A Quick Guide to Olive Wax & Liquid Oil Ratios

Earlier this year Dale got in touch to ask if I’d ever worked with olive wax, and when I replied I’d never worked with it and not found it for sale in Canada, he generously offered to mail me some olive wax and some almond wax. Several months later they arrived in a space-age-looking shiny silver bubble wrap packet—two carefully labeled plastic baggies of waxy pellets. As always, my first step in “getting to know you” is one of my quick guide ratio experiments. Given that olive wax is marketed as an easy one-to-one alternative to beeswax, I modelled the experiment after my beeswax experiment so we can see if that’s really the case.

A Quick Guide to Olive Wax & Liquid Oil Ratios

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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 Cetyl Alcohol & Liquid Oil Ratios

Cetyl alcohol is pretty unassuming. Give it a cursory glance and it looks like white dust—teensy little moderately glossy blobs and specks of nothing all too exciting. Cetyl alcohol is a saturated fatty alcohol derived from coconuts, with a melting point of 49°C (120°F), which still doesn’t sound all that exciting, frankly. I swear you’ll be stoked about it by the end of this post, though!

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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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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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