Q&A Quickie: Why use sodium hydroxide instead of triethanolamine to increase pH?

In the October Q&A, Charlette asked, Sometimes I’ll see sodium hydroxide at the end of an ingredient list for skin products and I wonder why would this be used? Wouldn’t it be much easier to use TEA (triethanolamine) to increase pH rather than lye (which is usually bought in huge batches when all I’d be using...

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If you wanted to get a formulator a present: Things for measuring

I know it’s hard to buy presents for crafters as it’s hard to know what specific and awesome ingredients we want, so I thought I’d share a few ideas then ask you for your suggestions to make life easier for those who might be buying us gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays. This post...

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Discussion: What’re you making or would like to make to give as presents?

I can’t believe it’s only 39 days until Christmas, my favourite time of year! I love making and giving handmade gifts all year ’round, but I particularly love the fragrances that remind us of winter, cuddling up under blankets drinking hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows! Last year’s basket contained vanilla mint bubble bath, a lovely...

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Discussion: Let’s talk about mixers!

In the August Q&A, there were a few questions about different mixers! As an aside, I’ve been gathering all kinds of mixers over the last year that I’ve been testing to share with you, but I got bogged down because I wanted to set up my new viscometer so I had exact numbers instead of...

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Discussion: What are your favourite fragrance oils right now? Which ones do you want to try?

I can’t stop buying fragrances as there are just so many lovely ones! I’m definitely a foodie, but I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone by trying new ones. These are some of my newest ones. I thought I’d get a few opinions, so here’s who I had test them out! Raymond, my...

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Discussion: How do you handle your large (and growing) inventory of formulating ingredients?

In the July Q&A, Marta asked, I was wondering how you handle your large (and growing) inventory of formulating ingredients. Do you truly discard them when they are beyond the stated shelf life? Perhaps you just know which ingredients you can store for longer than recommended. Or, perhaps everything is refrigerated (seems impossible). In knitting we...

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Discussion: How do you keep track of your formulas? (Originally on Patreon)

In the December Q&A, Terri asked: My question is about recipe management and keeping ingredient inventories low but adequate to cover a given time period. I have been using a digital cooking app called Living Cookbook to create recipes and ingredients because it allows me to quickly scale them and create a shopping list when...

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Subscribers’ Q&A and Discussion: What’s the effective level of ingredients? And thought about using tiny amounts

Amber is on fire this week! In Potential duplication of L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream (part four), she shares: I have to agree with the rant about products that contain tiny bits of this and that. I always, always wonder what the effective level is of each ingredient? I know some things are very effective at very low...

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Discussion: What tools or small pieces of equipment rock your world? 

I admit that I’m a bit of a tool freak in the workshop. (Wow, that sounded way less suggestive in my head…) I love finding something that’ll make my life slightly easier when it comes to measuring, mixing, creating, testing, packaging, or anything else! One of my new favourite things is this giant fork from...

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Discussion: What would you love to try or can’t keep using due to cost?

I’m very aware of cost these days as I’m getting into more and more expensive cosmeceuticals or ECOcert ingredients, and as of yesterday, I’m working hard to share with you a rough estimate of how much less common ingredients and formulas may cost. I’m also really aware as a Canadian that there might be all...

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