Q&A quickies: Conditioner thinning out as it cools? Using powdered surfactants in liquid products? Pressed vs heated shampoo bars?

In the September Q&A, Jenny asked: Hi Susan!! I have a question that I hope you can help me with. I have formulated a hair conditioner that I love with adaptations from your formula but when I make it sometimes (most times and even with precise measurements) after heating and holding and combining the ingredients together…...

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Foamy, bubbly, lathery surfactants: Creating a foaming facial cleanser with Iselux Ultra Mild

I’m having such great fun teaching at Windy Point Soap Making Supplies in Calgary this week! We have one class left today – premium facial care – and then we leave for home tomorrow. I’ve been having so much fun playing with all these various ingredients so I’m still super busy, but I wanted to share a few…...

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Q&A quickie: You don’t need to add a solubilizer with surfactants or emulsions

I’m about to say something pretty controversial, which you already know after reading the title: You don’t need to add solubilizer to your foamy, bubbly, lathery surfactants as they’re by definition surfactants, and they can do the job themselves. The very nature of a surfactant is that it has a hydrophilic or water loving head…...

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#alltheingredients: PEG-150 distearate

This PEG-ester or polyethyleneglycol diester of fatty acids is a good thickener for a variety of surfactant blends, including sulfate free products. The white flakes are soluble in hot water, surfactants, and alcohol, and has an HLB 18.9, indicating it could be paired with a low HLB emulsifier to create lotions. good for sulfate free…...

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Experiments in the workshop: Moisture Renewal Body Wash using Kelcogel® CG-LA – working with this formula

First, we met my new favourite gum, gellan gum, then we took a look at the Moisture Renew Body Wash formula from the manufacturer along with some ideas on which preservatives will work for it. Today, let’s make this formula and take a look at how to mix it along with testing and adjusting the…...

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Experiments in the workshop: Moisture Renewal Body Wash using Kelcogel® CG-LA

The other day, we met my new favourite gum, Kelcogel® GG-LA, low acyl gellan gum, so let’s get formulating with it today! The first formula I tried was a variation on their Moisture Renewal Body Wash, which uses a combination of gellan gum and xanthan gum as a thickener and suspender. As a quick aside,…...

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Experiments in the workshop: Blooming Jelly Cleanser!

What’s happening in the workshop this week? We’re cooking up a little something called a Blooming Jelly Cleanser, a foamy, lathery, bubbly, transparent cleanser we can pour into any adorable moulds. (We met these a few months ago, but I’ve only had a chance to try it this week.) This isn’t the wobbly, jiggly jelly…...

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#alltheingredients: Sodium cocoyl glutamate (surfactant)

Sodium cocoyl glutamate is a negatively charged or anionic foamy, bubbly, lathery surfactant derived from amino acids. It’s considered incredibly mild and doesn’t defat the skin like some other, less mild surfactants might. You might find it described as having a “comfortable and soft feeling to skin during and after use”, and it’s noted constantly…...

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#alltheingredients: Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine (surfactant)

Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine is an amphoteric surfactant related to cocamidopropyl betaine, known as a sulfobetaine. It’s derived from coconut oil, and is biodegradable. It’s water soluble through a large pH range, reduces irritation of other surfactants, and may thicken bubbly and lathery things, like bubble baths or body washes. Because it’s cationic – thanks to a…...

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#alltheingredients: Sodium cocoyl glycinate (surfactant)

As you probably know, I’m a huge surfactant junkie – they’re like Pokemon, I have to catch them all! – so I thought I’d introduce you to another surfactant I adore, sodium cocoyl glycinate. I used this one a lot in the e-zine, Surfactants: Making foaming facial cleansers, as it’s lovely and mild for all…...

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