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! 
Continue Reading

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. 
Continue Reading

They aren’t mistakes: They’re salty, gummy, tasty learning opportunities

Every day I see posts and messages from those of you who are scared to try something because you might waste supplies or make an unsuccessful product. To you I say this: Get in the workshop and try making something! You will learn nothing until you have the experience of holding the ingredients in your hands and working through the instructions! (Sorry for yelling, but this is something I'm really passionate about!)

Please allow me to share a story with you. On Friday, a brilliant and talented young woman named Jessica, who is currently attending school to become a pastry chef, taught me how to make edible spheres using sodium alginate and calcium chloride. She made a lovely honey and water simple syrup to go into iced tea, and we made guava ones later on. (Yes, they were both awesome!)

She really wanted to try making soy sauce spheres to put on sushi, but our attempts failed. We pondered the chemistry of the situation for a bit, then consulted the internet for more recipes. One suggested we try making them with agar agar, and, luckily, I had a food grade version in the workshop, so we gave it a go.

Less than an hour later, we had soy sauce spheres.!We had a bit of the agar agar/soy sauce combination left over and my gummy bear molds arrived earlier last week, so we put two and two together to create...SOY SAUCE GUMMY BEARS!

I know, right? SOY SAUCE GUMMY BEARS!!! (Patent pending, TM, and all that jazz!) 

Let me tell you, they were delicious! They had all the awesome saltiness of soy sauce without making the sushi and agedashi tofu* soppy and wet. One was perfect for a small roll, two perfect for the larger ones. Two days later, they are still soft and gummy outside the fridge, and they still taste awesome.

This will lead to more experimentation making fruit gummies, which we'll share with our youth programs, and it'll lead to more experiments using the agar agar for bath & body products as it's shown it can stand up to electrolytes, like the salts we find in so many of our ingredients, which I'll share here with you.

Why am I sharing a story about SOY SAUCE GUMMY BEARS!!! with you on a bath & body product blog?

One, soy sauce gummy bears are awesome! They're all salty and yummy, and part of me wants to just eat them without the sushi, but apparently that makes me some kind of monster, according to my friends and husband. (I like Marmite, too. Don't judge me!)

And two, we wouldn't have started our experiments with agar agar if we hadn't failed in our original attempts. We would have made the original spheres and been very happy with them. Instead, the failure made us go looking for more answers, and we found a a recipe that was more wonderful than we thought possible that opened up our minds to all kinds of new and wonderful ideas!

There are no such things as mistakes when it comes to playing in our workshops (and kitchens): They're opportunities to learn what we like and what we don't like. I know it's hard to throw away what seem like wasted ingredients that cost money and took forever to get to us by mail, but you'll have learned so much, including what doesn't work, what you hate, and what not to do again. I always say I gain confidence from my successes, but I learn more from my failures.

Allow me a moment to share my origin story with you. I made bath bombs a few times before sharing then with my youth program. They failed miserably, falling to pieces in our hands, which lead me on a quest to find out why. I stumbled upon the Dish Forum, where I found recipes for lotion and more, plus an amazing community of people who shared their knowledge and recipes. The questions that arose while I made those first recipes lead me to learn chemistry, which lead me to create this blog so I could share my passion for our craft with you, my lovely readers.

If those bath bombs had worked, I would have had lovely bath bombs for a day or two, but I wouldn't have set out on this exciting adventure that has included creating this blog, writing the e-books, instructing, and all the other lovely things that I enjoy every day.

RECIPE FOR SOY SAUCE GUMMIES (a modification of the recipe found here...) 
175 grams soy sauce
2 grams agar agar

Mix the two together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil while mixing, then remove from the heat. Pour into the molds, then put in the freezer to cool. It took about 10 minutes per mold of 50 small gummies.

I'm not sure how many gummies this recipe will make as we made a bunch of other things before we decided to try the gummy mold.

I bought my gummy bear molds from Amazon.ca - here's a link for the ones I bought, which were $13 for 3 molds* - but you could use all kinds of things, like silicone ice cube trays from the dollar store. These are very small gummies, and I don't think I'd want them to be much bigger as they're already a salty punch in the face, and I say this as someone who carries a small shaker of salt around in her purse just in case they don't have it when I need it.

My sodium registers as "low" in blood tests, which comes as a shock to me, so there's no need to worry about my blood pressure. I think it's the only thing about me health-wise that's not worrisome!

We did try the version in the link to the recipe above where he drops soy sauce into cold olive oil, but we didn't get cute little spheres out of it and they were a little too big for our tastes. I'm sure, with time, we could get that method right.

As always, the links I provide on this blog are for informational purposes only. I don't receive any compensation of any sort from anyone if you buy those gummy bear molds or anything else I tell you about here. Just wanted to remind you of that. 

Also, did you know that there's some kind of new link where pages get some kind of kickback if you visit them, then visit Amazon for something completely different after you leave their page? You don't have to click on a link or anything. What the heck is up with that??? 

Do you have a happy accident story to share? What have you learned from failed attempts? What are you grateful didn't work the first time? Please share your thoughts in the comments! 
Continue Reading

Newbie Tuesday on Thursday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs

Last week we took a look at AHAs. Today, let's add some of these to our gelled serum with or without oils using Sepimax ZEN.

We're using a combination of fruit acids you can find as Multifruit BSC, fruit acid complex, and other names because we can add quite a bit of it without having to stress about testing the products with a pH meter. If you have a meter, check out how the pH changes before and after you add it.

LIGHT MOISTURIZING GELLED SERUM WITH SEPIMAX ZEN
WATER PHASE
68% distilled water
10% oils of choice
10% aloe vera
3% Multifruit BSC
2% glycerin
2% sodium lactate
2% panthenol
0.5% allantoin
0.5% liquid Germall Plus

ZEN PHASE
2% Sepimax ZEN

Weigh out all the water phase ingredients. Use warm water to dissolve the allantoin. Mix well. 

Sprinkle the Sepimax ZEN into the container, then let it sit for up to eight hours. Resist the urge to mix or stir for that eight hours! Then mix with a beater attachment on your mixer or a milk frother. Please don’t use a stick blender as that’s can ruin the gel. And you’re done! 

There is another option if you don’t want to wait eight hours. You can sprinkle the Sepimax ZEN into the container, then mix for 10 minutes with a mixer with beaters or a propeller mixer. It will be slightly thicker than the one made by waiting eight hours. 

If you want to add more Multifruit BSC, try it at 5% next time up to a maximum of 8%. 

If you'd like to make a version that doesn't contain oils, remove the 10% and just add more water or another water soluble ingredient. Take a look at the posts on gelled toners to see how that might look. 

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)
Creating a facial toner (part three) - cosmeceuticals
Creating a facial toner (part four) - adding cosmeceuticals
Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20
Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN
Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20
Making a lavender & chamomile gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Making a chamomile & cucumber gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil free gel moisturizer
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil containing gelled facial serum
Using Sepimax ZEN to make a gelled facial serum with AHAs (part one)

As a quick note, as I'm getting ready to present at the American Soapmakers Guild conference in Las Vegas on May 1st - woo! - and as I'm going on another trip in May to teach a few classes - it's not public yet, but you'll see it here first if you're interested in attending - I'll be suspending the Newbie Tuesday series until the end of May to give you a chance to try the products we've been making and offer feedback. (I'll still be blogging and such, but not doing this specific series...)

In the meantime, I'll be putting together the shopping list for the moisturizers, oil based serum, and creamy cleanser so you can get those things before we start that series in early June.

As another note, I'm still working on a few micellar water recipes I'm trying to get them just right, and I'll have a make-up remover recipe as well. I've also been working on some recipes with salicylic acid that I'll post as well. I just can't promise any of these things will be on Tuesdays. Not that I've been doing great with posting every Tuesday...

So, what do you think about what you've been making?
Continue Reading

Newbie Tuesday on Wednesday: Making a gelled facial serum with AHAs (part one)

Yesterday we took a look at making a gelled serum with 10% oil with Sepimax ZEN. Today, let's add some fruit acids to the mix to create something that will act as an AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid, something Sepimax ZEN can handle at up to 4% without problems!

As a quick note, it can also handle salicylic acid, something I hope I can share with you in the next few weeks! 

What are alpha-hydroxy acids? (From a a longer post...) They induce epidermal effects through corneoctye disadhesion, operating by disrupting the ionic bonds between the cells so they can slough off and expose newer and lovelier cells underneath the stratum corneum, or top layer of cells. They also work as an anti-oxidant and can relieve post sun redness. All of these things make fine lines and wrinkles appear less obvious, reduce redness and inflammation, and expose new, shiny skin to the world.

AHAs work by penetrating our skin through the stratum corneum to the stratum granulosum. It acts as an exfoliant on the top layer of our skin by disrupting the bonding between the cells and allowing them to slough off, revealing those new and lovely cells I spoke of earlier.

In the past I would have suggested buying Multifruit BSC, but the product with that specific name is being discontinued in some places, so look for something like fruit acid complex* (Lotioncrafter) or FSS Fruit Mix* (Formulator Sample Shop). You'll find it with an INCI of something like - Water & Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract & Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract & Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract & Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract & Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract.

This blend has a pH of 4.06, and is soluble in water, glycerin, and propylene glycol, and insoluble in oils. It's about 55% active, so add at 5% to 15% (so 2.75% to 8.25% AHA in your creation) in the cool down phase of your creation. It is great for use in surfactant blends, lotions, creams, shampoos, and other water based creations. It isn't suggested to use a cationic emulsifier like Incroquat BTMS-50 with this product, so keep it in non-ionic lotions and potions or anionic surfactant creations. It has a shelf life of 12 to 18 months if kept in a cool dark place.

When using it with Sepimax ZEN, we can't go over 4% AHAs, so make sure you use no more than 8% of this extract in the product.

There are other ingredients found at other suppliers that are fruit acid mixes, but I haven't tried those, so I can't comment. I have used the versions found at Voyageur Soap & Candle, Lotioncrafter, and Formulator Sample Shop, which is why I make those suggestions. If you're trying something I don't mention here, please make a small batch of 100 grams the first time you use it and keep loads of notes.  

Why do I suggest using this instead of AHAs, like glycolic acid? Because using a fruit acid blend like this is less likely to drop your pH to the point of burning when used at the suggested usage rates, compared to a straight AHA ingredient. If you want to use things like lactic or glycolic acid, make sure you have a good pH meter - not the strips - and prepare to add it a drop at a time when you get close to the pH you want.

You can't just add AHAs to any product you want: Make sure all your ingredients work well with acids and lower pH levels. For instance, niacinamide wants a pH of 6, so you can't combine the two.

And always start with a lower level of AHAs. For instance, I generally suggest starting with 3% fruit acid complex, which would give us 1.65%, a level most people could handle.

Okay, this post is getting far too long, so join me tomorrow as we take a look at making a recipe or two with AHAs.

If you'd like to play along or if you've missed a post, here's a listing of the complete series...
Newbie Tuesday: We're making facial products! 
Shopping list
Equipment list
Let's start making facial cleansers! - Your skin type
Surfactants - what are they?
Meet the surfactants
pH of our surfactants
Facial products - the base recipe
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part one) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser (part two) - physical exfoliants
Turning your cleanser into an exfoliating cleanser by adding chemical exfoliants
Modifying your facial cleanser into a foamer bottle recipe
Creating a facial toner (part one)
Creating a facial toner (part two)
Creating a facial toner (part three) - cosmeceuticals
Creating a facial toner (part four) - adding cosmeceuticals
Gels, gels, gels! Ultrez 20
Gels, gels, gels! Sepimax ZEN
Making a gelled toner with Ultrez 20
Making a lavender & chamomile gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Making a chamomile & cucumber gel moisturizer with Ultrez 20
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil free gel moisturizer
Using Sepimax ZEN to make an oil containing gelled facial serum
Continue Reading