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  • Formula resources

    Posted by Naomirae on October 12, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    hello,
    my name is Naomi. I am currently in the medical laboratory field. I love laboratory work and am wanting to shift towards creating cosmetics. Unfortunately, I have found almost no resources on general information I can start at (including my chemistry books). Would anyone recommend any books or websites specifically geared tward formulating a product. 
    Thank you! 

    ngarayeva001 replied 5 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    October 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Humblebee  and me if you don’t have any experience. Swiftcraftymonkey blog (paid subscription) for more advanced. Also read lists of ingredients of as many products as you can find. Go to a shopping mall and collect as many samples as you can. Samples always have lists of ingredients on them. Research every ingredient one by one to understand what are they doing. Very soon you will start noticing trends. You will notice that most of  ‘tradition’ lotions start ‘Aqua, Glycerin..’ that most of them contain Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, and preserved with phenoxyethanol and end on limonene, linalool, geraniol etc.

  • belassi

    Member
    October 12, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I would recommend doing what I did: read up on emulsions, take a look at Swift’s site for some basic formulae, get the ingredients, experiment. You can learn more in the lab experimenting in one day than studying books for a week. I think I had about 15 ingredients when I began experimenting in cosmetic chemistry. Now, I have about 170 in stock.

  • gunther

    Member
    October 13, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    https://chemistscorner.com/where-to-find-free-cosmetic-formulas/

    swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/
    The best for total newbies
    Basic recipes, yet nice explanations on why ingredients are choosen.

    Where to find Free Cosmetic Formulas

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    October 13, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    @Belassi, I agree, experimenting is the best way of learning. I would also add that trying to copy an existing product is a good starting point. It will help to understand which ingredients to buy. I guess your first 15 ingredients were not just a random mix. You probably had a product that you were trying to make in mind.

  • belassi

    Member
    October 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    You probably had a product that you were trying to make in mind.
    Oh sure, I was copying a hand cream by Evelyn & Crabtree. I remember that instead of buying carbomer, I used some hair gel (based on carbomer) instead. It was successful; I still make it (not with hair gel!)

  • natureAl

    Member
    October 15, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I would recommend the chemist Elham Eghbali’s blog Skinchakra if you want to learn how to formulate organic and natural cosmetics ( only the theory, you should be careful  with the formulas, too much oils, essential oils etc.) and Swiftcraftymonkey , but the second is not for free anymore. I agree with the others about experimenting. If you know italian, you can go at http://www.fitocose.it ( again, if you are interested in the last trend of “natural” cosmetics) and study the ingredient list of a product you want from the categories of products. If you click under the “Inci  name” the ingredient you want to learn about it, like sodium levulinate for example,  you will be able to find good information and  have a clear idea of what are each ingredient doing in that formula. A good place to learn is this forum too,but you have to be “patient” and read all the 100 pages one by one( the topics you are interested to) as I did. I personally have learned from Belassi, Microformulation, DrBob, Bill_Toge, and many experienced chemists here more than I could have thought.  

  • natureAl

    Member
    October 15, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    By the way, I really want to thank them all!

  • Naomirae

    Member
    October 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you all!!! One last question do you recommend a website to buy materials? Such as Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Silica, Dimethicone, Boron Nitride, Nylon-12, Zinc Stearate… ext. 

  • belassi

    Member
    October 16, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Buying materials…
    This falls into two categories really.

    1. Low % components. (EG, sodium benzoate, used at 0.35% in shampoos.)
    1Kg of a 1% component could make 100Kg of product, so these low % items can conveniently be bought wherever you like. For instance, I find it convenient to buy a particular silicone on EBay, and I have Chinese suppliers send me ‘exotic’ ingredients by air mail. Using DHL or FEDEX etc is worse than a waste of time because it ends with the ingredients being impounded by customs.

    2. High % components. (EG, CAPB used at say 15% in a shampoo.) These can’t realistically be bought in small quantities by mail, but these kinds of ingredients are usually stocked by local factors and sold cheaply enough.

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    October 17, 2018 at 9:57 am

    It really depends on the size of production as Belassi  noted above. My understanding is that you are learning. It means you need the tiniest amounts of the ingerdients, to “get to know” them. You need to work with as many as possible to understand how to work with them, how they behave in a formula, what not to mix etc. I would recommend makingcosmetics and lotioncrafter. These two sell tiny quantities for home crafters. You can buy 2gr of hyaluronic acid or 100 ml of a polymer on those websites. Also, buy some cheap overhead stirrer. You can find a chinese one for as cheap as $90 on ebay or amazon. 100W, 3000RPM is ok for small amounts. Stick blender is not ok. If you tell  me what you want to focus on (lotions, surfactant products), I can put together an approx list of “must buys”.

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