Let’s Talk About Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid and I began our relationship over a year ago, with The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum, and that relationship has since grown into quite the love story. HA is one of those ingredients I’d heard all sorts of lovely things about, but last year it wasn’t available in Canada and ordering it from the USA at $5+ USD/gram seemed like a big investment for something I wasn’t sure I’d like. The Ordinary’s serum provided an excellent low cost way to try it (on my face, not in my DIYs) and… swoon. It’s safe to say I like it! This silky humectant stars in many hydration and anti-aging formulas, lauded for its ability to plump and hydrate skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and generally leaving skin looking healthier and happier. I’ve found my skin to be significantly happier with a hydration focus featuring HA in my routine; blemishes are fewer and heal faster, and my skin glows. HA is a wonderfully fun and luxurious ingredient to work with, so I thought we’d learn a bit about it today in preparation for making some recipes with it!

Let's Talk About Hyaluronic Acid

(more…)

Bentonite Clay and DIY Beauty

Today I’m really excited to share with you an interview on clays (specifically bentonite) with Ian Hutcheon, Professor Emeritus in Geochemistry at the University of Calgary. Bentonite clay has quite a bit of lore surrounding it in the DIY world. It’s not at all difficult to find people suggesting that ingesting it or applying it topically will result in miraculous “detoxing”. Its charge is frequently cited as the reason the clay should never, ever come into contact with metal of any kind, lest the clay be rendered useless or harmful. A quick search of Pinterest tells me I can use it to detoxify my armpits, heal bug bites, make mascara, eliminate food allergies, cure food poisoning, and prevent breast cancer. There’s enough ra-ra sentiment out there about bentonite clay to pique the interest of pretty much anyone. Whenever I publish a recipe calling for a clay that isn’t bentonite, people want to know if they can use bentonite instead. Out of all the ingredients I use, not one has prompted more people to call me a know-nothing idiot than bentonite clay—the “no metals” thing gets people quite aggressively worried. However, for all the worry, it’s been difficult for me to find verifiable information about what is actually up with bentonite clay in the realm of DIY and beauty. So, I sought out an expert and asked.

Bentonite Clay and DIY Beauty

(more…)

How to Scale Any Recipe

Recipe scaling is something I get a reasonable amount of questions about, so I thought I’d write out a how-to on how to scale any recipe so you can confidently make lots (or very little) of the things you love. I’ve also created a downloadable spreadsheet that you can input your data into, and it’ll do all the math for you (score!). Grab that, and the instructions to use it, at the end of the post.

How to Scale Any Recipe

(more…)

A Quick Guide to Stearic Acid & Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re looking at stearic acid, and how it behaves when melted together with olive oil at different ratios. Stearic acid is a pretty humble ingredient—mine is unassuming white beads that are bigger than cetyl alcohol, but not by much. We use it to thicken and harden our products when we want thickening and hardening, but we don’t want waxiness. Because stearic acid is an isolated fatty acid it thickens without adding the tack or brittle stiffness that wax can contribute, meaning waxes are typically not a good substitution for stearic acid as they’ll bring a few things to the party that weren’t invited.

A Quick Guide to Stearic Acid and Liquid Oil Ratios

(more…)

A Quick Guide to Cera Bellina & Liquid Oil Ratios

I’ve been having fun playing with a new ingredient lately—cera bellina. Cera bellina is derived from beeswax, and it does some really cool things. For starters, it makes oil gels! Think about ointments—that soft, creamy, translucent texture. Cera bellina does that! It also helps with even ingredient distribution, preventing sweating, and even preventing that irksome graininess we’ve all encountered with buttery concoctions. It can be used anywhere you’d use beeswax, albeit with different results—so even though you can, you might not want to. Anywho, I thought it was best cera bellina and I got better acquainted so I could have a good baseline understanding of how it works before I start diving into DIYing with it, which means it’s time for another one of my quick guides!

Get to know Cera Bellina

(more…)

Pin It on Pinterest