The chemistry of our nails: Lecithin

So what’s the deal with lecithin? Lecithin is a yellowy substance filled to the brim with various phospholipids or phosphatides, generally extract from eggs or soy beans, although its found in all plants and animals. The soy and the egg lecithin do differ a little. The soy has a fatty acid profile of 20% palmitic...

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Question: Can we use oils from the grocery store in our creations?

Madeaj asks in this post: I have a question about oils. I see oils in the supermarket. My local has sesame (not toasted;-), macadamia nut, sunflower (storebrand for frying), walnut, grapeseed, coconut oil and of course olive oil. Are these the same oil used in cosmetic products or is there a difference? I usually cook with olive...

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The chemistry of our nails: Some ideas for anhydrous products

Let’s start out with some bad news. You cannot make your nails grow faster by using cosmetic products. (You can make them grow faster by living in a warmer climate, using them by doing things like typing, and by being younger.) You can, however, make your nails more flexible by keeping them hydrated – and...

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Shrinky Dinks may be harmful to your hair!

Today was an accident prone day, the kind of day when I should really stay home because I’m a serious menace to anyone who might come near me. I’m not really sure why I have these days, when I drop my iPod touch on concrete, walk into closed doors, or spill Slurpees all over the...

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The chemistry of our nails (updated)

The normal nail contains four major parts – the nail plate, which is the visible external part of the nail; the nail matrix, which is the living part of the nail at the root; the lunula (or half-moon) that is the visible front part of the nail matrix; and the eponychium (or cuticle) that forms...

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Body wash with esters

I’m finally getting around to playing with my esters and other light oils from the Personal Formulator, so I thought I’d share another recipe with you using those ingredients! (If you want to see the balm with esters, click here. I’m really loving the light, non-greasy feeling of these ingredients!) This is a basic body...

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Back to basics: Wrap up and link-o-rama

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts on anhydrous products. These recipes are great for beginners or those who wish to avoid using preservatives. And if you’re a veteran, why not try your hand at these products again? I know I’ve been reminded of how decadent a rich, whipped butter can feel or how...

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Using the unintended effects of your ingredients

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the down side of certain ingredients, especially in surfactant mixes. Oils can reduce your foam and lather and Crothix might thicken your mixtures and offer anti-irritancy, but it can start decreasing foam at around 5%. So let’s say you want to make a nice facial cleanser without...

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Back to basics: Modifying the oil based scrub

We can all use a little exfoliation, so it doesn’t hurt to have a few different scrub recipes lying around the house. The scrub bar is great for throwing into a make-up bag for travelling and the oil based one is great for bath time exfoliation and moisturization, but we can always use more scrubby...

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Question: Do you think fries with gravy weird?

On our honeymoon last year, I made a faux pas in Montana by asking for brown gravy with my fries. The cashier gave me the kind of look normally reserved for questions like, “Hello. I’m a stranger. Would your children like some candy? I assure you it’s not poisoned in any way”, and she recoiled...

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