The key ingredient in a water based remover is a non-ionic surfactant. You'll remember from the surfactants posts there are four types of surfactants...For our lathery, foamy products, we want to use anionic (negatively charged) and amphoteric (positive or negative depending upon the environment). For non-foamy products, we want to use non-ionic (not charged) surfactants, known as emulsifiers.
What are emulsifiers? (I've got a huge post coming up on this topic, but let's summarize here). Water and oil don't mix. Water is polar, oil non-polar, so they repel each other. If we add an emulsifier, we make water and oil like each other and mix together. An emulsifier has a water-loving head and an oil-loving tail, and if each end holds on to the right molecule, your oil and water will live in harmony together.
So what does this have to do with water based make-up removers? I've been referencing "water soluble oils" in the last few posts. What are those? They are what the name implies - these are oils that can mix with water instead of repelling it. You could get water soluble olive or shea oil at the Herbarie or water soluble soy oil at Suds & Scents, or you can make your own using a non-ionic emulsifier/surfactant. (As a note, I have both the olive oil and soy oil and love them! But if you can't get these products, you can make your own...)
Polysorbate 20 and polysorbate 80 are very high HLB emulsifiers (more on this in a few days) that mix oil and water together. Poly 20 is best used for fragrance oils in things like surfactant mixtures; poly 80 is better with carrier oils. So I'm going to make my own water soluble oil by using polysorbate 80 and a carrier oil.
3 parts oil of some sort (olive, soy, shea, etc.)
1 part polysorbate 80
Mix together well, then add to your water based system. You may have to increase your polysorbate to a 1:1 ratio depending upon the weight of your oil.
What are the goals of a water-based make-up remover?
Something with glide, something emollient, something cleansing - the water soluble oil
So let's be honest...this really is more about the water soluble oil than it is about the other ingredients. But if you don't like an oil based remover, then you need something else. So we're going to make up a remover that has a few other goodies in it to make your skin feel nice as this is meant to remain on your skin.
What do we want in our make-up remover?
- Water soluble oil - this is the backbone of this recipe. 10 to 20% or so. The higher the oil amount or the heavier the oil, the higher the oiliness will be, so choose according to your desired oil level.
- Water or hydrosol - lavender and aloe are both lovely for soothing, so let's add that at 70 to 80%
- Preservative - as this is water based, you'll need 0.5% (Germall Plus) to 1% (Germaben II)
- Protein - this is will add extra conditioning, so we'll put in 2%
- Panthenol - never a bad thing to add, so let's include 2%
- Humectants - if you are using olive oil, you have a humectant in here. And the protein acts as a humectant. If you wanted to include glycerin (2%) or propylene glycol (2%) or sodium lactate (2%), that wouldn't be a bad thing.
WATER BASED MAKE-UP REMOVER
15% water soluble oil
78% water, aloe vera, or hydrosol of choice
2% humectant of choice - sodium lactate, propylene glycol, glycerin
2% hydrolyzed protein (oat, soy, wheat, silk, etc.)
0.5% to 1% preservative
(For a 100 gram batch of make-up remover, to create you own water soluble oil make up a batch of 12 grams oil to 4 grams polysorbate 80. Mix well. If it looks emulsified, then add that to your mix. If it doesn't look emulsified, add more polysorbate 80 up to 12 grams - a little at a time. Keep a record of what oil you used and how much emulsifier you used! Now add 15 grams to a 100 gram batch.)
Heat and hold your water (aloe or hydrosol) and humectant in a heat proof container in a double boiler until the temperature reaches 70C. In a separate container, weigh out your water soluble oils and heat until the temperature reaches 70C. Mix together the two containers, then when the temperature reaches 45C or lower, add your protein, panthenol, and preservative. Let cool. Bottle, and use.
As a note, you could make this recipe cold without any heating, but I am always worried about preservation when I use water or hydrosols, so I'm suggesting doing this warm!
(If you'd like another recipe...May I suggest this great recipe I found at the Herbarie called the Fruit & Flowers Make-up Remover. If you have these ingredients, make this recipe. You will love it!)