Years ago, when I first started making natural skin-care and health products, I would get all caught up in every newbie ingredient that came on the market. Over time my products got so complicated and the INCI-list so long; herbs, tinctures, essential oils, maceration, vitamins and what-have you. One day I realized that I had no idea what kind of reaction all those substances had with each-other, even less when mixed with many others. All natural substances are alive, they react with each-other.
10 years later I down-scaled and went back to the origins with very simple formulas and stable, well-known and researched raw materials. I started working on a deeper level with the natural compounds and found beautiful synergies; less is truly more. I started feeling the product instead of thinking it.
Making formulations and products is a very precise matter, never mind how much you “feel” the proportions are right, if they’re not you will end up with some worthless goo fit only for the bin, and the margins aren’t that large. I’ve binned plenty in my day. 🙂 So you have to be precise and use your head, scales and measures to make it happen. Natural compounds change from year to year, depending on weather etc. Every time you get a new oil or plant it will be different from the last and in a way you have to “start over” every time. And this is where the “feel” comes in.
It has taken me 20 years to simplify, to learn to understand these beautiful compounds I work with and how to use them. The stuff I do now looks so simple and easy – it’s not.
It’s like mixing colors; too many in the blend and it ends up brown-greyish. Same, same.