What can you share about lotion making? What do you want to know?

As I’ve been writing this series on lotion making, I’ve realized there are so many little things I do to make lotions, both in formulating and the process itself, that I wasn’t taught by someone else but learned along the way. And we all have those little things that we’ve figured out ourselves based on...

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Sponsored by readers like you: Fabric stencilling with freezer paper

I admit I’m addicted to stencilling because it gives me a chance to make funky personalized t-shirts and other fabric items with an X-acto knife, some freezer paper, and fabric paints. My How’s That Made group has spent the last two weeks stencilling. Week one, we learned how to make stencils. Week two, we decorated...

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Learning to formulate: More tweaking of light lotions

We know that a light lotion has about an 80% water phase, 19% oil phase, and 0.5% to 1% preservative.  And we know we can tweak that lotion silly with any ingredients we want as long as we stay within those guidelines if we want it to remain the consistency of a light lotion (You...

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An aside: Oily roots, dry ends

Take a look at your local drug store’s shampoo aisle and try to find something just for oily hair. You can’t. It’s all for oily roots, dry ends. And this actually makes some kind of sense. If you have longish hair, your ends will be less healthy than the roots because they have been subjected...

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Learning to formulate: Light lotions (updated)

As I’ve mentioned before, a light lotion is one that consists of about 80% water and doesn’t contain lots of butters or other thickeners. This is something you’d use as a body lotion or facial moisturizer as it’s not sturdy enough to handle being a hand or foot lotion. It works out to about 80%...

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Learning to formulate: Lotions with minimally processed ingredients continued

Yesterday we made a lotion with minimally processed ingredients, let’s make a body butter in a similar fashion. Again, I’m going to use an emulsifier and a preservative, which means I can’t have a 100% minimally processed product. But we can go for something on par with 92% minimally processed ingredients! So what ingredients do...

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An aside: Let’s talk about drier feeling oils…

A few people have asked me about astringent oils lately, and the main question is “are they drying?” Allow me to recap a post from last year with a bit more detail… An astringent is actually defined as “chemical that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application.” By definition...

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Learning to formulate: Lotions with minimally processed ingredients

At least once a day, I get an e-mail from someone wanting to make a natural lotion. I tend to answer this with another question – what do you mean by natural? Infuriating, I know, answering a question with another question, but apparently that’s how I roll. After almost five years of making my own...

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Fun with chemistry: Anionic, cationic, and non-ionic

Will writes….I’d love to learn more about the whole _____ionic thing and how it applies to lotions/cream, etc. I’ve read about it, and the more I read the more confused I become. How about dumbing it down and explaining it in your excellent fashion? Just wishing… Wish no more, Will! When it comes to chemistry, you ask and...

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Learning to formulate: Making more changes to a lotion…

So we’ve tweaked the formerly six ingredient shea, soy bean, and sesame oil lotion to the point where it’s a completely different recipe…and that’s the point of this series! To tweak recipes to make them your own, to offer the skin feel and properties you want! So let’s take a look at tweaking this recipe...

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