Category Archives: Product Assistance

Liquid Shea Oil VS Semi-Solid Shea

20150119TAH-B2-01
Semi-Solid Shea vs Liquid Shea Oil

Have you ever compared our Liquid Shea Oil vs our Semi-Solid Shea? Both are awesome products but what is the difference? Why use one over the other?

Shea, in all of its various forms, is a wonderful product. I really prefer the Liquid Shea for lighter applications. Think massage oils and even hair serums. These are places where you want the delights of Shea without the heavy feeling.

Semi-solid Shea is fabulous in lip scrubs, body scrubs and even in lip balms and glosses. It adds a fabulous creamy texture without feeling too dense and heavy.

Shea Butter is the solid stuff we are all familiar with. It is heavy and is great for lip balms, lotion bars and soap. We don’t always want this heavy form of shea so having alternatives is awesome.

Taylor

 

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Hydrovance Lesson

We receive a ton of emails each week. Some are so easy to answer and others really challenge our brains. Sometimes I sit in front of my computer rubbing my forehead and reading your emails over and over again. I learn as I go. Not only does making things in our lab challenge my thought process but also your questions. Sometimes I must lean on hobbies outside of work to answer a few of your emails. Today’s email is one that really stresses “how” to work with a product and the reasons “why” we add in the first place. Read on for a quick lesson in how to use Hydrovance – which is my favorite humectant.

From the email bag:

Happy New Year! To say that this is my favorite site to research and order my goodies is an understatement! I absolutely adore you guys and look forward to another year with The Sage.

To the question at hand, I live in the desert and its INCREDIBLY dry here with little humidity as it is in Utah. My poor skin is having a devil of a time holding on to what little moisture (read lots of water drinking and using a humidifier) I can get. I’ve been using a butter mixed with lanolin, argon, comfrey, horsetail, vitamin e, lavender and or chamomile, meadowfoam, allantoin and beeswax for a few years, and wondered if adding Hydrovance was a successful possibility. I know that Hydrovance is lovely in lotions but I’m just trying to figure out any other goodies I can add in to help my poor skin. I’ve taken to applying the butter right out of the shower and following it up with a nice layer of lotion and that seems to help, but it is more to do. I don’t have any allergies nor am I taking an medications; I’m pretty healthy overall.

I’ve been with the Sage team for 10+ years now and follow the blog with all of those great ideas. I know if anyone can help me improve this recipe, you folks can!
T

The only alterations I have made to this email are for clarity and for privacy. Here is my answer:

T,

I would not recommend Hydrovance in this situation. Hydrovance is a water soluble ingredient and your mixture is anhydrous. Years ago I thought this would be OK because the lanolin can hold 2 times its own weight in water. What happened was a superheated liquid on the bottom of the pan (all the oils floated on top) and when it started to boil it foamed out of control. Up over the top of the pan and much like a lava it flowed and oozed across the stove. To move the pan I jumped in and pulled the handle, just as the hot oil and Hydrovance flowed over my thumb. It resulted in the worst burn I have ever had. The oil mixture was sticky and I could not wash it off. I tried wiping but it just clung to everything and was so hot I cried. It doesn’t take much to get to this stage. Oils hot enough to melt the beeswax (140°F) will burn the body terribly. So, based on this experience I would skip this idea.

What I would do are two different things. First, I would add Orchid Extract to your list. I know it is one more thing but I really find that this one extract is a powerhouse. Holy cow! I can leave
calendula oil extract alone if I had to take only one extract with me. Calendula is my second favorite extract. Now, I would make a lotion that I apply before the shower. I know this seems counter
intuitive to apply a moisturizer and then go wash it off but the Hydrovance in the lotion makes the shower more hydrating. AMAZING! Once out of the shower I would apply a tiny bit more lotion once I was dried off. Then I would follow up with the butter in really tough areas (elbows, feet, hands, knees).

Butters can really help, but only if they don’t get in the way of living life. Ultra thin coats that can be reapplied during the day are awesome butter applications for the skin.

I hope this helps. May I use your question for our blog? I think you have some great things to share here.

T graciously gave permission to use this email question on the blog. YEA!

Here are some bullet points for using Hydrovance:

  • Use when you have an emulsifier or can use water. This product is water soluble and not oil soluble.
  • Use in smaller percentages when you change from another humectant to Hydrovance. If your recipe uses 3% glycerin, just swap out the glycerin and swap in the Hydrovance. Don’t jump to 10% Hydrovance immediately. Most often we find Hydrovance to be very effective at lower rates.
  • Watch when heating. All water soluble ingredients will be on the bottom and the oils will float to the top. If you have a small quantity of water soluble items they can easily heat to boiling while the top part appears to be melting. Stir often if not constantly.
  • Apply lotions containing Hydrovance to the skin before showering, bathing or swimming. If your schedule allows apply the lotion 30 minutes before entering the water. This pre-water application will make a huge difference to the skin.
  • If you are going outside don’t forget your sunscreen. I know applying a lotion feels like you have already coated the skin but sunscreens are important, don’t forget them!
  • If your skin feels like it needs more help trapping moisture inside then drop all fragrances (they are solvents and essential oils are included in this restriction). Apply your lotion and follow up with something heavier like a butter or lotion bar stick.
  • Great question! I hope everyone liked today’s lesson.
    Tina

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    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!

    Taylor

    Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier
    Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier
    Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes
    Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes
    Mixing in water
    Mixing in water

    Pouring room spray into bottle
    Pouring room spray into bottle
    Adding Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
    Adding Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil

    Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier
    Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier
    Adding Water
    Adding Water

    Room Spray clearing out
    Room Spray clearing out
    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    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

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and 5% in soap

    About two weeks ago, I announced that Rosemary 2% and 5% both have saponification values. I must admit, I was rather startled how high those saponification values were. If you missed the post, read up on it here!

    Today I wanted to make two soaps comparing the Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and Rosemary Oleoresin 5%. I wanted to know if the difference between the saponification values would make a noticeable difference in finished soap. Come join me to try these two soaps!
    Collect Needed Materials:

    Ingredients
    Coconut Oil
    Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    Olive Oil
    Rosemary Extract
    Water
    Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
    Equipment
    Scale
    Spoon
    Soap Bucket
    Pipettes
    Mold

     

    Batch 1:

    Recipe in Ounces
    6 oz Coconut Oil
    5 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    5 oz Olive Oil
    0.5 oz Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
    6 fl oz Water
    2.31 oz Lye
    Recipe in Grams
    170 grams Coconut Oil
    142 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    142 grams Olive Oil
    14 grams Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
    178 mL Water
    65.5 grams Lye
    Recipe in Percentages
    37% Coconut Oil
    31% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    31% Olive Oil
    3% Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
    Q.S. Water
    Q.S. Lye

     

    Batch 2:

    Recipe in Ounces
    6 oz Coconut Oil
    5 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    5 oz Olive Oil
    0.5 oz Rosemary Oleoresin 5%
    6 fl oz Water
    2.31 oz Lye
    Recipe in Grams
    170 grams Coconut Oil
    142 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    142 grams Olive Oil
    14 grams Rosemary Oleoresin 5%
    178 mL Water
    65.5 grams Lye
    Recipe in Percentages
    37% Coconut Oil
    31% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    31% Olive Oil
    3% Rosemary Oleoresin 5%
    Q.S. Water
    Q.S. Lye

     

    Weigh all of the oils of Batch 1 into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. Add the lye to the water to for a lye solution. Allow the oil and lye solutions to cool. This recipe has some material that can accelerate trace. Cooler temperatures are better. Mix the oils and lye solution and blend until a light trace is achieved. Pour into a molds and allow to sit for 24 hours. Repeat the process with Batch 2.

    After 24 hours cut the soap. Allow the soap to cure. Longer curing time will result in a harder bar. (If you aren’t sure if your soap is fully cured, check out this post. It helps make sense of a confusing topic.) Test your soaps and write down your notes. Which did you like more? Why? Would you ever make these again? Enjoy!

     

    Notes: I washed each hand with each soap. My right hand used the 5% soap and my left hand used the 2% soap. After patting my hands dry, I was surprised that I could tell a difference between the soaps. The soap with the Rosemary Oleoresin 2% had a lighter feel. My left hand felt clean, smooth and normal. My right hand felt clean, velvety and like I had just rubbed in a tiny amount of Dimethicone into my skin. I definitely like the soap with the Rosemary Oleoresin 5% more. It left my skin soft and velvety without a heavy feeling residue.

    I will be sending out 27 samples containing both soaps for you to try. Request one in your next order! I want to hear which one you like best.
    Taylor

    Rosemary Oleoresin Soaps 2% is on the right and 5% is on left.
    Rosemary Oleoresin Soaps
    2% is on the right and 5% is on left.
    Weighing Batch 1
    Weighing Batch 1
    Weighing Batch 1
    Weighing Batch 1
    Weighing Batch 2
    Weighing Batch 2
    Weighing Batch 2
    Weighing Batch 2
    Adding Lye Solution to Batch 1
    Adding Lye Solution to Batch 1
    Ready to Mix Batch 1
    Ready to Mix Batch 1
    Ready to Mix Batch 1
    Ready to Mix Batch 1
    Mixing Batch 1
    Mixing Batch 1
    Mixing Batch 1
    Mixing Batch 1
    Pouring Batch 1 into mold
    Pouring Batch 1 into mold
    Batch 1 in the mold
    Batch 1 in the mold
    Ready to mix Batch 2
    Ready to mix Batch 2
    Mixing Batch 2
    Mixing Batch 2
    Pouring Batch 2 into the mold
    Pouring Batch 2 into the mold
    Watching Batch 2 change colors
    Watching Batch 2 change colors
    Watching Batch 2 change colors
    Watching Batch 2 change colors
    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Shelf life of a fixed oil

    Shelf Life of a Fixed OilWe are regularly asked about the shelf life of a fixed oil (you know, the animal and vegetable oils we use for soap making). There are a few things we would like to address for storage.

    To have the freshest material I would like you to use up any oil you purchase from us within 1 year from the date of purchase.

    To get the longest life you should store your oils in a dark, cool, dry place. Dark because UV rays break down the oils. Cool because microbial activity, including oxygen exchanges, happen slower at cooler temperatures. Dry because moisture encourages growth of yeast, bacteria, and mold which can contaminate the oil by either growth inside the oil if water is introduced or by odor from growing populations of these organisms.

    In the event you live in a very moist and warm climate I would recommend refrigeration, including freezing. The one reason I hesitate to mention refrigeration to most people is they do not have a dedicated refrigerator for low odor vegetable oils. There is nothing like an oil that was stored in a refrigerator next to a cut onion. Your soaps and lotions will have an onion odor that can not be removed.

    Freezing will not harm a fixed oil. Liquid oils may congeal but they will melt when warmed to room temperature and it takes nothing more than removing the oil from the freezer and setting it on the counter. Zero energy melting of a congealed oil! There are some oils (waxes) that really have a long shelf life and I rarely worry about their stability. These are beeswax, jojoba oil and lanolin. If you plan for the 1 year rule and treat your oils with care, you will have a fine time making soaps and lotions!

    Cheers!
    Tina

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    DayGlo Discount!

    Soaps made with the gorgeous Dayglo colors!
    Soaps made with the gorgeous Dayglo colors!
    I love the holidays and they are fast approaching which means plenty of preparations need to be made. This is the time of year where my UPS man and Postal Lady become very familiar with each other. I have plenty of gifts or the materials to make gifts that start arriving in the mail. It also means that I do what I can to make sure that my money is being stretched as far as I can. This is why I am delighted to announce we are having a Dayglo discount!

    The manufacturer of the Dayglo colors has discontinued this particular line of colors but not to worry. They are going to be releasing a new line of very similar colors. So what do this mean for you? This means that you get awesome colors at amazing prices! Don’t wait! These prices will only last as long as our limited stock. Treat yourself to some budget friendly fun!

    If you are looking for some inspiration, I recommend checking out Andee’s Music Inspired Swirl Soaps. If you have your own ideas, share them. We would love to feature you and your soaps. Happy soaping!

    Taylor

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Planning for the Saponification Values of Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and 5%

    Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
    Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
    I love to learn. It is my passion. It is what gets me so excited to get up in the morning and start my day. And you, dear readers, contribute so much to everything I am exposed to. You also encourage me to continue to the question the “familiar”. I have some exciting news to share with you. Are you ready? Drum roll please.

    Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and Rosemary Oleoresin 5% both have saponification values. Now what does this mean for you if you add it to soap? Well, this is dependent on how much Rosemary Oleoresin you are adding to your soap. Anything that is added 2% or more will greatly affect the superfat of your soap. This means unless you account for the saponifation value of the Rosemary Oleoresin, you are actually superfatting at a higher rate than what you may realize. It doesn’t mean it is bad, it is just something for you to be aware of.

    If you make soap with either Rosemary Oleoresin, you may notice that batches that use it have creamier, silkier lather. Later this week I will be making soap with Rosemary Oleoresin versus without for you to try in samples. Request a comparison in your order! Don’t wait though. I only have a limited amount of samples.

    If you don’t want to wait, make your own comparison batches to see the difference. And before you go off to make those tests, allow me to tell you the saponification values. Are you ready?

    Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
    has a saponification value of 260 mg KOH / g of Fat.
    Rosemary Oleoresin 5% has a saponification value of 295 mg KOH / g of Fat.

    Wow! Can you believe those numbers? I was pretty astonished myself. Those numbers are pretty high compared to what we generally deal with. See how that can make such a difference in your soap? I am getting more excited for this comparison batch. Stay tuned to see what happens!

    Taylor

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Margarita Lip Balm Samples

    Imagine tart limes, sunny orange and sweet agave with a hint of saltiness. What do you get? A margarita of course! Today I wanted to share one of my favorite flavors while showing how easy it is to use one of our lip balm bases. 

    These bases make everything from wedding favors to kids activities a cinch. No mess and no worry all in an affordable package. And the best part is you can choose any flavor you want! How cool is that?

    If you need to make several hundred lip balms, consider one of our filling trays. They make it so fast and easy. I was able to make 650 of these delightful lip balms for our shipping department in 3 hours! This was from start to finished label! Isn’t that incredible? Visit this post for a great tutorial on how to use these fantastic trays.

    Collect Needed Materials

    Ingredients
    Shea Butter Lip Solutions
    Margarita Flavor Oil
    Equipment
    Scale
    Transfer Pipettes
    Containers for Lip Balm
    Lip Balm Filling Tray

    Recipe:

    Recipe in Grams
    285.76 grams Shea Butter Lip Solutions
    5.67 grams Margarita Flavor Oil
    Recipe in Ounces
    10.08 oz Shea Butter Lip Solutions
    .2 oz Margarita Flavor Oil
    Recipe in Percentages
    98% Shea Butter Lip Solutions
    2% Margarita Flavor Oil

    Gently heat the jar of Shea Butter Lip Solution in a microwave until liquid. You will want it to be clear. A haze means the oils are not completely melted. Add the Margarita Flavor Oil and stir well. Pour into a lip balm filling tray complete with tubes. Allow the solution to cool. Using a plastic putty knife, remove the top layer of solution. Remove tubes from tray and cap. Enjoy!

     

    Taylor

    Finished Lip Balm
    Melted Lip Solution
    Adding Flavor Oil
    Stirring In Flavor Oil
    Filling Lip Balm Tube Tray
    Filled Lip Balm Tray
    Filled Lip Balm Tray

    Tray Scraped Off
    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

    Cigar Band Tutorial

    One of the hardest things about soap making is presentation.  How are you going to present your soap to family, friends and even customers? How are you going to label it? How are you going to identify what is it or even what is in it? One of the simplest labeling styles is a cigar band. Come join me to make cigar band labels for your soap!

     

    For this project, you will need:
    A bar of soap
    paper
    scissors
    tape
    flexible tape measure

    I want to print on my cigar band label then cut it out so I can wrap my soap. To start, I grabbed a bar of soap, a standard size bar from my mold. I decided I wanted the band to go across my soap horizontally. I measured how wide the bar was. My bar was 9 inches around the bar horizontally. My cigar band will need to be longer than 9 inches so I can tape the paper together.

    To determine how much space I have at the front of the bar for my design, I took a blank sheet of 8.5×11 printer. I wanted to determine how tall I wanted my cigar band. I played origami for a while until I found the size I wanted. I then cut that out and wrapped it around my bar. If I want text on the sides of my bar, now is the time for that to be determined.

    I went to my computer and created my cigar bands. I used Open Office but you will need to play around with the various programs your computer has. I filled in the blog title and what I wanted to call the soap. I decreased my margin size to 0.25 inches on all sides of the paper. I flipped the page to landscape. I then printed my paper. I checked to make sure my cigar band was longer than 9 inches.

    I then wrapped the paper around the bar, centering the text in the front. I taped the paper in the back. Tada!  I now have a labeled soap. How easy was that?

     

    What program do you use if you create cigar bands? I want to know!

     

     

    Taylor

    Soap and Measuring Tape
    Soap and Measuring Tape
    Measuring soap
    Measuring soap
    Trying to determine how tall I want my cigar band.
    Trying to determine how tall I want my cigar band.
    Still too tall!
    Still too tall!
    Just right!
    Just right!
    Measuring how tall I want my cigar band.
    Measuring how tall I want my cigar band.
    My cigar bands
    My cigar bands
    Cutting out my cigar bands
    Cutting out my cigar bands
    Placing cigar band on soap
    Placing cigar band on soap
    My ends are too long.
    My ends are too long.
    Trimming my ends
    Trimming my ends
    Applying tape
    Applying tape

    Finished Cigar Band!
    Finished Cigar Band!
    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)