How to make a lotion – THEORY pt.2


As explained in the “Theory pt.1” post a cream is made of water and oils kept together by emulsifiers (one or more in the same formulation).
So, when you attempt to actually make a cream, you have to start preparing the ingredients separately. There will be at least:

PHASE A: the water based ingredients
PHASE B: the oily ingredients (or oil soluble ingredients)

I think it is better to actually show a very basic recipe of a cream so you can understand what I am talking about.
Every recipe is made for 100 grams of product and every number written after the ingredient indicates the grams (“water to 100” means that the water will be enough to make the recipe reach the 100 gr value)

Phase A: 
water (demineralized) to 100
glycerin 4
xanthan gum 0.3
Phase B:
fats 15
emulsifier 3 (imagine I have chosen one which need to be heated)
thickener 2

Phase C:
Active ingredients 5
Preservative 0.6
2 drops fragrance oil or essential oil

So what does it mean to “make a phase A and a phase B”?
Once you have the recipe you start weighting the ingredients and you cannot put them all together like an unknown mixture: there are rules to be followed and the most important rule is to keep the two phases separated in the beginning.
So you will need at least two bechers and in one you will add the phase A, in the other you will add the phase B.

The PHASE A usually contains water, glycerin, one or more jelling agents (mainly: xanthan gum, different kinds of carbomer or hydroxyethyl cellulose) which help the emulsion to keep stable and they give consistency to the cream. There are different kinds of jelling agents and each gives a final texture to the cream.

The PHASE B instead contains the oily ingredients and the emulsifier, the thickeners if needed and so on. I have not been specific in this recipe neither for the fats nor for the emulsifiers; this because too much must be said about these two subjects and I will make other posts about this.
What we will consider, however, is that the emulsifier in this cream is one of those which have to be heated at 70°C to actually emulsify water and fats.

So, in this case, now that we have the phase A and the phase B we need to heat them up to 70°C (measuring the temperature is important).
Phase A and Phase B
Once they have both reached the same temperature, you need to add the Phase B to the Phase A (never otherwise) and you have to start mixing them possibly with an immersion mixer (pay attention at this point: avoid incorporating air or it will result in bubbles inside your cream). Notice that when you pour the Phase B into the Phase A you should actually pour it little by little, mix, add some more, mix, add some more… this will give better results! 😀
Phase B in Phase A
Once the liquid (it should still be quite liquid at this point) looks emulsified you have to keep stirring with a spoon until it cools down completely.
When it is cooled down (you will notice that now it looks more like a real cream because it has become thick and creamy 🙂 )
Keep Stirring
this is the time you can add your PHASE C: the preservative, the active ingredients (the ingredients which are extremely good for your skin) and, if you wish to, two drops of your favourite fragrance oils or essential oils (bear in mind that if you want to add fragrance oils they need to be of cosmetic grade: not any fragrance oil will do).
Body cream itsallinmyhands

If it sounded very easy… well it is not really 🙂
I’m not trying to take the motivation away from you, but it is not easy to get a stable emulsified cream; sometimes it gets bubbles inside, sometimes it separates after few days (usually if there are many bubbles it means it is not really emulsified… but I will teach you a trick to get to know if it is emulsified or not). Sometimes things go wrong and you don’t even manage to know why.
So I would suggest that you start reading more and more about how to make creams, also from other websites (I am just summing it up, here… but there are many websites which helped me in learning this wonderful thing so I am sure you can find them interesting also!).
There are so many things to be said about this wonderful subject! 🙂
I feel I forgot to say so much, but I will try to add everything I can to this blog.
Anyway if you decide to study about making creams… ALL THE BEST! 😉 You won’t be left unsatisfied 😀

For various recipes click HERE 
To learn how to formulate cosmetics click HERE
For a list of online cosmetic ingredients suppliers click HERE 

How to make a lotion – THEORY pt.1

Hello! 🙂

Escin and Caffeine Eye Cream14

Right after posting the body-butter recipe I realized it was not good enough and so I started studying and studying how face and body creams are really made.

I have decided to make short posts to explain also to anybody who would like to learn, how they are done in real.

The subject is not the easiest thing, it needs a lot of studying and understanding but I will try to make things as simple as they can be 🙂

A very basic lotion is made of:
– water,

– oils/butters,

– emulsifier,

– preservative.

[Of course there are much more ingredients that  can be added (like active ingredients or thickeners, for example), but I am starting from the basics so learn step by step and everything will be clear! 🙂 ]

Water and oils together give hydration (the water obviously is hydrating, but the oils or butters help the water to not evaporate… plus they give nutriments to the skin; but I will talk about this further on), the emulsifier keeps the water and the oils together 🙂 otherwise they would separate and that wouldn’t be anymore a cream (plus studies says that a cream, read “emulsified water and fats”, hydrate more than separated water and oils; which means that if you shake water and fats together and use them as a cream it will not hydrate you as much as if you made an actual cream with the same ingredients 😉 ).
At last the preservative saves the cream from the proliferation of dangerous bacteria (anytime you use water in something you produce by yourself, you need to use a preservative or you need to save your product in the fridge and use it in a few days only). I don’t know why but people dislike “preservatives” as if they were a terrible thing. They are not: there are many kinds of preservatives, some are eco-friendly (which doesn’t mean that they are like “fresh water”) some are not at all… you can choose accordingly to this, but bear in mind that using a preservative in your products is not an option (if this can make you feel better usually the % of preservative, which changes according to which one you are using, is only around 0.5%).

But now back to the ingredients:

It must be “demineralized” microbiologically pure water, you should be able to find demineralized water in supermarkets as the water used for ironing. There is a post which explain better on this HERE.
You could also use different kinds of hydrolized flower waters (like rose water, witch hazel…), choosing according to their properties (but keep in mind that many times they are expensive and they don’t have really strong properties… they can be considered more “poetic” than effective, which means that they almost only “sound good” 🙂 ).

I am going to make a separate post about the choice of oils and butters because there are definitely too many things to say.
In a cream you should not use just one kind of fat: oils and butters should be balanced and chosen accordingly to the kind of cream you want to make, the purpose it has, the touch you want it to have… it’s not a matter of  so called “miraculous” properties (actually the more you will study “how to make a cream” the more you will realize that NOTHING IS MIRACULOUS… but maybe I should make another post about this also 🙂 ), it is a matter of viscosity, density, feeling at the touch, spreading ability.
To make it very short: there are some rules you have to follow in order to make a balanced “fall” of fats in your cream.

Also the emulsifiers will have their own post.
Emulsifiers can be very different from one another: some must be heated until 70°C to work, some cannot be heated at all or they don’t work (so according to this difference you will have to change how you make the cream… you will see how in a second!); some are for W/O (read “water in oils”) and some are O/W (read “oil in water”) [everything will be explained, don’t worry 🙂 ]; some give a dry feeling to the cream, some a rich, or a light, or a very smooth touch.
Nothing is left to “chance” and as you start experimenting you will be able to experience the difference from one another.


Christmas Soaps Recipes

My Karma Soap 


450 gr olive oil

165 gr coconut oil

50 gr castor oil

150 gr macadamia nut oil

185 gr organic palm oil refined

135.7 gr lye

350 gr water

1 tsp Titanium bioxide

My Karma FO

strawberry mica for the swirl

Northern Lights Soap 


150 gr grape oil

180 gr coconut oil

120 organic palm oil refined

60 gr shea butter

30 gr castor oil

lye 5%

225 water

1 tbsp amla powder

1 tsp poppy seeds

Blend of essential oils of my taste

Rose Soap


225 gr olive oil

150 gr coconut oil

50 gr macadamia nut oil

25 gr castor oil

50 gr avocado butter (added at trace)

70.1 lye (6%)

165 gr water

1 t rice flour

7 ml rose FO

4 ml patchouli EO

6 ml geranium EO

So these are some of the Christmas soaps I made this year 🙂



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Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Serum DIY

NOTE: every quantity in this recipe is in grams and it is a recipe for 100 gr of product. The meaning of “to 100” means that the quantity of the water (in this case “rose water”) is counted until reaching 100 gr for the entire recipe. 

Rose water to 100
Sodium Hyaluronate 1
Sk-influx (this is the commercial name of a complex of different kinds of ceramides. You can use what you find with the same function) 2.5
Ceramide liposomes 2.5
D-panthenol 2
Sodium lactate (60% solution) 5
Bisabolol 0.5
Umectol (this is the commercial name of a hydrating complex. Once again: you can freely use a different complex with the same function) 2.5
Hydrolized silk proteins 2
Cosgard 0.6 (this is the preservative)

In the very end I also added one drop of water soluble red food coloring. This is why it is pink (needless to say this is totally up to you).

I made the Hyaluronic acid using rose water the evening before. Of course I used 1 gram of sodium hyaluronate and around 80 grams of rose water… not 100.
The morning after the gel was ready so I just mixed it a bit and added these ingredients in the recipe. I added the preservative in the end.
As you can see there are few oily components like Bisabolol, D-panthenol… quite in a high % (usually a gel is fine up to 1% of oils). The reason is that I used a commercial Rose water 😀
I did not have any substance to solubilize the oils inside of the gel (at the time that i created this serum) so I decided to give good use to those who are usually inside commercial Rose water! 😀 Ok let me explain: inside of commercial Rose water they solubilize stuff like perfume/essential oils and preservative (at least usually). To make the water still clear and transparent they use a bit more solubilizer than needed… you can be sure about this by shaking the bottle of the rose water: if a few bubbles form (kind like in a light bubble bath) then you can be sure there is some free surfactant substance (the solubilizer…) inside of the rose water. I say “free” because part of it reacted to solubilize the oils inside of the water… and part of it is still free and making therefore the water clear once again.
Making a gel with this kind of water and adding oils to it, I used the “free surfactant” and this is why this gel is holding on together! 😀
And this is also why it is not transparent (apart for the fact that Sk-influx are not transparent at all)!

So there it is all the “tips and tricks” 😀
I like this serum very much and I have been using it for the last month on my face 🙂
It is very light (cause it is practically oil free) and needless to say: super nourshing! 🙂
Hope you like it!

Let me know if you have any questions! 😀

Rose and Patchouli – Soap Bar

This is one of the first soaps I made, a long time ago… but I opened this blog late and I realized I never posted anything about it.

It was the first GREAT and luxurious soap I made.

225 gr Olive oil
150 gr Coconut oil
50   gr Macadamia nut oil
50   gr Avocado butter (melted and added at trace)
25   gr Castor oil

70.17 gr lye (6% discount)
135     gr distilled water
30       gr rose water

1 tsp rice flour
7 ml Rose essential oil
4 ml Patchouli essential oil
10 ml Geranium essential oil

3 tbsp Rose buds to decorate in the end

Hope you liked it 🙂



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How to: Hyaluronic Acid gel

A while ago I posted how to make Aloe Vera gel.
I was planning to post a recipe of an hydrating gel (I have been using it in the morning for the last two months and I love it), but before I start, I thought it would be more important to show you how to make the basic ingredients for this gel.
Of course Hyaluronic Acid gel is one of these ingredients!

So tadaaa 😀

Hyaluronic Acid Gel

I love hyaluronic acid for the property of keeping the skin hydrated, also it is a substance that is naturally found in our skin.
It is used in many anti-aging creams (I don’t believe it is miraculous and it will make wrinkles disappear, but simply because it helps keeping the skin hydrated, the skin appears more plump and fresh).

[WARNING: this recipe, like ALL the recipes in my blog, is of COSMETIC GRADE, therefore this gel cannot be used any differently than by applying it ON your skin]
1 gr         Sodium Hyaluronate 
98,4 gr  Distilled Water (or Rose water 😉 read the end of the post)
0.6 gr    Cosgard (or any other preservative of your choice: of course if you change preservative, use the amount of preservative which is needed for that specific kind of preservative)

1) Measure the Sodium Hyaluronate

2) Measure the water

3) Pour the Sodium Hyaluronate on top of the water

At this point some people like to mix it and some people like to let it be.
I have actually tried both ways and here is my experience: if you try to mix it at this stage, part of the SH will stick to the spoon. This means that a precious part of your gel will get lost (and SH is not exactly cheap, so you’d want to mind this).
IMO it is better to let the SH hydrate by itself on top of the water for a while, and stir later.

4) Cover the glass with plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for few hours.

5) After few hours the SH will be hydrated. Now you can stir it with a spoon so to make the gel more smooth (there will be harder parts and softer parts).

6) Add your preservative, stir again and put in a bottle 🙂

You can use this Gel by itself, for its great hydrating properties!
If you have a very dry skin you could like to use it before applying your cream 🙂
You could also make a more luxurious gel by substituting part of the water (or the entire water) with Rose water!

As you might have noticed in the market we can find creams or serums that say “40% Hyaluronic Acid”.
Well, as you can see I am using 1% of Sodium Hyaluronate and this is the highest concentration I can use.
It is technically impossible to use 40% of SH inside of a gel: it will never hydrate and you will waste a huge amount of money.
I tried once to make a 2% and it took ages to hydrate. In the end it was too thick. I could still use it but it was not a good gel at all.
I don’t know what they could mean by saying “40% Hyaluronic Acid” on a product where there cannot be more than 2% of SH, but it is long time I stopped believing what I read in the commercials for creams. The only thing I can believe now is the INCI and what I KNOW is that in one cream where it was said “40%”, the Sodium Hyaluronate in the INCI was at 6th place (this means that in NO WAY it could be at 40%, it could have been at maybe 1% or even less).

Hyaluronic Acid Gel 3 Hyaluronic Acid Gel 2

The only way to be sure of what’s inside a cream or serum or face-gel is MAKE IT YOURSELF!
Not only this is a great thing to learn, it also makes you feel like IT’S ALL IN YOUR HANDS!  😉



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Amla and Aloe Vera Soap – Recipe :)

This is a very simple recipe for a soap that I really like a lot 🙂
Unfortunately I believe that the properties of Aloe vera have gone totally lost (this soap gelled and even if I added the aloe juice at light light trace I am 99.999% sure all is lost), but still it’s a great soap and I love it on my skin (it’s full of precious butters eheheh)!
So I just hope you enjoy this recipe!

350 gr Olive oil
300 gr Coconut oil
200 gr Shea butter
100  gr Cocoa butter
50   gr Castor oil

139,43 gr Lye (6% discount)
200 gr distilled water

100 gr Aloe vera juice
3 tbsp Amla powder

This soap is a Cold Process soap.
I added the Aloe vera juice just at very light trace together with the Amla powder.

It has a natural scent 🙂
and it is lovely on the skin!

(just notice that the cocoa butter might cause allergic reaction to people who are allergic to nickel!)



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