Monday, May 29, 2017

Update on a bunch of things including my new e-zine and classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle

Hi everyone! I've spent the last few days at my desk reading and writing and preparing and getting things done, most of which you'll see here over the next few weeks. Thank you for your excitement about me making cold process soap! I had great fun making it, and I hope to try a few new small batches over the next few weeks. Michele introduced me to the joys of Soapcalc, but I'd like to try the one we made a few times more before I go off making my own recipes for a product I don't quite understand on an experiential level. (I do get the chemistry of it, and I'll be sharing some great information I've found on the topic as I post here about my experiences.)

The new e-zine is out for those of you who are $10 Patreon members. If you aren't a member, and you're interested, please check out my Patreon site to learn more. This e-zine will be available in early June for $13, so if the idea of an e-zine on extracts interests you, then check out this table of contents and visit the Patreon site to learn more.

The e-zine has brand new recipes, including a few for a clay mask and a liquid blend you could add to it, as well as information on how to make gels to mix with it. I'm quite excited about all of this!!!

I have tons of ideas on what I'd like to write about first, including more recipes from the 2017 HSCG conference in Las Vegas, including a whole series of things on Simulgreen 18-2, a new, ECOcert emulsifier I've been working with for more than 18 months, but I want to get through your comments and questions first.

Thanks for being such awesome readers! I met quite a few of you while at Windy Point Soap last week, and I can't tell you how much it means to me that you read what I write, try the recipes, and love this craft I love so much! You all make doing all of this worth while! I love to hear from you, too, so don't hesitate to write or comment. I know I'm falling behind, but I really do want to hear from you about what you're making!

I have two more classes coming up at Voyageur Soap & Candle...

This weekend on Saturday, June 3rd at 9:30 it's JUST FOR MEN!

Who could forget about all the wonderful men in our lives! The modern man values and understands the importance of taking care of their skin and hair, and Susan will teach you to make a range of products just for men! These will include a conditioning shaving lotion, Beard Oil, Hey Beardo! sprayable beard and skin conditioner, beard and face wash, protectant hand lotion, and lotion bar. And in addition, you will take home a recipe and information package so you can continue to make these fabulous products at home and just in time for Father’s Day!

And then on Saturday, June 17th at 9:30 it's all about gels!

Susan demystifies how to make a range of specialty gel products by walking you through the science of these advanced ingredients and teaching you how you can easily use them at home to create amazing skin care products. Using the specialized gelling agents, Sepimax Zen and Carbopol Ultrez 20, together with premium skin care ingredients, students will make a variety of premium gel products for face and body. And in addition, you will take home a recipe and information package so you can continue to make these fabulous products at home!

If you're interested in learning more about having me come to where you live to teach or if you have ideas for classes I could offer at Windy Point Soap or Voyageur Soap & Candle, don't hesitate to comment here or email me at sjbarclay@telus.net for more details.

Let's get to your comments!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What did I make??

So what did I make yesterday?  Cold process soap!!!!! I know, right? It was so much fun!!!

Michele from Windy Point Soap taught me how to make two batches of soap yesterday. Both were coconut, palm, shea, and olive oils. The pink was fuchsia mica with strawberry jam fragrance oil; the other, neon orange with blood orange and goji fragrance oil. They smell amazing, but I'm so worried I won't make it until they have cured to use them!

I've been planning and plotting my next batch - I'm thinking neon green and/or neon pink with Manchurian Dragon fragrance oil - but what oils should I try? I'd love to hear your thoughts. (Does soy bean oil soap well?)

We aren't back at home yet, but I'm documenting our travels with the always adorable puppy Sasja on...
Facebook as SwiftCraftyMonkey
Instagram as SwiftCraftyMonkey
and Twitter @SwiftCraftyM (as Susan Nichols as my name is too long!)
so join us there!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Guess what I made today?

Happy Victoria Day! We're still on the road after my incredibly exciting weekend teaching at Windy Point Soap in Calgary, and it's hard to update the blog as the Blogger app crashes constantly, but I really wanted to share some of my excitement over the project Michele taught me today!

It's not ready yet, but I'll give you a few hints before posting some pictures...

You've all been bugging me for a while to try it...
It's an exothermic chemical reaction, one that gives off heat...
It has an alkaline pH, a pH over 8...

Hmm... what could it be??? 😁

If you want to see short updates of our adventures last week and this, please check out my SwiftCraftyMonkey Facebook page! 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Recipes from the HSCG 2017 conference: Niacinamide & willow bark hydro-gel - part three, the recipe and modifications

Yesterday, we met a new gelling agent in the form of Sepinov EMT 10, and Monday we took a look at the ingredients we're using in this recipe. Today, let's look at the recipe and some modifications we can make to it!

NIACINAMIDE & WILLOW BARK OIL FREE MOISTURIZER (HYDRO-GEL)
WATER PHASE
74.5% distilled water
5% willow bark extract (liquid)
4% niacinamide (powder)
3% propanediol 1,3
3% sea kelp bioferment
2% n-acetyl glucosamine
2% panthenol (powder)
2% chamomile extract (liquid)
0.5% sodium lactate (powder)
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

EMT PHASE
3.0 % Sepinov EMT 10

In a container that’s big enough to use the stick blender or hand mixer in, combine all the water phase ingredients. Sprinkle the powder over the water, then mix well with a stick blender or hand mixer until it gels. You’re done! Rejoice!

Wow, that was super easy, right? 

If you want to alter this recipe, please note that niacinamide needs to have a pH around 6, so we can’t add any acids, like salicylic acid or AHAs, or ingredients that might need to have a lower pH. 

A few combinations that might be nice…
Use this as a targeted treatment by adding 3% to 10% argireline into the water phase. 
Try using this as a targeted or all over treatment by dissolving 1% genistein into 3% glycerin (use in place of the propanediol 1,3). 
5% Fision Active White for a little of everything to help with skin brightening. 
Add 10% any oil or oil soluble ingredient to this recipe to make a cream gel. I really like squalane in this recipe. (I'll be posting that version shortly...) 
Add a fruit acid complex at up to 10% to add some AHA ingredients. If you do this, please remove the niacinamide at 4% from the recipe as per my note above. 

If you have Sepimax ZEN, you can use it in place of Sepinov EMT 10 in this recipe. It may be quite thick at 3%, but give it a try. 

Or join me tomorrow and the next day as we look at some awesome modifications of this recipe! 

Links to buy these ingredients at Lotioncrafter:
Willow bark extract
Panthenol
Chamomile extract
Sodium lactate
Niacinamide
n-acetyl glucosamine
Propanediol 1,3
Sea kelp bioferment
Sepinov EMT 10
Allantoin
Liquid Germall Plus

Please note, I supply these links to Lotioncrafter as my thanks for sponsoring my demonstration at the HSCG conference. These are not affiliate links and I receive nothing if you click through or if you buy ingredients from that shop. I have them here to make it easier for you to find things as well as showing my gratitude for Jen's generosity! 

If you're interested in learning more about gels using Sepinov EMT 10 and simply can't wait for me to post things on this blog, please check out the e-zine I wrote on the topic, entitled Gels! Ooey, gooey fun! which includes recipes for Ultrez 20 and Sepimax ZEN. 

Oh, as a note, if you're a $10 subscriber to my Patreon page, Lotioncrafter is offering you a 7% discount on ingredients until Saturday, June 10th! Pretty awesome, eh?

Join me tomorrow for more fun modifying this recipe! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I'm teaching at Windy Point Soap in Calgary this weekend!


I don't think I've mentioned that I'm teaching in Calgary, Alberta this weekend! If you're interested, click here to see the registration page at Windy Point Soap! We're offering an all day lotion making class with five different emulsifiers, a half day anhydrous class, and a half day class on conditioners. Everyone who attends will receive an e-book to take home! Even if you aren't coming to the class, stop by the grand opening of Windy Point Soap!

Recipes from the HSCG 2017 conference: Niacinamide & willow bark hydro-gel - part two, all about Sepinov EMT 10

In yesterday's post, we took a look at the ingredients to create a hydrating and oil free recipe with niacinamide and willow bark. Today, let's take a look at this new gelling agent and what it offers.

I’m using Sepinov EMT 10 as my gelling agent (INCI: Hydroxyethyl Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer). It's a pre-neutralized polymer you can use to make gels, cream gels, and alcoholic gels, and can be added to an emulsion as a rheology modifier (thickener).

The recommended usage rate is 0.5% to 5%. The lower usage rate is for including it in lotion, while the higher levels are creating gels or cream gels where EMT 10 is the main ingredient.

Why use this instead of another gelling agent? Because it’s not like normal gels. It can make a perfectly fine thick gel, but it’s awesome for making things like facial sera thanks to its silky skin feel. If we think of gels as being bouncy and watery, EMT 10 makes gels that are smooth, only slightly bouncy, and less watery than a normal gel. I’ve yet to make a clear gel with it, but that’s no big deal when you’ve made something lovely and moisturizing.

It’s an anionic or negatively charged ingredient, so it’s not compatible with cationic or positively charged ingredients. This means you can’t add cationic polymers like honeyquat, polyquat 44, polyquat 7, and so on, as well as emulsifiers like Incroquat BTMS-50, Rita BTMS-225, and so on. Some hydrolyzed proteins might be right out, too, so if you want to include those, do a test batch to see how they turn out.

To make a gel, add it to the water phase, then mix with a hand or stick mixer. As you’ll see in my recipes, I get all my ingredients into the container, then add Sepinov EMT 10 last and mix very well. The gel will be ready in minutes.

To make an alcoholic gel – inedible, sadly – you add all your water ingredients, then Sepinov EMT 10, then your alcohol while mixing. This might seem like a strange idea, but this is how you could make something like salicylic acid, which is soluble in water, or hand sanitizers.

For a cream gel, which is one with oils, add it to the oil phase, then add the entire water phase while mixing. The data sheets for this product say it can handle up to 50% oils, but that didn’t work for me. I tried 40% and 45% oils and esters, and each time had an epic fail. I suggest no more than 10% oils, esters, and oil soluble ingredients at first and see how it works for you. I liked 10% - you’ll see that shortly – and thought it was lovely and moisturizing.

To use it in a lotion as a thickener and rheology modifier, add to the heated oil phase. Remember, you can’t use it with Incroquat BTMS-50 or other positively charged emulsifiers.

As an aside, the reason we add powders to the heated oil phase is to make sure they don’t clump when we get them into the water phase. I know it seems counterintuitive, especially when you see it for ingredients that are really water soluble, like our carbomers and gums, but it really works! 

Since EMT 10 is stable from pH 3 to 10, it can be used in more acidic products, like those with AHAs or salicylic acid. It’s a great ingredient for facial products – I especially like spot treatments, eye products, and sera – thanks to that silky skin feel and ability to emulsify oils. The recommended usage rate is 0.5% to 5%. The lower usage rate is for including it in lotion, while the higher levels are creating gels or cream gels where EMT 10 is the main ingredient.

It’s an anionic or negatively charged ingredient, so it’s not compatible with cationic or positively charged ingredients. This means you can’t add cationic polymers like honeyquat, polyquat 44, polyquat 7, and so on, as well as emulsifiers like Incroquat BTMS-50, Rita BTMS-225, and so on. Some hydrolyzed proteins might be right out, too, so if you want to include those, do a test batch to see how they turn out.

Sepinov EMT 10 is a silky feeling gellant when compared to carbomers like pre-neutralized sodium carbomer, Ultrez 20, or Sepimax ZEN. You can use those gellants in this recipe instead of EMT 10 at their suggested usage rates. It can emulsify oils – I’ve found it’s best at 10% or so – and it can handle acids, like alpha-hydroxy acids, fruit acid extracts, lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and more.

You can buy Sepinov EMT 10 at Lotioncrafter!

Please note, I supply these links to Lotioncrafter as my thanks for sponsoring my demonstration at the HSCG conference. These are not affiliate links and I receive nothing if you click through or if you buy ingredients from that shop. I have them here to make it easier for you to find things as well as showing my gratitude for Jen's generosity! 

Join me tomorrow and we'll finish up this recipe!

Oh, as a note, if you're a $10 subscriber to my Patreon page, Lotioncrafter is offering you a 7% discount on ingredients until Saturday, June 10th! Pretty awesome, eh?

Final note, if you're interested in learning more about gels using Sepinov EMT 10 and simply can't wait for me to post things on this blog, please check out the e-zine I wrote on the topic, entitled Gels! Ooey, gooey fun! which includes recipes for Ultrez 20 and Sepimax ZEN. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Recipes from the 2017 HSCG conference - Niacinamide & Willow Bark Hydro-gel (part one)

Some skin types can’t handle oils, so this recipe is an oil free moisturizer or serum into which you could add all kinds of lovely water soluble ingredients. My goal for this product is to hydrate skin, help reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and promote a more even skin tone.

I’m using willow bark extract in this recipe as it contains salicylic acid, which can help with problem skin and act as a chemical exfoliant. As much as I like saliyclic acid, it's hard to dissolve and can be a little much for some skin types.

You could use salicylic acid in this recipe dissolved in alcohol, for instance, as Sepinov EMT 10 can create alcoholic gels. You'll see some recipes including salcylic acid on the blog over the summer. 

I’m having a love affair with the combination of niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and n-acetyl glucosamine (NAG).

Used at as little as 2%, niacinamide can increase skin’s barrier lipids and ceramides, which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. It can reduce sebum production and pore diameter, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. It can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there's a lack of irritation and redness on our faces ('cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and "pebbling" or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin's barrier functions.

n-acetyl glucosamine is a bio-identical ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin, and has been shown to work well when combined with niacinamide. It can also increase hydration of our skin by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin. This combination has been studied and found to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation to promote a more uniform skin tone. Whew! That’s a lot of stuff, eh?

Propanediol 1,3 is a naturally derived substitute for propylene glycol that can be used at up to 20% in your water phase. It's a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to your skin to offer hydration. It has a 9 to 12 month shelf life once opened.

I'm using it in this rcipe as a non-sticky feeling humectant. You could use glycerin or propylene glycol in its place, if you wished. 

I’m adding sea kelp bioferment to the recipe as my film former. (Gels don’t tend to like hydrolyzed proteins, so I’m using this ingredient to behave the way something like hydrolyzed oat protein might work.)

I’m adding panthenol to this gel to improve hydration of my skin, and sodium lactate to act as a humectant. (Yeah, I’ve gone crazy with humectants in this recipe, but I need something to moisturize and hydrate without oils!) I’m adding allantoin at 0.5% as my barrier protectant and skin soother, and I’m adding liquid chamomile extract to help reduce transepidermal water loss and soothe irritated skin.

Quick note: If you're using a liquid sodium lactate, you can use 1% in this recipe. If you're using the powder, please use no more than 0.5% sodium lactate. I made that error, and the viscosity was ruined!

If you haven't noticed by now that I love the combination of panthenol at 2%, allantoin at 0.5%, and some kind of hydrolyzed protein or film former at 2%, where have you been? I love this combination! I'm adding niacinamide at 4% and NAG at 2% to that combination these days, and my skin is so happy! As usual, your mileage may vary. 

As this post is getting far too long, please join me tomorrow for more information on Sepinov EMT 10 and the rest of this recipe!

As I've mentioned previously, my presentation at the conference was sponsored by Lotioncrafter, and you can get all the supplies for these products there. These are not affiliate links and I get nothing if you click through and buy something. I provide them as a thank you to Jen at Lotioncrafter for supplying everything necessary to do the presentation and more! 

Links to buy these ingredients at Lotioncrafter:
Willow bark extract
Panthenol
Chamomile extract
Sodium lactate
Niacinamide
n-acetyl glucosamine
Propanediol 1,3
Sea kelp bioferment

Oh, as a note, if you're a $10 subscriber to my Patreon page, Lotioncrafter is offering you a 7% discount on ingredients until Saturday, June 10th! Pretty awesome, eh?

See you tomorrow!