Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators! In part 1 we covered five anhydrous ingredients that will allow you to create all kinds of awesome anhydrous products—balms, whipped body butters, lip balm, and more. Today we’re adding five more ingredients that will further broaden your list of concoction possibilities to include lotions, creams, and some cleansers!

Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 2

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Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 1

There are literally thousands of cosmetic ingredients for sale, so it’s no wonder that shopping for ingredients can be an overwhelming experience for new formulators! Between the sheer number of ingredients and the often fantastical claims made about them, it can be tempting to buy one of everything. That’s a temptation I succumbed to when I first started formulating over a decade ago, and I want to spare you the expense and frustration of spending heaps of money on ingredients and then discovering you don’t have the right sorts of ingredients to make the things you want to make. I spent a positively embarrassing sum on oils, butters, waxes, and essential oils… and then once I started doing more research and formulating I realized I only had ingredients to make butters, balms, and salves and in order to make lotions, creams, and cleansers I’d need more ingredients. D’oh!

Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 1 | What you need to start formulating

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Why is my body butter melting?

It’s July and it’s lovely and warm here, so I thought I’d tackle a topic I get a lot of questions about—body butters and the wonky things they can do in high temperatures. It’s crazy disappointing to make a lovely, soft, creamy body butter and have it transform into a puddle of oily glop when left unsupervised. Now, as someone who lives in a part of the world where 32°C (90°F) is considered a heatwave, this isn’t a super common problem for me, but I’ve definitely had body butters perform unwanted metamorphoses when left in a hot car or a particularly potent sunbeam. So! Today we are talking about why body butters melt and what we can do as formulators to keep them as buttery and delicious as we intended.

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Why is my body butter grainy?

In the wide world of “body butters behaving badly”, I think graininess is the challenge I get the most questions about and have personally encountered the most throughout my formulating journey. It’s such a bummer to create a beautiful body butter and find it’s gone grainy or mealy on you 💔 I love butters, but dangit, they can be divas! So this post (and partner video) are all about graininess in body butter—why it happens, how to fix it, and how to prevent it. Let’s get started!

Why is my body butter grainy?

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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

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