Technical Tip Library

100% natural preservatives
NatureCide - softens skin and helps control oiliness / acne through natural salicylates.
VegeCide - improves the condition of skin through it's re-fatting activity.
Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate - will improve the moisture in skin through its glycerol backbone
Amino Acids
Quinoa Protein delivers the full range of amino acids for optimal performance from just one protein!
Creatine will smooth the hair cuticle for enhanced shine, frizz control, and manageability
Quinoa Protein, Hydrolyzed contains an amino acid profile that is the closest vegetable source to animal protein, and offers the full range of sizes to offer complete protein activity.
Common Cosmetic Acronyms and Abbreviations
WW (Water Weight)
QS (Quantity Sufficient)
INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients)
CAS (Chemical Abstract Service)
MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
REACH (Research Evaluation Authorization of Chemicals)
CofA (Certificate of Analysis)
SAP (Saponification Value)
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)
ORG (Organic)
C/ORG (Certified Organic)
K, KOS (Kosher)
NPA (Natural Products Association)
HLB (Hydrophylic Lipophylic Balance)
TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss)
TIP (Temperature Inversion Phase)
GRS (Generally Regarded as Safe)
EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic Acid)
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)
Emulsion Enhancement
*** You can improve the feel, and glide, of your emulsions by adding a natural polymer, which will change the way that the final product flows, also called rheology modification
*** The addition of Myristyl Myristate, or Cetyl Esters, will increase stability and give your emulsion a powdery feel on the skin
*** You can speed the cool down, of your formulation, by adding any polymer phase to the cool down, without having heated it. You can, usually, use about 25 to 30% of your total water phase, for your polymer hydration, and then let it hydrate as you proceed with the rest of your emulsion, and then add the hydrated polymer to your cooling emulsion, which will reduce cooling times by about 50%.
*** Adding fatty alcohols to any emulsion will improve stability and the glide and feel of the final product. It's best to use these at 3% or less to avoid soaping which is the term used to describe the sensation of not being able to rub a cream or lotion into the skin. When this happens the product turns white on the skin as one attempts to rub it in, it will feel tacky, and will be difficult to get it to absorb.
Emulsion Stability
*** Do not combine cationic proteins (the Plus's) with nonionic emulsifiers or your emulsions will be unstable and may result in separation!
*** Process your emulsions with separate water and oil phases for improved water / oil binding.
*** EWax combined with Stearic Acid will offer enhanced emulsion stability
*** The difference in feel between using Cetearyl Alcohol 30/70 and Cetearyl Alcohol 70/30 will be that the 30/70 will be a little more firm, while the 70/30 will be a little more smooth, and thick.  They will both offer thickening and enhanced stability to your emulsions.
***You can use Cupuacu Butter as a substitute for stearic acid, for improved label appeal, and enhanced moisturization and tissue repair ... Cupuacu Butter contains about 38% stearic acid ... if you wanted to clean up your label and your formula calls for 2% stearic acid you would use:  2 / .38 = 5.27% Cupuacu Butter and you would be adding a host of other benefits
*** When making oil in water emulsions you can speed the bonding by completing the mixing over an ice bath (50/50 water/ice) however, an ice bath should never be used when your formulation contains Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate because the rapid temperature change can cause grit in the final product.
*** When making emulsions it's best to make sure that you take both the water and oil phases to 170F and always ensure that both phases are close to the same temperature before combining them.
*** In general an HLB < = 8 will form oil in water emulsions while an HLB > = 9 will form water in oil emulsions.
Emulsion Thickening
*** You can add fatty alcohols, fatty acids, esters, and some butters to increase the thickness (viscosity) of your creams and lotions, which will also improve stability. As a general rule you will add one or some combination of these at about 2 to 3%. This will thicken your creams and lotions and will also give your product enhanced performance as it gains the skin benefits of your chosen THICKENER.
Essential Oil Blending
*** Add Sandalwood to any blend to deepen the fragrance without adding a significant amount of additional fragrance!
*** A trace of Litsea Cubeb (May Change) gives your essential oils blends a clean smell
*** A touch of a spicy essential oil will bring out the sweetness of your blend.
*** Monoterpene Alcohols will help to 'quench' the irritation potential of irritating essential oils.
*** Make sure to use only non-sprayed citrus oils because anything that is on the skin will become a part of the oil.
*** Citrus oils that are steam distilled will not have photo-sensitive activity.
Patchouli will help to soften dry, rough, or cracked skin
Cistus / Rock Rose , aka Labdanum, essential oil helps to tighten the skin
Lavender will add a relaxing impact to your products
Neroli essential oil will add anti-aging and skin restructuring quality to your products
*** 5x (fold) oils are vacuum distilled after being pressed and they result in much more concentrated fragrance.
Cistus / Rock Rose , aka Labdanum, essential oil helps to stop bleeding and makes a great addition to your natural first aid kit
*** A trace means a ratio of 1 to 100
*** The addition of essential oils with high monoterpene alcohols will help to prevent the oxidation of the citrus oils and reduce their irritation potential
*** Most essential oils measure 30 drops per milliliter, with the exception being the highly viscous oils, i.e., sandalwood, vetiver, myrhh, patchouli, benzoin, etc., which will measure 26, to 28, drops per milliliter
*** The food scented essential oils will help to create fruity fragrances, i.e., anise, fenugreek, cardamom, coriander, bergamot
*** Ylang Ylang will add a intense, floral, fragrance to your blends while adding a relaxing activity
*** Base notes are those essential oils that are minimally volatile, and do not fade off too quickly, which serve the purpose of anchoring the more volatile essential oils for a smooth fragrance impact. As a general rule these oils come from heart woods, resins, roots, and grasses or think of them as coming from the lower part of the plant like sandalwood, patchouli, myrhh, ginger ...
*** When you're building a blend and are having trouble with your sense of smell try sniffing a container of coffee to clear your olfactory bulb and pick up on the scents again
*** When you're building a blend and are having trouble picking up the sweetness try sniffing black pepper to make the sweetness come through more clearly
*** Middle notes are those essential oils that are neither highly volatile, nor minimally volatile, and these notes form the heart of your blend. As a general rule, middle notes are those that come from flowering tops and leaves, or the middle part of the plant, like the herbs; lavender, geranium, basil ... and bark wood; camphor, ravintsara, cinnamon ...
*** When you're building an essential oil fragrance it's always a good idea to step out of the room, that you're working in, when analyzing your blend because only the more volatile oils will permeate the room and you're interpretation may not be correct
*** A good rule of thumb, to build stable essential oil fragrances, is to use a combination of 2 base notes, 3 middle notes, and 4 tops notes ... i.e., 2 patchouli (base note), 3 lavender (middle note), and 4 bergamot (top note) ... or, 2 patchouli (base note), 3 lavender (middle note), and 3 grapefruit (top note), and 1 fir (top note)
*** Top notes are those essential oils that are highly volatile, and these notes form the first impression of your blend. As a general rule, top notes are those that come from the outermost part of the plant, like peels, needles ...all the citrus oils, pine ...
*** You can solubilize up to 5% essential oils in NatureSilk to make 100% natural body sprays.  To do that dissolve the essential into the NatureSilk first, then add to preserved water, or water based ingredients.  We find it easy to make a 95 / 5 solution of NatureSilk, and then add 2%, for every 0.1% of desired essential oil load, to Aloe Extract , which is already preserved. 
*** All of the oils that are pressed from green fruit peels will be highly photosensitizing and may result in high levels of sun damage if used during the day. If you need to use these citrus oils during the day it's best to use the steam, or vacuum, distilled version to avoid the sensitizing chemicals.
*** When working with the resins it is helpful to heat them, gently, to make them pourable, and avoid inconsistencies with future batches
*** When you are using Bergamot FCF, to avoid photo sensitivity, you can add Tangerine x5, or Orange Sweet x5 to get back the sweetness that you lose from the fuorocoumarins
*** As a general rule, for 1% essential oil concentration, for every one ounce of product you would add 8 drops of essential oils.
*** You can use Botanical CO2 extracts to add natural color to your emulsions
*** Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) is a oil with a chemical profile similar to Thyme Linalool and is one of the other oils that is very active, but gentle enough for facial care.
*** Palmarosa essential oil has a higher content of the powerful anti-fungal agent, Geraniol, than does Geranium essential oil.
*** When you need to give your blend a touch of refreshing lemon, but need it to be sun / soak safe, choose from the leafy lemon essential oils: Lemon Tea Tree, Lemon Myrtle, Lemon Petitgrain, Eucalyptus Staigeriana ... these will offer a fresh, sweet / tart, lemon scent without the irritation or sensitization of the pressed oil, or, look for Lemon essential oil that is further distilled: Lemon Steam Distilled, Lemon 5 Fold, Steam Distilled Lemon Juice
*** An essential oil can be both uplifting and calming. Uplifting is a state of mind, while calming is a state of body
*** Make your own amazing Cleansing Spray for lifes little assaults.  Dissolve 3, to 9%, Dead Sea Salts in Aloe Vera Extract Liquid with 2% Lavender , Tea Tree , and Peppermint ... the Aloe Extract and Lavender will offer healing and soothing benefits, while the Tea Tree offers anti-bacterial benefits, and the Peppermint offers pain relief and cooling benefits. Be sure that you are using a preserved Aloe Vera Liquid when not using the one by Ingredients To Die For, which is already naturally preserved.
*** For best results use the standard orifice reducer for dispensing drops, a glass pipette for dispensing quantities below 25mls, and a glass cylinder for dispensing quantities up to 2000mls. Beyond the 2000mls the only reliable way to measure your essential oils will be by weight. Always keep in mind that the worst enemy, of your essential oils, is air so, don't get in the habit of using plastic pipettes, which will introduce the highest amount of air into your bottles.  Also, essential oils are capable of breaking down thin, flexible, plastics, that are left sitting in the oils, which may introduce xeno estrogens, and other contaminants, into your oil blends. With standard orifice reducers the essential oil, itself, will create a barrier between the plastic and the oils as it build up on the reducer.
*** Add Niaouli (MQV) Essential Oil to any blend to help soothe insect bites and repel insects.
Formulation Activity Enhancements
*** To make your emulsion appropriate for acneic skin types use only non-comedogenic oils, or Caprylic Capric Triglycerides , and use, either, Salicylic Acid or NatureCide to help keep the pores clear of acne causing bacteria and build up.  If you use choose to go with NatureCide it will, also, serve as the preservative.
*** To add a anti-aging, skin firming activity, to your skin care products, try adding 1.0% LiPlump , to your oil phase, and it will also improve elasticity, plump the skin with hydration, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
*** To make your emulsion super hydrating to dry skin try adding 3, to 5%, VegeMoist to your water phase and it will deliver hydration, deep into the cells, regardless of environmental humidity.
*** Add Chamomile Roman Hydrosol to your emulsions, and water based mists, to add a smooth feel to the skin.  Be careful with this hydrosol because it carries a lot of fragrance.  We have found that anything over 5% will have a significant Chamomnile fragance, which is delightful and calming, but may not be what you want.
*** You can add Cetyl Esters , which is a natural, animal free, alternative to Spermacetti Wax, to impart a powdery feel to your emulsions. One unique attribute of Cetyl Esters is that they can be used to create a more stiff product, even creating lotion bars, lip balms, and hardening soap, and shampoo, bars
*** When using the fatty alcohols, in emulsions, they will enhance the final feel of the emulsion making it softer, and more penetrating, but, be careful to not use too much as it will create a 'soaping' effect when it is rubbed onto the skin, turning white and smearing around on the skin, rather than absorbing. As a general rule stay under 3.0% to avoid this.
High Powered Skin Refining Oil infusions
Calendula Oil - Healing, Anti-Inflammatory activity
Chamonile German Oil - Anti-Irritant, Anti-Inflammatory activity
Arnica Oil - Pain Relief, Immuno-Stimulant, Skin Repair activity
HLB Emulsion Determination
*** In general an HLB <8 will form oil in water emulsions while an HLB >9 will form water in oil emulsions.
How can I correctly and safely dilute your 70% Glycolic Acid solution down to 2% strength?
*** To calculate the amount of Glycolic Acid 70% to use you would divide the amount that you want by the dilution ratio in the product. In this case: 2 (desired concentration) / 70 (amount of active in product) = 0.0285714 (2.86%). To prove that you calculation is correct you would reverse the process and multiply your percentage result (2.86%) by the active ratio (70%) = 2.86 x .70 = 2.002. If you'd like to get that number at, exactly, 2.00 then you would need to extend the digits out two more places but, that will make it nearly impossible to measure with a normal scale
How Do I ...
***Calculate the amount that I need to use of an ingredient that is being substituted when the substituted ingredient is at a lower concentration? To calculate this you will take the percentage that you want to ultimately have in your final product and divide that number by the concentration level of the ingredient that you are substituting. For example: If you are going to use NatureCide to replace straight Salicylic Acid and you know that you want 3% salicylic acid in your final product and you also know (from reviewing the specs for NatureCide on the website) NatureCide is standardized to contain .54 to .60% salicylic acid then you would divide 3 by .54 (going with the lower yield to make sure you always have at least the amount you want) and you would use 5.56% NatureCide to replace 3% salicylic acid: 3 / .54 = 5.5555 (and you would round this number up to two or three digits depending on your scale capability.
***Know which phase an ingredient goes into? From any item in the Product Catalog you can review the specifications to see if that ingredient is water soluble or oil soluble. If it is oil soluble then it will go into the oil phase and if it is water soluble it will go into the water phase. The one exception to this rule is when the ingredient is temperature sensitive and in that case it will go into your cool down phase (which is when your product has been emulsified and is below 110F. When you are making a substitution in a posted formula / recipe (from or Formulary) then you will add your substitute ingredient in the same phase as the one being replaced as long as their solubility is the same and you will always add or subtract any difference from that same phase so ... if you are modifying a formula that calls for 65% water and 3% Glycerin and you are substituting the Glycerin for Sodium Lactate and you want to use only 2% Sodium Lactate then you would subtract that 2% (for substitute ingredient) from the 3% (for substituted ingredient) which leaves 1% and you would add that to the water (or some other ingredient in the water phase) to make sure you keep the formula at 100% and balanced.
Ingredient Deck
*** When you add, a minimum of, 0.5% Aloe Vera 200X , of your water, as Aloe 200X, you do not have to list water on your label. You will have re-constituted the concentrate to pure Aloe Juice and that is what you should put in your ingredient deck. For example: If you are using 50% water, in your water phase, you would add (50 x 0.005 (0.5%)) = 0.25% Aloe Vera 200X, and you will have turned your water into Aloe Juice since it is a 200% concentrate.
Ingredient Processing
*** Always add Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate to the water phase cold and with high shear mixing and then proceed to heating, to avoid grit
*** Add Salicylic Acid to the oil, or surfactant, phase to avoid insolubility
*** You will know that your emulsion has formed when you see it turn white.
*** Add all proteins to the cool down phase at 110F, or lower.
*** High shear is stick (immersion) blenders, and dispersion blades, that operate at about 10,000 RPM's
*** Disperse Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate into cold water, using high shear, until you see that all but a few crystals have dissolved, before proceeding with heat
*** Heat butters to 170F, and cool quickly, to avoid grit after cool down.
*** Refrigerate oil / butter blends, after melting, to cool quickly and form smooth, thick, balms
*** Add water to an emulsion that looks like it's under emulsified to try to save the emulsion
*** Use a hot plate if you don't have a cook top
*** Weigh all of your ingredients to make sure that the amounts, that you use, are within the manufacturers safety, and efficacy, guidelines. With actives, and preservatives, especially, a slight difference, over or under, can make the difference between a good, vs. bad, product or a safe, vs. unsafe, product. Liquid measuring will not work because there is not a direct conversion unless you are using that, specific, material weight vs. volume, i.e., 16 liquid ounces (1 cup) of glycerin, is equal to 20 ounces by weight, so if you were using a calculator to make this conversion so that you could measure it by volume, instead of weight, and you entered 16 ounces, the application would tell you to use one cup and you would, actually, be using 20 ounces ... that is a 20% difference and that will be the difference between improving the feel of your emulsion and degrading your emulsion by making it sticky, and unpleasant, to the touch. You can purchase a scale very inexpensively and save yourself a lot of re-working of your formulas, while also improving your consistency, by using a scale and measuring everything properly, and as the manufacturer intended, when they set up the usage guidelines for their ingredient.
*** Add essential oils to your emulsions after cooling to 110F, or lower, to avoid breaking down the aroma chemicals
*** Keep a bottle of preserved Aloe, or water, to make product modifications easier and keep your product safe. Then when you want to dilute, or thin, any base, you will be including the required preservative, in one step
*** Challenge testing is the controlled introduction of contaminants to determine preservative efficacy with direct contamination
*** Wipe out all production equipment, and utensils, with Isopropyl alcohol to ensure sanitation. Alcohol will evaporate off with no trace
*** Botanicals, and milk products, offer the perfect environment for contaminants to thrive. Process to 170F, and hold for 20 minutes, to ensure contamination control
*** NatureSilk can be used to disperse Alpha Lipoic Acid, prior to incorporation in your emulsion.  Add o cool phase only to avoid having the heat break the dispersion
*** Use a JIffy Mixer attachment, that will attach to a standard drill, to simulate propeller blade mixing and avoid excess air in your emulsions
*** NatureSilk, at 5 to 10% in your water phase, will help to solubilize dispersible ingredients
*** Add Hydrosols, or Botanical Extracts, as a substitute for part of your water phase to give your products enhanced skin nourishing benefits
*** When working with Shea Butter add it to the pot first because it has the highest heat requirement
*** To avoid grit when working with Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate always add it to cold water and mix it until there is no more than a few crystals that are left undissolved before proceeding to heat your water phase
*** To re-constitute Aloe Vera 200X to 100% Aloe Juice add it at 0.5% of your water phase i.e., if your water phase has 10oz of water you would add 0.05oz of PureAloe200x to turn the water into pure Aloe Juice or, if you are using 62.5% water then you would add 0.3125% Aloe Vera 200X.
*** To protect the fragrance chemicals in essential oils always add them to the cool down phase.
*** Every formula should have a minimum of two phases ... the water phase (for all water soluble ingredients) and the oil phase (for oil soluble ingredients) ... and it should have three phases if your formulation contains any heat sensitive ingredients (which would be added when your product is below 110F).
*** To make sure that you are using the effective level of actives be sure to measure them by weight because that is the process that the manufacturer used when they ran their efficacy testing and determined how much is required to achieve the desired results. If they determined that it takes 2% glycerin to achieve moisture binding activity, and your formula calls for 8 ounces, if you decided to just use one cup because one cup is equal to eight ounces (by volume), you would actually be adding 10 ounces because glycerin is very heavy and one cup of glycerin weighs 10 ounces, not 8.
*** When working with Xanthan Gum be sure to keep the level as low as possible, preferably below 0.5%, to avoid a stringy, slimy, texture
*** When combining your oil and water phases, begin mixing the water first, then add your oil phase for more stability and rapid emulsification
*** When working on surfactant systems consider the surfactant phase to be the oil phase where you add all of your oils
*** Add all actives to the cool down phase at 110F, or lower
*** When using caffeine, combine it with 10% NatureSilk first, to improve solubility
*** When using Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), it will help to make a 10% solution in NatureSilk first, then add the desired amount of the solution to your emulsion, after cool down.  Avoid heat, once you've added this to avoid having the ALA fall out of solution
*** Always add Caffeine to the water phase, and mix well, then heat to 170F, for better solubility.  You can also enhance the solubility by, first, combining the caffeine with 10.0% NatureSilk, mixing well, then add your solution to the water phase, and proceed to heating
*** You can use Botanical CO2 extracts to add natural color to your emulsions
*** Stability testing is the subjection of a product to drastic temperature changes to determine the strength of the emulsion. This is, usually, done for 3 rounds, going from hot, to freezing
*** When hydrating polymers it is always best to use two water phases and add the polymer to the first water phase, with room temperature water, mixing high shear. High shear mixing will reduce the tendancy of the particles to contact, and stick, to each other. If this happens the result will be that the outside swells and prevents water from getting to the inside resulting in swollen clumps, also referred to as 'fish eyes'. This is, sometimes, irreversible so, care should be taken to use the highest shear possilbe. If you end up with 'fish eyes' they can sometimes be broken down by using a combination of propeller blade and high shear mixing.

*** You can also reduce the possibility of 'fish eyes' by combining with other dry mix materials, such as other thickeners, salts, acids, pigments ... before adding it to the water phase.

*** NatureSilk can solubilize about 5% silicones.  The best way to do this is to allow the NatureSilk time to incorporate the silicones.  Just add the silicone, then let it sit until it combines.  Which, usually, takes about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the batch size.
*** When processing polymers they will hydrate faster if you heat them after hydrating them.  If you don't want to use heat that is fine and it will not interfere with the hydration however it will slow it down.  As a general rule it will take about 24 hours to see the fully thickened state when you don't use heat.
*** When using  NatureSilk to solubilize more than 1% Essential or Fragrance Oil you will find it helpful to add them in 1% increments allowing several hours, or overnight, between additions to improve the solubilization.
*** For best results with any of the natural polymers, i.e., UltraPureGel, Irish Moss, Xanthan Gum, MineralGel ... should be hydrated completely separate from the rest of your water soluble ingredients ... ideally, you would separate a portion of your water phase and use that to hydrate the polymer and then combine the hydrated polymer water with the other water phase, which has the rest of your ingredients, and proceed as usual.  This will give you the best gelling activity.
*** Processing Emulsions ... When mixing your emulsions it is usually best to avoid incorporating excess air. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to make sure that your mixer is the right one for the job. Use the ingredient information to find out how to mix properly and then make sure that your mixer head does not break the top surface of your emulsion while you are mixing. If you end up with too much air in your emulsion you can, usually, resolve it by mixing with a paddle or propeller attachment. The food / home equivalent would be the Jiffy Mixer.

*** Mixing Additional Ingredients into Bases ... When adding your additional ingredients there is no need for heavy mixing if you aren't challenging the emulsification and if you are challenging the emulsification the heavy mixing will only offer a temporary solution. For best results add your additional ingredients using a propeller or paddle attachment to mix it well, and in accordance with the base and ingredient instructions, and continue mixing only until the additional ingredients are incorporated.
***Using Natural Surfactant Enhancer to thicken your shampoo / body wash / cleanser ... It is best to first melt this and then add it to your surfactants ... add your salt to your water phase ... the add your surfactants to your water phase with normal mixing.  You can minimize your testing by making two initial trials with Natural Surfactant Enhancer and salt, one with 5% salt and one with 10% salt.  In doing it this way you can evaluate your two trials and have a really good idea where you need to be, with the salt level, based on the viscosity of your two trials.
*** When working with BabyFoam (SCI) it is important to take the entire surfactant phase to 170F, mixing gently as it heats, to make sure that the BabyFoam (SCI) is well heated and dissolved then, mix it high shear (stick blender) to make sure it's well combined.  This is important to avoid grit from the BabyFoam not getting fully dissolved and dispersed into your surfactant phase.
Natural Solubilizer for Essential Oils
*** Use NatureSilk to solubilize up to 5% essential oils, then add the solution at 2%, NatureSilk/ EO solution, for every 0.1% desired essential oils
Nature's Skin Restructuring Oils
Argan Oil - Skin Tightening / Firming
Carrot Seed Oil - Rejuvenating, Anti-Oxidant, Vitamin A precursor
Seabuckthorne Oil - Anti-Oxidant, Restructuring, Repair
Squalane Olive offers true moisture repair through superfatting, and emollience, due to its identical structure, and weight, of human sebum
Cranberry Seed Oil - a Super Anti-Oxidant, offers skin conditoning, and restructuring activity, through it's high levels of Vitamins A, C, E, and K, and phytosterols
Chamomile German Oil adds unequaled, natural, anti-inflammatory power to your emulsions ... head to head trials have shown that o.1% Matricin, found in Chamomile CO2, performed equal to hydrocortisone
Product Development
*** When adding essential oils to a water based product, or lactylate based product, the scent will carry very strongly. It is best to use 0.2, to 0.3,% in skin care products and 0.3, to 0.7,% in body / hair care,
*** When building a formula start with 100% and begin adding the ingredients that you must include, such as preservative, emulsifier, thickeners, stabilizers and so on ... subtracting each one from the starting 100%, then add your desired actives, continuing to subtract each one, then add your desired oils and butters, again subtracting each one, then fill in with your desired carrier, such as water, or aloe, for emulsions, or oil for salves and balms.
*** When you're ready to determine how much of each ingredient you will need to make your recipe, try using our Ingredient Percentage Calculator , located in the green bar at the top of the screen, under the icons, at the top of the page, to do the math for you. Just type your ingredients in the table lines then tab and enter the percentage that you want to use, making sure that the total, at the bottom of the table equals 100%, then enter the size batch that you'd like to make, then use the drop down to select the unit of measure, that you'd like to use, i.e., oz., grams, or pounds, then click the 'Calculate' button and the calculator will do the math, for you, and display it at the end of each line, with the totals at the bottom ... not enough lines? just click on the 'plus' sign at the bottom left of the calculator table and it will add 5 lines, every time you click it.
*** Do I need to worry about the pH of each ingredient? Not as a general rule. Ideally, you should develop your formula using the ingredients that will deliver the results that you are looking for and then adjust the final pH, up or down, to reach the pH that is safe, and effective, for the optimal performance of your product. There are a few ingredients that are the exception, to the rule, and those are ingredients that have a starting pH that is very acidic, or very base (alkaline). In those cases the ingredient will, usually, require neutralization, in formulation, and the item page will alert you to that situation. Most ingredients will fall within the standard range of 5.0 to 7.0.
*** You can add Sodium Lactate or Tetrasodium EDTA to raise the Ph of your finished product.
*** You can add Lactic Acid or Citric Acid to lower the Ph of your finished product. Keep in mind that Citric Acid has the potential to be irritating for many skin types. Lactic Acid requires more but is better tolerated.
*** When you develop a formula you will always need to make sure that your product is adequately preserved to ensure product safety. When you are using water based ingredients that are already preserved you will not need to preserve that portion of the formula so, if you are making a product in which you are using 30% Aloe Vera Juice and that Aloe Vera Juice is already preserved then you would only preserve the remaining 70% of your formula since 30% of your formula is already preserved. You can usually consider alcohol, at 40% by weight, to be without microbial challenge. In all cases proper testing of your finished product is crucial in determining the safety of your products and independant testing should always be the final step before launching a new product.
*** When you develop a formula you will always need to make sure that your product is adequately preserved to ensure product safety. There are any things that determine how much preservative will be needed to adequately preserve your particular product. When you are using water based ingredients that are already preserved you will not need to preserve that portion of the formula so, if you are making a product in which you are using 30% Aloe Vera Juice and that Aloe Vera Juice is already preserved then you would only preserve the remaining 70% of your formula since 30% of your formula is already preserved. You can usually consider alcohol, at 40% by weight, to be without microbial challenge. In all cases proper testing of your finished product is crucial in determining the safety of your products and independent testing should always be the final step before launching a new product. When you are adding ingredients, especially botanicals and milks, that contribute definite challenge then it is best to go with the top range of any preservative. If you are not adding any ingredients that introduce a challenge and your water level is low then you may be able to go with the low range. If you are using any materials that can encapsulate other ingredients, such as the chosen preservative, then you will need to go with the top range and make sure to address that potential to make sure your preservative doesn't get encapsulated. If you are employing any "hurdle technology"* steps then you may be able to go with the low range. Of course, in all cases, it is assumed that processing environment meets with standard lab protocols. *Hurdle Technology refers to the incorporation of elements that reduce the potential for microbial growth. Several factors have a high impact on preservative requirements and the more you address each factor the likelihood of challenge is reduced. Borrowed from the HACCP protocols is an easy way to remember the biggest factors: FATTOM, which is the acronym for: Food - microbes need a food source and a favorite is protein and sugar Acid - microbes like a neutral pH environment Time / Temperature - it takes 4 hrs. for infestation between 40 and 140F and two hours between 70 and 90F Oxygen - most require air / oxygen Moisture - most require moisture ... this relates directly to the old days when decoctions were made with honey ... it's reported that the honey reduced water activity / availability and removed this factor which served to self preserve the decoction
Rheology Modification
*** You can use any of the fatty alcohols / acids / esters to improve the glide of your emulsions but, limit their usage to 3% to avoid soaping (the white effect that may happen when you try to rub in a cream / lotion)
*** Add 1% Irish Moss to your emulsions and improve the flow so that they spread across the skin without drag
Cetearyl Alcohol offers thickening properties and improves the smoothness of your emulsions
*** To break up polymer clumps :: use a double mixer system, with a combination of stick blending and propeller mxing, at the same time.
Website Features
*** Formulators :: When you're browsing through The Formulary, you'll notice a pencil on the right hand side, middle of the page. If you've decided that you'd like to make the formula just click on the pencil and the website will, automatically, load the formula into a Calculator. Once you've done that you can, easily, change your unit of measure, i.e., grams, ounces, pounds, milliliters, and you can change the batch size, or you can make any substitutions, if you'd like, then just click the green "calculate" icon and the calculator will do all of the math for you. Once you've gotten the formula to the size, and unit, that you plan to make you can, then, click on the "print formula" link just above the calculator box, at the top left hand corner, and the website will create a small print friendly version of the formula, which can be printed, or copied, and pasted, into a spreadsheet for, even easier, manipulation. Happy Crafting!
*** Formulators :: When you have a formula that is in units, i.e., ounces, milliliters, etc., instead of percentages, and you'd like to convert it to percentages you can use our Amount to Percentage Calculator to do all of the math for you. Just click on the calculator link, which you'll find on the right hand side of the green bar, at the top of every page, then type in your ingredients, and the amount from you formula, then change the unit of measure, and click the "calculate" icon and the calculator will do the math for you. You will have to use the same unit of measure, which may require you to do some math, for fragrance or anything else that is different, If you need help with that conversion you can also use our 'volume conversion' calculator, which will convert standard measures, i.e., from milliliters to ounces, drops to milliliters, etc., keep in mind that if your formula is in cups, spoons, and such, they won't convert to weight accurately because of the variance in weight vs. volume of most ingredients, i.e., one gallon, or 128 liquid ounces, of Glycerine is equal to 10 pounds in weight, so you can see that if you used one cup of glycerin in your formula, the conversion would not be accurate because one 8 ounce cup does not equal 8 ounces in weight, it actually is equal to 10 ounces in weight so, you'll need to account for those variables. Happy Crafting!
What does that mean?
*** GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) is a regulated standard to indicate that an ingredient is safe to ingest, and if applicable, at what levels.
*** HYGROSCOPIC is a material that attracts moisture from the air / environment
*** HYDROPHILIC is a material that is attracted to, readily combines with, or readily dissolves in, water
*** LIPOPHILIC is a material that is attracted to, readily combines with, or readily dissolves in, oil
*** TEWL is the phenomenon of water loss, through the epidermal layer, to the outside environment. Our first goal, with intelligent moisturization, is, first and foremost, to slow this process as much as possible because it is at the heart of dry skin. Anything that damages the skin seems to increase TEWL and applying moisturizer will help to slow the process, especially if it contains occlusive ingredients.
*** WW Water Weight (this is used for any type of material)
*** UNSAPONIFIABLE is the fatty acid derived (non-glycerol) part of any oil that will not turn into soap in reaction to alkali
*** ANHYDROUS is any product that does not contain water, or water based ingredients
*** CATIONIC is a ingredient that is positively charged. In conditioners they are very efficient at bonding to negative surfaces, such as damaged hair and skin, and providing substantivity. In surfactants, the cationics are very efficient at bonding to dirt and grease, where they improve the inter-facial tension, making them very good cleansers, especially for laundry / household cleansers.
*** ANIONIC is a ingredient that has a negative charge. These are very efficient at removing oil and they offer the best foaming activity. These are excellent in shampoo, laundry, and dish-washing products but, they do not perform well in hard water so they are usually combined with other surfactants to maintain their foam, as well as to alleviate their squeaky clean feel.
*** NON-IONIC is a ingredient that has no charge. These are extremely tolerant of hard water. They are often used with anionic surfactants to improve their performance in hard water. They are also excellent at removing grease. They are most often used in dish-washing, laundry, and hand washing cleansers, and are almost always combined with anionic surfactants.
*** ZWITTERIONIC is a ingredient that has both a positive and a negative charge. These have excellent dermatological properties and are most often used in skin care cleansers due to their foam quality.
*** AMPHOTERIC is a ingredient which can be any sign. The pH determines the polarity; they will accept hydrogen ions and exhibit cationic behavior at acid pH and will donate hydrogen ions and exhibit anionic behavior at alkaline / base pH and maintain flexible behavior at neutral pH. This is especially useful, in personal care cleansing products, because it will help stabilize cleansing products that contain both cationic, and anionic, surfactants. Amphoterics are exceptionally mild and are well suited to bath and body, as well as hair cleansing products. They are compatible with all other surfactants and are stable in cleansing products with high electrolytes, acids, and alkali's.
*** Soaping is the term used to describe the sensation of not being able to rub a cream or lotion into the skin. When this happens the product turns white on the skin as one attempts to rub it in, it will feel tacky, and will be difficult to get it to absorb.
*** QS Quantity Sufficient (this is used to indicate that it is up to the developer to determine adequate level for inclusion depending on the actual formulation (also is commonly used in formulas to indicate the difference needed to get to 100% total weight).
What is that good for?
*** Fatty Acids ... in formulations the use of fatty acids will offer structure and body to emulsions ... on the skin fatty acids will offer some anti-microbial activity and prevent dryness
*** Cholestoerol ... in formulations the use of material with cholesterol will offer sensorial benefits ... on the skin cholesterol will offer emollient and co-hydrating benefits
*** Esters ... in formulations the use of esters will offer sensorial benefits ... on the skin esters will offer protection through film forming benefits that lock in moisture
What's The Best Essential Oil For
*** Varicose Veins: Mastick (Lentiscus pistachius) ... said to be an amazing vein tonic and astringent. The other essential oils that may be helpful are Cypress (enhances circulatory system) and Vetiver (strengthens circulatory system)
*** Anti-Viral: Monarda (Monarda fistulosa) ... also very gentle
*** Hormonal Inbalancel: Vitex (Vitex agnus castus) ... said to balance estrogen and progesterone
*** Dandruff: New Zealand Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)  ... said to be one of the best choices where it helps to control infectious issues (such as fungus, bacteria), a dry or inbalanced scalp, and inflamed scalp
What's The Best Oil For
*** Dry, Brittle, Hair:  Babassu Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Hazelnut Oil, and Olive Oil
*** Pain and Inflammation: Arnica Oil
*** Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Arnica Oil , Calendula Oil , Chamomile German Oil
*** Making Hair Shiny :  Broccoli Seed Oil
*** Minimizing Scars: Rosehip Seed Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil
*** Rejuvenating a Lack Lustre Complexion: Carrot Seed Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil
*** Collagen Enhancement: CoQ10 Oil
*** Adding Shine to Lip Balms: Castor Oil
*** Nail Strengthening Treatment: Camellia Oil, Hemp Seed Oil
*** Fading Dark Spots: Castor Oil, especially when combined with Frankincense Essential Oil
*** Soothing Irritation: Chamomile German Oil
*** Treating Stretch Marks: Sea Buckthorn Oil, Cocoa Butter
*** Wet Eczema: Kukui Nut Oil
*** Replacing an Animal Derived Oil:  Macadamia Nut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil Organic,
*** Reducing Under Eye Puffiness and Dark Circlesl: Rice Bran Oil
*** Hot Oil Treatments:  Macadamia Nut Oil, Hazelnut Oil, and Olive Oil
*** Anti-Oxidant Activity: Black Raspberry Seed Oil