How we formulate our products
With today's post, you are in for a treat here at Like Grandpa. We don’t often go into detail on the process of how we formulate our products, but we figured we would give you a peak behind the curtain. Let us know if you find this kind of post interesting!
While we could go into extreme detail on each step, it would create a very long post. Just know that we spend a lot of time intentionally developing every product into exactly what we want it to be.
The steps below are what each product goes through before we launch. This will often take 3-12 months to tweak and refine, sometimes longer, if we have setbacks in the beginning.
- Blank page - What characteristics do we want the final product to have? If we could describe our perfect product what would it be?
- Our ‘NO’ list - We don’t want our product to do these things or they should be different in these area. *sometimes this NO list is what leads us to developing a specific product in the first place.
- First principles - The list of ingredients that can contribute to a final formula. A combination of science and experience. Specific ingredients handle in predictable ways, so which long list of ingredients can be predict might fit within this product.
- High level prototyping - Trying out some preliminary formulas to see if things are viable. This is where our most epic failures come from. We always learn the most in this stage.
- Prototyping different variations - We take a few drastically different bases and see how we like them. While reaching out to our testing network to see what their thoughts are.
- Sensitivity Analysis - Once a base is selected as something we like, we vary each and every ingredient across an entire range. This is to see how each corresponding characteristic changes in performance and where the “sweet spot is”. This means a ridiculous amount of tests. A formula might have 4-8 ingredients, and we could vary each ingredient over 3-8 concentrations. If you do the math, it equal LOTS!! (our latest Aftershave Splash had 28 variations in this stage)
- Second round testing - We pick out a handful of front runners with unique characteristics (reference blank page section) and give them to our testing network to review.
- Revisions - This is where we take the feedback of our testers and tweak the formula to get the best result we can.
- Scent selection and variation - Single note scents vary drastically based on processing method and point of origin. Selecting the perfect single note is harder than one might think. As you may have noticed, we don't like to do any blends. For us, we strongly believe that simplicity of scents helps create a soothing experience when using our products.
- Final product testing. - This is testing with our broader test group for final approval.
- Delivery to market - Which is the most exciting stage, as you can imagine!
Thats a lot of steps eh? Usually we have 2-4 products in various stages of development at any time. Half of the products we create don’t make it to market. This is because we feel they don’t perform as well as we want, or we would have to use ingredients we don’t like to get the performance we desire. Sometimes, a product is developed, and then shelved because the formula makes it difficult to manufacture. That happens too.
You might think that as a small manufacturer we just toss some coconut oil and whatever we have in the pantry into a bottle, slap a label on and sell it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Next time you pick up your Like Grandpa (or Like Grandma) product, think about how each and every decision that was made just for you.
How to start wet shaving
We are over two months into the new year and I bet you've already outlined your resolutions in time for Jan 1st. But, let's be honest… a few of those have probably already fell by the way side.
Thats okay, we have all been there. At the end of the day, we use the start of the new year as a great excuse to try to become a better version of ourselves. Quit bad habits, pick up new ones, and start looking after ourselves little more.
Did it ever cross your mind that an easy way to dip your toe into the water of self care can be as simple as getting a better shave everyday? You can easily bring many of the luxuries of a nice hot towel barber shave into your own routine with very little effort. Sometimes the easiest changes to make involve simply improving habits you already have.
Why would you want to start wet shaving? This is an entire topic in itself, but to sum it up quickly, you can cut down on irritation, razor burn, in-grown hairs, and implement a skin care into your grooming routine without doing anything extra.
Now how do you do that? Like any new routine or habit, small changes are easy to implement. First, start with a Pre-Shave Oil. This is one of the easiest ways to step up your shave by just layering a small amount of oil under your cream or soap. From there, jump into your first Safety Razor and a variety pack of blades. When you get the hang of shaving with your new razor and you find a blade that works best for your hair type and skin type, make the plunge and pick up a brush and soap and learn to lather. With a simple progression like this, you can build momentum and slowly roll into the world of wet shaving, without being overwhelmed with technique and information.
It really is that simple. By slowly playing with a few products and adding small habits in your daily shave routine, you can make 2019 the year you started pampering yourself with a great shave. It can be intimidating at first, but trust me, it is worth it!
Note: If you are a beard grower, don’t fret. We haven’t forgotten about you. More posts about maintaining that mane to come.