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

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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

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10 Recipes to Make with Cocoa Butter

I’ve been thoroughly smitten with cocoa butter ever since my first tub of it arrived. This brittle, cream-coloured butter smells like super delicious chocolate, and it is a wonderful addition in all kinds of body butters, lotions, and balms. It melts around 34°C/93°F, which is slightly below body temperature, meaning it’ll slowly melt into your skin upon contact. It melts to a fairly thin oil that absorbs quickly, leaving you smelling lick-ably delicious. If smelling like chocolate isn’t your thing you can purchase deodorized cocoa butter, which works just as well.

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Because cocoa butter is so firm at room temperature it can be used to thicken up your concoctions, though it isn’t in the same league as beeswax, candelilla wax, or carnauba wax—the significantly lower melting point of cocoa butter means you need quite a bit of it to thicken concoctions. Check out this experiment I did on cocoa butter and olive oil combinations to see what I mean 😉

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A Guide to Making Substitutions in DIY Recipes

I get asked about substitutions, additions, and swaps a lot—hence this guide to making substitutions. I’ve already got guides on carrier oil substitutions and essential oil substitutions, so this article is going to be a bit more scattered. I’ll look at some starter questions you should ask yourself before changing anything, some swaps I’m often asked about that aren’t good ideas, and some that are. Let’s get started!

A Guide to Making Substitutions in DIY Recipes

So, you want to swap one ingredient for the other…

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The Clay Experiments: The Heavy Clays

Today I’m continuing my series of clay experiments with a category I’m calling the “heavy” clays—rhassoul and bentonite. These are the two heaviest”miscellaneous” clays I have, so I figured I’d pair them for this part of my investigation.

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Here are the questions I intend to answer about these clays: (more…)

The Clay Experiments: The French Clays

I love my clays, and it’s about time I got to know them a bit better. My oil and wax experiments have been invaluable to me and many readers, so I thought I’d take that approach and to my clay collection. Today we’re starting with the French Clays I own: green and red.

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Here are the questions I intend to answer about these clays: (more…)

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