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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Formulating and DIYing with Spreadsheets

Today I want to talk about something that really isn’t all that sexy or exciting, but it is super useful—using spreadsheets for your DIYing and formulating! Even if you don’t formulate I’d recommend stepping away from online recipe calculators in favour of spreadsheets. You can use them to calculate, re-calculate, and store all the recipes for everything you make. When I’m formulating I work out most of my formulas in spreadsheets, and use them to track my iterations and adjustments. Spreadsheets are incredibly useful for working in percentages, scaling batches, and comparing formulas, and you definitely don’t need to be an expert to do any of those things. I’d really like to encourage you to start storing the formulas for the things you make in a program like Google Sheets; that will make them easily searchable, and you can quickly review, revisit, and scale formulas as needed. It’s great!

Formulating and DIYing with Spreadsheets

 

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Lavender Patchouli Body Butter

I’ve been playing with lots of more complex DIYs lately, and I was itching to get back to something a bit simpler. Something made with wonderful plant-sourced oils and butters that are accented with essential oils. The sort of thing that isn’t intimidating, and really lets some of my favourite ingredients shine. That’s how we ended up here! This simple, rich Lavender Patchouli Body Butter combines a few lovely ingredients in carefully crafted amounts to create something indulgently creamy and moisturizing from some stuff you probably already have.

How to Make Lavender Patchouli Body Butter

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Canada Day Clay Face Mask

Happy Canada Day! For anyone who doesn’t already know, I’m Canadian, and Canada Day was yesterday—a day where we celebrate red and white, maple leaves, apologizing to people who bump into you, and our delicious decision to elevate doughnut holes into their own food group. In honour of Canada Day I thought we’d celebrate with a simple clay face mask made from 100% Canadian ingredients!

How to Make a Canada Day Clay Face Mask

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