Q&A: Can I use sodium lauroyl sarcosinate in place of SCI in a creamy cleanser?

In the July Q&A, Tessa asked, So here’s where I need help: How to substitute surfactants. There’s a formula that calls for 5% SCI (powder) and I’d like to use Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate instead. But how can I know what % of this ingredient to use so I can get the same cleansing effect as…...

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Q&A: What can I use instead of Lauryl Alcohol in this manufacturer’s formula?

In the May Q&A post, Liza asked, Is there anything I could use (that is available in Canada) as an alternative to Lauryl Alcohol at 2.5% in this Stepan conditioner formula? Great question! When I’m thinking about making a substitution, I go through a bit of a process. One, I need to know what this…...

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The most frequently asked question this month: What can I use instead of panthenol?

Over the last few months, the most frequently asked question has been, “What can I use instead of panthenol?” And my most frequently answered answer is always, “What are you making?” Substitutions need to be considered in light of the product, other Ingredients, and function of the substitution. Related post: Let’s talk about substitutions In…...

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Weekday Wonderings: Substituting humectants, using fresh aloe, and using stabilizers with emulsions

As I mentioned, I’m doing my best to respond to many of your comments, so I’ve gone back three weeks to see what interests you! I’m responding to the questions you’ve posted in the Let’s formulate: Chamomile & aloe botanical summer time body butter posts at the moment. We looked at the reasons for making whipped…...

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Formulating tips & techniques: Substituting oils, butters, and esters for other oils, butters, and esters

In this post, Let’s formulate: Chamomile & aloe botanical summer time body butter (formula), Andrea asked: Can I leave isopropyl myristate (IPM) out (don’t have any) and add a different oil? Or just leave it out? The short answer is yes, you can substitute it. The longer answer is that unless I indicate otherwise in…...

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Discussion: Let’s talk about substitutions!

Every day I’m asked, “I don’t have ingredient X. What can I use instead?” This is like asking, “What’s a substitute for black pepper?” In what kind of food? What flavours are you hoping to achieve? What other ingredients are you using in this meal? Who will be eating it? Consider what the response might…...

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Can we substitute one ingredient for another in a product? Lotion bars

If you’re wondering if you can substitute one ingredient for another, check out first what the ingredients do in the product. What exactly does the ingredient do? Is it a surfactant, an emollient, a conditioning agent, an emulsifier, and so on? What does it bring to the product? What is its skin feel? Does it…...

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Weekend Wonderings: Substituting cetyl alcohol in a recipe

In this post, One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in a body butter, Art Creators asks: Can we substitute the use of cetyl alcohol with something else? Yes. And let’s take a few minutes to consider how I know this and what you could use instead. When thinking of substituting an ingredient, ask yourself these…...

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Weekend Wonderings: Learning to make substitutions for ingredients and using decyl glucoside as a surfactant

I have to ask this question as well – if you are a beginner, why are you trying to make products from scratch? I’ve been getting quite a few e-mails and comments from people who are creating their own recipes and wondering why they won’t work. Please please please find a tried and true recipe…...

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Emulsifiers: Making a slightly simpler Lotionpro 165 body butter

We took a look at a body butter yesterday that contained quite a few ingredients. If I surveyed every recipe on this site – which would number over a thousand! – there would probably be a question on each of them from you, my wonderful readers, on how to make them simpler, how to leave…...

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