Just a reminder!
Its been another year, we started in 2012 our semi annual closing, we will be closed for the week of July 4th, so that our employees may enjoy the holiday with their friends, and family, and for our mid-year facility maintenance.
With the ever increasing costs of materials, and fuel, Ingredients To Die For has been working hard to improve efficiency, and reduce our operating costs, to help us offset these increasing costs, without increasing our catalog prices. We have implemented many changes to reach these goals. One of the many changes, that we've made, is in the way that we have facility maintenance performed. In the past we have paid a higher contract rate in order to have, necessary, maintenance performed after hours so that it would not disrupt the flow of business. After analyzing these costs we realized that that was costing us an extra 30% in after hours maintenance. We now have all, necessary, maintenance performed on a regular schedule, twice per year, which has resulted in a significant savings, helping us to absorb some of the increased costs and avoid price increases.
Ingredients To Die For will continue to look for creative ways to reduce our overhead, and improve our efficiency, to maintain the stable prices that our customers have come to count on.
We thank you for your tolerance and hope that this move does not create any inconvenience for you, or your company.
Happy 4th of July.
Crafting Cosmetics IV
Weight vs Volume = Effective vs Ineffective / Safe vs Unsafe
Lately Ingredients To Die For has seen a sharp increase in customers that are formulating their cosmetics by volume, instead of by weight. After lengthy discussion with these formulators it's become apparent that they are doing this because there are suppliers posting recipes using volume giving credibility to this method of formulating. This is a dis-service to the formulator who is creating products for sale to the public. It's fine to take a recipe posted by a hobbyist and re-create it for your own use however, when you are making a product to sell to the public you have a responsibility to make sure that your product is safe and you have an obligation to make sure that it delivers what you promise. You can't live up to that responsibility, or that obligation, when you measure by volume because the starting materials were never tested by volume and the results, even when accurate due to painstaking work, will not be consistent and the result will at the very least be a loss in sales when your customers get tired of getting their product different every time they order it.
Let's take a closer look at the possible problems with volume vs weight.
First and foremost, all manufacturers use weight when they run their trials. These trials are used to determine two things; the efficacy of the material and the safety of the material.
When we're considering an inconsequential material such as olive oil the parameters won't be very important.
When we're considering a material such as the preservative the parameters are very important for two reasons; first, if you have too little preservative it may not be effective at controlling microbial contamination and may result in a product that is unsafe due to a bacterial / mold / fungal contamination and skin damage… second, if you have too much preservative it will be in the final product at levels that are above the safety levels established by the trials and will result in a product that is unsafe due to skin irritation / damage or worse systemic toxicity.
When we're considering a material such as an active the parameters are as important as those of a preservative because if an active is used at a level below the efficacy level established by the trials it won't deliver the results that should be expected when using an active. These are costly materials and to use them at ineffective levels is not only a dis-service to your customer but it's a waste of money.
The above issues are serious to the success of your company but, that doesn't compare to the gravity of having the FDA determine that your product is mis-branded which could happen when using re-constituted materials or labeled actives.
For that reason alone, when considering a material such as Aloe Leaf Juice the parameters are crucial. If you are under the established parameters to re-constitute Aloe Powder to Aloe Leaf Juice and you label it as Aloe Leaf Juice, not only are you mis-leading your customer and risking damage to your company's reputation but your product will be mis-branded in terms of the FDA's labeling requirements and that will cost you much more than lost sales and customers.
The same is true if you are considering a material such as Allantoin. If you are under the established monograph of 2% by weight then your product will not qualify as a skin protectant. If you are marketing it as such it will be mis-branded in terms of the FDA's labeling guidelines.
The same would be true if you were using Salicylic Acid for acne treatment and the Salicylic Acid levels were under the established monograph of 2% by weight. Not only would it be in-effective and a dis-service to your customer but it would be mis-branded in terms of the FDA's labeling guidelines.
Now that we've seen why it's important that our cosmetic materials are used at the proper levels, let's take a look at the variable involved in measuring them by weight vs volume.
First, let's consider the ease of manufacturing.
If you're measuring by volume and we had a formula using five ingredients in just the water phase:
bowl that will be used to heat the water phase
the cup to measure the water and glycerin (if using one large enough for both)
the tablespoon to measure the preservative
the teaspoon and half teaspoon to measure the polymer
the teaspoon, half teaspoon, eight teaspoon and thirty second teaspoon to measure the active
That's seven utensils that you'll need to sanitize before using them and you'll need to wash after using them and that's if you use the same teaspoon and half teaspoon for the polymer and the active which will need to be sanitized in between the different materials to avoid cross contamination
If you're measuring by weight using the same formula:
bowl that will be used to heat the water phase
scale to weigh the ingredients (using the tare function in between each ingredient)
That's one utensil (the bowl) that will have to be sanitized before and washed after, and this is just the water phase.
Next, let's consider the accuracy of measurement.
If you're measuring by volume in the above formula we are using three powders that will be measured using spoons. Because they are light powders you will get different amounts each time they are measured because powders settle so, one time you may get more in your spoon and the next time you may get less. Even if you try to tap the spoon down each time you can't be sure that you've tapped each measurement down the same amount every time you make your product
The other issue is that the powder may become compressed. If you're using a powder or a wax that came from the bottom of the drum it will be compacted and heavier. One cup, which would normally hold eight ounces will now hold 12 ounces by weight while still measuring only one cup. If you're measuring by volume and that one cup was 20% it just became 30% and that's enough to de-stabilize your formula or change it from a safe product to an unsafe product. If you are measuring by weight it won't matter because the scale is measuring the weight not the volume.
Yet another issue is that all materials are different when you compare their relative weight to volume. An gallon of Vegetable Glycerin by volume is not equal to eight pounds by weight as Vegetable Glycerin is much heavier than water and that gallon of Vegetable Glycerin weights ten pounds so aside from all the additional utensils that you'll need to measure by volume you'll also have to take the time to convert everything based on their specific gravity. By the same rational some materials are much lighter than water so you would end up having less than you intended when measuring by volume vs weight
Now, let's consider the practicality of scale up.
If your product is successful you will have to increase your batch sizes. When your formula calls for 75% water and you're making one gallon that equates to 96 ounces, which is already hard to measure in volume. What about when you need to scale up and make a five gallon batch. How are you going to measure 480 ounces? There's no measuring cup big enough. At this point you'll have to convert your formula to weight which will most likely end up in a failed batch because the calculations had been off the whole time. There's nothing worse than having to write off five gallons of product.
When you're producing a product that goes on the open market you owe it to yourself and your customers to make the manufacturing process as reproduceable as possible to ensure consistent product from batch to batch. That requires you to eliminate as many possibilities for error as possible.
You also have a responsibility to deliver a safe product from batch to batch. That requires that you eliminate as many potential contamination points as possible and the fewer steps and utensils you use the better as each step and each utensil is adding an opportunity for contamination and the more opportunities there are the more likely you'll end up with a contaminated product that gets into the hands of the unsuspecting customer. This also applies to the appropriate use of preservatives and making sure that they are used at just the right amount to protect your products and not enough to create an overload.
All of us in the business of manufacturing products for sale to the public have to remember that our customer places a great deal of confidence in us and our companies every time they make the decision to buy our product. We owe them, at the very least, a true commitment to safety, efficacy and quality. With the Cosmetics Industry being an unegulated industry it falls on us to regulate ourselves and make sure that we're doing the right thing, each and every time, for the sake of our customers.
The Ingredients To Die For Staff.
Safe Use Guidelines and Alternatives
Citrus Essential Oils are some of the most popular fragrances in natural skin, bath, and body care products where they add an uplifting and refreshing quality that is pleasant to almost everyone, making them an easy solution to natural fragrance.
Citrus Essential Oils are, traditionally, pressed from the peel of the fruit rather than being steam distilled like other essential oils. What this means, in terms of fragrance, is that a Citrus Essential Oil smells exactly like the fruit does in the grocery store, only stronger. The range of Citrus Essential Oils is impressive, allowing the formulator to create sweet citrus scents to tart citrus scents and anything in between with the added benefit of the scent creations having a clean, fresh, uplifting impact.
Citrus Essential Oils have many things in common:
All Citrus Essential Oils will have a diffusive effect where their scent is immediately perceptible.
All Citrus Essential Oils function as top notes, though some of them will bridge to the middle note, with slightly more staying power. Many blenders, and perfumers, will say that because they are top notes they have no staying power. This is not true as anyone who has worked with Citrus Essential Oils knows, this is evident in the fact that you can use a blend of only Citrus Essential Oils and you can still smell the fragrance after the initial lift of the citrus fragrance, though it is true that they do give the initial impression of a blend they do also continue to contribute to the fragrance of a product. When used in combination with other essential oils they do become a permanent part of the blend and will continue to impact the fragrance, with the key being in the ratio of top, middle, and base notes. A good rule of thumb is 1 base note, to 3 middle notes, to 2 top notes though this is not a hard, and fast, rule it can be very helpful in creating essential oil blends that lift off, and wear, smoothly.
All Citrus Essential Oils should be sourced carefully because anything that is on the peel of the fruit will end up being a part of the oil since it is pressed from the peel and any contaminants, such as herbicides and pesticides, will be pressed off the peel along with the essential oils. It is crucial that any Citrus Essential Oils be from non-sprayed material.
All Citrus Essential Oils should be used with some caution as they do contain chemical components that may be problematic to the safe use of your products. Below we've offered a highly simplified explanation of the problematic nature of Citrus Essential Oils in an attempt to help you understand the nature of the problem in order to help you make informed decisions with regard to the safe use of Citrus Essential Oils in your products.
The first being fuoro coumarins. This is a class of components that will impart photo sensitizing properties, meaning that when they are on the skin they will magnify the suns rays on the skin making it more sensitive to sunlight and increasing the risk of sun damage. The level of photo sensitivity varies from essential oil to essential oil with some being highly damaging and others not so much. To better understand this problem it is helpful to look at the biology. Fruits need the sunlight to ripen so the fuoro coumarins are created to attract, and magnify, the suns rays in order to speed the ripening process. A fully ripened fruit will have much less of the coumarins than one that is under ripe so an easy way to gauge this is through the color of the fruit. All fruit ripens from green to red, with green being the most under ripe and red being the most ripe. Oils that are pressed from fruits that are green / yellow is fully loaded with fuoro coumarins are highly photo sensitizing such as bergamot, lime and lemon, while fruit that is pressed from fruits that are orange / red tend to be much lower in fuoro coumarins and are, as a result, much less photo sensitizing such as mandarin and grapefruit, especially the reds.
The other compound that is highly problematic is citral. These compounds are highly irritating to the skin and when not 'quenched' can result in severe blistering. This activity is increased when Citrus Essential Oils become oxidized. Simply putting Orange Essential into bath water has resulted in severe blistering of the skin, in some cases. This is because when you put essential oils into bath water, as straight oils, they will collect on top of the water, coming into direct contact with unprotected skin as one enters the water. Citrus Essential Oils should always be diluted into some medium / carrier so that they dissolve into the water rather than floating on top, and they should always include anti-oxidants to help reduce the irritation potential. Martin Watts, one of the leading aroma chemists, also advises the use of the essential oil containing high levels of monoterpene alcohols to 'quench' the Citrus Essential Oils to reduce the irritation potential. We believe that it's best to utilize both methods when using Citrus Essential Oils so that we can use these wonderfully scented oils without the irritation and sensitization problems.
In todays advanced market there is an easy alternative to pressed Citrus Essential Oils, which are the steam distilled versions. Unfortunately these are still fairly new to the market and as such the main stream producers haven't seen the value in producing them so, for now, they are only available from a handful of small producers, resulting in a higher price point. We have used these steam distilled alternatives extensively in our own blends. These oils have been so popular that we have worked hard to secure sustainable stock so that we could make them available to our customers. For now we are only offering alternatives to those that are highly problematic: Lime, Lemon, and Orange. Bergamot is the other highly problematic Citrus Essential Oil but, it is already available in a fuoro coumarin free alternative, Bergamot Bergaptene Free so we couldn't justify the higher price of a steam distilled Bergamot. These steam distilled alternatives contain only insignificant levels of fuoro coumarins, greatly reducing their photo sensitizing activity, making them a great choice for skin care and even bath and body care. Their fragrance is still fresh and beautiful but, they are slightly different from the pressed Citrus Essential Oils. Mostly you will find them to be more subtle, but well rounded in their fragrance, and slightly sweeter, with the exception of Lime Steam Distilled Essential Oil which is much sweeter, and candy like, than the pressed Lime Essential Oil. The one benefit to the difference in fragrance is that they blend more smoothly with other oils making it easier to create well rounded blends that lift off evenly and consistently.
The Steam Distilled Citrus Essential Oils are not the only alternatives to pressed Citrus Essential Oils when your concern is photo sensitivity. The other alternative is the folded Citrus Essential Oils. You will need to check with your supplier to determine the processing, used to concentrate the citrus oils but, if they are processing through vacuum distillation then the process will reduce the fouro coumarins and photo sensitizing activity. As most suppliers of Essential Oils are well aware of the sensitizing / irritating nature of pressed Citrus Essential Oils they will have confirmed this through the producer or through their own testing if it wasn't available from the producer. If they can't tell you then you should not assume anything. The fragrance of the folded Citrus Essential Oils is very different from traditional pressed Citrus Essential in that they are concentrated and much stronger in fragrance, and are much sweeter.
Steam Distilled Citrus Essential Oils from Ingredients To Die For
Lime Steam Distilled Essential Oil • a crisp, fresh, very sweet, scented oil steam distilled from the peel of Citrus aurantifolia. The difference in fragrance, from the pressed oil, is significant. Lime Steam Distilled Essential oil is very sweet and more candy like, while the pressed oil is tart, with a hint of sweetness.
Lemon Steam Distilled Essential Oil • a soft, sweet, scented oil steam distilled from the fruit of Citrus limonum. The difference in fragrance, from the pressed oil, is significant. Lemon Steam Distilled Essential Oil is sweet and delicate with a hint of tartness while the pressed oil is more tart than sweet. When comparing to the traditional pressed oil it will help to think of the steam distilled essential oil as being the same fresh clean scent but, with a smooth well rounded, sweeter, fragrance.
Orange Sweet Steam Distilled Essential Oil • a soft, sweet, scented oil steam distilled from the peel of Citrus sinensis. The difference in fragrance, from the pressed oil, is significant. Orange Sweet Steam Distilled Essential Oil is sweet and subtle, while the pressed oil is more tart. Of the three orange essential oils, it may help to think of the sweet orange as being sweet and only slightly tart, with the blood variety being much sweeter and the sweet distilled oil as being even sweeter with almost no tartness.
Folded Citrus Essential Oils from Ingredients To Die For
Orange Sweet 5X Essential Oil • a sweet concentrated essential oil cold pressed from the peel of Citrus sinensis var.Dulcis and then vacuum distilled to concentrate the aromatic compounds. The difference in fragrance, from the standard oil, is significant. Orange Sweet 5X Essential Oil is much sweeter than the traditional pressed orange essential oil which is sweet and sightly tart. This 5X essential oil is, essentially, five times stronger in the Orange fragrance so a little goes a long way.
Lemon 5X Essential Oil • a sweet, slightly tart oil cold pressed from the peel of Citrus limonum and then vacuum distilled to concentrate the aromatic compounds, resulting in a oil that is stronger, more well rounded, and much sweeter, than the traditional pressed Lemon essential oil.
Tangerine 5X Essential Oil • a clean fresh scented oil cold pressed from the peel of Citrus reticulata and then vacuum distilled to concentrate the aromatic compounds, resulting in a oil that is much stronger, and more well rounded, than the traditional pressed Tangerine Essential Oil.
As always, when working with essential oils, the first step is to know what compounds are in your chosen essential oils in order to make sure that you are using them within established safety guidelines. The chemistry of essential oils is very complex and your blends will contain the therapeutic activity of your combined oils, whether you want them or not, as well as their fragrance.
All Citrus Essential Oils will have astringent, clarifying, activity on the skin and when not intended for oily skin types it is important to combine them with moisturizing essential oils to balance them out.
The Ingredients To Die For staff
We at Ingredients To Die For would like to wish all of our customers a great holiday season and year to come.
The same is true for our wonderful employees who give us so much throughout the year. In that spirit we will be closing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays so that they may enjoy the holidays with their family and friends while we also take care of end of year inventory, accounting and maintenance.
We will be closed Wednesday through - Friday 11/21 - 11/23.
Tuesday Nov. 25th is the last day to get orders out before the Thanksgiving Holiday. All orders that come in while we are closed will be processed on the following week we get back.
Closed December 21th - January 2nd.
Wednesday Dec. 19th is the last day to get orders out before the Christmas Holiday. All orders that come in while we are closed will be processed within the week that re-open. We will bring in extra staff in order to get the holiday orders out without jeopardizing our ability to process incoming orders.