DIY Intermediate, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen, Trying Something New

DIY: Lavenaloe Face Bliss

The oils of this lotion have been playing in my head for quite some time now. I’ve told you all about how I kind of missed the whole shea butter love affair when I first started this “hobby”. And to be honest, I am kind of happy about it! It means that now that it is slowly being introduced to various products at a small amount to be effective but not with the KAPOW grease ick factor.

Winter in Northern China is all about dryness. And at the moment my face is slowly healing from a fairly few amount of issues. I can’t eat chocolate, peanuts or too much cheese without the whole world seeing that I’ve been snacking, and these spots I get? They are so badly itchy that all night I tear at them while sleeping. And then to add insult to my poor face? It’s now winter so scarves, high neck sweaters and that means all those issues too. So add all these things together and my face is taking a huge beating.

Beaker A- Liquids

So I needed to make things that can help combat the dry environment, help sooth the itch, soften and try to just to keep my hands busy for a short time so my hands would be kept busy.

And I had a box full of new ingredients that were just begging to be played with! So I went to hang out in The Kitchen. I decided to swap out my usual ewax: Emulsifying Wax NF, and try out Olivem 1000 which is an emulsifying wax made from olive oil and which has made me very happy with a ph range of 3-12 so can handle all the fun additives and cosmeceuticals I can toss at it. All the research I’ve seen on Olivem 1000 say it is highly moisturising, provides deep moisturization with fantastic spreadability (my new favourite word by the way) with no soapy effect. It’s plant derived so if you are vegan, this is a good choice! It is also biodegradable.

Beaker B- Oils to be melted. Look at those flakes! 

And it is sold in flakes! Not the dandruff kind, but the kind you want around. For your face!

So that’s my new ingredient I’ve been playing with. I’ve made maybe five or six different products with Olivem 1000 just to see how it reacts compared to what I’m used to. I’ve a nice little line-up of 20g pots, labeled and dated to observe over the next few months to see how they test differently than my other ewaxes I use. Olivem 1000 is notorious for it’s stability issues and dislike of hydrolats, temperatures and more! So I’m putting it through the battery of tests! And so far, I have to say my face is enjoying the effects! Next up with Olivem 1000? A body lotion. Maybe. More face lotions!

I also added in a lot of aloe juice, lavender hydrolat, silk, vitamins B3 & 5 and some Vitamin E.  For my oils, I added in cranberry seed oil (I’m on a serious cranberry oil kick these days), argan oil, shea butter and some cetyl alcohol for some oomph. I do like the way cetyl alcohol makes everything feel so powdery and soft. I actually forgot to add allantoin into this formula, so if you want to add some in, I’d suggest adding it at 1% and dropping the water by 1%

Adding in the contents from Beaker C- ingredients that are volatile that cannot be heated without losing their properties 

To make lotions with Olivem 1000, it is just like making lotion with say BTMS 225/50 or others. I had three beakers set up; A, B, C. Beaker A held the liquid phase to heat (water, aloe, hydrolat, silk, Vitamin B3), Beaker B had all the oils+Olivem 1000 for melting, and Beaker C had all my volatile ingredients like Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, preservative and if you’d like, a few drops of lavender essential oil.

My work space.

Beaker A and Beaker B got tossed into the double boiler for about twenty or so minutes on a low simmer. There is a lot of discussion on if the heat and hold is actually necessary. While I don’t think that the heat and hold method kills any of the possible nasties that may or may not be present, I do feel that bringing my beakers to the same temperatures is better safe than sorry. And I know in this day and age that the chances of things not working the way they should be are slim when it comes to ewaxes, but as I said, better to be safe than waste ingredients! And this being a new ingredient, go for it it!

The end result is something decadent and fast absorbing! My face was left with an almost powdery feel and very touchable. I did find that with all the spots on my face, this lotion helped to soften them for a more even feel on my skin.

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Prepare your work space by wiping everything down with a 10% Bleach solution. Wipe all your equipment, tools, beakers down with isopropyl alcohol. Don’t forget your immersion blender, countertop AND your scales. Using an immersion blender is very important when working with Olivem 1000 as you need that high sheer.

  1. Place all Phase A ingredients (water, aloe, hydrolat, vitamin B3 and silk) into one beaker. Place all Phase B ingredients into a second beaker (Olivem 1000, argan, cranberry, shea, and cetyl alcohol). Place all Phase C ingredients into Beaker C (Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, preservative, essential oils if you choose)
  2. Place Beaker A and Beaker B into a barely there simmer in your double boiler and allow to sit for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Once everything is melted, remove Beaker A from the double boiler and wipe down the outside of the beaker. Pour contents into Beaker B.
  4. Using your immersion blender, beat the contents of Beaker B until you get a nice smooth consistency. If your work space is warm, this will take a lot longer, but my kitchen area is quite cold these days, so lotion making is wicked fast now. It took less than thirty seconds for me to get to lotion consistency.
  5. Once Beaker B has cooled down to the touch, add in the contents of Beaker C and stir incorporating everything.
  6. Decant and enjoy! This lotion is thin enough to be in a pump bottle and thick enough to be in a pot without worry.


No everyone is an exotic oil junkie. So if you don’t have cranberry oil, feel free to sub in any liquid oil your skin likes. Here are a few I’d consider subbing:

  • moringa oil
  • sea buckthorn seed oil
  • macadamia nut oil
  • evening primrose oil
  • abyssinian oil
  • borage oil
I love the look of argan oil and cranberry oil… so pretty



This lotion will pump easily, or hold neatly in a pot. 
DIY Advanced, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Silicone Experimenting Fun

Good morning from a very chilly China! The city has just recently turned on the heat in the apartments and that means the air in homes is getting blissfully drier! Whilst this makes drying clothes and dishes quick and easy, it really plays something horrible with the skin. Thankfully, the lovely Belinda and Marie introduced me to Aristoflex AVC from Lotioncrafter a long while ago and I’ve been in love with it ever since. My skin has taken on a remarkable improvement in feel, appearance and more since beginning to use AVC in my daily routine. It is some amazing fun stuff! (Note; I’ve tried AVC from a few different Taobao suppliers but with very little consistent results. Be VERY careful buying AVC in China)

mixing of the oil and liquid phase

And if you are like me and are a new and exotic oil junky, this one ingredient can help you quickly and easily test out a bunch of new ingredients without too much hassle. As long as you don’t use electrolytes.

sprinkle the AVC over the solution

One of the things I like doing, is to read people’s road of discovery. When a blogger creates the most amazing recipe and then has to share it with you, chances are that is not the first attempt at that recipe. It might be the eighth or twentieth attempt. Or ninetieth. What I want to know is, what were some of the previous recipes and why didn’t they work? That is the information I want to know!

can you see it already gelling? 

This recipe was a good way to introduce myself to how silicone worked in a product I knew worked well on my skin. I’ve been using this silicone based product for about a month now and I am ready to share my findings with you.

So yeah silicones.

Since beginning my DIY journey, I’ve watched silicones go from being hailed as gods to being damned. And I have to admit, I was damning them for a while too until I grew into my #isurvivedgreenbeauty phase. But now that I am a preservative loving, ewax lover, high performance lover, it was time to begin playing with ingredients I knew worked well and met my high performance needs.

Silicone is a partial-occlusive non-greasy agent and it helps to create a moisture seal trying to prevent moisture loss; anything keeping moisture in is a plus!  Silicone creates waterproof seal but still enables your skin to breathe. Moisture seal. Not gaseous seal. It also creates an “artificial barrier” allowing your skin to heal and it helps to smooth out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Game set and match for silicone!

maybe 90 seconds of whisking

I’m actually not going to get into the “bad rep” that silicone has received online and from “green” beauty folk. Needless to say, do your research, and look at facts and not the fear mongering sites.

According to LotionCrafter, typical usage rate is .5-4%. I opted to start at 1% as it is a new ingredient and wanted to see if 1% was a noticeable difference. When you begin working with a new ingredient, you want to make sure that you introduce it at a low amount to see how your skin may react to it. You also don’t know what usage rate is good for you. So you spend a bit of time playing with new ingreidents at various usage rates. I began at 1% at .5% is a pain to measure! If I am being completely honest with you.

Things I noticed:

  1. my skin felt almost the same as it usually does, but Sonia noticed her skin was smoother.
  2. very little softening of fine lines

Things I didn’t notice:

  1. no real improvement in skin “function” (not sure how one would measure this really)
  2. no WHAMO I’ve just turned back the clock or received more compliments than usual on my skin

So, how would I change this recipe for the future? I would increase the silicone to 3% and drop the water by 2%.

Keep stirring! You’ll think it’s not working, but it will! Thick custard like means it’s ready.

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  1. In a double boiler place a small glass measure with the water, hydrosol, vitamin B3, allantoin into the double boiler. Stir.
  2. While you wait for the allantoin and B3 to dissolve (can take a few minutes to many many few minutes by the way), measure out your AVC into a small beaker. Measure out your silicone and cranberry oil into another beaker. And in a third beaker, measure out your vitamin b5, oat peptide, and preservative.
  3. After about ten to twenty minutes of frequently stirring your beaker in the double boiler, your allantoin and vitamin B3 should be dissolved. Remove from heat and gently continue stirring for a minute. Slowly add in the oil.
  4. Sprinkle the AVC gently over your mixer, grab your whisk and ATTACK! In under five minutes your formula should have thickened up beautifully.
  5. Add in your beaker of Vitmin b5, oat peptide and preservative at this point.
  6. Decant into pump top contianers and apply after toner.


Have you worked with silicone before? What do you notice?


Playing with my new oils in various AVC +silicone recipes for testing. LtoR: Strawberry, Cherry, Cranberry.