Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cucumber extract: Super happy fun formulating time!

Because cucumber extract offers astringency and anti-inflammatory properties, it's a natural inclusion in toners and after shave sprays and lotions. When using our cucumber extract, I'd suggest starting with 0.5% dissolved in warm water and added to the cool down phase to ensure you won't be too sensitive to it. You can go as high as 1%, but I suggest trying anything at the lower level first to make sure you like it!

Cucumber extract is an ideal inclusion in a toner! We want astringency and anti-inflammatory features. And it's good for normal to oily skin. Consider using a toner containing cucumber extract after shaving to help with ingrown hairs and redness. It'll add a little moisturizing and leave behind a slight gel layer on your skin to trap in the water and other good ingredients. (See below for more details)

Hey, why not consider adding a little rosemary or green tea extract to the mix? Add a second extract the same way you're adding your cucumber extract - dissolved in warm water in the cool down phase.

LOTIONS (so many posts, too many links...)
Add to your lotions for astringency and anti-oxidizing power, as well as the anti-inflammatory effects in the cool down phase after dissolving.

Sorry, you're out of luck here. Cucumber extract is water soluble - if you can't dissolve it in water, you can't add it.

Let's say I was formulating something for my husband...an after shave spray. What would I want to include. Well, since this is a post on cucumber extract, I'll include that at 0.5% in the cool down phase to offer anti-inflammatory, anti-reddening, and soothing features. It'll offer some moisturization, and the light coating of polysaccharides won't be a bad thing. I also like the analgesic properties it offers, so we're definitely including cucumber extract!

What else would we want to include? For an after shave, inflammation and soothing is vital, so I'm thinking a little aloe vera juice and lavender or rose hydrosol, all of which offer anti-inflammatory or analgesic benefits.

I think I'd like a little rosemary extract in here. It offers a lot of the same qualities as cucumber extract, but I like the layer of oil it lays down for occlusion and the increase in blood circulation on the skin. It also offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, so I'll add that at 0.5%.

I always include 2% hydrolyzed protein for film former, 2% panthenol for wound and burn healing, 0.5% preservative, and a humectant. I'm thinking either glycerin at 2% or sodium PCA at 2%. Sodium lactate isn't a good option here as it can make skin sun sensitive. (My husband has vitiligo, so he's already really sun sensitive, so this would be a terrible addition!) And I will include 3% honeyquat to offer more humectancy and skin conditioning. If you wanted, you could include 0.5% salicylic acid here to increase the power to combat ingrown hairs (or 0.5% white willow bark extract).

69.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender
2% sodium PCA or glycerin or other humectant of choice
3% honeyquat or conditioning polymer of choice
2% hydrolyzed protein (I'm using phytokeratin here)

2% panthenol
0.5% cucumber extract
0.5% rosemary extract
0.5% preservative

Heat and hold the water phase ingredients for 20 minutes at 70˚C. Remove a little hot liquid from this phase and dissolve the extracts in it. When the liquid reaches 45˚C, add the cool down phase ingredients. Let cool to room temperature, then bottle in a spray bottle.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with chamomile extract!


Melanie said...

Is there any reason I can't add Coenzyme Q-10 and Anti-wrinkle defense to this?

Melanie said...

Something like this?
Anti-Aging After Shave Spray
Check pH when done!
52.5% water
10% aloe vera
10% hydrosol
2% sodium PCA or glycerin or other humectant-glycerine or sodium lactate…
3% honeyquat or conditioning polymer of choice
2% hydrolyzed protein

2% panthenol
0.5% cucumber extract
0.5% rosemary extract
2.5% White willowbark extract
1% Coenzyme Q-10
9% Wrinkle defense complex
1% Hyaluronic acid
3%) Eidelweiss Extract
0.5-1% preservative

Melanie said...

I realized some of those aren't water soluble so I left them out. (including my rosemary extract) And I left out hyaluronic acide and wrinkle defense because I'm out. It was ok except I shouldn't have used glycerine. It's sticky. And it smells weird but you can't add fragrance oils or essential oils without an emulsifier.

Penny Sosebee said...

Would Aspen Bark extract be a good substitute for the willow bark extract?
Could I also include a small amount of IPM in this or would it be a waste of product?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Penny. I don't know what you mean by aspen bark. Can you send me an URL with more information?

And no, you can't add IPM to a water only product without an emulsifier. You could try a solubilizer and see if that worked. I know I don't like oils on my face, so I haven't tried it. Let us know how it turns out!