Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When Rhassoul isn't All That

I was chatting online with a client about rhassoul clay recently and a few things came up in the conversation that just didn't jive with my experiences. The mention of 'white' rhassoul was one.

I'd never heard of white rhassoul before. 

A new ingredient?

Interested and intrigued!

It wasn't long before I received a sample from my client. That's it up there on the right. Definitely lighter than the rhassoul I have in stock.

Let's put it to the test!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Difference 3 Drops Make

This happened last Fall while I was formulating a series of products for a client.

Part of the series included 2 versions of a balm: one unscented, one scented.

The balm ingredients consisted of butters, waxes, and a combination of special fixed oils.

Pictured: batch 1 of both versions. The little S sticker on the lid is the scented version. And I know you've already guessed what the U stands for.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Drain Saving Tip on Cleaning Up Fats

Every time I make melt-and-pour products such as balms, butters, or anything containing wax, there is an unavoidable film left in the beaker after pouring up.

Here's a quick and easy way to clean butter or wax-coated beakers and equipment that has always worked well for me.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dear Science - Are You Sure About The Test Results on Those Allergens?

I've written about this before a few years ago, and have been researching it on and off ever since, because quite frankly, there are some things that





What's worse, I keep hitting walls in my research. So I'll just throw the question out there – again.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

How To: Green Comfort Mask

Today we're going to mix green things together and put them on our face. Why? Because our skin is going to love it, and these particular green things feel downright comfortable and cozy while they are doing their skin-nourishing magic.

It's green synergy at its best!

Let's make a green comfort mask!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How To: Easy Scrubby Bags with Oats and Soap

These skin-friendly oat scrubby bags are the easiest thing in the world to make. Have kids? This is a perfect family project that you and your kids can have fun making and using.

The idea for these came about as a result of making 'colloidal oats' where I was left with a generous portion of oats that were too big to pass through the sieve. If you also make your own soap, then this little how-to is a double bonus!

Let's get started!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why Vetting Cosmetics Ingredients is a Bad Idea

Over the years, a lot of questions about cosmetics ingredients have been put to me. Being a curious souI, I ask quite a few myself. One of the reasons I started blogging was to collect the results of my research and experiences into a LisaLise Library of Cosmetics Ingredients.

It seemed like a useful thing to do.

"Panthenol? Why yes, you can real about panthenol on my blog" I would find myself replying to ingredients-inquisitive folks.

Having a rudimentary understanding of what you're putting on your skin or hair is not at all a bad thing.


Somewhere along the way – over the past decade or so – it became trendy to hunt for and expose toxins, 'nasties' and 'undesirables' in cosmetics products and place them on watchdog cosmetics ingredients lists.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Three Tips on Using Clay in Balms

This past winter has been all about skin-loving balms in my lab.

I've been working on a few melt-and-pour less-is-more formulas to see how minimalistic it is possible to get without sacrificing function (or luxury factor).

This kind of create-the-perfect-synergy 'roots' formulating has become a bit of an obsession. It's both fun and educational all at once, and you can't help but get real up close and personal with every aspect of every ingredient in a formula.

So let's talk about clay!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Art of Keeping Notes

Today, we're going to talk about the art (and importance) of keeping notes when developing cosmetics products. I'm not going to tell you what to do – just show you how I am able to zippy-fast find exactly what I'm looking for – even if it goes back over a decade.

Maybe you'll find some of this useful – even if you prefer working 100% digitally.

Personally, I find pen and paper synonymous with thinking, wondering, developing and finalizing an idea. I'm old fashioned that way (as is pretty evident from that pic of a few of my notebooks up there).

Friday, March 31, 2017

Formulating Green Comes Naturally if You Already Think Green

I recently read an article about cosmetics formulating that caught my interest. The author maintained formulating with plant-based/natural/green ingredients was akin to working with ones hands tied.

Interesting standpoint.

Not having worked with very many petroleum based ingredients throughout my formulating years (subtle pun intended), It took me a bit to process this line of thinking.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Straining Tinctures, Extracts, and Glycerites

It took me a mere moment to strain this chamomile tincture because of a vegan drinks maker. I know that sounds odd, but it's absolutely true.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Important Stuff Goes in Front

I've been working on a new book for a while, and it has everything to do with that picture up there.

The book is about making tinctures, infusions, glycerites and other ingredients-nerdy stuff only cosmetics making folks (and very patient husbands) could understand.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What Makes Colloidal Oatmeal Colloidal?

I've been on an extensive, several-part research session that turned up differing answers, more questions and a whole lot of interesting info about microns, particle sizes, and oats for skincare that we're going to be looking at today.

Who could imagine oats could be such a mind-blowing ingredient?

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Get ready for a bit of a ride as we examine colloidal oats, because there are going to be a few twists and turns along the way!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Stinky Skincare Ingredients: How to Work With Cocoa Butter

Welcome to part 4 in this mini-series of working with stinky ingredients!

Now that you've been exercising your nose and making all kinds of amazing discoveries at how clever your nostrils are at picking out subtle details and undertones (if not, check the links below to previous posts), let's get busy with today's project.

We're going to 'bend' the scent of a very popular ingredient for skincare and haircare: cocoa butter.

It almost seems unfair to call this a stinky ingredient. Most people love the smell and taste of a chocolate bar. I know I do. I actually also love the scent of cocoa butter if I am thinking of food.

But we're putting it on our skin.