Category Archives: Thoughts from The Sage

Cupboard Creations – MMS Help

testingDo you ever get creators block? Formulators fatigue? Well, we are here to help. Send us a list of what is in your cupboard and we will help you create some goodies from what you have on hand. How easy is that?! We can help make Christmas gifts or just goodies for the sake of making goodies.

Just leave us a comment or send us a message here. We will get to you as promptly as possible so that you can get to the fun part of creating.

Taylor

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Recycling and Repurposing Containers from MMS

Crafting your own lotions, soaps and lip balms is extremely rewarding but what does one do with all of the extra containers?! Re-purpose them! Let me share with you just a few ways I reuse and re-purpose my containers.

My fancy pen holder
My fancy pen holder

Have a Lip Balm Base Jar hanging around? These jars are great for holding and storing little things. I have one that acts as a button jar, another that is a coin jar and yet another that holds paper clips. Here at work I use another jar to hold all of my pens and pencils. These glass jars are great!

 

My tea/drink mix holder
My tea/drink mix holder

Just emptied out a 16 oz jar of Shea Butter or other oil? These plastic jars are great for storing tea bags, brown sugar and other things in your cupboard. I even use one of the jars to store cornstarch. They are handy and durable. I never have to worry about crazy messes when it is in a jar versus a box. What do you store in yours?

Fantastic flour storage bucket!
Fantastic flour storage bucket!

Okay, so these smaller containers are are great for storing other materials but what about those big buckets that hold 25lbs of oil?! These are my favorite containers to put to use. I store flour, sugar, beans, corn grits and oatmeal in these containers. I love these containers because they allow to purchase things like flour and sugar in bulk without worrying how I am going to store it. I always know I will have a clean bucket on hand.

Are you ready to share how you repurpose your MMS containers? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Intagram using #TheSageRecycling. We want to see your photos! Hurry quick. All submissions made by December 12th 2014 get a chance to win an Extra Large Handmade Tray Mold. We will be giving away two of these wonderful molds. You must be an existing MMS customer to win.

Taylor

 

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We are Officially Peanut Free!

It has always been very important to us that your packages arrive with no broken bottles, no leaking jugs so you can just start in on the fun of creating. In the past, the best way to insure that everything arrived in one piece was to use the dreaded packing peanuts. We are thrilled to announce we have found a new solution for getting your package to you safely – without using peanuts. Celebrate with us!

As you know our glass bottles have long been shipped in cardboard tubes. We now use the cardboard tube and some bubble film to protect from shifting and drops. This transition has helped us save some of our warehouse storage space for products and not for packaging. We are very thrilled to make this change. Hawaii, you can now recycle the bubble film with your regular recycling and you don’t need to worry about how to use/discard the packaging peanuts. Our new bubble film just needs a quick slash of a box knife to deflate the bubbles. Then the film goes into the recycling bin with other sheet plastics.

Did you know our damage in transit rate for all shipments (UPS and USPS) is 1 in 4000 boxes? This is an incredibly low number and is considered “non-existant’ in the world of shipping.

We strive to create packages of raw materials for your enjoyment. Receiving a damaged package is no thrill. This is why we induction seal, use strong (and reusable) packaging and protect easily damaged items with extra measures.

Tell us how you reuse your raw material containers and how thrilled you are that we are now peanut-free. Send photos for us to share or upload them to our Facebook page.

Cheers!
Taylor

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Room Spray with Spray Clear Emulsifier

Finished Spray
Finished Spray

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there are lots of things that need to be done. Pie needs to be baked, turkeys need to be brined and one last trip needs to be run to the grocery store.  Whew. That is quite the To-do list . Before we all get ready for our Thanksgiving feasts, I wanted to shared a very exciting new product with you! It is our Spray Clear Emulsifier.

Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle
Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle

This product lets you make clear sprays. Today, I wanted to share making a room spray. I will be using Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil because I want a fresh, clean scent in my home. Andee has begged me to make her one with Christmas Tree Fragrance Oil. She wants her house to smell like fresh cut trees! I might have to trade a  room spray (or two) for one of her fabulous pies!

Ingredients
Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Water
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Trigger Spray Bottle

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
3.4 g Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
6.8 g Spray Clear Emulsifier
340.0 g Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.12 oz Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
0.24 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
12 oz  Water
Recipe in Percentages
1% Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
2% Spray Clear Emulsifier
97% Water

 

Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle
Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle

Weigh the fragrance oil and Spray Clear Emulsifier into a container. Mix well and allow to sit for 5-15 minutes. Add room temperature water. (Hot water is more likely to create a cloudy spray.) Mix well. The product will be cloudy for a minute or two but it will clear out momentarily. If it does not clear out quickly, allow the mixture to sit for several days. The cloudy material will either sink to the bottom or rise to the surface. Decant the clear material and put into your spray bottle. Label and spritz!

Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier
Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier

Taylor

 

 

 

 

Adding Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
Adding Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil

 

 

 

 

 

Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier
Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier

 

 

 

 

 

Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes
Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Water
Adding Water

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing in water
Mixing in water

 

 

 

 

 

Room Spray clearing out
Room Spray clearing out

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring room spray into bottle
Pouring room spray into bottle
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Usage Rates – The importance of following them

StopSignI love to experiment and try the unusual things. I love to push boundaries. I love to test the crazy or seemingly impossible. However in the world of soaps and cosmetics, I will also be the first to tell you that we have usage rates for a reason and you need to follow them. Those restrictions are in place for a very important reason. That reason? Your safety.

Allow me to explain. You can put more than 10% Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil into your soap, lotion, lip balm or foot cream. This doesn’t mean you should. In fact, you definitely should NOT! Your skin will tingle and burn to the point you will think your skin is on fire. You will not be able to use an unscented soap fast enough. You will send your spouse to the closest grocery store to clear them out of every type of unscented bar and body wash product they have lining the shelves while you proceed to drain the water heater in record time. This is not the time to test your limits.

Here is another excellent example. I recently purchased a new tube of toothpaste. It is a popular brand that is in most grocery stores. I have been using this type of toothpaste from the same company for at least 10 years.  And the point is? (Hang with me, I am getting there.)

After two days of using my new tube of toothpaste, I started to develop these cold sore type sores in the corners of my mouth. I thought I had cold sores. After talking with Tina from our technical support department about how miserable I was, she asked if it could be my toothpaste. I was stunned! I hadn’t changed anything in what I was buying. I put it to the test. I used kid’s bubble gum flavored toothpaste the next morning. By evening, my sores were gone.

I wasn’t a complete believer yet. That weekend, I brushed with my new minty tube of toothpaste. The sores came back! Yikes! We had pin-pointed the source.

It is scary to think that a reputable brand like that can have a batch of toothpaste in which its usage rate is so high, it tests the limits of what someone can physically handle. So please, follow a manufactures given usage rates. They are given for your safety! More is not always better. (Plus, following usage rates means more money in your pocket. Sweet!)

If you aren’t sure how much fragrance or essential oil to use in your product, check out our fragrance calculator. This is an handy resource and it is even free! Happy (safe) crafting!

Taylor

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A Learning Lesson with Molds

Guess what I won't using anytime this decade?
Guess what I won’t using anytime this decade?

Halloween in bearing down upon us and I thought I would have a great blog this morning of a cute pumpkin inspired soap done in my PVC mold. After having the plunger pounded on, pushed on and almost pulverized, I discovered something I wish I had known earlier. It generally isn’t a good idea to pour more that 10 – 12 inches of soap into PVC tubes. In molds, soap can act like an octopus. It can glom on so tight to the mold that you think it is never going to come out! Cylinder molds are the worst because there is so much surface area of the soap in contact with the mold.

I was told by our experts in technical support that I could be waiting so long for it dehydrate enough for it to release it might as well be 30 YEARS! Let’s just say I am a little distraught. I don’t want to wait 30 years. I don’t want to wait another week! I want my soap now! The unfortunate part is that the only thing I can do is wait. I will have to wait for the soap to dehydrate enough for me to be able to push the soap out. Grr. This really sucks!

So, today I learned two really important things. First, do not pour more than 10-12 inches of soap into a PVC tube mold. Particularly a cylindrical one. Second, do not put projects so close to the due date that if something goes wrong you are left without the finished product. Planning ahead is important. Soap is one item that can only be rushed so much. If you are this close to a holiday, choose a smaller project. There are scrubs, bath salts, bath fizzies, lip balms and lotions galore!

Darn. Talk about a rough morning. It has left me frustrated and disappointed. Tomorrow, I will be sharing the recipe for this fabulous soap but I think I will try it in a different mold. At least until I can reclaim my PVC one. I promise to announce when I finally get this soap out. Then we can determine if it really takes 30 years. ;-)
Taylor

 

P.S. I will also be making a label to put on my mold so I don’t forget! If you have molds like this, make labels that remind you how much they should hold. Remember what your mold can hold and what it should hold are sometimes very different numbers.

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A Lip Balm Tube Filling Tray Hack

My set up filling tray
My set up filling tray

I love nothing more than a good life hack. What is a life hack you ask? A life hack refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency in life. Life hacks include everything from using space more efficiently to saving money or even simplified cleaning. So you can imagine my delight when one of our customers emailed us with photos of a “life hack” for a lip balm tube filling trays!

Pouring in my Java Juice Lip Balm
Pouring in my Java Juice Lip Balm

The lip balm tube filling trays are fabulous pieces of equipment, but one difficulty is that they are designed to fill 50 tubes at a time. What if you want to fill 20 or 35? Are you forced back into the dreaded filling of each tube by hand? Thanks to Caleb and his ingenuity, not anymore!

Allow me to explain how to fill only a few tubes with the filling tray. Place the number

Allowing my lip balm to cool.
Allowing my lip balm to cool.

of tubes you are going to fill into the tray. Today, I put 20 tubes into my filling tray. On the top side, place 5 tubes going across the tray. These will act as a dam. Pour your heated lip balm solution into the tubes. Allow the material to cool. Remove the lip balm tubes from the top side and wipe off any material that may have collected on the outside of the tube. Scrape the top of the filling tray and remove the filled tubes. Cap the tubes and label!

Removing the upper tubes
Removing the upper tubes

This is a great way to simplify things and make a custom batch quickly. Wasn’t that great? We filled our tubes quickly and saved ourselves from the tedious job of filling each tube, one by one, by hand. Whew!

Tomorrow, I will share the recipe I used. It is our famous Java Juice Lip Balm recipe. You don’t want to miss out!

Finished Lip Balm!
Finished Lip Balm!

Taylor

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Mini Lip Balm Tubes + Free Filling Tray!

Free Filling Tray Special!
Free Filling Tray Special!

We are halfway through the month of October and time for one of the best deals ever is running out! “What is this deal? ” you ask.  For the month of October, when you buy a 100 pkg of mini lip balm tubes, you get a free filling tray!

These filling trays HAVE to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. The filling trays make it so easy to fill several hundred tubes. Yesterday, we made 1,000 tubes for our shipping department in only three hours. (This includes making the lip balm, filling the tubes and labeling!) Wow! What a time saver.

Are you loving the idea of the tray but want to see a mini tube for yourself? We have 1,000 tubes containing our Soy Lip Solutions heading to the shipping department as you read. 500 tubes are with our Peach Flavor Oil and the other 500 are with our Root Beer Flavor Oil.  These fantastic flavors are so much fun, you will have a hard time deciding which is your favorite!

Here is another plus for the mini tubes. Did you know one jar of Lip Solutions will make 112 mini lip balm tubes? Talk about easy! Create your own kit with a jar of Lip Solutions, 100 of the mini tubes and a flavor of your choice, we will include the tray this month. Hurry before this fabulous offer ends!

Taylor

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Is Vaseline OK?

I need some help from our readers! A recent event gave me a different perspective on how lip balm can be marketed. Let me give you a quick run down.

Patient is checked into the hospital. A nasal cannula in inserted into the nostrils to provide a flow of oxygen. The patient has dry lips. My purse has Vaseline. (No hand-crafted lip balm! GASP!) So the Vaseline is used to help the dry lips of the patient. The nursing staff goes crazy! It is explained to us that Vaseline is a petroleum product and it is combustible so it should not be used with the oxygen providing cannula. I asked “Combustible or Flammable?” The answer was “BOTH!” The nursing staff offered a cherry flavored Chapstick brand product instead. My brain is now on “HUH?!” mode.

So, we can understand the need for caution when oxygen is being provided but lip products don’t cause sparks, and a product is either rated flammable or combustible but it isn’t both, and Chapstick is made with petroleum products.

For those of you in the nursing or medical policy field, would you educate us? Not only do I think that being aware as a medical patient/customer is a good thing, but I also think this can give lip balm makers a chance to market their wares to a new market.

Some helpful hints for those that want to market to hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and dentists:
1) make sure your claims can be substantiated!
2) less flavor to no flavor added is a good thing!
3) label clearly. No one has time to hunt down your ingredients or the safety of the product when the hospital stay is in the emergency room. Make your data CLEAR and easily found.

Go ahead readers! Research and teach us something!

Tina

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Wax in Light Burners – Day 2

Use safety first!
Use safety first!

Yesterday we talked about adding fragrance oils to your wax burner. But what about essential oils? We do not recommend using essential oils in wax light burners. Using essential oils in this application is actually quite dangerous. Allow me to explain why.

 
Essential oils are very volatile and because they are also very potent we feel that burning in a light burner or candle is not advised. It is too easy to fill the room with irritating vapors that burn eyes, nose and throat. We would far rather you make a room freshener that is over salt, in clay or some other carrier where you can place a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

Room fresheners are a safer use of these potent oils. If you would like some inspiration for making beautiful salt potpourris or even ones where rose petals and salt have been mixed, click on the links.  They are very beautiful and you don’t need to worry about a fire hazard or irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.

Please make sure that whether you are using fragrance oils in wax or essential oils in an un-heated carrier (or either in a potpourri) that you keep the finished product out of the reach of children and pets.

Safety first!!

Taylor

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