How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 2

Welcome to part two of “How to Research Your Ingredients”! Part one was all about what you should be finding out about your ingredients, and the nuance involved in some of those categories (make sure you’ve read it!). Part two is going to be about how and where to find that information! I’ve divided it into two sections—the first covers the sorts of documents/paragraphs/lists to look for when doing your research, and the types of information you’re likely to find there. The second section discusses places to find those documents/paragraphs/etc.—some more general and some quite specific. This one’s a doozy, so let’s dive in.

How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 2

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How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 1

We’re kicking off 2020 with a bit of a multi-part guide on how to research your ingredients—a super important skill! I often hear from people who have bought something but they don’t remember what for, so they’re left with an ingredient with no defined purpose or use. I want to empower you to be able to figure out what to do with that ingredient on your own—you shouldn’t need a blogger for that sort of thing when there are so many wonderful resources out there!

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A Quick Guide to Sunflower Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re getting to know sunflower wax (Helianthus Annuus Seed Wax), a vegan wax made from the winterization of sunflower seed oil. It’s a potent thickener and hardener with an interesting dry/astringent skin feel. I find it to have a creamier feel than candelilla and carnauba waxes, but less slip (and more hardening power) than psuedo-waxes like olive wax. I can definitely see it being really useful in lipsticks, balms, salves, and all kinds of other things you’d usually use some kind of wax in!

A Quick Guide to Sunflower Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

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A Quick Guide to Berry Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re getting to know Berry Fruit Wax (Rhus Verniciflua or Toxicodendron Vernicifluum Peel Cera), a natural vegan wax. Not to be confused with bayberry wax (Myrica Cerifera Fruit Wax), berry wax is made from the waxy coating found on the berries of the Chinese lacquer tree, which is native to China. The sap from this tree is used to create lacquer, while the wax we’re playing with today is found in the peels of berries that grow on the tree.

A Quick Guide to Berry Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

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A Quick Guide to Ceresine Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re continuing my “quick guide” series with another wax—ceresine! I picked some up from TKB Trading last year and figured it was high time we got better acquainted. Ceresine (or ceresin) wax is derived from ozokerite, which is a “naturally occurring fossil wax found near soft shale” (source). Appearance-wise it’s a fairly typical wax—small white beads that don’t look too different from refined beeswax other than being a bit more translucent. It is used for all the usual jobs you’d expect to find wax doing; thickening, hardening, stabilizing, and generally modifying the viscosity of oily things/oil phases (look for it in products like lipsticks and hair pomades). The melting point of ceresine is approximately 60°C (140°F), which is around that of beeswax, which melts at approximately 63°C (145°F)—this gave me hope it could be a good vegan alternative to beeswax!

A Quick Guide to Ceresine Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

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A Quick Guide to Soy Wax & Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re doing another “Quick Guide” experiment, this time featuring soy wax. We’ll be looking at how this vegetable-derived wax behaves when combined with olive oil in different ratios. I’ve often read that it can be a good vegan 1:1 alternative/swap for beeswax, so I was definitely keen to get acquainted. How much does soy wax thicken the liquid oil, if at all? How do the mixtures feel on the skin? How quickly do they melt? Once you’ve got answers to these questions you’re well on your way to being able to work with soy wax, so let’s dive in!

A Quick Guide to Soy Wax & Liquid Oil Ratios

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