Discussion: How do you clean up after a day of formulating?

In the post, Discussion: How do you sanitize your workspace before formulating, Sarah wondered: Does anyone here have a favorite grease-cutting cleanser/method for cleaning little glass bottles and jars? I’ve tried very hot water, dish detergent and d-Limonene, but it still took many round of cleaning and I still don’t think it’s enough…am I going to … Read more

Discussion: How do you sanitize your workspace before formulating?

In the January 2018 Patreon Q&A post, Sima asked:  How do you sterilise your equipment such as pyrex jugs, beakers, spoons, spatulas, workbench etc before making a product? Can I start by saying I think it’s lovely that anyone would think I would know anything about being tidy given the state of my workshop? I … Read more

Q&A: Can you have a lotion fail by heating and holding two phases?

Quite a few of you have been sending me a link to this post, One Minute Technical Support – Lotion Problems, from The Sage. In it, they state that if you’ve had a lotion fail, it might be because: “You use phases – heating ingredients separately rather than dumping all ingredients into one bowl/heating vessel. … Read more

Member exclusive Q&A: Trouble shooting a Simulgreen 18-2 lotion

In the December Q&A on Patreon, Lesley asked: Hi Susan, just made a facial lotion with Simulgreen 18-2 and some of the oil keeps separating, only a portion. Did I not use enough? I did heat and hold for 20 minutes, mixed with a stick blender for a minute or 2, then I let it...

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Member exclusive Q&A: Should we store our finished products in opaque containers or cool, dark places?

In the December Q&A, Christina asked: Hi Susan, was wondering between storing formulations in clear bottles, frosted and colored. Some ingredients say to store in a dark cool place. But if you’re only using 2-5% of the product, does that still apply? I have quite a few clear and frosted bottles that I haven’t used because...

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Member exclusive Q&A: Why do I suggest starting with a stick blender, then moving to a hand mixer with some emulsifiers?

In the December Q&A, Terri asked: Thank you for the Flowers, Flowers & More Flowers Body Butter recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I noticed in the directions, you recommend starting with a stick blender but switching to a handheld to finish incorporating the water phase into the oil phase. Can you explain why?...

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Share your thoughts: How do you keep track of your formulas?

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 … Read more

Member exclusive Q&A: How to measure smaller amounts?

In the December duplicating post, Joyce asked: My question concerns formulating, in reading your blog you state when formulating a recipe, x%=xgrams. i have recently seen recipes with odd %’s, for ex. 0.80%. How do you measure .80 grams? Do we drop the 0 & make it .8grams, do we round up to 1 gram,...

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Member exclusive Q&A: Why did this lotion fail? Part two – fragrance & essential oils and mixing

Yesterday, we took a look at how changes in oils and preservatives might impact a lotion. What else could be an issue here? Fragrance and essential oils aren’t inert ingredients: We know vanilla can make things brown, but it can also thin out a product thanks to the vanillin. This is why we may have...

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