No-Drandruff Shampoo DIY

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Hello there!
I am back, finally, with a brand new recipe of a No-Dandruff Shampoo! :)
As I already said in my previous post, this recipe is very inspired to a recipe of a girl from the Lola’s forum (where I have learnt most of what I know about making cosmetics at home), the differences between the recipe of that girl and mine are because I didn’t have some ingredients or because I wanted to try a new – for me, that is – ingredient (like my  SCLEROTIUM GUM <3 :D ).
Also, I lowered the SLES to 23% because I needed a milder shampoo, but if you suffer of dandruff I think you should rise the SLES back to 30% as normally we use it :)

No-dandruff Shampoo 8

That said, here a little explanation about the ingredients of this shampoo.
The ingredients which make this shampoo a “no-dandruff” one are two:
1) Piroctone Olamine – it is a local antiseptic which works against a wide spectrum of bacteria and fungus. It is commonly used in shampoos against dandruff and in Europe it is allowed in “to-wash-off” cosmetics at the maximum concentration of 1%.
It doesn’t melt easily in water nor in oil but it melts well in alcohol or in water+surfactants solutions.
In this shampoo it is used at 0.5% because it is not the only active ingredient, in fact, it is used together with:
2) Salicylic Acid – NOW STOP YOURSELF!!! Salicylic Acid is NOT fresh water, since it is, in fact, an acid. Be aware that to make this recipe you will definitely need goggles and gloves to protect yourself. Plus, cover your skin (for example, by wearing a long sleeve shirt). It IS dangerous if a drop of it goes into your eyes, so: better to look funny with lab goggles, than to be sorry and blind later! ;)
If this was not clear enough, go back to read from “NOW STOP YOURSELF” until it is very very clear and it convinced you to use goggles and gloves.
Well, as I was saying :D Salicylic Acid and Piroctone Olamine work well together :) they help to keep the scalp clean, calm and not itchy :)

There is also a third ingredient which is added not much for its effectiveness but more for an accessory effect: the cool effect!
Yes, I am talking about Menthol :)
Needless to say: if you don’t have Menthol, you can still make a very effective No-dandruff shampoo :)

Finally to the RECIPE! :D

Phase A:
Water to 100 – you find what it means HERE 
Glycerin 2
Sclerotium Gum 0.5 (this is my new friend! :) I had never tried this ingredient before. I had to warm the water before, pour it on top of the water and mix it with the immersion mixer separately)

Phase B: 
SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) 23
Sodium Cocamphodiacetate 5
Coco Glucoside & Gliceryl Oleate 1
Polyquaternium 7 – 1
Preservative (concentration needed for the specific preservative you are using)

Phase C:
Menthol 0.4
Piroctone Olamine 0.5
Salicylic Acid 0.5
Vodka 3 (or Edible 100% alcohol 1)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine 8

Now HOW TO proceed:

1) Wear goggles and gloves to protect yourself :) (needless to say: if you have small children or animals around the house… be sure to be alone and not interrupted).

2) I’m not kidding: WEAR GOGGLES AND GLOVES!

3) Measure the Phase C in a third little becher (I use a glass :) ). The alcohol will melt the other three ingredients. Set aside (It takes a while to melt, at least 15 minutes, and you need to stir every now and then, that’s why we do this first).
No-dandruff Shampoo 2
Here is the very beginning: the dry ingredients and a little amount of vodka to start mixing :)
No-dandruff Shampoo 3
Here I had added Menthol as well (you can see it on the tip of the spoon)

4) Measure the water and the Glycerin (Phase A). Warm up and pour the Sclerotium Gum on top of the water. Mix with a stick blender until smooth. Set aside.
No-dandruff Shampoo 1
As you can see it was not very transparent as soon as you mix it, but it will be later, in a few days time! :)
Sclerotium gum made a very beautiful transparent gel, later on :)
I have to say, though, that it tends to not let go bubbles in case you incorporate air when you create the gel: so pay attention to that :) if you want a clear and bubble-less gel/detergent… avoid incorporating air :)

5) Measure the Phase B in a second becher, warm up just a little and mix with a spatula.

6) Pour the Phase A into the Phase B little at a time. Mix with a spatula in the beginning, then mix with a stick blender (it will become more smooth and homogeneous).
No-dandruff Shampoo 5

5) Wear again goggles and gloves now that you are going to touch Phase C: Add the Phase C and mix

6) At the very last moment add the Cocamidopropyl Betaine.

7) Check the pH: it shouldn’t be lower than 5.5 :)

And TADAAAA :D
Here I had added also a drop of food red colorant and few drops of my favorite fragrance oil :)
No-dandruff Shampoo 6

I have liked this shampoo a lot! :)
So far I have used it for approximately 2 months and it feels great (too bad it is almost finished >< this is the biggest down-side of making cosmetics at home: once they finish you have to push yourself to make them again, you cannot just have more without effort :) ), the menthol feels just a little cooling, and it is great! :) Maybe not a shampoo for freezing winter mornings, but a must for hot days! :D

Is any of you going to try making it? :)

Blabbering – of recipes and holidays

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Hello there! :D
I am on holiday right now, a (luckily) looong holiday full of new things to learn (I did cooking courses, massage courses, I saw Water Monitors – ps.I was so scared! -…)!
I really needed this time-off but somehow I realized this only after two days I arrived here :)
But don’t worry: this is not a post about self-celebrating my great idea of getting time-off! :D
In fact, this holiday I have been also “busy” testing some of my new recipes (which were NOT all successful, btw :D ), and this is what I want to briefly talk about!!! :)

On the “new-recipes list” there are:
– A No-Dandruff Shampoo with Piroctone Olamine, Salicylic Acid and MENTHOL (not my personal idea, once again it is all thanks to my sources :) ) – this is probably the best recipe of these! :) I am really in love with this shampoo!
– An extra delicate Face Wash thickened with Sclerotium Gum – btw, WOW! I like sclerotium gum! It was only the second time I would test it and, honestly, the first time I would use it in a detergent… but what a difference (compared to the xanthan gum I used to use before)!
– a not so successful Hair Conditioner with Ghassoul Clay (to add the Morocco-feel… but it didn’t work very well: somehow the Ghassoul ruined the stability of the Hair Conditioner and I was left with a Cottage-Cheese-Hair-Conditioner :D I don’t really think you will be getting this recipe :D but I will take pictures of this Cottage Cheese because it is important to be able to understand when something went wrong :) ).
– I also made SOAP! :D Finally! :D (now I am just left with 3 Kg of soaps, but I guess that’s ALSO what family and friends are for :D ).

I am happy to be here, but I will be happy (once home) to edit the pictures and post the (successful) recipes ;) .

Let me know your thoughts! :)

Ps. August is not even ended yet, there are still 35°C everyday… but I am daydreaming about the new woolly sweater I am going to knit for Christmas (and probably I will finish it for Christmas 2034) :D Is it only me? :D

No SLES Shampoo DIY

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Hello there! :)

I am back with a new, simple recipe for a shampoo without SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).

No Sles Shampoo

Just to make it clear: I am NOT against SLES in general (HERE you find a recipe of a SLES shampoo I posted a while ago). I still believe that the best shampoos include SLES (these shampoos have the best wetting ability, the best spreading ability, they feel great, they wash great: overall they give a satisfactory experience)… However this ingredient is not suitable for everyone, here the reasons why:
1) sometimes, specially if used constantly, it can irritate the scalp and it can make it itchy. Obviously if this happens, it is a good idea to stop using shampoos which contain SLES, at least for some time.
2) for people with thin hair it is not a great idea to use a shampoo with a strong Anionic Surfactant (like SLES) in the first position of the ingredients list. It has been shown through studies that Anionic Surfactants actually weaken the hair and the skin of the scalp (because this is, to make it very simple, the way they “clean”).
However please don’t read it like “omg I will stop using SLES all my entire life”: if it can make you feel any worse ANYTIME you wash your hair (even if you were washing them just with water) you are actually damaging them ;) so chill: you have been damaging your hair all your life, and they are probably still there! :D (and PS. I suggest you to keep damaging your hair by washing them ;) ).
3) it is not an eco-friendly ingredient, therefore people who want to use ONLY eco-friendly ingredients should avoid SLES (as many other ingredients as well).
[Just to make it clear: there are no real studies about the hazardousness of SLES for health. This is why I didn’t include these rumors in the reason why one should avoid the ingredient. ;) Not everything you find on the internet is true: most of the bad rumors about SLES were invented in order to scare people and make them buy (unreasonably) expensive shampoos].

This said :) now a few words about this recipe!
I have made a Glucosides-based shampoo.
I admit that the first time I used it, it was not a great experience: I have very long hair and the detangling effect of this shampoo compared to my favorite SLES shampoo was just… not enough! However: my scalp stopped itching from the very first use, and this was a great GREAT feeling! :) I learnt to love this shampoo eventually, so this is why I am posting this recipe today (I have finished one Kg of it! So I can say it is a tested recipe) :)

This recipe makes for a quite liquid shampoo, which is usually not something I would appreciate; however, it seems functional to the recipe in the way that if it was more thick, it would be more difficult to spread (so if you try this recipe, try it first as it is! If then you want to change something, you can add a gelling/thickening agent to the water phase if you like).
To make it more conditioning I added “Polyquaternium 7″, which you could omit if you have short hair.

[In case you are new to my blog, you find all the explanation on how to make REAL cosmetics at home HERE, together with a list of all the other recipes I posted. 
If you, instead, know the theory but feel overwhelmed by the ingredients I am using, I have made a post which reports the links of some of the online cosmetic ingredients shop I know of, you find it HERE. :) Everything can be done, if you want it enough ;) ]

RECIPE:

Phase A
Water to 100
(meaning HERE)
Glycerin 2 
Epsom Salts 1 (this ingredient helps in giving volume to the hair, if you don’t need volume, omit it)
Hydrolized Keratin Powder 0.4 (if you have the liquid form, add up to 5%)

Phase B
Lauryl Glucoside 10

Decyl Glucoside 6 
Coco Glucoside & Gliceryl Oleate 3 (if you have a greasy scalp, lower this ingredient at 1%)
Fragrance (oil based) 0.5

Phase C
Cocamidopropyl Betaine 10  

Preservative (you add it at the specific percentage requested by your preservative)
Polyquaternium 7 – 1 

Citric Acid to adjust the pH IF NEEDED.

Now to the HOW TO:

1) Pour the Epsom salts in the Glycerin
No Sles Shampoo 1

2) Add the water and the proteins
No Sles Shampoo 2
(notice the color is given by the proteins)

3) Now measure the Phase B in a separate becher
No Sles Shampoo 3

4) Heat it up a little in order to melt the Lauryl Glucoside (the white stuff)
This will be the result
No Sles Shampoo 4

5) Now mix the two phases together
No Sles Shampoo 5

6) Measure separately the betaine and pour it in the mixture
No Sles Shampoo 6

7) Do the same for the Polyquaternium 7 and the preservative. Adding them one at a time and mixing carefully after you add them.

8) Check the pH and adjust to pH5 if needed.

:) That’s all :) Extremely fast!

Lately I have received from a reader of the forum the INCI of a shampoo with SLES but that seems to be extremely mild :) I think I will start experimenting on that as well :)

Did you like this recipe? :)
Any request? :)

Aloe Vera Face Cream DIY

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Hello there! :)

I am back with a new recipe for a summer cream light in texture, very hydrating and nourishing. :)

Aloe Vera Cream Cover

I have been using it for a couple of weeks and I really like it.
Obviously my “grease fall” composition is intended for what my skin likes (nowadays my acne days are only a distant memory but I am always scared it might come back: so I still formulate in order to give my skin fatty acids that won’t give any advantage to acne :) – you can read more HERE). You can, as always, change the grease fall for your own purpose and needs :)

The texture is light and quite fluid, it absorbs very easily and it has a quite “matte” finish thanks to the butters.
The active ingredients make for a soothing, hydrating and quite nourishing cream :)

Enough words now! :D

[Warning: if you are new to my blog and find this post overwhelming… trust me, it is not! You just need to learn a bit more about making REAL cosmetics at home and you can read all the info you need starting from the Site Index! As you can see there are theory posts which will teach you how to formulate and how to make creams and other cosmetics.
If you are not new to the making of lotions at home, but you feel overwhelmed by the ingredients that I use… do not worry! Nowadays there are more and more websites which sell cosmetic ingredients online and probably there is at least one in your own country. I have posted a list of the most known – to me – websites of this kind… you can find it HERE!]

RECIPE: 

Phase A: 
Water to 100 (as always – find the meaning of this HERE)
Glycerin 4 (glycerin is very hydrating but for people with very oily skin it might give a heavy/stiky feeling to the cream. Personally I don’t feel it so I like to add glycerin because it is fairly inexpensive but effective. If you have very oily skin add glycerin at 1% instead of 4%. Do not omit it though, because it is functional to the cream)
Xanthan Gum 0.25 (this is the gelling agent – Even thought xanthan gum, alone, doesn’t make the best gel, I am not using it combined to a carbomer because of the ingredients in this recipe: there are too many ingredients which would break down the carbomer gel and therefore why to waste it… :) )

Phase B: 
Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate 3 (this is, as you well know, the emulsifier)
Cetyl Alcohol 1.8 (this is our thickener :) it gives consistency to the cream – and a dry finish)
Kokum butter 1 
Murumuru butter 1 
Tocopherol 0.5 (our Vitamin E)
Cetiol Sensoft 0.5 (this is a very light synthetic oil which gives a good consistency to the cream. If you don’t want to use synthetic oils then you could try to substitute it with jojoba oil – which is actually an ester – but the consistency wouldn’t be really same. However, being the concentration so low, it is probable you won’t find any difference :) ).

Phase C (the oily – cool down phase):
Safflower oil 1 
Black currant seed oil 0.5 
Cranberry seed oil 0.5 
Bisabolol 0.5 (this is a powerful soothing ingredient – it also helps against the growth of acne bacteria)

Phase C part 2 (the water based – cool down phase):
Hyaluronic Acid Gel 3 (we have made it HERE)
Aloe Vera Powder (200:1) 0.5 (I used an organic aloe vera powder)
D-Panthenol 1 (Vitamin B5)
Allantoin 0.4 (soothing active ingredient)
Silk Hydrolized Proteins 2.6 (you can substitute with any other kind of hydrolyzed proteins you own)
Preservative (at the concentration needed for the specific preservative you use)

Extras:
– Fragrance oil (of course of at least Cosmetic grade)
– One drop of food colorant

As always, the HOW TO is very similar to all the other recipes of creams I have done.
Here a little sum up:

1) Pour the Xanthan gum on top of the Glycerin, stir.

Autumn Cream 1

2) Slowly add the water of the Phase A:
Autumn Cream 2

3) Now measure the Phase B.

4) Place Phase A and Phase B in a double boiler and heat them up to 70°C
Phase A and Phase B

5) Pour the Phase B into the Phase A into 2 or 3 steps.
Phase B in Phase A

6) With a stick blender or immersion mixer, mix the two phases together until well emulsified:
Mix

7) Keep stirring with a spatula until the emulsion reaches room temperature (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Yes it takes time, yes it is boring but if you don’t do it your emulsion will separate and you will have wasted ingredients…)
Keep Stirring
ps. In this picture the cream is already cooled down so it is a little bit thick. Don’t be scared if, in the beginning, the emulsion will be very liquid almost like milk! It is normal.

8) When the cream is at room temperature, add the two Phase Cs (you add one, mix with a spatula… add the second one and mix again with a spatula).

9) When all looks good and emulsified, give it a last stir with the stick blender (it will make the cream more smooth and stable).
Avoid adding air to the cream or it will form bubbles, which can eventually make your emulsion break down.

10) Add fragrance and color to your liking. (I added cucumber fragrance and one drop of green food coloring giving the cream a fresh feel :) Obviously you can omit this step).

Tadaaa :D :D :D

Aloe Cream

Hope you liked this recipe!

Any question? :)
Do you have any cosmetic you would like me to try and formulate? :)

HAVE A GREAT DAY! :)

Q10 Antioxidant Face Cream DIY

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Hello there! :)

I am back with a new recipe for a light face cream, perfect for summer (you can use it as a potent aftersun).

Q10 Antioxidant Face Cream DIY

I do not like (and I don’t suggest) to use antioxidant creams all the year around because the cell-metabolism is complex and using too much antioxidants might have its bad sides as well… however, a month of antiox-cream and two months of not antiox-creams shouldn’t do any harm :) on the contrary…

The ANTIOXIDANT properties of this cream are performed not by just one active ingredient but by a combination of antiox active ingredients which work in SYNERGY together! :)
This means that if you make a “Q10 Cream” with only Q10 as active ingredient (even at higher concentration) it won’t work as well as together these other antioxidants! :)

Q10 is known to accelerate the metabolism of a cell, therefore it somehow makes the cells live shorter (or, as they put it in the cosmetic industries, “it promotes skin renewal”).
It works well with Vitamin C (of course we are going to use a stable form), Vitamin E and Alpha-Lipoic Acid.
Warning! Alpha-Lipoic Acid has a terrible smell of battered egg, therefore, if you can’t stand bad smell, omit it!

In this recipe I am going to try out a new emulsifier (new to me, that’s what I mean ;) ), I am talking about “Hitecream 3000
The INCI is: Potassium Palmitoyl Hydrolyzed Oat Protein,Behenyl Alcohol, Palm Glycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sucrose Palmitate.
I have decided to follow the technical sheet of it and I have used it as the only emulsifier and thickener (it already contains Behenyl Alcohol, which is a thickener) at 7%.
Now that I have already tried it I can say that the emulsion came out fine and that, even thought 7% is a high concentration, it didn’t become too thick. Probably if I had to remake this cream, I would use it at 5% and try adding a little of Cetyl alcohol… but this I still have to test :) I am just rambling here…
Enough now! :D

The RECIPE! :) 

Phase A: 
Water to 100 
Glycerin 2 
Xanthan Gum 0.2 (I am using the non-transparent grade, but the transparent grade is fine as well)
Carbopol Utrez 21 0.3 

Phase B: 
Hitecream 3000 7 
Kokum butter 1.5 (you can substitute it with another butter)
Murumuru butter 1 (same as above)
Dicaprylyl Ether 1.5 (this is a light synthetic oil, you can substitute it with jojoba oil if you don’t have it. It won’t be the same effect though)
Tocopherol 1 (this is our beloved Vitamin E)

Phase C (the oily one)
Safflower oil 0.5 
Ribes Nigrum oil 0.5 
Q10 0.1 (this concentration is enough for the cream! You will notice that the cream, eventually, will be slightly yellow)
Alpha-Lipoic Acid 0.5 (to actually work in synergy it should be used around 1.5%, the problem is the terrible smell it has – and honestly, at 0.5% it already is terrible! So, once again, if you cannot stand massaging your face with a “battered egg smell”, simply ignore and omit this ingredient) :D

Phase D (the cold water based phase)
SAP 1 (sodium ascorbyl phosphate – this is the stable form of Vitamin C – if you have another stable form you can use it of course)
Rose water 10 (you can also use normal water – it is just to “melt” the SAP in…)
Preservative (at the specific concentration of the preservative you are using)
D-Panthenol 1 (also known as Vitamin B5 – remember that this can break down the Carbopol Utrez 21 we have in the Phase A, so add little at a time and if you see the cream breaking down… don’t add all of it!)

The HOW TO is the same for any other cream with a waxy emulsifier I have done, so don’t get lost if most of the pictures, here, will be from old creams I made! :)

1) When we work with Xanthan Gum and Carbopol Utrez 21 we have to separate the Phase A initially:
First we disperse the Xanthan Gum in the glycerin and add a little bit of the water of the Phase A
Sulphur Cream 1
Then we pour the Carbopol on top of the remaining water of the Phase A.
Water and Carbopol Utrez 21
Until we see something like this:
Water and Carbomer after 5 min
(It will happen naturally and without stirring! If you stir, you might get most of the Carbopol stuck to your spoon or spatula and that will be a good % of it… so don’t stir! ;) )
Only after the Carbopol has “hydrated” you can add the Xanthan Gum mix to the Carbopol water.

2) Measure the Phase B in a separate Becher

3) Heat up the two phases up to 70°C
Phase A and Phase B

4) When they both reached the temperature of 70°C, pour the Phase B into the Phase A (little at a time, while stirring with a spatula). When all the Phase B is in the Phase A, it is time to use your stick blender or immersion mixer and create the emulsion.
Pay attention to not incorporate any air in the process (it might destabilize your emulsion in the future, if the cream is full of micro-bubbles).
Mix

5) Once it looks emulsified (it will still be quite liquid, however I noticed that this Hitecream emulsifier thickens pretty fast :) ) keep stirring with a spatula until the cream reaches room temperature.
Do not skip this step: when the emulsion is still hot and quite liquid it can easily break; stirring with a spatula helps the emulsion get stable.
Keep Stirring

6) Measure the oily Phase C:
(here are some new pictures for you… enjoy!!! :) )
Q101
The one on the left is the Q10! You can see what a wonderful orange rich color it has!
In the cream, however, it will become quite pale (we are using only 0.1% of it).
Mix it to the oils
Q10 2
Add the Alpha-Lipoic Acid (which is the pale yellow powder on the spoon)
Q10 3
Well done! :)
Add it to the emulsion, using a spatula.

6) Measure the Phase C and add it to the emulsion as well.

7) Give it a last mix with the immersion mixer! :)

That’s it! :D

Notice: I added a drop of yellow into the final cream, the color wouldn’t be so yellow otherwise :)

Did you like the recipe? :)
Any request? :)

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Water in Cosmetic DIYs

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Hello Everybody! :)

Today I will briefly talk about the water we use in our DIYs and explain how to calculate its amount in our formulation (I have received many questions of explanation :) I thought it was clear but apparently it was not so).

Water

We already know that whenever we use water in our cosmetics, we need to add preservative because where there is water, there is life (and therefore bacteria of any sort might be enjoying the swimming pool) :D
It is actually NOT ONLY the case: for example there might be bacteria also in powder-form cosmetics… but the rule that if we have water in our cosmetics we need to add some kind of preserving system is not changed (it’s simply… “not only” ;) ).

However, does any kind of water work fine for our cosmetics?
ABSOLUTELY NOT.

The water we should use is demineralized microbiologically pure water (it has a cost and it is usually sold on those websites which sell cosmetic ingredients – you can find some links of online shops here).

So, why can’t you use tap water?
Tap water is definitely not demineralized, so the minerals contained in it will 99.999% interfere with the ingredients of our formulation, ruining all the recipe.

Also, the demineralized water (used for ironing, you find it in the market) contains indeed no minerals, BUT it is not microbiologically pure.
If water doesn’t contain minerals, bacteria can still grow in it!
As we already know, adding preservative to a cosmetic that is not colonized by bacteria is effective, while adding preservative to a cosmetic which already contains bacteria… is not so effective, instead! :)
[This is an example to give a rough idea: if you apply deodorant to a smelly armpit, it won’t work very well, if you apply it to a clean armpit, instead, it might do a wonderful job ;) ahahahah]
So we need to try to make sure that when we make our cosmetics, we don’t use contaminated ingredients! :)

If you cannot buy demineralized microbiologically pure water (or if you cannot wait to get it :D and you immediately want to make your cream), you should at least boil the demineralized water.
Boiling it (specially if you do it for a short time) won’t make the water microbiologically pure: boil the water at least 20 minutes and then wish for the best ;)

This is NOT a 100% safe method, but it is indeed way better than using demineralized water straight from the bottle :) 

Now to the calculation of water in our cosmetics :)

You must have indeed noticed that I never give the right amount for water in my recipes.
I always write “Water to 100″.

“Water to 100″ means that we will calculate the amount of water at the end of our recipe and we will calculate it in order to reach 100 grams (or 100%, that’s the same thing – it’s just a different way to look at it).
The calculation of water is left in the end because it enables us to make some changes to the recipes.
Changes are always useful or needed: you might not have the same ingredients I have (for example the preservative! You might use a preservative which needs to be added, in order to work properly, at a different percentage than mine!), or you might miss some ingredients completely and therefore you need to omit them.
I will never repeat this enough: it is very important to keep the percentage of use of our ingredients stable.
It sounds difficult but it is not. Let me make an example:

Imagine I have formulated this very basic recipe for a hair gel:

Water to 100
Xanthan Gum 1.5
Preservative (my specific preservative has to be used at 0.5%)
Hydrolized silk proteins 3

In this case water will be calculated in this way: 100 – (1.5 + 0.5 + 3) (these being the amounts of the other ingredients: we are calculating how much grams are needed in order to reach 100%). So the amount of water needed in this recipe is 95 grams.

However a reader might not have Xanthan Gum and might want to try using Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, which has a different way of gelling the water and needs to be used at higher amount than xanthan gum (understand this is just an example).
If he has to add 3.5 grams of HC to the recipe, the water will be calculated so: 100 – (3.5 + 0.5 + 3) leading us to 93 grams of water.

If I had written the recipe specifying the grams of water needed, the reader might have done the mistake of adding 95 grams of water instead of 93, therefore lowering the percentage of the preservative in the whole formulation (which wouldn’t make the preservative work at its best).

So this is as simple as this:
whenever you read one of these recipe, just understand that the amount of water is for you to calculate at the end.
Consider all your substitutions, all your modifications and THEN calculate the water you need to reach 100. :)

Hope this was finally clear ;)

 

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Silicones in cosmetics – the truth

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Hello there! :)

Today I want to talk about SILICONES because I found there is so much mis-knowledge about them online and I felt I need to clear their reputation a little. :)
Obviously everybody is entitled to have their own opinion… BUT, to have a real opinion, one is supposed to have a real notion of what they are talking about ;) so here I try to sum up some facts that might have created confusion.

Silicones
1) Silicones are used in cosmetic industry because they are cheap. 
FALSE
Silicones are not that cheap, actually (of course relatively speaking).
So why they are so used in the cosmetic industry? Simply because they are highly performing.
This is the very simple truth! :D
– they are oil-like but they feel dry on the skin.
– they also create this wonderful “velvety” effect which you just cannot obtain in a cosmetic that doesn’t contain them.
– they are (mostly) stable molecules that don’t react to heat.
– they improve the chemical filters in some creams (of up to 1%)
Since most people are fascinated by the texture and the smell of the cream (and maybe the price) rather than from the INCI (the list of ingredients it actually contains) you can easily guess that the texture is what is most important nowadays in the cosmetic industry, and therefore the silicones are the solution! ;)
My personal opinion is that if there is a good cream (well formulated and with good active ingredients) which contains an useful amount of silicones just to have that extra great feel, I don’t see anything wrong in that.
The bad thing, instead, happens when a cream contains a great amount of silicones just to “hide” the poor quality of the other ingredients: there are so many cosmetics what do not contain any good active ingredient, but still buyers are “cheated” to think that the cream is almost a miracle because of the velvety-feel. Maybe people buy it thinking it must be very hydrating or even rejuvenating, while the truth is that silicones are in NO WAY hydrating or rejuvenating: they merely sit on the skin and do nothing. :)

2) Silicones are not eco-friendly. 
TRUE
What is not true is that they are not eco-friendly because they are synthesized from oil! :) This is a version I have read a lot and I actually don’t know where it comes from.
However let me explain a little: Silicones do not exist in nature on their own, and they are synthesized (mainly) from sand. Sand, it is! So what is bad about them from the biodegradable point of view?
The bad part of the story is that once they are synthesized they are mainly (of course I am talking about a huge group of compounds so not all what I say can be said about each silicone) non-biodegradable. Their great stability, which is one of the main quality of silicones, makes them almost “eternal” on earth once they are formed.
So this is why they are not eco-friendly: the silicones of your silicone-full foundation (which you washed off your face 3 years ago), is still existing somewhere in the world!

3) Silicones clog pores. 
FALSE and TRUE
Silicones usually are:
– mainly stable molecules (they do not react to the heat, to the sun, to other molecules)
– usually big molecules which, exactly because of their shape, let the skin underneath breathe.
This is why silicones are considered “non-comedogenic”.
However, and this is why I wrote “yes and no”, not all the silicones are the same: some are very light and almost ethereal (for example Cyclopentasiloxane) and probably really let the air breathe trough, but some others (like, for example, Dimethicone – which is a generic name which contains a lot of different compounds) are very heavy. If you check some liquid-foundations you will realize that those which contain Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone in the beginning of the INCI have a very thick and heavy feel, while those which contain Cyclopentasiloxane or Cyclohexaxyloxane are more silky and mostly “dry”.
As I have already written many times in my blog: I don’t like silicones on my face because the day after I apply them, my skin has at least a few breakouts (and I usually don’t have any). This, however, is nothing else but my own experience.
I have seen many people using silicon-based creams and makeup EVERYDAY and yet they have the most wonderful skin.
So: NO silicones don’t (necessarily) clog pores or cause breakouts.
If, however, you have the same experience as I have… then simply try not using cosmetics which contain them and see if there is any difference.
Also, please, realize that large pores are usually a congenital thing.
If you are to have large pores you will have them even if you wash your face 10 times in a day (which I don’t suggest :) ) and even if you don’t apply foundations or silicon creams all your life.
The more I have learnt about the making of creams, the less I believe in the “miraculous cosmetics” that claim to change one’s skin for the best. There is nothing like that. Sometimes all we need is a little bit of acceptance :)

4) Silicones are dangerous for the skin. 
FALSE
There is no study which proves it and actually, on the other hand, we can see how much silicones are used in medical treatments (they are even used to cover open wounds exactly because of their stability, their low-grade of allergens and their safety).

5) Silicones will ruin your hair. 
FALSE and TRUE
Hair are nothing else but “dead” chain of proteins attached to our scalp.
Silicones inside of a shampoo or a hair conditioner do nothing bad to the hair and actually “cover” them with a thin layer leaving them more shiny and easy to comb.
The truth is that if you apply too many silicones (like the “hair oil treatments” they sell in the shops: often they are made of only perfumed silicones and they don’t contain any natural oil at all :) ) they tend to sum up and, on the long run, they might make your hair look heavy/greasy/not shiny at all.
I personally don’t use these “oil treatments” but I do add a small amount (1%) of silicones to my hair conditioner.
Obviously the choice, once again, is all yours.

This is it! :)
I hope that with this post you will be able to make your own choice freely!
Any question? :)

 

 

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Sulfur Mask – for acne and oily skin

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Hello there! :D
I am finally back (and I have no excuses whatsoever) :)

The recipe of today is for all of you people struggling with an acneic skin or very oily skin, it is, in fact, a recipe for a mask that will really help you control the oiliness and will help dry up the pimples much faster! :)

Sulfur Mask DIY

I have to thank Biancospina from L’Angolo di Lola because my version was greatly inspired from her recipe.
I loved her idea of combining zinc oxide (which has great soothing properties – but leaves the face quite “white” and therefore it is great in a mask that can be washed off) and sulfur (you already know that it is good against acne and oily skin! :D ). I didn’t add salicylic acid because my mask is intended for a safe use mainly this spring and summer (salicylic acid shouldn’t be used in summer!) and I also changed most of the grease fall (simply because I don’t have her same ingredients available, so I used what I have ;) ).

Enough now, let’s go straight to the recipe! :D

[Are you new to my blog? Don’t be discouraged by all these weird ingredients and this recipe that looks “impossible to make at home”… it is VERY POSSIBLE INDEED! :D Just read my other posts and everything will be clear and simple to your eyes as well! You can check all HERE
You already know the theory but you have no idea where you can find these ingredients? There are TONS of websites that sell high quality cosmetic ingredients online. I made a post with a list of those which I happened to use or that were suggested to me by readers of this blog. If you want to check it, you can find that list HERE.
You are welcome ;) ]

 RECIPE: 
Phase A: 
Water to 100 (you calculate it in the end, in order to make the whole recipe reach 100 grams)
Glycerin 2.5
Xanthan gum 0.5 (this is the gelling agent. I used the non-transparent one but you can use what you like)

Phase B: 
Methil Glucose Sesquistearate 3 (this is the emulsifier – you can use what you have if you don’t have this specific emulsifier: however, this is a good emulsifier :D I suggest you try it sometime! Very easy to use!)
Cetyl Alcohol 1.5 (this is the thickening agent and co-emulsifier – I used this much because I wanted the mask to be very thick: personal choice! If you want you can use only 1 gram)
Zinc Oxide 10 (I used this much because I don’t mind if the mask makes my face look a bit white for 10 minutes :D )
Sulfur (flowers, grinded, or powder) 1
Kokum Butter 2 
Shea Butter 1 
Grapeseed oil 3 (you can change the oils and butters of this recipe if you don’t have them. However you might want to read THIS post)
Tocopherol 1 (this is Vitamin E)

Phase C: 
Preservative (the one you are using. Add it, obviously, at its specific concentration – for example mine needs to be added at 0.6%)
Safflower oil 3 
Bisabolol 0.5 (this is a substance anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties)
D-Panthenol 1 (also known as Vitamin B-5)

This is it! :)
Now to the usual HOW TO:

1) We add the Xanthan Gum to the Glycerin and mix. It will become very thick because we are using a lot of Xanthan gum in this recipe: don’t be scared.
Sulphur Cream 1
2) We add water little by little (I obviously changed becher), until we get an uniform, nice gel:
Sulphur Cream 2
3) Now it is time to measure all the ingredients of our Phase B:
the yellow thing you see is the Sulfur powder, the white on the right is the Zinc Oxide, the brown is the Tocopherol (all the other ingredients are in the bottom of the glass).
Sulphur Cream 3
4) Now we heat up both Phases up to 70°C
(notice the consistency and the color of the Phase B: it is almost totally white because of the amount of Zinc Oxide)
Sulphur Cream 5
5) When they both reach 70°C, it is time to pour the Phase B into the Phase A and mix with an immersion mixer. (I don’t have a picture of this but I have many pictures in the other recipes I have posted)
6) Keep mixing with a spatula until the temperature goes down to room temperature.
7) Measure the Phase C (in the picture) and add it to the cream; mix very well with the spatula.
Sulphur Cream 4

That’s it! :)
As easy as that! :D

Now a couple of notes about this mask:
it DOES WORK. I have a medium-oily skin and this cream definitely helped me stop the oiliness.
I wouldn’t suggest you making this cream if you have acne but also dry skin (it would just dry your skin even more!).

If you make this mask I would suggest that you initially apply it once a week for only 5 minutes; then, if you like the results, you can try keeping it for up to 10 minutes but I wouldn’t go over this application time.

NOTE about THE SMELL:
as you might have noticed I haven’t added any fragrance to this cream, and this is simply because Sulfur has already a very “special” HELL-SMELL! :D
I don’t think it can be “hidden” with any fragrance so I just opted for leaving it alone: after all this is a recipe for a mask it doesn’t have to be kept on the face for too long!
However, let me say it: you will still smell it even after you have washed it off very carefully :D YOU ARE WARNED!!!

 

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Caffeine & Escin Eye Cream DIY

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Hello there! :)

This new recipe for an Eye-Cream will work great against both blue circles and puffiness; so if you suffer of these, keep reading! ;)
When you apply it you really feel that the circulation of the skin is improving (it gives a rather lifting feeling)!
I am really satisfied!

Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream

I wrote “blue circles” and not the more generic “dark circles” because there are two different kinds of dark circles:
1) The first case is the dark circle caused by hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Some ethnic groups are more exposed to this kind of discoloration compared to others (for example some Indian people have almost black pigmentation in the under-eye area).
You realize if you are part of this group, just checking the color of your eye circles: if it looks brownish-black… then that’s it!
[ps. don’t feel downhearted! It seems that people who have this kind of discoloration are less prone to developing wrinkles in the eye-area!! ;) ]
However, this recipe won’t help you against discoloration, because the recipe should contain totally different active-ingredients. I will post a recipe that tries to solve this “problem” if you want.

2) The second case (which we try to solve thanks to this recipe) are the bluish circles caused by leaking capillaries.
You see: the capillaries of the delicate under-eye area sometimes are so fragile that a bit of blood leaks out, the hemoglobin oxidizes (becoming bluish in color) and that’s it: we look as if we had a small hematoma just under the eyes. :D
If under your eyes you see a bluish circle, then this is your “problem” (as if these were the problems in life… :D ) and there is a lot we can do ;)

To help against leaking capillaries I have added in this formulation ESCIN!
ESCIN is a very good ingredient. Here are a few data on this ingredient:
– It is water soluble,
– It shouldn’t be heated (therefore in our recipes, if we are using emulsifiers which need to be heated, we add it in the Phase C)
– It can be added up to 2% of a formulation.
The main properties of Escin:
- Vasoprotector
- Vasocostrictor 
- Anty-Inflamatory
The bad thing about Escin is that it doesn’t smell good: it is not that bad, but it gives to the cream a “dusty” feeling. It can seem totally bearable in the beginning but it can irritate you after weeks of applying the cream :D

Another “Prince” Active-Ingredient of this recipe is, obviously, Caffeine (I have already written a post about Caffeine, you can read it HERE).
Caffeine helps mostly against puffiness because it improves the blood circulation (therefore helping the exceeding water to move out of the area).

[If this is the first post you read and you feel confused about formulation, I suggest you to first read the theory of making your cosmetic creams at home :) You can find the list of all the theoric posts and all the recipes HERE.
If you are confused on where to purchase these ingredients, I wrote a post about buying cosmetic ingredients online and I wrote a list of the most known, at least to me, websites for purchasing these ingredients online HERE]

Enough talking now! :)

RECIPE:

Phase A:
Water to 100 (HERE the explanation)
Betaine 5 
(this is NOT the surfactant called “cocamidopropyl betaine” but this is the Trimethylglycine – this ingredient helps making the cream more soothing and more smooth at the touch. If you don’t have it, you can omit it)
Glycerin 2
Caffeine 1
Escin 1.5
Hyaluronic Acid Gel
(My recipe HERE) 3

Phase B:
Murumuru butter 2 (you can substitute this butter with any other butter of your choice. I picked this one because it has low oleic acid compared to other butters but it is not an essential ingredient)
Cocoa butter 2 
(I used unrefined cocoa butter, refined is obviously fine as well and, if you want, you can substitute this ingredient with other butters of your choice)
Tocopherol 1 (this is Vitamin E)
Black Currant oil 2 (this oil composition is rich in linoleic acid which is very good for the skin – if you don’t have it, you can substitute with another oil high in linoleic acid)
Abil Care 85 – 2 **[INCI: Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG16/16 Dimethicone; Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride]
Tinovis ADE – 1.2 **[INCI: Sodium Acrylates Copolymer (and) Hydrogenated Polydecene (and) PPG-1 Trideceth-6]

Phase C: 
Blueberry Powder Extract 0.4
Preservative (at the right concentration needed by your specific preservative)

Extra: add a few drops of an allergen-free Fragrance Oil (I don’t suggest adding Essential Oils because they are full of allergens and many are quite aggressive.)

** About this EMULSIFYING SYSTEM: Abil Care 85 is a silicon based emulsifier which can be used at room temperature and higher temperatures. It is silicon based and therefore it is not extremely eco-friendly. Tinovis ADE is a thickener which can be used without gelling the Phase A and must be used at room temperatures. Abil Care 85 and Tinovis ADE are a good combination for making creams with a good texture and in a fast way (since you don’t need to heat them to use them). I don’t like silicons on my skin but this is not a cream based on silicons, the amount of silicon in a cream emulsified with 2% Abil Care is much lower than 2% and that is totally acceptable by my skin.
However, if you don’t want to buy these two emulsifiers (let’s say you want to avoid silicons completely) then you can obviously use a different Emulsifying system. Just consider that you will have to add a gelling agent in Phase A, you will have to create a larger Phase C (with Escin, hyaluronic acid gel, black currant oil) and you will need to heat up the Phase A and Phase B at the needed temperature for your emulsifying system.
If you have doubts, read the theory HERE and check other recipes HERE.

Now finally the HOW TO:
1) Measure and add in a becher the water (you have previously calculated the right amount of water ;) ) and the Glycerin.

2) Add Caffeine
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream2

3) You can see that the caffeine doesn’t “melt” inside the water easily
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream3 Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream4

4) Heat up the water with caffeine just a little, until it becomes all transparent again.
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream5

5) When the water is not warm anymore, add Escin
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream6

6) Eventually add Hyaluronic acid gel and betaine (it should look like the picture below: it is not transparent because of the escin, what is important is that there are no residues left on the bottom because it would mean that it is not “melted” in the water). Set aside.
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream9

7) Measure the Murumuru butter and the Cocoa butter, then heat it up until they are melted
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream7

8) Add the remaining ingredients of the Phase B and add them to the Phase A
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream8

9) This is how bad it looks when you pour the Phase B into the Phase A
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream10

10) Mix with your immersion mixer
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream11

11) Aside measure the Blueberry Powder Extract and the Preservative. Add a little bit of cream and mix in order to start “melting” the blueberry powder.
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream12

12) Add the Phase C to the cream.
Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream13

This is it! :)

Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream14

I hope you enjoyed this recipe: I love it :D

Have a great day! :D

Any suggestion about a recipe you would like me to formulate? :)

 

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Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Problem Skin

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Hello there! :D

Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Problem Skin

Today I am back with a recipe for an extremely simple and effective serum… however there are a couple of things I need to say first!
1) This serum is formulated to help a problematic skin. With this I intend a skin which suffers of mild blemishes every now and then, maybe a little irritated and with a few red marks left by previous spots, add an oily T-zone… and that should be it :D . The ingredients of this serum will HELP the skin keep hydrated, will help keeping the oiliness under control and will help to soothe the skin (it might also have some effect against the red marks). Obviously, this serum is NOT A CURE for acne or for serious condition skins: it is just a help. I want to underline this because too often, online, we read about “the final cure for blablablaaa” but those are almost cheats :D
So this is what I wanted to say: if you are checking online for the recipe that will change your skin completely… you should probably go to a dermatologist.
If you are, instead, looking for a recipe for a honest cosmetic which will help you get a better skin (being aware that every skin might react differently to cosmetics and something might work for one and not work for another…) then you are reading the right spot and you might want to try this! :D
Well… now that you have this “critic eye” opened… let me introduce you to my new and amazing (now I can say it ahahah :D ) serum recipe! :D

No wait!!! There is still another thing I NEED to say…

2) To make this serum you will be using an ingredient which might be dangerous if not used properly. To not make this experience a dangerous one, it is MOST IMPORTANT that you own professional pH TEST STRIPS (or a pH controller… even better).
If you don’t own them and you are not willing to buy them… then stop reading now and don’t attempt making this serum cause you might get seriously hurt. No joking.

This recipe contains NIACINAMIDE (also known as Nicotinamide, Vitamin PP, Vitamin B3 or Nicotinic Amide: they are all the same thing!).
This is an ingredient which works really great on skin; as I already mentioned above, it has anti-inflammatory properties, soothing properties (if used up to 2%) and it helps fighting blemishes (at concentration up to 4%), it normalizes sebum production and it also helps against any discoloration of the skin. Wonderfullll!!!
So where is the trick? :D
As you might have guessed from the name, this Nicotinamide is a close close friend of Nicotinic Acid; it is, in fact, the amide of nicotinic acid and this acid causes flushing and burning sensation of the skin (definitely the opposite of the soothing property we are looking for…). If you happen to apply nicotinic acid to your face, you might really ruin your skin… so let me tell you what happens when we try to make our serum with Nicotinamide and why it is VERY IMPORTANT that you own pH TEST STRIPS!
Nicotinamide is stable at a pH range between 5.5 and 7. If your serum has this pH, you are having Niacinamide in it.
However, if the pH is too acid (or even too basic), the Niacinamide goes through a reaction and the Nicotinic Acid is formed.
This is why it is very important you have good quality pH Strips (something like THESE and NOT these: the first, in fact, show you more precisely the pH) and you follow the “how to” very well: because if the pH of your serum is not right, you might not have Niacinamide in it anymore, but you might have Nicotinic Acid.

I hope this was very clear.
Now… to the recipe! :D

RECIPE: 

Water to 100 (HERE the explanation)
Niacinamide 4 
Aloe Vera powder 0.5 
Betaine (also known ad Trimethylglycine – it is NOT the surfactant: it is a powder with soothing properties) – 5
Glycerin 1
Sodium Hyaluronate 0.9 (this is a great active, it promotes deep hydration of the skin and in this formula it is also used as the “gelling agent” ;) )
Preservative (water based) – use it at the concentration needed. I use an Ecocert approved preservative which needs a 0.6% concentration. Of course you need to use your preservative according to its own needed %.

Extras: one drop of green, food grade and water based colorant (or any color you like) and fragrance oil of cosmetic grade, obviously (one drop is enough and if you add more your fragrance oil will come back to the surface because we haven’t added any emulsifier in this formula: I chose cucumber!) :D

HOW TO: 
1) Measure the water in a becher

2) Add the Aloe Vera Powder, the Glycerin, the Betaine and the preservative to the water.
Niacinamide2

3) Now it is time to measure the pH!
– If it is between 5.5 and 7 – PERFECT proceed to point 4)
– If it is lower than 5.5 – you need to add a substance which is a strong base and will make the pH rise. When I made this gel, the pH was lower than 5.5, therefore I added a very small amount of SAP (sodium ascorbyl phosphate – a stabilized form of Vitamin C). If you don’t have SAP or any other strong base, you could use a solution of water and 10% sodium hydroxide (but NOTICE: sodium hydroxide is a potentially dangerous ingredient and for this gel you will need a drop or two of this solution… however, because of the dangerous effect it might have, use precautions and therefore wear gloves and goggles whenever you are making or using this solution). Obviously you don’t just add a drop and then proceed to point 4: you add a drop, you wait a couple of minutes while stirring and you return to point 3.
– If it is higher than 7, add a drop of lactic acid or citric acid. Once again, after you add the drop, you mix for a couple of minutes and you return to point 3 (you measure the pH again and you check).
Repeat until you are inside the pH range you need!

4) Add the Niacinamide and stir (and check the pH again! Yes! Again!)
Niacinamide1 Niacinamide3

5) Finally add the Sodium Hyaluronate: just pour it on top of the water and forget about the serum for a day.
The pH of Sodium Hyaluronate should be around 7, therefore it shouldn’t have a bad effect on our serum, however, just to be sure, measure the pH once again and check that it is between 5.5 and 7! If it is not… adjust it again as explained on point 3.
Niacinamide4
This is how it looks as soon as you pour it: you will notice that it will immediately start forming the gel from the top of the solution. Seriously if you are patient it would be best to just let it sit for some hours: it will hydrate slowly and naturally.
However, if you are restless like me :D you can mix with a spatula and then use an immersion mixer… this is how it will look like in the beginning (but after few hours it will become transparent again ;) ). 
Niacinamide5
6) If you like it you can add a drop of food grade and water-based colorant and a drop of fragrance oil (if it is just one drop, it will be fine). 
Niacinamide6

WARNING: even if you follow the procedure very well, it might happen that something goes wrong (for example your pH strips are not very precise) this is why I warmly suggest you try a very small amount of this gel behind your ear as a test.
If you feel itching or a burning sensation, just wash it off and throw away the serum.
If, instead, everything feels good, you can apply it to your face (needless to say: if it didn’t itch behind the ear and it does itch on your face… then you should still wash it off and throw it away :D ).
But hopefully, everything will go right :D

Hope you enjoyed this recipe and hope it will help your skin to look a bit better! :D 
It did help mine! :D 

Niacinamide7
I have also posted a recipe for a Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Rose Water and anti-aging active ingredients, so if this is what you are looking for, you might want to check HERE
If, instead, you want to learn how to make a simple 100% Hyaluronic Acid gel, then click HERE
You can find the list of all my recipes HERE

Have a great day! :D
And write me a comment if you feel like :D : they make my day! ;)

 

 

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