Keep it simple or must it be complicated?

CharleneCharlene Member
edited November 2021 in Formulating
I was and am always been interested in skincare, cosmetics, and internal health.
Since I'm on this website I feel a little bit overwhelmed.
I finished this course just for fun and I always think you can learn more.

https://www.learncosmeticformulation.com/course/introtomakingcosmetics/

The thing I get from it keep things simple but I see formulas on this website that are as big as the bible.

Isn't it that simple like:

What product will I create?
What is my audience?
What skin type?
What price tag?
What ingredients do I need to accomplish this as well and productive as possible?
And so on.......

Where do you make the choice of a 5 ingredient product or as I said the bible?
What is right and what is wrong?

My humble opinion is that we sometimes make things more complicated than they actually are.

No I'm not a defender of the websites that use tablespoons, drops, and teaspoons as a measurement and stay far away from it but isn't the opposite also a "danger"?

I like to hear different points of view or opinions.

Comments

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Charlene:

    Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) should be your guiding principle.  Only use the ingredients that you need to accomplish your objective.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • @MarkBroussard

    That is easy to remember  :)
     I am happy to read that I'm on the right path.
    Thank you very much

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    I recently tried something out and thought I'd incorporate 4 new ingredients. I had to 'balance them out' (using HLD estimations) with some more ingredients, added oils and butters to give a nice viscosity/spreading cascade, topped that with a mimicry of NMF (polyols, amino acids, HA, etc.), rounded it off with some actives I like, and had to preserve all with the 'hurdle approach' (bunch of stuff)... ended up with a LOI with 40+ positions. Well, easy, quickly measured whatcha worry, right? Yea, it looked fine for an hour and then phase inversed and now looks like slimy piss and has a funny fishy odour. Good job, I'm so proud of myself! I now can pretty much draw straws which of the different things caused the issue (I have a suspicion but to test that, I'd have to weigh anoter 40 times). :smiley:
    By weighing/wasting less ingredients I could have made 4 different products which would not just have been more stable but would also have given me a real impression on how those 4 new ingredients actually feel like...
    KISS is the way to go (I hate it and it somehow hurts... and hence I ignore it repeatedly just to proof to myself time and time again that life would be easy if you made it easy).
  • Pharma said:
    I recently tried something out and thought I'd incorporate 4 new ingredients. I had to 'balance them out' (using HLD estimations) with some more ingredients, added oils and butters to give a nice viscosity/spreading cascade, topped that with a mimicry of NMF (polyols, amino acids, HA, etc.), rounded it off with some actives I like, and had to preserve all with the 'hurdle approach' (bunch of stuff)... ended up with a LOI with 40+ positions. Well, easy, quickly measured whatcha worry, right? Yea, it looked fine for an hour and then phase inversed and now looks like slimy piss and has a funny fishy odour. Good job, I'm so proud of myself! I now can pretty much draw straws which of the different things caused the issue (I have a suspicion but to test that, I'd have to weigh anoter 40 times). :smiley:
    By weighing/wasting less ingredients I could have made 4 different products which would not just have been more stable but would also have given me a real impression on how those 4 new ingredients actually feel like...
    KISS is the way to go (I hate it and it somehow hurts... and hence I ignore it repeatedly just to proof to myself time and time again that life would be easy if you made it easy).
    🤭 Although I feel sorry for you that your product didn't turn out as how it suppose to be I'm glad to read the solution. 
    Thank you for sharing this it needs guts to admit you made a mistake

    I understand if you have so much experience and are a pharmacist or a professional well trained formulater your knowledge base is so big that you want to try everything right?

    Lessons in live taught me that you sometimes have to step back a little and ask yourself " hold on a moment what is my goal?" How do I get there as good and easy as possible.

    It's just like food  you can eat in a 5 star restaurant where you have a fancy meal with all kind of fancy dressings and sides but if you compare it with a 4 ingredient home made stew with mashed potatoes smelling like the old good days  I know what I will choose
  • As Mark mentioned, keep it simple. 

    Start with the functional & structural ingredients, then add/replace the "actives", additional modifiers, additives as required. That's how i normally start with when i learnt it on my own, trying to spot the functional and structural ingredients to evaluate what ingredient does what. You will learn over time to have a structure or format / build. This would pertain to your question of "What ingredients do I need to accomplish this as well and productive as possible?". 

    For the other questions, it's something you need to decide based on your target audience or who you are formulating the product for. 


  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited November 2021
    As a student of Pharma....I scoff at his 40+.

    It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish, if you are just looking to hydrate your own skin....you should be able to do that in less than 10.  If you are trying to slay the billion dollar cosmetic industry it will take a few more.

    I think I tackle a project in a similar manner as Jermolian, I break it into pieces...and build the pieces with some autonomy, and then bring them together.

    So I look at humectancy....how do I build that?
    I look at barrier function...how do I build that?
    Look at lubrication....and how do I build that?
    Look at marketing, and claim ingredients...and how does that factor in?
    I look at texture...and here is where the wheels come off the bus....and how do I build that.
    I look at preservation....and I am a nut in this area....and this can easily bump that number in a hurry...as you are adjusting pH, chelating, adding glycols, and finally a preservative/s.

    Pharma might have given you a sneak peek behind the curtain, with mentions of cascading emolliency and NMF....and it just snowballs from there.  But back to your question....when starting out...absolutely keep it simple.  Learn your simple ingredients inside and out...and how adjustments of them change your product.  Then later if you get more creative....you know what will happen when you tweak this or that.  I have to be nearing 100 iterations of the face cream I am working on.  But for me....if I was not experimenting....what else would I be doing?

    I will say this...if I had kept it simple...I would have never discovered Pelemol 899 (Isononyl Isononanoate (and) Ethylhexyl Isononanoate)....and let me just say....OMG!
  • Charlene said:


    Where do you make the choice of a 5 ingredient product or as I said the bible?
    What is right and what is wrong?


    Where do I make my choice? - consumers' safety.
    Either 5 or bible++, always make sure your product is safe.
    Self-preserved or no preservative is not my cup of tea.

    simple or complicated? - be yourself, create product that represent your brand identity.

    Charlene said:

    I finished this course just for fun and I always think you can learn more.


    Yes, never stop learning.

    Happy formulating :) :) :)

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I try to focus on what consumers will notice. And the truth is, they don't notice subtle differences.  So, if a consumer won't notice whether an ingredient is in there or not, I'm inclined to not include it. 

    Fewer chemicals = less chemical exposure = less likely to cause negative reactions

    This is why I'm not a fan of natural extracts and things because they are made up of dozens or even hundreds of chemicals many of which we haven't even identified.

    Now you might say, "what about preservatives? Consumers don't notice those."

    True, at least you hope consumers don't notice your preservative. But they would notice if their product gets contaminated by microbes and starts to smell, discolor or spread disease. 

    I don't agree with a philosophy in formulating which involves throwing as many active ingredients as you can in a single formula. First, the evidence that most active ingredients really do anything is scant. Second, the evidence of whether there is an interaction (negative or positive) between actives is practically non-existent.   Finally, very few if any consumers would notice any difference between a good moisturizer and a good moisturizer + some active ingredient.

    The only other good reason for including an ingredient consumers don't notice is for marketing. And if you're adding an ingredient for marketing purposes, you only need to put a tiny amount in so you can have it on your label.
  • CharleneCharlene Member
    edited November 2021
    @jemolian, @Graillotion, @Pattsi, @Perry

    I want to thank you all very much for the response and give me your personal insight and approach to developing a product.

    For now, I will keep it simple and with two CPSR forms in my pocket this week I am very happy and proud and very grateful for all the nice people here that take the effort to respond to my questions.

    I hope to give a little bit more back in the near future when my knowledge gets a little bit better and bigger.
  • abieroseabierose Member
    edited November 2021
    As a student of Pharma....I scoff at his 40+....

    ...I will say this...if I had kept it simple...I would have never discovered Pelemol 899 (Isononyl Isononanoate (and) Ethylhexyl Isononanoate)....and let me just say....OMG!
    Isononyl Isononanoate is one of my new favorites too!! 😍 
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited November 2021
    abierose said:


    Isononyl Isononanoate is one of my new favorites too!! 😍 
    Where did you get that?  I have not seen it for sale (from a repacker).  Did you get it from ULP?

    BTW... I liked the blend MUCH better than just the straight II.  And yes...I tried both components separately as well.  II was too occlusive by itself...but the synergy...was stunning....I guess that is why they sell it as a blend. :):smiley:
  • abierose said:


    Isononyl Isononanoate is one of my new favorites too!! 😍 
    Where did you get that?  I have not seen it for sale (from a repacker).  Did you get it from ULP?

    BTW... I liked the blend MUCH better than just the straight II.  And yes...I tried both components separately as well.  II was too occlusive by itself...but the synergy...was stunning....I guess that is why they sell it as a blend. :):smiley:
    Yes I got mine from ULP :) I have not tried the blend but am definitely intrigued! So many ingredients, so little time!! 😆 
  • abierose said:

    You should try the blend...and if you like it...I think I can put together a small group (in the US) to split the 35# MOQ.
  • abierose said:

    You should try the blend...and if you like it...I think I can put together a small group (in the US) to split the 35# MOQ.
    Awesome!!
  • Cass2021Cass2021 Member
    edited December 2021
    This thread is making me really really want to try Isononyl Isononanoate (and) Ethylhexyl Isononanoate. Anyone know of any other places to purchase this besides ULP? Somewhere with no MOQ ? Thanks in advance:)
  • Cass2021 said:
    This thread is making me really really want to try Isononyl Isononanoate (and) Ethylhexyl Isononanoate. Anyone know of any other places to purchase this besides ULP? Somewhere with no MOQ ? Thanks in advance:)
    Assuming you are in the US?

    I was only able to get them from ULP.  Therefore I stayed with Isoamyl laurate, after making a formula with every possible combination...and just barely being able to detect a difference.
  • You’ve got me curious about Isononyl Isononanoate (and) Ethylhexyl Isononanoate as well, I’ve never heard of this stuff, what do you like so much about it?
Sign In or Register to comment.