Raw Materials

Cosmetic Grade Shea Butter

It is a soft butter and will melt at body temperature. Generally white to pale off-white and odorless. I placed an amount double of what you now see on the back of my hand. In the time it took to turn on my camera and change it to macro about one-half of it has melted onto my skin. Shea is a very skin-friendly butter widely known for its capability of moisturization. This Shea Butter is taken from the nuts produced by the Karite tree in Africa. I purchase Shea Butter in either one or five pound blocks.

Emulsifying Wax

These flakes do exactly like what the name sounds like....emulsify. EW is in many of the products you buy. It feels smooth to the touch and is completely odorless. It can and is used to emulsify many of the products you purchase from many manufacturers. Its versatility makes it useful in many products.

Mango Butter

This is another of the many emollient butters available. The kind I use is ultra refined cosmetic grade. Compared to Shea it is very firm and will crumble if cut too thin. You can see knife marks in the photo. Had this been Shea the softness would have eliminated those marks. I cut this block about a month ago making Apricot Mango shaving creme and they are as visible now as then.

Methycellulose

This emulsifier and thickener is available in food grade and cosmetic grade. It is manufactured and not naturally derived. The fine powder will dissolve in cold water but not hot. It's one of the most 'difficult to manage' additives to use. Added too soon will result in a gritty feel; added too late and .....well, it just can't be done. Trust me on that and don't ask me how I know.

Sodium Coco Sulfate

Sodium Coco Sulfate is a "natural" alternative to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in the form of flakes. Sodium Coco Sulfate is obtained from pure coconut oil. As long as you are not sensitive to coconuts or its derivatives, SCS should be very skin-friendly for you. It leaves skin and hair with a conditioned feel. It can be used in shampoos, hand soaps, bath products, shaving creams and medicated ointments. It is especially useful for cream products. I purchase Coco in 50 to 100 pound quantities.

Sodium Laurel Sulfoacetate (SLSa)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is milder to the skin than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It is stable in hard water, so much so that it is often used to replace soap whenever soap sensitization is found. It is often confused with its sound-alike and often blamed bully of a brother, Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Products with SLSa will produce a lather. To my hands if feels like any other powder.

Stearic Acid

What is Stearic ?.... the word Acid can conjure up some ugly ideas. Stearic Acid is a saturated fatty acid that comes from many animal and vegetable fats and oils. The Cosmetic Grade Stearic Acid I use is all vegetable. It is useful as an emulsifier and also thickener. A great majority of the shaving creme you buy will contain Stearic Acid. To my hands it feels soft and smooth and leaves the skin on my hands feeling very conditioned but not greasy at all.

Polysorbate 20

Polysorbate 20 is but one of many available emulsifiers. Each emulsifier lends its own properties to finished products. Emulsifiers are used in a vast array of cosmetics. Emulsifiers are used in foods too. Think of salad dressings containing oil and vinegar that do not have to be shaken. They contain a food grade emulsifier.

Polysorbate 20 is a cosmetic grade emulsifier that adds viscosity and is also referred to as a stabilizer or solubilizer. It dissolves and suspends Fragrant Oil (F/O) and Essential Oil (E/O) in water based products.

As everyone knows, oil and water doesn't mix. Not using an emulsifier such as Polysorbate 20 will result in eventual separation of the oils from the water and will ruin the product or the product will require shaking with each use.

Dispensed, the appearance is of a light in color and sparkling honey. Rubbed between thumb and index finger, the consistancy is of a thin honey or maple syrup. The feel right out of the container is ever so slightly sticky or tacky but not greasy. It is odorless.
(The photo is of a five gallon pail.)

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