It’s New Year’s Eve!

I thought I’d take a look at the resolutions I made last year and see if I made any headway on my plans. And no, this picture has nothing to do with my resolutions – this year I plan to chew more monkeys? – but I think my dog is adorable! Get organized: This went...

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Saponins

With all this talk about natural emulsifiers and surfactants, I thought we’d get into a little chemistry about sapogenins and saponins!  Saponins are steroid or triterpenoid glycosides that have amphiphilic or amphipathic features. They are grouped together by having “soap like foaming qualities they produce in aqueous solutions” – in other words, when you put...

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Terpenes

So what the heck are terpenes? We see them mentioned a lot in information about essential oils, but what are they and do they benefit us as bath and body formulators in any way? Terpenes are organic compounds, the major building blocks within nearly every living creature. For instance, steroids are derivatives of the triterpene...

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Experiments the workshop: Using disodium cocoamphodiacetate & decyl glucoside

Sorry, I didn’t get around to formulating with the emu oil as I’ve been running around testing everything with my pH meter, and got into the surfactants bin in the workshop! I’ll have some posts on emu oil shortly!  My husband has started calling me “magpie” because I’m easily distracted by shiny things!  Now that...

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Emu oil

Voyageur has recently started carrying emu oil (INCI Emu Oil), so I thought I’d try it out. So what’s the big deal with this oil? It’s reported to be a good anti-inflammatory, skin cell regenerator, anti-bacterial, and non-comedogenic oil. Are these claims all true? Interestingly enough, there haven’t been a ton of studies on this oil...

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Question: How to thin out a thick lotion?

Someone asks: Say you have a cream that came out too thick and you have to thin it. You measure out the water and just add? THEN how do you refigure the % of your original formula? You cannot thin out a thick lotion once you’ve made it. If you add water to it, you’ll mess up...

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Calibrating my pH meter

As I mentioned, my lovely husband and mother bought me a pH meter for Christmas. It’s a Jenco Vision Plus and it’s quite fancy as it can store up to 50 readings, take temperatures, and many more features I have yet to try! It even comes with a handy dandy belt hook so I can...

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Substitutions: Figuring out what’s important in a conditioner

If you want to make a recipe, but don’t have all the ingredients, substitute…with one exception – the cationic quaternary compound or conditioning agent. Identify the cationic quaternary compound (usually Incroquat BTMS-50, but sometimes Incroquat BTMS-25, cetrimonium bromide, or cetrimonium chloride) and make sure you don’t substitute that for something else. A conditioner is not...

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I love Christmas!

My love of chemistry was acknowledged by my friends and family this Christmas with this amazing test tube set and beaker from my best friend, and a fantastic pH meter from my mom and husband. I may have to break my ban on shopping on Boxing Day because I need some calibration fluid so I...

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Lest you doubt the power of fragrance…

Cinnamon is considered the most Christmas-y smell around Christmas time, as are orange and clove. Rose is considered the most summertime-y. (Click the link for more!) I change my fragrances throughout the year to put me more in the mood for the season – I love citrus in the summer – but I do have...

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