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Formulating from Your Cupboard - Day 1

ChemistOne question I hear on a regular basis is “How do I formulate with materials I have on hand rather than needing to place an order for XYZ product(s)?” This week I will share my secret by showing how to make a variety of lip balms. Once you learn this method of formulating, you will never want to go back!

The first thing we will need is an “inventory” of all of the materials we have on hand. I like to separate them into categories. I have waxes, liquid oils, solid oils. (I like to separate my solid oils into two categories. Things that are brittle at room temperature and the rest of them. This makes formulating much easier.) I also have categories for my extracts and flavors.

If I have it on hand, I will include Conditioning Emulsifier in my list under the waxes category. The Conditioning Emulsifier gives emolliency to the lip balm but it also makes it easier to use vegetable waxes without the formulation becoming to brittle or hard to apply. Consider Conditioning Emulsifier to being the secret to making a superbly successful vegan lip balm.

Once I have my “inventory” listed in a spreadsheet, I make notes on what I would like my finished formulations to be like. If I want a formulation to be vegan, I note that so I don’t forget during the formulating process. I generally don’t name my formulation until later but feel free to name yours anytime inspiration strikes!

When I start to formulate, I fill my boxes with numbers with the assumption that they are a percentage. This way it is easy to convert from a small recipe to a large recipe. I can even make a small 100 gram test batch!

Check out how I set up my formulation spreadsheet!

I like to use spreadsheets because I can add new products when they arrive or delete ones I have run out of. I always know what I have on hand. I can also make sure that my total is exactly 100. No need to track down floating numbers in my notebook. For me, that is a relief.

For the rest of the week, I will be making all of the lip balms that I formulated today. You will get to see how it is made, why I used the oils I did, what I thought of the formulations and the fabulous labels that Shayla has created for us! Stick around. This week is going to be awesome!


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