Archive for the ‘Natures Garden Fragrance Oils’ Category

Hideaway Candle Company

Monday, March 25th, 2013

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1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  Delynn Burrell, Southern Hideaway Candle Creations

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I originally started making candles as a hobby to help with my candle obsession. From there it grew to doing them for Family and Friends for presents for Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Baby Shower Gifts.  Finally a friend told me I just needed to open a store online and try selling them. So I did, this was back in 2007. I’ve grown over the last couple years, increased my designs and expanded to include Bath and Body type products as well as homemade candy.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  A little bit of everything, from Tarts, to Memorial Pillars to Specialty designs such as Praying Angel Pillars. I do realistic food and beverage types, Wax dipped Animals, Aroma beads, Incense, and of course my Favorite from Nature’s Gardens the Aroma Buds.    I have a whole area dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss which is very close to my heart.

4.  What are your business goals?   I want to continue to grow, to expand into more designs and mediums of wax as currently I only work with Soy and Gel. I would love to see myself grow enough to be able to fulltime support the purchase of my own domain and website, as currently we are only on Facebook. I truly just hope to grow as an artist, to continue to touch the hearts of my customers with the designs I put out.

5. What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  We currently use many of Nature’s Garden’s scents, flavorings for lip balm, we’ve recently started the salt scrubs using products from Nature’s Garden, and we do the Aroma Buds. Our favorites as far as scents go is Cola, Apple Butter Caramel fragrance oil, and one we tested but haven’t seen added to the site yet called Apple Pecan Sage. We adore all the flavorings we’ve tried, our biggest seller is Monkey Farts and the Aroma Buds are probably are most favorite because we love Roses but hate that real ones die so quickly so it enables us to keep them year round.

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Hideaway-Candle-Creations/382426478438074

Cold Process Soap from Scratch

Monday, March 25th, 2013

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1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  Hello, I am Tanya from Titania’s Dreamy Delights

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I started my soaping journey almost 6 years ago….. it all began when I was looking for a rainy-day school holiday activity for my children and I found an online supplier for ‘melt & pour’ soap bases.  My kids weren’t really very interested, so I used it to make moulded soaps myself.  I quickly decided that adding luscious shea or mango butter, as well as milk powders and aloe vera gel, gave me soap that I could actually use.  Up until then I found that any store-bought soap dried out my skin terribly and gave me an irritating itch.  I was hooked!

I had never felt particularly creative as a person (that is how I saw myself – that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body) and although I had been involved in personal development allowing me to work on and improve my mind, it wasn’t until I developed an interest in soaping as a hobby that I tapped into my unknown creativity!  I felt just like a thirsty soul being offered a drink of crystal clear water…. I fell in love.  It was a wonderful awakening for me and continues to be to this day.

I began formulating my Cold Process (made from ‘scratch’) soaps more than four years ago and have since added bath, skin care and facial care products; all designed to gently care for and pamper skin. I have a background in skin care training/sales and use this knowledge to create products that are designed to target all skin types and conditions.  My area of specialisation is cold process soap-making and I have an almost magical feeling making every batch of soap – the chemistry and synergy created expand my awareness, my ability to live in the moment and simply makes me happy.  I feel there is so much more I can do to develop in this area and I am enjoying the journey immensely.  I hope I never arrive at my ‘destination’ as it is just too much fun continuing to learn and grow.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  ~ see paragraph above; plus soy wax aroma melts.

4.  What are your business goals?  ~ to continue my soaping journey, developing improved recipes to suit every skin type.  In doing this I will be servicing my customers needs with products that not only help their skin – they satisfy all the senses (except maybe taste!).

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  So far I have only purchased fragrance oils from Natures Garden.  Shipping cost to Australia where I live can be quite pricey so I maximize this by getting top quality fragrances that work so well in my cold process soap, bath and body care products.

Your Website:  via Facebook

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/TitaniasDreamyDelights

Blog:  http://titaniasdreamydelights.blogspot.com.au/

Mom Owned Candle Company

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

carrie1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name
My name is Carrie Powell and my company’s name is Carrie’s Curiosities, LLC

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?
I’ve loved candles for as long as I can remember and I grew up with a very crafty mother, that encouraged me to try different outlets for my creativity.  I actually went to bed one night thinking, “I wonder how hard it would be to make my own candles”.  When I woke up the next morning, I began scouring the internet for any information on candlemaking I could find. (Luckily, I was able to find quite a lot!)  After I read up on the process, I talked to my husband about learning to make my own candles. (I honestly thought he would tell me I’m crazy.) However, he encouraged me to get a starter kit and try it out, so I did and I loved it!  From there, I started making candles for friends, family and neighbors and people really loved my candles, so I decided to start making them on a larger scale.
My motivation for the business was the prospect of getting to do something I truly loved and still be at home with my son.  I really enjoy the fact that I get to be a business owner and a full time mother!
I’ve been in business for about a year and I’m still learning a lot.  Everyday is a new adventure and I’m loving the ride!

3.  What products do you make and sell? 
Right now, I sell soy container candles (mason jars, Victorian style jars, tureens and tins), palm wax container candles, votive candles, tarts/melts and grubby pillar candles.  (I also sell a few beaded ornaments on my website as well, but they aren’t scented!)

4.  What are your business goals?
My current goals are to continue making high quality products and to build my online presence.  I’ve also begun participating in local craft fairs and would like to continue building my presence within my community.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden? 
Oh goodness, I use Nature’s Garden’s fragance oils all the time!  I’ve also purchased tins and clamshell containers and everything I’ve received has been excellent.  I honestly love NG’s fragrance oils.  There is such a large variety, that I just have fun looking through them all and making wishlists.  One of my favorite scents, is one that I just used in my new vanilla line of candles, Coconut Vanilla scent.  It is a terrific scent and I honestly don’t want to sell the candles I’ve made.  I want to keep them all, because I love the scent so much!

Your Website: curiouscarrie.etsy.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CarriesCuriosities
Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiouscarrie81
Blog: http://carriescuriosities.blogspot.com/

Carrie, Owner/Operator
~Carrie’s Curiosities, LLC~
“Home to lovely, hand poured, natural wax candles!”
www.etsy.com/shop/curiouscarrie

Jennifer Handmade Soaps

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

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1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name  Jennifer Marie Hofmann (though I just go by Jennifer)   Jennifer’s Handmade Soap

2. Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I first start soap making in September 2009.  I kind of fell into it by accident.  I was writing an article about the history of soap and cleanliness.  I’m a huge fan of Old Sturbridge Village (an 1830’s Historical Living Museum in Massachusetts).  They were offering a soap class there and I signed up on a whim. Not because I really cared about making “modern” day soap, but because I thought it would be interesting to talk to the teacher about how soap was made in the 1800s for my article.  I found the process of making soap interesting and the teacher helped answer some of my historical questions.  Didn’t think much about my soap over the next six weeks as it cured, though my house smelled lovely!  Then I used it and I was hooked.  From there I just kind of took off.  I experimented, read, learned, joined chat rooms…I’d conquer one thing and then I was experimenting with a new technique or oil.  I never planned to make it a business, but soon I was making more than I could give away to family and friends.  My friends kept telling me I should try selling it.  My goal was just to sell enough to pay for the “hobby.”  Then last year (2012) I jumped in feet first and turned it into a full time business.  I’ve  loved every moment of it.

3.  What products do you make and sell?   Cold Process soaps are my true “love.”  I was amazed when I started using my soap how I really didn’t need any other bath product.  Also, CP soap kind of represented a challenge for me. I love to design and I’m constant trying to come up with new designs for my soap.  The idea that I could create my own recipes with whatever properties I wanted also appealed to me.  I think some of the items I’m most proud of are my CP Cupcakes soaps.  It took a lot of work/practice but I finally got piping down and now I have fun coming up with different designs for cupcakes.  I know they’re not the most practical soaps, but sometimes I think you need a soap that will make you smile…it doesn’t always have to be practical.

I also make popsicle glycerin soaps, lip balms, solid sugar scrubs, foot balms and other bath products.  multicolored

4.  What are your business goals?   To be able to support myself by selling soap!  I never thought in a million years I’d own my own soap making business, but now that I do I can’t ever imagine giving it up for something else.  There’s something special in knowing I made everything I sell myself and that I back it a 100%.  I’ve recently been expanding in to wholesale.  It’s been one of my major goals for this year.  It’s exciting to see that side of my business grow (and hopefully continue to grow).

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?   Probably your fragrance oils.  I love that you list all the details about them (and the choices you offer is staggering!) and the test results you got.  It really helps me decide on and know I’m getting a high quality fragrance oil.  My two favorites of yours have to be Basil Sage and Mint and Blackberry Bling.

I first tried Basil Sage and Mint fragrance oil because it sounded interested. I sold out the first 15 bar batch in like two weeks.  It’s become one of my standards now it’s been (and continues to be) that popular.  I love berry fragrances.  This past summer I tried a bunch of different ones and this one was so strong and lovely in the soap.  I had customers falling in love left and right with it.

Your Website: www.jennifersoap.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jennifersoap

Blog: http://jennifersoap.wordpress.com/

Handmade Soaps

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

newhaircut 1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  My name is Dana Huff, and my company is New England Handmade Artisan Soaps.

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I really decided to go into business after friends told me I needed to sell my soaps. I love to make soap, and I was starting to rack up quite a collection. I thought selling might be one way to move some of the soap out of my house so I could make more.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I make soap and dabble in sugar scrubs and body butters, but I haven’t sold any of my body butters yet.

4.  What are your business goals?  Eventually, I would love to be a resource for people who want to learn more about handmade soap and to use quality handmade soap. After I started using handmade, I never went back. I think we owe it to our skin to take care of it. It’s the largest organ in our body. Soap is also an affordable luxury. It is a small thing you can do to feel good about yourself, and I want to help others find their way to handmade soaps because their skin deserves it.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  I use a lot of your fragrance oils, which I find are high quality and smell great, but also a great value. I don’t think it’s possible for me to pick a favorite. I also love your sweet almond oil and avocado oil. I have found Nature’s Garden to have great value for these products. I have also ordered French green clay, which I used in my Marseille-style soap called Provence, a great facial soap. I use something from Nature’s Garden in everything I make! Barely a week goes by that we don’t receive a package from Nature’s Garden at my house. My husband jokes that the UPS man knows him and waves at him when they see each other out on the street (which is true!).

Your Website:www.etsy.com/shop/NESoaps/

Facebook page:www.facebook.com/NESoaps/

Twitter:www.twitter.com/NESoaps/

Blog:www.newenglandsoaps.com/

YouTube Channel:www.youtube.com/user/danahuff/

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Sugar Scrubs and Bath Bombs

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

LucyI focus on creating all-natural bath bombs and soaps. Simple, fun little luxuries to make bath-time a little more special. :)

1. What’s your name & Your Company Name:  My name is Lucy and my company name is Sweetbath Confections.

2. Why did you decide to go into business? What was your motivation? How long have you been in business?  I used to buy bath  bombs from a chain store and I wanted to learn how to make then for myself with better ingredients and higher quality.  It started out as a fun hobby, but my main motivation was to grow a profitable business to help support my family.  I’ve been in business since 2010.

3. What products do you make and sell?  I make and sell bath bombs, all-natural glycerin soaps and sugar scrubs.

4. What are your business goals?  I hope to continue to grow my business and reach more customers who truly appreciate the art, creativity and work that goes into making handmade bath products.  And of course, one of my major goals is to keep learning and creating!

5. What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  Fragrance oils and Essential oils and these are also my favorite!  They provide inspiration for my end products, by inspiring the visual outcome and indulging the senses as well.  Natures Garden Candles has such an amazing variety of scents, it’s so wonderful!

Website:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetbathConfections

Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sweetbath-Confections/397338800049

Twitter:  @sbc_tweets

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Diane’s House of Candles Interview

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

1. What’s your name & Your Company Name:
Diana Jablonski – Diane’s House of Candles

2. Why did you decide to go into business? I started making candles almost 15 years ago. It started off as a hobby. I would give them to friends and family because I just enjoyed making them. Pretty soon people started asking for so many that I couldn’t keep up. People were asking to buy them left and right. So I decided to experiment for awhile trying to find the best wax, best scents and best methods. Word just kept spreading and people kept asking for more so I decided to start my own small business out of my home. Now my candles are carried by a variety of local businesses, including many well known wineries in the northeast. My wine glass candles and wine scents are a big seller at the wineries. The football candles are always selling out also.

What was your motivation? How long have you been in business? The feedback I was getting about how much people loved my candles. They aren’t too strong and overpowering like most candles. Yet their scent fills the whole room. Even people that are sensitive to smells, love my candles. They are very true to their scent name and just the right strength. I have been in business for over 15 years.

3. What products do you make and sell? I make votive candles, jelly jar candles, pint jar candles, tart candles, football candles in a football shaped glass, and wine glass candles.

4. What are your business goals? My business goals right now are to expand my online presence. My website is currently undergoing an upgrade and redesign.

5. What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden? I use your scent oils for my candles. Asking which one is my favorite is like asking which child is my favorite! They are all so wonderful, I would never even think of using any other scent oil in my candles!

Your Website: www.DianesHouse.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DianesHouseOfCandles

Farmstead Bath & Body Interview

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

1. My name is Lisa Nakonechny, and I haven’t incorporated, but I call my business “Farmstead Bath & Body“.

2. We live and work on a farm.  Its always been my desire to create a cottage industry that allows me to follow my natural interests and talents while working from our farm.  Soap fits!!  Not only that, but soap really fits because I can also incorporate another interest of mine, and that is sharing my love of agriculture with others.  Each of my bars of soap will tell an artistic story of what life is like on a farm in our part of the world here in northern Alberta, Canada.  Farming is a wonderful way life, although fraught with challenges.  It will be a lot of fun tying in something fun, artistic, and most of all practical, like soap, with something equally fun, practical and even artistic like farming.

I haven’t been in business long – just a week so far!!  It has taken me over a year to decide if I wanted to turn my hobby into a business.  I needed to be sure I had the support of my farmer husband, because farming takes so much time, and so will soap making.  I’m sure combining my two passions will be both rewarding and challenging.

3. I am a big believer that something worth doing is worth doing well, so my product offering is small to begin with.  I have 10 varieties of cold process soaps.  Most of them use (your) fragrance oils, although I recognize that not everyone can or wants to use synthetic fragrances, so I also have a couple of varieties that either do not have any added essential or fragrance oils, or they use only essential oils.  My most favourite soap in this category is called “60 Grit Peppermint” – a super-duper-waker-upper-in-the-shower kind of bar! It uses peppermint essential oil and d-limonene as well as cornmeal to super-stimulate your bod in the morning!  Besides cold process soap, I also make a hand lotion I call “Mmmm Honey!” that I like because it sticks around after you wash your hands.  It does have a slightly greasier quality to it, but that is what makes it stick around and moisturize so well.  My body lotion is not greasy at all and is nameless so far.  I also make a wonderful, light and dreamy “Rose Body Souffle” which is a whipped body butter with ingredients added to reduce greasiness.  Also, a (nameless) sugar scrub with natural cocoa butter, brown sugar, and coffee beans is a feminine form of “Fast Orange” that my farmer likes.  Last, but not least, a “Lip Saver and Smoother” lip balm that sometimes shows up with some mica for a feminine tint for the whole-wheat hotties out there.

4. Other than our family farm, I am new to business. My soaping business goal is simple: I want to serve you, my customer, with a high quality, genuine hand made bath and body product. Because you love the products, you share my business with your circle of influence, and the cycle continues.  I am able to work from home, and support our traditional farming family of five beyond the basics.

5. Because I live in Canada, importing from the US costs a lot.  I buy the items that make the most sense economically.  So far, that is 8 oz and 16 oz bottles of your fragrance oils.  I love that you offer a $1.00 discount on each bottle when you purchase at least 5.  The flat rate boxes through the USPS are especially nice, as there are no brokerage or customs fees that way.  Because of this, I buy 98% of my fragrance oils from you alone. (I was looking for a “dirt” fragrance oil, and had to go to a competitor ;( ). I love how your website gives SO MUCH information including reviews that endeavours to help us make decisions without the benefits of sniffing.  I also love the document you made that lists all the fragrances and how they perform in cold process soaps. You have gone above and beyond to serve your customer, and you have a customer for life in me!  My favourite fragrance oils are: Oatmeal, Milk & Honey, Cannabis Rose, Peony, and OMG Olive as they are my best sellers so far.  I use them mainly in cold process soaps, although I have used them in lotions as well.  I find your fragrances perform just as expected, and stay potent in the bottle longer than a year.  I can’t praise you enough for how you have treated me as a customer – both with tremendous products, and with stellar customer service!

Because I am 40++, keeping up with social media is challenging! But I do have a Facebook and Twitter account.  Please visit my Facebook page and “Like” it, so we can strike up a conversation, and I don’t feel like I am talking to myself!  Also, my webpage is barely a week old!  Getting good product photos is interesting, and it is a work in progress. Check back often as it continues to be created.

Website: www.farmsteadbath.com
email: lisa@farmsteadbath.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/farmsteadbb
Twitter: @farmsteadbb

Picture: I am usually the one behind the camera in our family…but I found a picture of me on my favourite Belgium, Blaze. I designed a soap that was inspired by these beautiful animals called “Belgium Hayride”. It uses your Cafe Caramel fragrance oil.  I’ve included a picture of it too.  It hasn’t cured fully yet.

Natural Bath Products Interview

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013


I’m TUBBI, aka( Jacqueline); my customers cursed me with that name! LOL! I run a small business called TUBBILICIOUS! We make the Best organic & natural tub treats! I’m SUPER new to your company! I recently made my first purchase about 2 weeks ago, and since that point haven’t stopped! We have incorporated many of your products into our recipes, including using your molds. We have only been open about 7 months, and are about to hit our 900th  sale! Whoo hoo! I intend on growing in many new ways with the new found opportunity of having such a wide variety of products from your company at my fingertips! PLUS I LOVE that you have sampler “teach me kits! ” That’s ALWAYS a nice touch!

I’ve always had a passion for anything that smelled good since I was a child. This all started about a year ago, lol, in my niece’s kitchen no less!  My biggest interest in making my own stuff came from finding alternative ways for people to wind down and relax from the daily stress that life can cause physically & emotionally. I’m a firm believer that a well made, quality  tub Treat can do wonders for the mind, body and attitude. Smells often can trigger memories for people; aromatherapy plays a big part in peoples’ lives, even if they are unaware!

What products do you make and sell?

We make everything! Bath bombs, bubble bars, body wash, scrubs, body sprays etc. We try our best to use all organic & natural products. HOWEVER, we do use Premium grade fragrance oils that have been deemed safe for bath & body use. But the product that seems to have been our #1 seller has been our MONKEY PITTS!  It has EXTREMELY great reviews.. We’ve sold hundreds of jars all over the world.

What are your business goals?

Just to keep it fun I suppose …I love what I do, so That would be MY personal goal.

What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?

I’m a new customer, and I’ve been using the molds, SOOO Adorable! Also been using a few fragrance oils. ( Its only been about 2 weeks, I need more shopping time! LOL ) You have SO many things I’d like to incorporated in my work! I have bought sea salts etc.. I have a great plan for the Black Hawaiian Sea salts! But I will get there, it takes time!!

Your Website: www.etsy.com/shop/tubbilicious

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tubbilicious

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuvTubbilicious

Blog: http://www.tubbilicious.com/blog.html

What is a Surfactant?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Have you ever tried to wash dirty dishes equipped only with a sponge and water?  This can be quite a feat.  You will notice that it takes a lot more time and elbow grease to get the job done.  Wondering why this is?  The answer as you will notice right away is that the dish soap is missing.

Did you know that the most eminent surfactant in existence is soap?

Surfactants seem to always get the bad rap.  Many people associate surfactants as bad ingredients to have in your recipes, but truth be told, this statement is not true!  Yes, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is a surfactant, and it can be more irritating to your skin than other surfactants, but is it as bad as what you read in the media lately?  It is an urban myth that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes cancer.  Read the truth for yourself.   In fact, many of the surfactants that will be listed in this class are derived from a natural source and they work to improve the integrity and performance of your cosmetic formulations.

Surfactants work with various liquids and substances; including oil and water.  Much like that of the role of the emulsifiers, surfactants have a hydrophilic (water-loving) head, and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail.  In fact, emulsifiers are surfactants, and surfactants are vital to the industry of bath and body products too.  They comprise the largest category of cosmetic chemicals, and seem to have an endless list of cleansing capabilities.  So, needless to say, there is quite a variety to select from when seeking the perfect surfactant for your recipes.

The main qualifier in deciding which surfactant to use is all based upon the benefit that each surfactant provides.  Just like cold process soaping or any homemade bath and body products, the components that you choose to use in your recipes have a direct beneficial affect on the skin when the recipe is transformed into a finished product.  Therefore, when selecting which surfactant to use; it is just as equally important as to what you are looking to achieve in your finished product.  Each surfactant has key functions in which it will excel and equivocally each will also have other functions where it will be lacking.

The term surfactant is actually a combination of its meaning:  surface acting agent.  Let’s look at it again: surfactant = SURFace ACTing AgeNT.  But the term surfactant is not always the one that everyone sticks with.  It seems that surfactants have several names that all become applicable depending of the role of the surfactant in a specific recipe.  For example, in recipes where foam is the finished product, the surfactant used maybe referred to as foaming agents.  Surfactants used in body recipes, can even be termed as detergents or soaps.  Or, in the example of shaving creams, surfactants are considered lubricants because they protect the skin from irritation and the razor’s sharp edge while still allowing the removal of all of the unwanted hairs.

Everything that a surfactant does occurs at the surface levels of the liquids.  The biggest role that a surfactant has is the capability to lower the surface tension of a liquid.  The reaction which then occurs is the conversing of the liquid (with the lower surface tension) and the additional substance.  To break this down in simpler terms; a surfactant has the power to change the properties of a substance.  This process is known as adsorption.  The term adsorption means:  the gathering of gas or liquid in a condensed layer on the surface.  This condensed layer creates a film which is why the surface tension is lowered.  There are four different categories of classification for surfactants based on their interfaces and charges.  They are: Anionic, Nonionic, Cationic, and Amphoteric.

Education is always a powerful thing, and it is not necessary to completely know the ins and outs of everything surfactants.  But, you will want to have a general idea of each group of surfactants and how they play a role in your finished product.  This is especially true if you are looking to accomplish a “made from scratch” recipe.  It is also beneficial to know a few other things about surfactants too.  This would include information like why the surfactants are grouped or classified together or how/if surfactants work with additional groups of surfactants in a collaborate manner.  Spoiler alert:  Not all surfactants play nice with one another!

Anionic surfactants are considered to be the go to surfactant for many formulations.  This group of surfactants is also the most commonly used among foaming product productions, like shampoos or body washes.  The reasoning for this is because the anionic surfactant’s primary functions are creating high foam, high cleansing, and high washing capabilities in a finished product.

Anionic surfactants have a negatively charged water-loving head.  Anionic surfactants work very well in recipes which have a reaction between a chemical (like lye) and fatty acids or alcohols (like animal lard or vegetable based oils).  Hand processed soap, whether it is CP, CPOP, or HP, are all examples of anionic surfactants.  Other examples of anionic surfactants are Sodium sulfates, Ammonium sulfates, sulfosuccinates, sarcosines, sarcosinates, isethionates, and taurates.

One of the drawbacks of using an anionic surfactant relates to skin sensitivity.  Due the high foaming, cleansing, and washing capabilities, skin irritations can occur.  It is for this reason that if you are looking to create a handmade recipe it is best to choose another category of surfactants, or balance the anionic surfactants with amphoteric surfactants.

Amphoteric surfactants are the go with the flow surfactants.  They have the possibility to either have a positive or negative charge.  Their charge is all based on the pH or alkalinity of your finished product.  Hence the amphi prefix.

When an amphoteric surfactant is used in a recipe where the end result of a finished product has a lower pH, the amphoteric surfactant takes on a more conditioning and nourishing role.  On the other hand, when an amphoteric surfactant is used in a recipe where there is a higher pH in the end product, it resembles more of an anionic surfactant with high foaming and cleansing capabilities.  Neither option is necessarily bad; they are just on two different planes of the beneficial skin aspects.

Amphoteric surfactants are the most docile of the surfactants.  They are also the second most used surfactants in the industry.  This is because when used alone, they are able to provide a gentle aspect to the nature of your end product.  Adversely, when an amphoteric surfactant is coupled with an anionic surfactant, the amphoteric surfactant mellows the harshness of the anionic surfactants.  In fact, amphoteric surfactants can be used solo and in conjunction with any other of the surfactant groups.  There adaptability is just one of the reasons why they are so widely used.

Some examples of well know amphoteric surfactants are Coco Bentaine, Lauryl Bentaine, and Hydroxysultaines.

Cationic surfactants are the opposite of anionic surfactants.  They have a positively charged water-loving head.  It is because of this positive charge that cationic surfactants can offer many skin loving, nourishing benefits to the skin and body.  These surfactants are best used in recipes where foaming is not necessarily mandatory such as hair conditioners.  Cationic surfactants alone do not allow for ample foaming capabilities.

Cationic surfactants work well with 2 of the 3 remaining surfactant groups.  Both amphoteric and nonionic surfactants will be compatible with cationic surfactants with no problems.  However, because of the opposing charge cationic (positive) and anionic (negative) surfactants will not combine.

Some common cationic surfactants used in bath and body recipes are your chlorides (Benzalkonium, Stearalkonium, and Centrimonium), Trimethyl Ammoniums, and Methyl Sulfates.

Nonionic surfactants have no foaming capabilities which is why this group of surfactants are rarely used as a recipe’s main surfactant.  Evident by the prefix non, these surfactants do not have a charge in their water-loving heads.  The end result of using a nonionic surfactant will allow for a finished product that has a very gentle cleansing ability.   But, just because it doesn’t foam, it doesn’t mean it does cleanse.

Psychologically speaking, there is a direct mental correlation between foaming and cleansing.  We as a race have somehow inherently made this connection.  Whether it is a physical view of suds equating to cleanliness, or simply urban myths that have taken on a life of their own, the reality is; it could not be further from the truth.

Nonionic surfactants, or at least some of them, are ethoxylated.  What this means is that the nonionic surfactants have had some reaction to the addition of ethylene oxide.  With this reaction comes an even more water-loving head, almost as if it has been supercharged.  This then makes nonionic surfactants (like Polysorbate 20) perfect solubilizers.

But, don’t just disregard this category of surfactants yet.  Nonionic surfactants can also be used in formulations to reduce irritants, due to their gentle cleansing ability.  They also have the capability to be used as an emollient, softening or soothing skin.  Not to mention, these surfactants can be used to stabilize foam in recipes.  Hold on to your seats though folks, because it gets a little better!  Due to its lack of a charge, nonionic surfactants love every other category of surfactants; you can consider them the peacemakers!

Some common nonionic surfactants used in bath and body recipes are your Polysorbates, Emulsifying Wax NF, E-wax, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, ingredients with the prefix PEG, Ceteareths, Oleths, Sorbitans, Lauryl Glucoside, and Polyglycose.

In summary, surfactants are amazing little compounds found in many items we use every day like adhesives, bath gels, creams, lotions, frozen foods, chewing gum, inks, and fabric softeners; just to name a few!  There are four main applications of surfactants particularly in just bath and body recipes.  They include: cleansing, solubility, emulsifying, and conditioning.

Some other additional aspects of surfactants to bath and body recipes include:  the potential to increase stability of a product; certain surfactants can be used as thickening agents; due to the composition of a surfactant, some maintain anti-microbial elements and therefore can be used as preservatives; there are even some that have the capability to reduce irritation allowing for a milder product on the skin.

Interested in adding some surfactants to your recipes?  Below is a list of some commonly added surfactants to bath and body recipes:

sodium lauryl sulfate (can be derived from coconuts)  Produces High Foam; easy to thicken. Strong Anionic Surfactant; can cause irritation
ammonium laureth sulfate (derived from coconuts) Produces High Foam; easy to thicken.  Strong Anionic Surfactant; can cause irritation
disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate (derived from coconuts)  Foaming agent, Mild Anionic Surfactant; gentle on the skin
Cocoamphocarboxyglycinate  (derived from coconuts)  Mild, Amphoteric Surfactant
decyl Polyglucoside (vegetable derived, used in baby shampoos for its gentleness)
cetearyl alcohol
stearyl alcohol
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (derived from coconut oil) Amphoteric Surfactant
Decyl Glucoside (derived from sugar)
Glyceryl Cocoate (derived from vegetables)
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (derived from coconuts)
Almond Glycerides (derived from vegetables)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphoacetate (much milder surfactant than SLS)
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (derived from vegetables and is a natural substitution for SLS) 
sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
(derived from coconut)
Sucrose Cocoate (derived from sugar)
polysorbate 20 (vegetable derived)
polysorbate 80 (vegetable derived)

If you formulate your own cosmetics, please visit our customer suggestion page and let us know which surfactants you would like to see Natures Garden carry.  We will be increasing our line of natural cosmetic supplies.