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As I might have warned you, I've been going down rabbit holes and following my curiosity as I answer your questions and share formulas I've been working on for a while. It may seem chaotic - and it kinda is when combined with heavy painkillers for my back - but I'm having fun, and I hope you are, too.

Just so you know, you can find posts all the way back to January 31st, 2011 on the new blog, so I'd encourage you to take a look at what's over there!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

Open thread is a post where you can discuss any topic you wish!

February 12, 2018
Using powdered surfactants like SCI or SLSa in liquid products

Separation in surfactant based products, like shampoo or body wash? Let’s troubleshoot it! - Share your formulas so we can troubleshoot them!

Mixing surfactants: Slowly and gently with a fork?

February 13, 2018
Patreon Q&A: How to thicken oils that won’t be greasy? Fatty alcohols, fatty acids, liquid esters, and solid esters, plus a formula for a whipped not-butter

Various & sundry things: Moisturizing for baldy heads, link to article, and the freezing point of urine

February 14, 2018
Formula: Enjoy Valentine’s Day with a massage oil in a rollerball bottle

February 15, 2018
Discussion: Have you had a product morph over time?

February 17, 2018
Patreon Q&A: How can I make this lotion more hydrating? (part one)
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Join me on the blog for a Valentine's Day roller ball massage oil made with essential or fragrance oils or even some sweetened flavour oils. (Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!)

Don't forget to check out the posts on the new blog as that's where I'm putting all my writing now!

Various & sundry things: Moisturizing for baldy heads, link to article, and the freezing point of urine

Patreon Q&A: How to thicken oils that won’t be greasy? Fatty alcohols, fatty acids, liquid esters, and solid esters, plus a formula for a whipped not-butter

I decided February was a kinda stream of consciousness kind of month, so I'm just writing what pops into my head, all the stuff I find as I go down rabbit holes, and formulas for products I've been working on since 2016! I'm writing up quite a few duplications this month as they led to some really interesting days of research down rabbit holes!
Hope to see you over there!
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I've been having a blast playing with all kinds of surfactants and thickeners over the last 18 months, and I'm getting ready to share them with you shortly.

In the meantime, check out these new posts on the new blog about surfactants!

Using powdered surfactants like SCI or SLSa in liquid products

Separation in surfactant based products? Let's troubleshoot them! 

Mixing surfactants: Slowly and gently with a fork

Share your thoughts on these topics and more on the new blog!
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I'm sorry I haven't written more this week, but my lower back/hip has been killing me, making it hard to sit up or even balance my laptop on my knees in bed. I had to cancel at class at Voyageur Soap & Candle yesterday as I can't stand for long periods of time, which was really hard to do. I had an epidural yesterday and will have another one next Saturday, so things will be getting better soon, and I'm feeling more optimistic. 

I've been doing more of what I think of as micro-blogging on my Facebook page and Instagram over the last week or so, and I encourage you to check out those social media thingies if you want more of my ramblings on various topics during the week.

A thought when you're making surfactant based products like shampoo, body wash, facial cleanser, bubble bath, and so on to mix very slowly in a zig zag pattern with a fork to avoid bubbles and foam. Never use a hand mixer or immersion blender as you’ll end up with something that looks like this picture below, a shampoo that’s mostly bubbles. You’ll put it in a bottle, then a few days later you’ll have half the volume you did on day one. (I have pictures of that, too, if you'd like to see them.) As well, you won’t know what the viscosity really is and you could end up using the wrong percentage of a thickener like Crothix.

I always mix the surfactants together until uniform, then add the rest of the liquids to make it easier to mix. Add everything, including essential or fragrance oils, then let it sit for a bit before you add thickeners, like Crothix. I often wait overnight before thickening to make sure it has cooled down or warmed up to room temperature.

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

February 7th, 2018
I love the love! Make a white chocolate & babassu massage bar! 

Patreon Q&A: Formulating a cleansing balm (part two)

February 9th, 2018
Discussion: How do you clean up after a day of formulating?

February 11th, 2018
Patreon Q&A: How to add Penstia powder or silica microspheres to lotions? How to modify a lotion for the summer? Where to get misters?

Patreon Q&A: How to thicken oils that won’t be greasy? Beeswax, cera bellina, and Lipidthix
Hope to see you over on the new blog!
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I'm having such great fun sharing those things I've learned falling down rabbit holes as I research some of the questions you've posed or ingredients I've found. I had a great question from Derek about liposomes I've been researching for the better part of a month that's making me re-write all I've shared about the chemistry and biology of our skin, which is super exciting!

I'm on a serious Varisoft EQ 65 kick, making all kinds of conditioners, lotions, and conditioner bars with it. This ECOcert conditioning emulsifier  (INCI: Distearoylethyl Dimonium Chloride (and) Cetearyl Alcohol) makes really fluffy, light, less greasy conditioners and lotions. It's so lovely!

As a note, if you want to make some Varisoft EQ 65 products, you can find this ingredient at Windy Point Soap (Canada), Lotioncrafter (USA), or Formulator Sample Shop (USA). (Links provided to help you find ingredients. Not an ad, sponsored post, or affiliate link.)

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

February 3rd, 2018
Patreon: Making lotions using Varisoft EQ 65 (part one)

February 4th, 2018
Patreon: Making lotions with Varisoft EQ 65 (part two, the formula) – The light, fluffy, triple threat 97% natural or ECOcert lotion

February 5th, 2018


February 6th, 2018
Patreon: Formulating a cleansing balm

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Welcome to the digest for the new blog for January 27th to February 2nd, 2018. As you'll see, I've had a super busy week thanks to my new contacts! I've been able to sit in my lovely chair and write for hours with these new ones, which is just such a wonderful feeling!

I'm declaring February to be my "rabbit hole month", and I'll be sharing all kinds of things I've learned by following my curiosity to its logical end point, so look for tons of posts over on the new blog about all kinds of things, like ingredient write ups, formulas, and concepts that help is make more awesome products.

What can you expect from the new blog this month? If you're a Patreon subscriber, I'll be sharing my micellar water formulas this month! I've spent the last 18 months working on a few of them that my guinea pigs...I mean, my testers...have enjoyed! Woo! As well, we'll be taking a look at creating a cleansing balm, making lotions using Varisoft EQ 65, and learning more about charcoal. I've been playing with all kinds of small mixers, and I'll be sharing those results with you this month!

Have I mentioned how inspired and happy I am with the new blog? I'm so excited to see all of you over there, talking, discussing, sharing, and wondering! 

If you're a $10 Patreon subscriber, Lotioncrafter is offering a lovely 7% coupon this month. Jen must really love us, eh?

Here's the digest of the links for posts on the new blog for January 29th to February 2nd, 2018!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 27th
Patreon Q&A: What’s the deal with the emulsifier, Crodex A (INCI: Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), which we might find in Lush products?

Patreon Q&A: Should Natragem EW be used with a thickener?

January 28th
Patreon Q&A: What’s the difference between caprylic/capric triglycerides and squalane?

Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part three)

January 29th
Patreon Q&A: Creating less greasy feeling, more glidy lotion bars? A few thoughts and a formula

Patreon Q&A: How can we incorporate water soluble ingredients into lotion bars?

January 30th
Patreon Q&As: Do surfactants have a shelf life? Can we mix powdered extracts with oil? Do you have micellar water formulas?

Patreon Q&A: How to incorporate water soluble ingredients into anhydrous bars using an emulsifier

January 31st
Patreon: What should be the final pH of our finished products using fruit acid extract?

February 1st
Patreon: What should the final pH of our finished products using willow bark?

February 2nd
Discussion: What piece of equipment are you hankering for?

Welcome to February! 

Patreon: February duplicating posts

Patreon: February Q&A

Patreon: Lotioncrafter coupon
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It's been a slightly slower week for posts as I've been working like a demon to get the new e-zine, Botanical Extracts, part two: Oil soluble extracts & infused oils, ready for the $10 Patreon subscribers! I still have a duplication or two to post over there as well as answers to so many questions, which you'll see over the next four days!

If you're a $10 subscriber, click here to see the post on Patreon for the e-zine

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

Here's the digest of the links for January 23rd to January 28th!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part one)

Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part two)

Please note the formula should be up by the end of January 29th! 

Duplication of Biossance 100% Squalane Oil  -  I think this might be my most popular duplication yet! :-) 

Discussion: What do you wish you'd known when you started making products? 

Don't forget to visit us at the new blog to catch up on all the new stuff! There's a lively community of commenters over there, and we'd love to hear your thoughts on this craft we all love so much!
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Yay! Voyageur Soap & Candle has just posted the schedule for the next few months! We have some one off classes planned - Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Father's Day - as well as a few sessions of my eco skin care class and the new eco facial care class where every ingredient is plant based and ECOcert!

Don't you love this basket of goodies we made in last year's Valentine's Day class? Wax tarts, spa candles, edible whipped butters (wink wink, nudge nudge), spicy massage oils, and more!

Check out the classes here! 
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Yesterday, we took a look at using Simulgreen 18-2 and fatty alcohols in this potential formula for Josie Maran Whipped Body Butter. Today, let's take a look at using xanthan gum as a stabilizer for this emulsifier.

Part one, defining our terms
Part two, gelling agents
Part three, all-in-one emulsifiers
Part four, creating an emulsifier with the HLB system
How can we make formulas more natural? Share your thoughts
Adapting formulas: Ritamulse SCG
Adapting formulas: Natragem EW
Adapting formulas: Montanov 68
Adapting formulas: Simulgreen 18-2- - using fatty alcohols

We already have xanthan gum in this formula at 0.1%, so it's easy to increase it to 0.5% and use it as a stabilizer for Simulgreen 18-2. How do we do this? Make sure there's nothing that's incompatible with it - it can't be used with cationic or positively charged ingredients, like polyquaternium 7, honeyquat, or Incroquat BTMS-50 - or high levels of salts. Aloe vera contains a ton of electrolytes, but we only have 10%, which isn't a lot, so we're okay.

Related posts:
Anionic, cationic, non-ionic?
Electrolytes

Because we already have 0.5% Sepinov EMT 10 in the original version that we're removing, just substitute the xanthan gum there. We'll have 0.1% xanthan gum more than need, so remove that and add 0.1% back to the distilled water amount.

PROTOTYPE FORMULA FOR JOSIE MARAN WHIPPED BODY BUTTER
HEATED WATER PHASE
48.6% distilled or reverse osmosis water
10% aloe vera
3% glycerin
0.5% allantoin

HEATED OIL PHASE
6% argan oil
6% caprylic/capric triglyceride
5% sunflower oil
4% coco caprylate/caprate
4% shea butter
4% Simulgreen 18-2
1% avocado oil
1% carrot tissue oil
1% squalane
0.5% xanthan gum

COOL DOWN PHASE
1% liquid green tea extract
1% liquid white tea extract
1% comfrey root extract
1% panthenol (liquid) or 1% powder in the heated water phase
0.5% sunflower seed extract
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.3% grapefruit essential oil (for fragrance)
0.1% T-50 tocopherol (to retard the rancidity of oils, optional)

1. Weigh the heated water phase into a heatproof container. Measure the weight of the water phase and the container before putting it into your double boiler. (This is so we can compensate for evaporation after the heating and holding phase.) Place the container into a double boiler.

2. Weigh the heated oil phase into a heatproof container, then place into the double boiler.

3. Heat each phase to 70˚C, then hold for 20 minutes at that temperature.

4. Weigh the heated water phase and add back any water that has evaporated.

5. Pour the water into the oil phase, then mix with a stick blender for about 3 minutes. Then switch to a hand mixer with beaters.

4. When the lotion reaches 45˚C, add the cool down phase and mix well.

This is a lighter, fluffier version than yesterday's as we don't have the fatty alcohol in there acting as a thickener.

Could you use both the fatty alcohol and xanthan gum in this formula? Definitely! Xanthan gum could be used in place of the Sepinov EMT 10 in the original version at 0.5%, and you could add 3% fatty alcohol to the heated oil phase. Remember to remove 3% from the distilled water amount to ensure it all adds up to 100%.
Join me tomorrow as we look at using Olivem 1000 in this formula as the emulsifier.
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I'm finally feeling better and posting like silly over on the new blog! I'm so happy to share one of my new favourite ingredients, Varisoft EQ 65, and I fell down a rabbit hole researching the answers to a few questions!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 20th, 2018
A few points of interest about all this new blog and site stuff…

Patreon Q&A: Which surfactants aren’t coconut oil derived?

Patreon Q&A: Varisoft EQ 65 - all kinds of questions (part one)

Patreon Q&A: Varisoft EQ 65 - all kinds of questions (part two)

January 21st, 2018
Patreon Q&A: Making conditioners with Varisoft EQ 65 – the formula

Welcome beginners! Check out the "Start Here" section of the site under "resources"

Patreon Q&A: Should we preserve unpreserved ingredients? How do we know if they are unpreserved?


January 22nd, 2018
Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part one)

How can we add a positively charged ingredient like Honeyquat to a negatively charged product, like a shampoo?

Patreon Q&A: What’s the best version of EDTA to use in gels?

There's so much more to come this week, like parts two and three of the duplication, so continue to visit us over on the new blog to see what we're doing!

And while you're there, join in the conversation. We have an awesome new Disqus commenting system, and the joint is jumping with all kinds of discussions!
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