Summer School of Formulation Fun

As you guys already know, I love to dabble in a little formulation. As a Herbalist / Aromatherapist, whipping up a remedy here and there is all par for the course at my clinic, however, my remedies tend to be more on the medicinal side and less about luxury skin care products. Occasionally I might create some lip balms as treats for my clients but normally my products are put together in minutes, prescribed and used in a matter of days. I have thought about expanding my formulation skills but the big world of antioxidants and preservatives scares me and frankly I’ve never managed to find the time.

In June I came across the fabulous, Essential Formulation online course delivered by Lise Anderson of LisaLise Pure Natural Skincare and Robert Tisserand of the Tisserand Institute. I had completed the Essential Oil Safety Masterclass last year with Robert and I loved it, so I decided this might be a nice summer learning activity.

Every Tuesday evening, notebook at the ready, I logged on to a live lecture with Lise and in the company of many other learners from all corners of the world, we got to experience the safe and creative art of skincare formulation. Lisa is an excellent mentor. She has lots of experience and she is wonderfully generous with her knowledge of this growing business. Week after week, we explored everything from balms and serums to water based sprays, face masks and bath products. The lessons were practical and filled with tonnes of information and handy tips and tricks so you can make the most of your new creative, skincare formulating talents. Not only did we learn to expand our formulation skills, we also discovered how to prolong the shelf life of our products with antioxidants and preservatives. Yes the world of preservatives is a minefield but Lisa taught us how to navigate it with some ease.

Robert also lectured on essential oils and shared his own unique blending process. If you are part of the Aromatherapy global community, then Robert needs no introduction. If however, you are new to this topic, let me just say this … in all my years studying (I started in the late 80’s) and even before that, Robert has been out there at the leading edge with new information, research and safety. He is truly a world expert in Aromatherapy.  This industry is growing rapidly and not all the information out there is correct or safe. Having Robert lead the way on safety through his books, blogs and teachings is important to those of us working with or using essential oils.  Watching him blend during this course was really quite special and his formulas are pretty wow.

Each weeks lesson finished with a Q&A facilitated by Hana Tisserand, COO of the Tisserand Institute. Hana is so lovely. She’s also very professional, patient and somehow managed to get to all the questions and support everyone through the learning journey. Learners then take to the dedicated forums in the following days to ask more questions, interact with each other and share details of their great successes AND failures with their product making. Yes, you can fail here and it’s completely ok. In fact, it’s encouraged. How else are we to learn?

To make sure that we grasp the learning of a particular topic, a weekly assignment is issued in the form of a quiz. You can take this at your leisure, when you have had time to read over your notes. After 8 weeks, we received a final assessment which incorporates everything learned so far.

I was expecting a great experience and I wasn’t disappointed. This course was fun, detailed  and inspiring. The momentum of the training was perfect. Somehow, Robert Hana and Lisa managed to create the perfect balance between delivering the information and allowing you the time to digest and absorb, before moving on to the next topic. When online training is delivered from a professional platform by such a dedicated team at the Tisserand Institute, it feels like you are all in the same room, sharing in the fun of learning and feeling completely supported throughout. My kind of learning environment!

Now when I think of formulating, my plan is more structured. I have a new set of skills to lean on. I have an updated format to work from. I no longer fear the failure that sometimes comes with trying new things. Instead I embrace creativity with my ideas and I’m enjoying the testing phase, while making lots of notes as I go. Watch this space guys, you never know what is coming down the line.

fullsizeoutput_1fb1Another fab course completed, another heart full and another notebook (or two) filled with exciting new information. Now might be the time to shop for more notebooks. Who am I kidding, it’s always time to shop for more notebooks.

If you love Aromatherapy and/or fabulous skin care and feel like broadening your experience, connect with these Wonderful Mentors when you get a chance. And to you Aromatherapists out there who are looking for some CPD training, this may be just the right choice for you.

Robert Tisserand

Lise Anderson

There is always more to learn.


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