Updated for December 2021: Where can we find some great chemistry or formulating related media like podcasts, books, videos, Facebook groups, or pages? 

My trip to teach at Windy Point Soap Supplies in Calgary in November 2018 was so amazing! While there, Jenna asked about podcast ideas, which she also posted in the November Q&A!

Does anyone have beauty chemistry podcast suggestions? I like the beauty brains, but I want maor! Can’t read while I’m working so any listening material on this subject would rock. Thx!

Amy very kindly suggested the podcasts from Chemists’ Corner.

Sima noted that Happi also has a podcast, which you can find here.

I’d like to suggest Dr Joe Schwarcz’s podcasts on chemistry, too! (Or this link to IHeartMedia)

So let’s talk about various media!


I love Dr Joe Schwarcz’s books on chemistry! They’re written for everyone to enjoy! You can get them as printed books or e-books pretty much everywhere.

I have more, but I’m suddenly sleepy, so I’ll update it more later…


Updated January 2020: This is a great book. You can download it from Anthony O’Lenick’s site for free – Memories of A Cosmetically Disturbed Mind by Dr. Johann Wiechers

The newest addition to my e-library are these three e-books by Anthony Dweck I bought from Amazon that are only for the Kindle. They were super affordable at around $9 Cdn each. You can get them as printed books, too. I’ve enjoyed Anthony Dweck’s works for years as he discusses oils, botanicals, and all kinds of other ingredients. The red one is a giant encyclopedia, while the green one is all about safety. I’ve only scratched the surface of each, but so far they’ve been amazing!

This e-book by Anthony O’Lenick – Silicones for Personal Care – is free to download, and it is the most amazing resource for everything on silicones!

And Anthony O’Lenick’s books on surfactants – Surfactants: Strategic Personal Care Ingredients and the supplement to it  – are my go to for that topic, too! And it’s free!

This book on oils – Oils by Nature – is an amazing one, and again, it’s free to download!

These are free because when Allured stopped publishing books, the authors could do what they wanted with their books. Some put them for download, which is so generous! I know I have one on oils I should share with you, too!

Surfactants Science: Principles and Practice by Stephen Abbott is a free e-book, too! And he has one on solubility on his site!

I used to use Poucher’s 10th edition a lot. But I haven’t found a legitimately free version

I’ll add more shortly! 

If you want to learn more about biochemistry, check out this free textbook here!


Netflix has a great series called A User’s Guide to Cheating Death that takes a look at a number of interesting topics about health, food, science, cosmetics, plastic surgery, and more. Dr Joe appears in this show along with Dr Jen Gunther and others I love!

This isn’t on Canadian Netflix any more. Sigh


The groups and pages I’m recommending here aren’t those where people post pretty pictures of their work but refuse to share any information or help others. These are evidence based groups where we talk about science and personal attacks aren’t allowed!

Making Skincare – Jane Barber’s group relating to her website. A massive group where you can learn so much about so many different topics relating to cosmetic chemistry.

Making Naturally Compliant Cosmetics  Run by Mark Fuller, it’s a great place to learn about all kinds of products and ingredients. Tammy Lisi of Unicorn Chemist has been sharing microscopic pictures of butters and oils and it’s super interesting! (We also get a bit snarky analyzing formulas, products, and marketing when they use a lot of buzz words, promise too much, or fail to understand the need for preservation.)

Making non-soap shampoo, body wash, face wash, and conditioner If you’re interested in learning more about these products, Jane Barber has a group for you!

Lotion making Another group with Jane Barber and her mighty admins, Margi and Bobbi, that’s great for learning about lotion making!

Soapz and Stuff (Canadian) This one’s affiliated with the Canadian guild, the HBBG. All kinds of information on all things Canadian, including suppliers, labelling, filing stuff with the government, plus lively discussions about products and ingredients. 


Learn Cosmetic Formulation – That’s the one where you can find more information on the free course I’m offering with Jane and Perry! 

Unicorn Chemist – Tammy Lisi is an awesome chemist who specializes in anhydrous products. She also has a great sense of humour!

Cosmetic Chemists’ Corner – Chemists’ Corner’s presence on Facebook! 

And, of course, my page on Facebook – SwiftCraftyMonkey

What suggestions do you have for any of these topics? Share your thoughts and links, if you have them!