Surfactants and those poufy things.

My friend Melissa once asked me why shampoos didn’t seem as harsh or bubbly as they were when we were kids. It has to do with the surfactants we use and the ingredients we use to increase mildness. In the olden days, most – if not all – products used SLS, which is considered a…...

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Point of interest: Aloe vera and the viscosity of foamy surfactant products

I’ve always wondered why the foamy surfactant based products we’ve made in our craft groups – bubble bath, body wash, shampoo, and facial cleansers – weren’t as thick as those I made at home. I thought it was thanks to my use of volume measurements instead of weighted measurements – yeah, I know, I tell…...

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Point of interest: When trying out a new product for the first time…

I’m always happy to get e-mails and comments looking for why a product didn’t work, but I’d like to make a suggestion if you’re making a product for the first time…make a basic version of it. I’m receiving e-mails from people who have shampoos – especially shampoos – that don’t work, and it seems like…...

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Point of interest: Finding data sheets

I touched on this idea a little in this post – how to research ingredients – but I thought I’d add a little more on finding data bulletins or data sheets. Let’s say you find an ingredient that looks interesting – let’s say Amphosol CG – but you want to know more about it. You…...

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Point of interest: Reading INCI information

I’ve been surfing through a few forums today and I noticed three things… First: Everyone seems to call me Swifty! I’m SWIFT (or swift) not Swifty. There is someone else named Swifty and I’ve already changed my name once to avoid confusion. (If you see someone named Celeritas, that might be well be me –…...

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Question: How can you tell if it’s a good recipe?

I’m really excited to see all the tutorials popping up around the ‘net for bath and body products – one day we’ll all be making our own stuff and the giant corporations will fall (insert evil genius laugh here) and we’ll all have lovely skin and shiny hair and overly white teeth that blind anyone…...

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Question: How to research ingredients and the joys of staying curious! (updated)

p suggested…You know how you posted on how you duplicate a product? I would absolutely love an analogous post on how you research ingredients and formulations. You shed so much light on topics that other sites discuss only casually. Do you do your research mostly through books? Or is the web actually a really good…...

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E-mail question: Using Polawax in your creations…

I am asked all the time about how much emulsifier to use. If you are using Polawax, the general rule of thumb is to use 25% of the oil phase. So if you have 20% oil, you’d use 5% Polawax. If you have 30% oil, you’d use 7.5% Polawax. And so on. So why am…...

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Why CP soap doesn’t make a great shampoo (updated)

I’ve received quite a few queries asking why can’t we use CP soap as a shampoo. I know the perception out there can be CP soap = natural, therefore good and surfactants = processed, therefore bad, and I know I did a post on carboxylates recently, but there are good reasons we don’t use even…...

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