Chemistry Thursday: The difference between solubilizers and emulsifiers redux

In this post on solubilizers, someone asked: I still don’t get the difference between a solubilizer and a emulsifier. If I mix propylene glycol (in substitution for the surfactant), cetyl alcohol or stearic acid in water, will I be getting a lotion?  The quick answer is no because there’s nothing in your question that is … Read more

Recipe round-up: Make-up removers

I thought you might like a few recipes for make-up remover for some post-Hallowe’en clean up, so here are a few that might interest you! (The surfactant and oil based ones will work for waterproof make-up.) Surfactant based make-up removerOil based make-up removerWater based make-up removerPossible duplication of a creamy cleanserSurfactant based cleansing toweletteLotion based … Read more

Why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it? Wednesday: Sea kelp ferment

In the original why the heck did I buy this and what can I do with it thread, Catherine asks: I love your blog–what the heck can I do with Sea Kelp Ferment (INCI Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate)? I have been using it 100% on my face occasionally overnight (it is kind of sticky) and along my hairline … Read more

Weekend Wonderings: Adding the oil phase to the water phase in a stream? Can I use a solubilizer to mix salicylic acid into water? Should aloe vera have bits floating in it? And how can some companies not use preservatives?

DOES IT MATTER HOW WE ADD THE OIL AND WATER PHASE OF A LOTION TOGETHER?In this post on pumpkin seed oil, eeting asks: After heat and hold, does it matter how quickly u add the water phase to the oil phase? It is recommended with Polawax that the liquid be added in a slow steady stream. But … Read more

Weekend Wonderings: Do we need preservatives in anhydrous products? How do we use glycerin as a silicone substitute? And how to do I add water soluble things to anti-frizz sprays?

DO WE NEED PRESERVATIVES IN ANHYDROUS PRODUCTS?In this Newbie Tuesday post on lotion bars, AZ asks: Do we need to add any preservative to them? Or all oil only creations do not need preservatives? No, we don’t need to add preservatives to oil only products. We add preservatives to water containing products because the beasties … Read more

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

…in the Barclay-Nichols’s household. (Don’t hit me!) It’s might seem like Christmas is a huge 61 days away, but when you’re a crafter, you have to start early! I don’t think it’s helpful for me to start posting recipes on December 1st because you need time to try out these products, see how the fragrances … Read more