Roots Formulating - a Quest for Ultimate Minimalism

When I started making cosmetics, there weren't nearly as many plant-based ingredients to choose from as there are today.

The list of vegetable oils was laughably short, the choice of emulsifiers was – let me think a moment – one (?), and hydrosols were so rare, it felt like Christmas to find a supplier who happened to carry any at all.

Happily, the direction has shifted dramatically toward greener solutions in recent years.

Plant-Based Fabulousness

With the growing popularity of plant-based products, new ingredients have made their way to the market – all begging me to get acquainted with them: vegetable oils, plant-based actives, unimaginably fabulous hydrosols, a range of emulsifiers, preservatives, powders, and more.

It's felt a little like being a kid in a toy shop with endless shelves, offerings, aisles and choices. I'm almost afraid to admit what kind of high it has been (and still is) to receive a new catalog or discover a new supplier.

And while all this joyous plant-based fabulousness has been going on, a new path has opened up – right before my very eyes.

Instead of loading as many actives as can possibly be crammed into a formula, it has become far more interesting to find and combine the most essential few without loosing any 'oomph-factor'.

During this process, something has become very clear.

When you find just the right combination, less really is more.

Roots Formulating

I'm sure there's a bit of zen in there somewhere, because this path towards minimalism continues to beckon.

There's an entire history of plant-based cosmetics-making that started centuries ago – developed through study, trial & error, and hundreds of thousands of batches.

A few ingredients – combined for optimal synergy – this is my formulating interest, and I've decided to give it a name: 'roots formulating'.

Which brings me to this year.

I hope you will join me in a little roots formulating. I also hope you will be just as excited as I am about some of the discoveries I plan on sharing with you.

Welcome to 2017!

Do Tell

Have you ever suddenly discovered the path you were on take a bit of a directional change?


Unknown said…
Hi Lisa, Happy New Year!

I've only been making my own skincare products for less than three years but I'm so hooked on it now! I recently looked online at the ingredients of a lovely-sounding organic skin cream but realised (from their positions) that all the wonderful oils and plant-based extracts were in the small percentage area at the end, though they comprised nearly all the ingredients. The first few, the bulk of the product, were relatively inexpensive oils like sunflower and olive. There were so many fancy extracts that I would find it hard to believe that any of them reached their minimum useage amount - so combined they would be pretty useless I'm imagining. I agree, I prefer to stick to a few lovely oils and extracts, all used at at least their minimum useage amounts so that they all give something to the party.

So far I'm loving calendula, rice bran, evening primrose, grapeseed and borage oils and green tea, chamomile, hibiscus and marshmallow extracts plus others but I'm tending to go back to my favourites time and time again. I do love experimenting with new products though which is all part of the fun!

LisaLise said…
Hello Heather! And the same to you! It sounds like you have some fabulous ingredients to work with. Evening Primrose is a staple in my stockroom, as well as borage. I know what you mean about becoming addicted to developing your own. I'm still crazy in love with it!
María said…
As I only formulate for myself (and a few friends), I tend to have my formulas quite simple.
I find that having an oil mix base already prepared is really handy, as it avoids micro-doses, and the addition of more than 2-3 actives is not really worth it, as the skin can absorb up to a point.
To me, if the oils are good, birthday the cream is good as well :)
I need to stay away of the suppliers webs because they can be addictive...
María said…
N.B. do not use the mobile phone to post because the corrector can drive you crazy...
LisaLise said…
I agree Maria - ( both about the amount of ingredients phones!!) 😀