Esters: Simple esters

Catch up on this series: Part one, the chemistry and nomenclature of esters; part two, types of esters and their sensory characteristics; and part three, chemistry of the sensory characteristics.  Esters are created when an alcohol and an acid react. In the case of simple esters, this is when a fatty alcohol and a fatty…...

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What are esters? Part three: Chemistry of the sensory characteristics or why they feel the way they do

Catch up on this series: Part one, the chemistry and nomenclature of esters, and part two, types of esters and their sensory characteristics.  There are quite a few factors that contribute to the functionality of the ester, that is to say these factors contribute to the viscosity, skin feel, melting point, liquidity, surface tension, and…...

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What are esters? Part two: Types of esters & their sensory characteristics

Thanks for joining me for part two of this series on esters. Yesterday, we looked at the chemistry and nomenclature of esters. Today, let’s take a look at why we might use esters in our products, and what they bring to the party. We use esters for all kinds of reasons – as emulsifiers, as…...

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What are esters? Part one: The chemistry and nomenclature

You might remember our series to figure out what a polar oil might be – part one, hydrocarbons and part two, polar oils – as we struggled to make that darned TKB Thickening clay work. This was supposed to be part three at the time, but we went on holiday and the computer died and…...

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How the ingredients determine the pH of a shampoo bar, and testing Lush’s Jumping Juniper bar

When we were at Windy Point Soap Making Supplies two weeks ago, we had great fun testing the pH of various Lush products, including three shampoo bars – Jumping Juniper, Montalbano, and Trichomania – as well as two “self-preserving” shower gels, Honey I Washed the Kids and The Olive Branch. Let’s take a look at…...

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Testing the pH of stuff at Windy Point Soap!

We had much fun playing with our new pH meters in the pH & preservative class at Windy Point Soap Making Supplies in Calgary last night! Michele and I popped into the local Lush to buy a few products for testing as we’ve always been curious about the pH of some of their products. We…...

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An aside on rheology modifiers: Wetting, dispersing, and hydrating

As you saw in this post recently – magnetic stirrer with hot plate – we heated our water phase that included hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) on the magnetic stirrer with hot plate as it needs both agitation and heat to fully hydrate this starch. Why did we need to do that? It’s the idea that thickening ingredients…...

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Chemistry: Formulating with pyrrolidine carboxylic acid (PCA) – zinc PCA

We find this compound, pyrrolidine carboxylic acid (PCA), with sodium or zinc as a salt we can use in our products, and as a component in the natural moisturizing factor of our skin. It’s a type of salt, which means it’s an electrolyte, so it can mess with the viscosity of our gels, emulsions, and…...

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Chemistry: What’s a salt?

What exactly is a salt? “A salt is a chemical compound consisting of an assembly of cations and anions. Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge).” (Reference) If you’ve taken my introduction to chemistry course – free…...

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Acids, bases, and pH – oh my! Creating a light, non-greasy summer weight lotion with Varisoft EQ 65 (part three, formula and pH)

If you want to catch up on the acids, bases, and pH – oh my! series, please visit the pH & pH meter section of the blog!  On the 7th, we created the water phase of this light summery lotion with Varisoft EQ 65, and yesterday, we looked at the oil phase and considered which…...

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