Using Spreadsheets to Calculate Your Recipes

I’ve been making my own products since 2017 and my journey started with seeing a post on Facebook on making bath bombs. The recipe was pretty basic, I had most of the ingredients at home so I thought to myself “Why the heck not? It looks simple!”. Oh, poor me, how little did I know and how much I still had to learn…Many wasted ingredients and endless sleepless nights later I finally reached the point in my life when I could proudly say “I know how to make bath bombs”.

And that’s when I’ve come to the conclusion then measuring in volume (cups, tablespoons, pinches of this and pinches of that) is neither sustainable nor reliable in the long run. Weighing my ingredients in grams gave me the same, consistent results every single time. EVERY SINGLE TIME! So if you’re serious about making any type of homemade beauty product it’s time to ditch your cups and tablespoons or at least set them aside for cooking or something.

Anyways, after having mastered bath bombs I started to dive into the wonderful, endless world of scrubs, lotions, whipped soaps, facial creams, body butters (continue the list)…Eventually, I understood that although formulating in grams is a bazillion time better than our old “cups and tablespoons” method, the golden standard of creating professional formulas is using percentages. Indeed, there was a learning curve to it but every moment was worth it. That is why I want to simplify your life by teaching you how to use Spreadsheets to make your learning journey as easy as possible.

If you know how to work with Spreadsheets then just scroll down and grab your downloadable file.

For instance, let’s take a look at a sugar scrub sample formula down below.

Column A = Batch size (mine is 250g)
Column B = Your formula in %
Column C = Ingredients

Note: you can add more columns like INCI names for your ingredients, safety usage rates, notes, possible substitutions, etc.

Now, imagine you want to make a 500g batch instead. The only thing you have to do is to insert “500” instead of “250” and watch how effortlessly the mathematic magic works.

Naturally, you can add more ingredients to the column C with the usage rates in column B. To illustrate, I am going to add one more butter and fragrance oil to my sample formula. So I have to add 2 rows to this table filing in ingredient names and their %. However, if you want your Spreadsheet to check if your formula equals 100% you need to change B4 to B6 in the formula field like shown in the pictures down below.

It calculates the data from rows B2 through B4. If we add 2 more ingredients we need to let our formula know what has been changed.

See, now our smart table shows us that our formula equals 110 so we need to make a few changes. Once your formula adds up to 100% just pull that little button (marked yellow) down to raw 7 and that’s it.

Basically, you can use this template for any recipe you’re making from lip balms to bath bombs. Once you get used to using Spreadsheets there’s no way back. Once I made the recipe I save all of my data in my Airtable base. I like to formulate in spreadsheets but Airtable makes my data so visualized, categorized, colorful. All of my ingredients, cost batches, product pictures, formulas, and even labels are saved and backed up on this service.

Here you can see how I save my recipe for these Cocoa Drizzled Bath Bombs in Airtables.

I wrote a more detailed post on the software I use a couple of weeks ago. If you’re anything like me consider taking a look at Airtable it’s a free and simple way to stay organized.

I added two sample formulas for you:
an emulsified sugar scrub
bath bomb recipe

Let me know if this post was interesting and useful for you. See you next time!

25 thoughts on “Using Spreadsheets to Calculate Your Recipes

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