Question: Does glycerin draw water from your skin when the humidity is low? (updated)

I’m still on a quest to figure out the answer to this question…so let’s review information I’ve found so far. What is a humectant? “Humectancy or hygroscopy is the tendency of a substance to attract water from the surroundings by absorption and adsorption at defined conditions (temperature, humidity).” (page 26, this review). Is glycerin a...

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Chemistry Thursday (on a Monday!): Electrolytes

What are electrolytes? (And are they really what plants crave?) “An electrolyte is any substance containing free ions that make the substance electrically conductive. The most typical electrolyte is an ionic solution, but molten electrolytes and solid electrolytes are also possible. Commonly, electrolytes are solutions of acids, bases or salts.” (From Wikipedia). In other words, when you...

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Chemistry Thursday (on Sunday): Osmosis (updated)

What the heck is osmosis? “Osmosis is the movement of solvent molecules through a selectively permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, aiming to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides. It may also be used to describe a physical process in which any solvent moves, without input of energy, across a...

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Humectants: A lotion maker’s best friend or moisture thief?

I’ve always thought of February 27, 2009, as the official birthday of the blog as this is when I decided to blog every single day about some kind of bath or body thing, be it an ingredient, a recipe, or a fun fact to know and learn. One of the earlier posts was entitled Humecants are...

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Some questions I’ve been asked this week about xanthan gum

In this post on xanthan gum, Anonymous writes: Hi Susan! Just wanted to make sure I understood right, is it ok to use xanthan gum up to 2%, even for mild facial cleansers? Some say xanthan gum lowers the shelf life of products. Is that true? Lastly, I really like using polyquat 7 because it...

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