QUESTIONS & ANSWERS/LOTIONS
What is the difference between a lotion and a cream?
The amount of water. In order of consistency, from thinnest to thickest, it goes like this: Body milk, Body lotion, Body cream, Body butter. Some body butters contain no water at all.
I have some candle dye colors. Can I use them to color my lotion?
No, you will ruin your lotion. Candle dyes are not approved for personal products. In addition, candle dyes are oil based, whereas colors for lotions and other personal products are water-based. So use only skin-safe, water soluble dyes that will disperse in your lotions, shampoos, etc.
I made a lotion, added fragrance but after a few days it started to change color. It's no longer white, it is a light brown! What did I do wrong?
Chances are you did nothing wrong except that you probably used a fragrance that contains vanilla/vanillin. Fragrances containing vanilla will eventually turn the color of the product. The higher the vanilla content, the darker your lotion/soap. Some people use a vanilla stabilizer. I do not because it is a chemical I'd rather avoid. I simply tell my customers that a change in color is due to the vanilla and the color change has no effect on the quality and safety of the product.
I made more than one lotion. Mixed two lotions, thinking the resulting lotion would work even better but it does not. It does not work at all! Why?
It is difficult to say because I do not have the recipe of your lotions. However, I strongly suspect it might have to do with some ingredients that could have canceled one another out.
When you formulate a recipe, be it lotion, body butter, soap, shower gel, etc. you must be familiar with each ingredient, you've got to know its properties, how it behaves in the company of friends, so to speak. You need to have an understanding of polarities, a rudimentary knowledge of chemistry. You should also always, always, always, keep accurate, detailed notes of all you make. The notes should include recipe title, time and date it was made, exact measurements, lot numbers if indicated, where you purchased the ingredients, expiry date, temperatures, etc. You should also test the finished product at the time of production, 3 days later, a week later, 2 weeks later, a month later, and 3 months later. What you are testing is the growth of bacteria. Don't skip this step!
What are emulsifiers?
Emulsifiers are essential when making lotions. What they do is allow oils and water to combine. Without them it would be like wanting oil and vinegar to mix; they will not. Emulsifiers are perfectly safe.
I don't want to use an emulsifier. Someone told me I can use honey as an emulsifier and as a preservative. I think it's great to use a natural ingredient like honey to emulsify and preserve my product!
Well, I believe it is a terrible idea to use honey for those purposes; it really is. Honey is not a preservative. Honey is not an emulsifier. You may want to try it but chances are you will be very disappointed. Adding honey as a preservative is asking for BIG trouble. Bacteria love, love, love all that sugar; it helps them grow stronger and meaner.
Please, don't use honey as a preservative.