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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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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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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On Throwing Things Away

I wanted to take some time today to talk about something I find harder than it should be, but something that has to happen: throwing DIY stuff away. Be it past-their-prime ingredients, dubiously useable products, mystery bottles, or packaging you swear you’ll be able to safely repurpose someday; some things just need to be chucked as part of this hobby, and sometimes it’s harder to do than we’d like to admit.

On Throwing Things Away

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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

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