Essential oils aren’t magical!

I know it seems like they may be magical with all their wonderful qualities, but you can treat them as you would other ingredients. For instance, don’t measure them in drops. How do you know how much you’re using? Measure them by weight like you would any other ingredient. Check the suggested usage rate and...

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Weekend Wonderings: So many comments! (Part two)

A tip for the day: If you don’t have all the ingredients for a product on the blog, try searching for another recipe for that product. For instance, if you want to make a toner but don’t have the extract I mention, try searching for another toner recipe to see if there’s one that doesn’t...

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Weekend Wonderings: Adding essential oils in the heated phase?

In this post – Heating, holding, freezing, and thawing our oils – Lexi asks: It’s summer so time to break out the insect repellents. I want to make my own insect repellent lotion based on essential oils (e.g. lavender, eucalyptus, citronella). My product is 8% essential oils. I know you said that we are not...

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Weekend Wonderings: What is the HLB of butylene glycol? Is glycerin water soluble? Are essential oils water soluble?

HLB VALUE OF BUTYLENE GLYCOL?In this post, Humectants: Propylene glycol & dipropylene glycol, Tyler asks: What is the HLB value of butylene glycol? Butylene glycol doesn’t have an HLB value because it isn’t oil soluble. HLB values are assigned to emulsifiers and oil soluble ingredients. Since butylene glycol is water soluble and doesn’t need an emulsifier...

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Weekend Wonderings: Why so many emulsifiers in a commercial product, why we weigh essential oils, heating our phases, and creating a double boiler

In this post, Keisha asks: I’ve fallen in love with Laura Mercier’s Ambre Vanilla Souffle and was trying to replicate it. Looking at the ingredients, it seems like they might have used two different emulsifiers (glyceryl stearate & peg-100; cetearyl alcohol & polysorbate 60.) I’m curious, why would someone use two different complete emulsifiers? I was able to...

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Facial scrubs: Adding essential oils to an oil based scrub

I am asked all the time about adding essential oils to facial products and the short answer is yes, you can use essential oils in facial products. The long answer is slightly longer…And as usual, please treat essential oils with respect, acknowledging that they aren’t just about adding scent to a product, they may also...

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Essential oils: Other things about cedarwood

Cedarwood Texas is considered to be an anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, astringent, and expectorant. Cedarwood Virginia is considered to be an abortifacient, antiseborrheic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, expectorant, fungicidal, and an insecticide. We’ve already discussed the claims that cedarwood can be an abortifacient (not completely sure, but be careful!), sedative (confirmed), and insecticide (confirmed), but what about the other...

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Essential oils: The science of cedrene and thujopsene

The two other main components of cedarwood Texas and cedarwood Virginia essential oils are cedrene (1.8% in Texas, 27.2% in Virginia) and thujopsene (60% Texas, 27% Virginia). And here’s the problem – I’ve done a ton of searching, and I can’t find anything with any great information about what these compounds bring to the science of...

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Essential oils: Cedarwood – the science of cedrol

What exactly is cedrol? It’s a sesquiterpenoid alcohol found in cedarwood oil (definition here). It makes up about 19% of cedarwood Texas and 15.8% of cedarwood Virginia. The International Organization for Standardization states cedrol should make up a minimum of 20% in Texas cedarwood and a maximum of 14% in Virginia cedarwood, whereas the Fragrance Manufacturer’s...

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Essential oils: Cedarwood Texas and cedarwood Virginia essential oils

The cedarwood essential oils from Texas and Virginia can be very similar, but there are different claims and different processing for each of the oils.  From Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients (click here for the excerpt): Cedarwood oil Virginia contains mainly α-and β-cedrene (ca. 80%), cedrol (3–14%), and cedrenol. Other sesquiterpenes present include thujopsene,...

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