Cheat Sheet for Lotion Making

I like figuring out how things fit together. I hoard information and push it into different storage formats to understand how all the bits go together and what the relationships are between the bits of information. My skincare recipes are currently stored in a printed ring binder and on Evernote. I'm not a huge fan of trusting companies with my data. Truth be told, I don't even trust software with a local copy of my data. Committing information into a data structure always seems limiting. I worry that as soon as I've committed my information to one storage format another, better format will present itself and I will be forced to move my data from one format to the other. I recognize this is neurotic--or maybe just a bit commitment-phobic--on my part. In any case, I use Evernote for its "private share" functionality which allows me to share my clippings and skincare recipes with specific people. Evernote's private share is a lot easier than creating a public site and having to worry about my personal notebook being considered internet plagiarism. Yesterday when I was flipping through my notes I finally started to "get" the range from facial lotion through to solid moisturizers. These ratios are based on the products I've been making. The table doesn't include preservatives or essential oils, although I typically add both to my products. I created a table in my notebook (see below) and a cheat sheet on my new favourite web service, Cheatography. The cheat sheet is optimized for printing and I plan to use it to record new recipes.

Ingredient Facial Lotion Hand Cream Body Butter Barrier Cream Balm Whipped Butter Solid "Lotion" Bar
Water 80% 70% 60% 60% 0 0 0
Humectant (honey) 4% 2% 3% 3% 0 0 0
Liquid Oil 10% 15% 12% 15% 80% 20% 40%
Solid Oil (butter) 0 5% 15% 5% 0 80% 35%
Wax (beeswax) 0 0 0 5% 20% 0 25%
Thickener (stearic acid) 2% 2% 3% 3% 0 0 0
Emulsifier * 4% 6% 7% 7% 0 0 0

* Emulsifier is always 25% of oils, butters, waxes, thickeners. In theory I can use beeswax *as* my emulsifier, but I haven't tried that yet. [Update: I have tried the beeswax as emulsifier. It's very UNstable and generally wastes a lot of good supplies.] I currently use emulsifying wax NF from Saffire Blue and it works just fine. Once I've used up the rest of my initial order I'll probably try using just beeswax as the emulsifier. The recipes I use are typically based on information I've gleaned from excellent posts at Susan's blog. I've bought all of her ebooks on lotion making and they were all worth the money. Now that I've constructed my own chart showing the relationships between the ingredients I doubt I'll ever feel the need to use a preset recipe again. But I bet I'll continue to fawn over recipe books as I plan out my next batch of lotion.

Hey Emma - your Winter Relief

Hey Emma - your Winter Relief is an awesome and welcome relief for my always splitting in the winter cuticles!! Love the TeddyBee logo too. sjd

I've started using Evernote

I've started using Evernote similarly, myself. I also have a personal notebook of quilt design ideas that I don't want to share publicly for the same reason. I keep an eye on quilt patterns, quilt blogs, and related sales on ebay -- there are lots of things I find interesting and archivable for my own personal use, and not for sharing.

So I have a private set on a certain photo-sharing site. I archive quilt and block ideas there. It's all locked to just me, but I no longer just have it stored on my old, beat-up personal laptop.

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