Please write to the right person if you want help with things!

As much as I love hearing from you, writing to the wrong person to get help will only result in frustration and a lack of help. We aren’t trying to make your life more difficult; we’re trying to get you to the right person for the job so you can have more fun formulating.

On the contact me page, you’ll see there’s a form where you can write to me. And just above it you’ll see that paragraph in capital letters, bolded, and purpled, along with the green bold link. This is where you can contact Raymond about all your membership, tech support, and downloading e-zine questions, and where you can find the tech support FAQ, which contains all the questions we’ve been asked so far about using the blog. He is my adorable husband as well as your tech guru and guide to this site. Yet every day, I receive message after message from those who by-pass this garishly coloured paragraph to ask me for help with techy things.

Writing to me about tech stuff is like contacting Raymond to trouble shoot a lotion fail for you. Let’s say you wrote this message to him: Hi Raymond! I made this lotion, and before the next day, it had separated. There’s a layer of water on the bottom. I used water, aloe vera, Polawax, cetyl alcohol, olive oil, shea butter, and Optiphen. I added 0.5% peppermint essential oil. What went wrong?

Raymond’s answer? You pissed off the emulsifier. The emulsifier is angry with you, and has decided to not emulsify your lotion. My solution would be to throw it away. Sure, you could just re-mix it, but it would separate again.

My answer? First, make sure you’re using enough emulsifier. Remember that with Polawax, we want to use the 25% rule to figure out how much to use. Your oil phase consists of cetyl alcohol, olive oil, shea butter, and peppermint essential oil. Total up how much you have there, divide it by 4, and you have your emulsifier amount. You could be using too much aloe vera: It contains a ton of electrolytes that can destabilize a lotion. And you need to work with Optiphen carefully as it doesn’t play well with what are called “fragile emulsions”, those on the edge of failing for some reason, like using the wrong type or incorrect amount of lotion.

In this post, Kuldip notes, “Add Optiphen at about 45˚C – 55°C, the trick is to keep mixing until cool. Usually adding optiphen to a cationic emulsion the product sometime thins out and will eventually thicken as it cools. Without looking at the ingredients you are working with hard to predict if the preservative is even compatible with the emulsion.”

Here are a few links:

Why did my lotion fail? Optiphen

Why did my lotion fail? Heating and holding

Why did my lotion fail? Emulsifiers

Why did my lotion fail? Emulsifiers continued

As much as Raymond would like to help and as much as he has learned living in this house, reading the blog, and watching me teach, he cannot give you enough information to solve your problem. I can not only offer that information, but can share links and other materials to help you solve it yourself.

My mailbox is overflowing along with my notifications for various programs.

If you write to me about tech support of any sort, you’re at the end of a very long line that might not end for weeks.

If you write to him, if it’s during reasonable working hours, he can offer you a solution pretty quickly.

The moral of this story is this: Please write to the person who can help you so we can all be happy you’re getting what you want.