Beginners! Start here!

Welcome to the beginners’ section of the blog. Here you’ll find everything you’ll need to start making your own products, including starting formulas for all kinds of things as well as my six ingredient lotion series, which will help you modify the lotions to make something you truly love.

Read this post first! How to get started making your own products: My journey, resources, and loads of information on where to begin…

No, seriously, read this post first. I share a lot of information in there with loads of links to formulas and where to start on your own formulating journey. It gives you ideas on where to start on the blog and what might be important as you take those first steps.

Then take a look at these posts!

Defining our products

What you need to know about making any product (part 1)

What you need to know about making any product (part 2)

How to read and convert formulas

How to convert from percentages to weight

Back to basics: Defining terms for anhydrous products

Back to the very basics: Conditioner

Back to the very basics: Lotions

Back to the very basics: Shampoo

Learning about the skin feel of our oils

Tips & techniques: How to add new ingredients into a formula that contains water

Q&A: How do we determine how much emulsifier to use? (And the 25% rule for Polawax)

 

Downloads!

Creating products – PDF of the basics, those I teach at the start of every class ($3 subscribers and up)

 

Making products – specific formulas

Formulating lotion bars

Formulating whipped butters

Let’s make a lotion

Let’s make a body butter

Let’s make a thick cream

Let’s make a conditioner!

Let’s make bath salts!

Let’s make bath bombs!

What are surfactants?

NEW! Series/course: Making lotions using four different emulsifiers – Newbie Tuesday from September to December 2020 (in progress) – click for the home page! 

Series/course: Making naturally compliant lotions using Ritamulse SCG

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020: Shopping lists for ingredients, supplies, and packaging as well as optional components.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020: We took a look at the general formula we’ll be using for the hand lotions. I explained the formula, the chemistry of lotions, the reason we use preservatives, and the sensory characteristics we can expect with Ritamulse SCG. We compared emulsifiers, then I shared the basic format of the formula we’ll be following in this series along with an explanation about why we’re using the general ingredients we’re using.

Tuesday, January 28. 2020: We reviewed the ingredients we’re using in the formulas, and looked at why we might use them. I shared the formulas for the first hand lotion in both chart and PDF format along with all the instructions.

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020: We took a look at how to choose preservatives for our products. We took a look at all the questions I ask myself as I’m creating formulas to ensure I have the right preservative for the job. I shared a worksheet you could download in PDF form to evaluate your product and preservative. We also learned how to evaluate the efficacy of a preservative in our chosen products.

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020: It’s all about the sensory characteristics of the oils and butters we’re using as well as the sensory characteristics of the lotions as we make them. I shared my sensory characteristic chart so you can evaluate the ingredients and write down your thoughts as you work with your lotions.

Share your thoughts on your first lotion in this post from February 11, 2020! What did you think? What changes did you make? What did you like? What didn’t you like?

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020: Part one – questions, thoughts, discussions, and modified formulas for hand lotion #1.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020: Part two – questions, thoughts, discussions, and modified formulas for hand lotion #1.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 – We created hand lotion #2 using a light, greasy oil and a light, non-greasy oil. There were a few PDF downloads – the sensory comparison chart of our oils, a blank sensory chart to use for your thoughts, and the PDF of the second hand lotion.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 – We created hand lotion #3 using a little non-greasy oil, a little heavy oil, and a solid oil, babassu oil, to see what happens when we increase the viscosity a little.

Additional post: Testing the shelf life of your products: Observing a naturally compliant lotion for rancidity

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – We started making body lotions by adding a butter – mango or shea – to see what impact they’d have on viscosity and sensory characteristics.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 – We made our second body lotion with greasier feeling oils and shea butter.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 – We made our third body lotion with slightly heavier oils and mango butter, and I shared a free download of my sensory characteristics chart so you can assess the skin feel of your products.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 – We made our first body butter with mango or shea butter and heavier feeling oils.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 – We made our second body butter with kukui nut oil and babassu oils! So luxurious!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 – We’ll make our third body butter!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 – Series/course wrap up!

SIX INGREDIENT LOTIONS

Challenge: Six ingredient lotions

Challenge: Six ingredient lotion – hand lotion with cetearyl ethylhexanoate & cocoa butter

Challenge: Six ingredient lotion with shea, soy bean & sesame oil

Six ingredient lotions: A great way to learn what you like!

Six ingredient lotion: Meadowfoam seed oil and cocoa butter

Six ingredient lotions: Rice bran & mango butter body lotion

Six ingredient lotions: Rice bran & mango butter body butter

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Polawax or e-wax (updated)

Six ingredient lotion: Kukui nut & babassu oil with Ritamulse SCG (updated)

Six ingredient lotions: Evening primrose, oats & chamomile hand and body lotion

Six ingredient lotions: Evening primrose, oats & chamomile body butter

Six ingredient lotions: Pomegranate & witch hazel facial moisturizer for men

Six ingredient lotions: Green tea & bamboo moisturizer

 

Introduction to making facial products series/course

Newbie Tuesday: We’re making facial products! – intro post!

Shopping list

Equipment list

 

Creating foamy, bubbly, lathery facial cleansers

Let’s start making facial cleansers! – Formulating for your skin type

Surfactants – what are they?

Meet the surfactants

pH of our surfactants

Facial products – the base formula

Facial cleansers – modifying them with humectants and cationic polymers

Did you make cleanser? What did you think? (part one)

Did you make cleanser? What did you think? (part two)

Did you make cleanser? What did you think? (part three)

Did you make cleanser? Submit your formulas! 

Question: Can you add carrier oils to cleansers?

Newbie Tuesday on Monday: Modifying the formula with hydrolyzed proteins

Newbie Tuesday on Tuesday: Modifying the formula with aloe vera

Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Modifying the formula with botanical extracts (part one)

Newbie Tuesday on Thursday: Modifying the formula with botanical extracts (part two)

Newbie Tuesday on Friday: Modifying the formula with botanical extracts (part three)

Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) – physical exfoliants

Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) – physical exfoliants

Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants

Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle formula

 

Creating hydrating toners! 

Creating a facial toner (part one)

Creating a facial toner (part two)

Creating a facial toner (part three) – cosmeceuticals

Newbie Tuesday: Creating a facial toner (part four) – adding cosmeceuticals (so many formulas!)

 

Creating gels!

Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20

Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN

Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20

Gels, gels gels! Lavender & chamomile oil free gel moisturizer for normal skin types

Newbie Tuesday: Gels, gels, gels! Chamomile & cucumber oil free gel moisturizer for dry skin types

Newbie Tuesday: Using Sepimax ZEN to create an oil free moisturing gel

Newbie Tuesday: Making a gelled facial serum with oil using Sepimax ZEN

Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs (part one)

Newbie Tuesday on Thursday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs

 

WHEN LOTIONS GO WRONG! The epic emulsion fails page! (Added January 11, 2020)

CREATING PRODUCTS (IN MORE DETAIL)

Creating products: Choosing your formulas

Creating products: A moment or two about finding formulas

How can you tell it’s a good formula? Do the math!

Creating products: Assembling ingredients – choosing your supplies

Creating products: Assembling ingredients – preparing your space

Creating products: Assembling ingredients – weighing and measuring

Creating products: Equipment (part one)

Creating products: Equipment (part two)

What options are there for double boilers?

Creating products: Equipment for measuring pH

Creating products: Polawax versus other emulsifying waxes

Creating products: Heating and holding

Creating products: Combining the two phases

Creating products: Combining the two phases – mixing

Creating products: Questions about mixing

Creating products: Cool down phase

Creating products: Packaging – too many choices

Creating products: Packaging – alternatives to bottles

Creating products: Packaging and preservation

Creating products: Labels!

Creating products: Filling our bottles

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT FORMULATING

Vitamin E is not a preservative

You don’t need to add preservatives to anhydrous or non-water containing products

How do I modify a recipe when I add or subtract an ingredient?

What if you go over 70˚C while heating and holding?

Heating & holding and graininess

How to test the temperature of your phases

When making stuff, how do you know what to do? (part one)

When making stuff, how do you know what to do? (part two)

How much stuff should I buy when I’m starting out?

What’s important in a conditioner? Part one

What’s important in a conditioner? Part two

Learning how to read a formula and convert it into weighted measurements – NEW!

Learning to formulate: How to a modify a formula when I add or remove an ingredient?

Learning to formulate: Small changes make a big difference!

DISCUSSION

What do you wish you’d have known when you started?

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