the "It's too hot to craft!" series! 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Weekend Wondering: What's making my lotion sticky? (Part one)

In this post, Aristoflex AVC - light lotion with NAG, ceramides, and quaternized rice, BrNy asked: I know this is an old-ish post but thought I'd try my luck anyway. I made this lotion based off of a recipe I saw at but added NAG at 4% and subtracted 4ml of water (I made 100 g of lotion.) I love the consistency and all but it feels pretty sticky, even after I feel the lotion sank into my skin. Do u suppose maybe the glycerin is what is making the lotion sticky? I'm pretty new to skin care formulations and been following your blog for a few months now (been kinda obsessed a little... or maybe a lot!!) Any input will be greatly appreciated! Recipe as follows:

Phase A 
2.00% Glycerin
0.50% Resveratrol

Phase B 
83.0% Distilled water (79% actually, because I added NAG at 4%)
4.00% Sea Kelp Bioferment
3.00% Niacinamide
2.00% dl-Panthenol
0.50% Allantoin
0.50% Liquid Germall Plus
3.00% Lotioncrafter FCO

Phase C 
1.00% Aristoflex AVC

I simply followed the "how to" instructions and ended up with lovely lotion that is pretty light... but sticky!!! I'll use this up but wanted to tweak the ingredients a bit to get rid of the stickiness.

I say this all time but there are no old posts. I receive notifications for every single comment on the blog regardless of age. As well, this is from February 2016, which may be "old" in Internet time, but not so old that the product has gone rancid. (In fact, I still have a sample of my lotion on the shelf and it feels great!)

Let's take a look at all the ingredients that could make this a sticky product...

Glycerin: Yeah, this is the queen of the stickies, along with other poly alcohol or sugar based ingredients.

Resveratrol: I haven't found this to be sticky, but if it's dissolved in glycerin, it could be a contributing factor.

n-acetyl glucosamine: This is a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, and has been shown to work well when combined with niacinamide. It can also increase hydration of our skin by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin. This combination has been studied and found to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation to promote a more uniform skin tone. (Whew! That’s a lot of stuff, eh?) I don't think this contributes to stickiness in a product.

Sea kelp bioferment: This is a great film former and substitute for hydrolyzed proteins in this formula as Aristoflex AVC can't handle those lovely ingredients. I usually use it at 2% and I see you have it at 4%, so dropping that down to 2% might be an idea?

Niacinamide: Used at as little as 2%, niacinamide can increase skin’s barrier lipids and ceramides, which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. It can reduce sebum production and pore diameter, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. It can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there's a lack of irritation and redness on our faces ('cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and "pebbling" or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin's barrier functions.

I don't think this is contributing to the stickness of the product.

dl-Panthenol: I'm guessing you're using the powder for this awesome humectant, hydrator, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, anti-itch, and wound healing ingredient. Liquid or powder, this shouldn't contribute to the stickiness.

Allantoin: This is another one of my favourite ingredients that I use to soothe skin and prevent wind and cold chapping. I use it at 0.5% as well. This definitely isn't contributing to the stickness.

Liquid Germall Plus: Your preservative isn't contributing to the stickiness when used at 0.5%.

Fractionated coconut oil: This very thin oil feels slightly dry and non-greasy, and not sticky at all. Some oils could have that effect - especially something like lanolin - but FCO is all about the light moisturizing.

Aristoflex AVC (INCI Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer): This emulsifier can feel a bit sticky to some people. I don't notice it, but I've had other people ask me about this and you may be one of those who notices it.

We have three potential sticky culprits here: Glycerin, Aristoflex AVC, and sea kelp bioferment. What can we do about this? As this post is getting long, join me tomorrow to see what we can do about altering the skin feel of this lotion!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's too hot to craft: Cold process hair conditioners - part four with ICE Hair Restore

Last Monday, we met a new, cold process conditioner I bought from Making Cosmetics called Ice Hair Restore (aka Gracefruit's EasyMix Smooth or Jeesperse CPCS). Last Tuesday, we made a hair conditioner with it, then modified that on Wednesday into a more intense conditioner my best friend coined the Pineapple Express Intense Conditioner.

Let's modify this formula to include some oils as ICE Hair Restore can emulsify up to 10%. (Click there to see why I'm using the ingredients I'm using...)

83% distilled or purified water
5% ICE Hair Restore
3% Volumizing complex
2% Hydrolyzed baobab protein
2% panthenol (liquid)
2% dimethicone 350 cs
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% Pineapple cilantro fragrance oil (from Windy Point Soap)

All our formulas should total 100% so we can quickly see whether we're using our ingredients in proper amounts as per the suggested usage rates. So when we add something to the mix, we have to remove something to keep that total at 100%. In this case, it's easiest to add our oil at 5% and remove 5% distilled water.

In this case, I'm adding some monoi de Tahiti, coconut oil infused with gardenia flowers that smells amazing! This is an awesome inclusion in a hair conditioner as coconut oil has a high affinity for the proteins in our hair, plus the fatty acids are actually small enough to penetrate the strand. (Click for more information...)

If you don't have monoi de Tahiti, you can use normal coconut oil or any other oil. I really really love this smell, which is weird because I didn't think of myself as a flower kind of girl, but it turns out I love all kinds of flower fragrances!

If we add 5% coconut oil to this formula, we have to take 5% out of the water phase, so our distilled water amount will be 78%. You'll notice everything else is the same.

5% ICE Hair Restore

5% monoi de Tahiti

78% distilled or purified water
3% Volumizing complex
2% hydrolyzed baobab protein
2% panthenol (liquid)
2% dimethicone 350 cs
2% cyclomethicone
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% lemongrass verbena fragrance oil (Voyageur Soap & Candle)

Weigh the ICE Hair Restore out separately into a tiny container, then mix with my tiny stick blender until it's more of a paste.

Melt the monoi de Tahiti oil until melted or liquid. (As a note, it's super hot in my workshop, so I didn't need to melt the monoi de Tahiti as it has a melting point of 24˚C or 76˚F, and we exceeded that yesterday.)

Into a container, weigh the water phase, then add the ICE Hair Restore, and mix for around 30 seconds. Add the oil, and mix for 15 or so seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients into the container, mixing after every addition.

You're done! Rejoice!

You might notice I have a fragrance oil in that formula. I added that as I couldn't smell the monoi in the finished product, and I really like to have a light fragrance in my hair conditioners. If you want the monoi fragrance, up the amount to 10% and remove the cyclomethicone and dimethicone. (They're part of the total 10% oils this ingredient can emulsify. Keeping them in will result in failure. I know this, sadly, by experience.) I started at 0.5% fragrance oil, then upped it to a total of 0.75%, which I think is a bit much. That's what I get for trusting my nose instead of my scale!

I can't stress enough how much you want to mix the ICE Hair Restore powder before adding it. You can see the giant lump in this picture, which I've had trouble breaking down once combined, so definitely give it a whirl with a small stick blender or even your gloved hands!

Don't you love these tiny mixers? I've been using Lotioncrafter's Minipro Mixer for ages, but they've come out with the MICROMini™ Mixer that's even smaller. (I'll show you how to use that shortly. You can put it right into a bottle, which is awesome!) I also purchased this Mini Mixer from Candora Soap, which I'm loving! 

How to mix this? You can use a stick blender, a mini blender, or a hand mixer. If I have to use a larger device to mix, I prefer to use a hand mixer. You don't really have to worry about using a high shear or immersion or stick blender type appliance for this product. You don't want to mix it by hand. It's very rare that we want to mix by hand.

Related post: Can how and when we mix have an impact on an emulsion?

What do I think of this formula? I really like it and I have really oily hair. (I don't recommend using it on your scalp if you're an oily person like me...) My hair felt light and moisturized without being heavy and weighed down. I had lovely waves and ringlets in my hair for the first two days, which made me very happy, and my hair felt very soft. It was shiny, which is something that I don't generally see as I have coarse, wavy hair strands, which was a really pleasant surprise.

I mentioned in this post that I think I need a humectant in the mix as my hair feels a bit dry on the ends on the morning of day three, and I feel this way about this version as well. I'll share that formula with you early next week.

If you have dry hair, you'll definitely want to add a humectant to the mix - say 3% glycerin to start - as you'll want more hydration than this formula offers. (I will be sharing that formula with you early next week.)

If you have oily hair, you might not want to use the oil at all, so try last week's formula without it if you're worried about that.

I wish this was a little less grainy than it is. I think I could fix that by heating it up, but that defeats the purpose of using this product, so I'll live with it!

What do you think? Have you tried this ingredient? What did you make? What would you suggest for other variations? Share your thoughts!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Question: Is normal for products with citrus oils to go orange?

In the August Q&A on Patreon, Anne asked: I am wondering why my room spray with citrus oils has turned orange. It smells perfectly fine and is preserved with 0.5% LGP. I recall you making a body wash with citrus that turned colour. Is it just a natural reaction you don't need to worry about?

I wouldn't worry about it. This happens to me all the time, as you can see from this picture of the Japanese themed body wash I made with Yuzu fragrance oil. I've had it happen with all kinds of citrus-y fragrance and essential oils, from Sweet Meyer Lemon and Lemon Curd to tangerine or sweet orange. It's just something citrus does with certain ingredients. I haven't had huge issues with lotions or creams, but it definitely alters the colour of things like my surfactant blends all kinds of yellow or orange.

Check out this post on using orange essential oil in your products.

You'll see this with fragrances that contain vanilla, too. They start browning over time, leaving your white lotion beige and your soap a more chocolate-y colour than you expected. This one I made with Michele from Windy Point Soap started off creamy, but the strawberry jam fragrance oil we used turned it brown. Which is fine with me as it smells and feels great!

Having said this, always observe the colour of your product. (This is one of the reasons I like clear bottles.) If you have a product that's changing colour - for instance, going brown or green or pink - that could be unpreserved or has been exposed to a lot of heat, you may be experiencing some kind of contamination.

Related posts:
Product testing - includes information on fragrance morphing
Surfactants and clarity
My article from Handmade magazine, The science behind citrus
My article from Handmade magazine, Understanding the vanilla villain
My article from Handmade magazine, The science of colour morphing

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