A thought for the day: If there’s a reason you can’t use an ingredient…

I see e-mail messages and comments all the time asking how to substitute something in a recipe because someone has an allergy or are vegan or have a special need or political belief that means they can’t use an ingredient, and my suggestion is to learn what the ingredient brings to the product and learn...

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Weekend Wonderings: Decyl glucoside in laundry detergents and greasiness of coconut oil in lotions with a quick note about e-mail

In this post on decyl glucoside, Mandy asks: Does anyone know if there is a powdered form of decyl glucoside? Or, is there another powdered surfactant that would work well as a laundry detergent?  I wouldn’t take the chance, to be honest. I know a few people who have ruined their very expensive machines by making...

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Chemistry Friday: Why do we care about mixing and solubility?

I’ve shown you this picture many times before, but I present it again as an illustration for this post! Both bottles contain the same liquid – my toner recipe – but I added a ton of extracts to bottle 2. When I made the product and added the extracts at cool down (below 45˚C), it...

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I’ve written up a new SnapGuide – making soy wax tarts!

Can you tell I’m off work for the week? I’ve created a new SnapGuide visual tutorial on making soy candle wax tarts! I starting making these when my massage therapist mentioned how much she loved the idea but hated the fragrance choices, and I was so happy to see Voyageur Soap & Candle had the...

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When good products go wrong!

I’m enjoying some holiday time workshop fun this week, and I have all kinds of fun new ingredients and products to share with you, but I had to share this product! I had this idea to make a Japanese themed body wash with bamboo, sake, willow, and green tea, scented with Bramble Darry’s amazing Yuzu fragrance...

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Chemistry Thursday: Why oil and water don’t mix or more on solublity

Mixing two things is all about solubility. If we say that something is water soluble, it means that it will mix or dissolve in water. If we say something is oil soluble, it means it will mix or dissolve in oil. If we try to mix an oil soluble thing in water, it will not...

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Correction: Some oils can penetrate your hair!

In the post on hygral fatigue and coconut oil, I stated that oils can’t penetrate our hair shaft. I was wrong! Some oils can penetrate our hair shaft – it’s all about the size and type of molecules in the oil. When I was thinking about oils penetrating the hair shaft, for some reason I thought...

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Why our hair turns gray!

I’m writing this post a little later than I expected, but did you know they’ve figured out why our hair turns gray? (Following up from this post!) “Going gray is caused by a massive build up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear of our hair follicles. The hydrogen peroxide ends up blocking the normal...

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Hygral fatigue and coconut oil (heavily edited)

Someone mentioned the concept of hygral fatigue in a comment the other day, and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned! It’s a term used to describe the constant swelling and contracting of the hair shaft by water caused washing too frequently (or possibly absorbing water from the atmosphere). Point of interest: I’ve amended this...

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Weekend Wonderings: Using salicylic acid without alcohol and making a face cream absorb better

In the Weekend Wondering post, Topher asks: I want to create a 2% salicylic acid toner without alcohol. I noticed that in your toner recipes you do not use alcohol, yet the SA is completely dissolved. How do you do this?  To be honest, I use white willow bark most of the time because I don’t...

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